Orient-Express opened the doors to its latest hotel today in Peru after four years of painstaking work.
Palacio Nazarenas is an all-suite boutique hotel, formerly a 16th century convent, in Cuzco and the company describes it as one of the “most ambitious projects to date.”
Four years in the making the 55 room hotel has state-of-the-art oxygenated rooms, Cuzco’s first outdoor infinity pool, and a gourmet restaurant overseen by one of Peru’s most exciting chefs, Virgilio Martinez.
During the excavation process, which even involved using toothbrushes at some points, architects and archaeologists uncovered a host of Inca treasures, (including an original Inca sandal) which are being showcased throughout the hotel.
The Library serves as a museum for all the artefacts discovered and each day an expert shaman, sommelier, or historian will speak to guests about the history, art, and culture of Cuzco.
Original Inca walls discovered have been preserved beneath the glass floors of treatment rooms at the Hypnôze spa. The murals and friezes on the walls of the hotel are rare survivors among the artworks from Cuzco’s Spanish colonial heyday.
Master restorers used innovative techniques such as gently massaging murals with flour dough to remove surface dirt and bring them back to life. Taking six months to restore, the largest mural is of Senor de Huanca painted on the wall of a cell following a vision of Christ experienced by a nun during the days when Palacio Nazarenas was a Carmelite convent.
Managing director of Orient-Express Peru Laurent Carrasset said: “The rebirth of Palacio Nazarenas is a complex project, but one that is Orient-Express through and through. Ever since the company embarked on the revival of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in 1978, breathing new life into historic icons has become one of its hallmarks.”
Extra touches include bath pillows filled with dried herbs from the hotel gardens, a bespoke perfume for guests to take home, and a cocktail making set in each room with a book on how to make Andean drinks using local herbs and ingredients.
To celebrate the launch of the hotel, Orient-Express has put together a Taste of Cuzco package to discover the gastronomy of Cuzco through the eyes of Chef Director Virgilio Martinez.
It includes a market tour, a cooking class, and a customised three course dinner.
Stays cost from £504 a night.
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