Since 1984 when the first JW Marriott opened, the brand has been known for its service quality, exquisite dining and lodging excellence in many countries all over the world.
In 2012, the chain opened yet another luxurious property in Esquina de la Calle Ruinas y San Agustin Cusco, Peru. Over 11,000 feet above sea level, it is the first Marriot to require supplemental oxygen pumped into the air into all its six floors, 146 rooms, seven suites, and lobby and public areas to compensate for the high altitude.
The JW Marriott El Centro Cusco Peru
Roughly an hour away from Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site, the premises was built on top of ancient Incan ruins and incorporated into a convent from the 1500s. These ruins have been exquisitely transformed into a museum.
The elaborate Spanish décor can be seen throughout the hotel and in the rooms. As visitors walk through the heavy wooden front doors, they will see a magnificent Swarovski crystal chandelier at the reception. Guests can see an archaeological exhibition room with Incan artifacts unearthed during construction of the hotel. There is a sizeable inner courtyard, just the place to take some time to imagine yourself in the past.
You will be sharing this hotel with patrons who have come for sightseeing or business, couples on romantic getaways as well as families who have come to visit this historical capital of Peru. The city is a huge tourist destination with over 2 million people coming to visit every year since UNESCO designated it a world heritage site in 1983.
Upon our arrival to the hotel, we were enveloped by the feeling of peaceful serenity and we were welcomed with a special Peruvian tea ceremony which was both soothing and relaxing. It also helps acclimate guests to the altitude.
The staff showed us to our connecting rooms that featured durable, heavy doors.We could see the city of Cusco from the windows with the town’s main square nearby and cobblestones. It is quite picturesque.
Each room was a feast for the eyes. All the furniture was handmade and the desk, like the beds, featured beautifully carved legs. The rooms had plenty of power sockets for charging some portable devices at the same time. The wooden backboard for both the king-sized and two double beds in the adjoining room with the geometrically patterned rugs on the wooden floors gave the suite an authentic Peruvian feel. Also, there was a living room with a sitting area decorated with local artwork on the walls and colorful tapestries and rugs.
There were coffee makers and an empty mini-fridge in each room which meant guests could store their perishables at will. Both rooms came with ample storage space with chests of drawers, nightstands, and closets, as well as the place to put luggage.
Both rooms had bathrooms with marble countertops, vanity mirrors, and showers with a recessed overhead rainforest fixtures. Our room, which featured the king sized bed, also had an additional bathtub which made for a relaxing escape after hiking the entire day. The hotel provided an elaborate amenity kit, fluffy towels, and bathrobes, along with slippers for each room.
At the hotel, there were three restaurants from which to choose.
First was the Pirqa Restaurant Cusco venue, well known for their traditional Peruvian cuisine.
The second choice was the Qespi Bar, famous for its tapas and Peruvian cocktails.
Finally, there was the Nina Soncco Lounge, which had a fireplace emphasizing a comfortable atmosphere.
The buffet spread was a wonderful way to start the day!
It boasted cereals and beverages including fresh juices like papaya and pineapple. Following that, we saw various rolls, muffins, and flatbreads made from corn and other grains. We sampled their peasant bread, chocolate, orange cakes, and jams.
One of the traditional stations had a lovely selection of cold cuts, cheeses, and smoked salmon. At the fruit station, patrons enjoyed sliced fruit and different yogurts. The hot food station had sausages, bacon, mushrooms, deep-pork, sweet potato, chicken stroganoff, and frittata.
The ‘sweets’ area included cookies, pancakes, and waffles served with assorted syrups and traditional sweetened condensed milk. At the egg station, the buffet served sunny-side-up, easy-over, omelet, scrambled and even eggs benedict.
Believe me, everything was delicious, we tried them all!
Spa and Pool
The JW Marriott Cusco staff offers their guests a variety of holistic services and cleansing treatments as well as an indoor heated serenity pool. The spa offers a steam room, massage rooms, and beauty therapies. Since the spa is pretty famous in Cusco, it is important to book in advance as it is not only guests who take advantage of this service but locals too.
Cooking with the Chef
We had the opportunity to take part in a pilot program. Here, we enjoyed a private cooking class with Teddy Bouroncle, the hotel chef.
Before we started on the food, the staff taught us how to make the world famous Pisco Sour cocktail, which was delicious.
We then learned how to prepare a beef dishes like Seabass ceviche, Anticucho, and Lomo Salado.
We also learned how to make Arroz-con-Leche and Suspiro-de-Limena, two of their traditional desserts.
Watching the professionalism and attention to hygiene was impressive. After the making of this grand feast, we got to eat everything at our own private table waited on by the staff.
There was much we loved during our stay, but there are two things that will be forever etched in our memories.
The cooking lessons turned our kids into Peruvian food addicts, and we now look for Peruvian restaurants everywhere we go. We also loved the fact that the hotel promoted local artistic professionals and featured the different crafts in the hotel courtyard for patrons to see.
Autism Travel Tips:
- The hotel takes special needs into consideration and has wheelchair accessibility to the main entrance and registration desk, rooms, restaurants, and lounges.
- This property is a smoke-free hotel because of the extra oxygen pumped all around the premises. This fact works out well for anyone who is sensitive to smoke or has allergies. In our son’s case, he has asthma, so it helped.
- The rooms have double curtains to make it dark for those who are sensitive to light.
- If one of your parties has sensitivities to noise, I recommend that you request an Inca wall room. These rooms are quieter than the Courtyard rooms.
- Guests can ask for more oxygen if needed. There are also air-conditioning controls for those who are sensitive to temperature extremes.
- There is complimentary high-speed wireless Internet available throughout the hotel for guests.
- The mini-fridge in the room is useful for keeping special snacks and medicines for those who have specific medical needs.
- If your family is unable to make a meal because you are planning a day-trip and have an early start, it is possible to coordinate with the hotel. They can get the kitchen to pack a boxed continental breakfast for you.
- If you do need grocery supplies or anything else for your trip, the hotel has a convenient mini-market right across the street.
- There is 24-hour room service which is handy if you need a snack for your special needs child in the middle of the night.
- There are free evening tours given by hotel staff, perfect for learning more about the hotel’s heritage and history as well as the renovation that led to it being the fantastic hotel it is.