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JW Marriott El Convento Cusco 4.5

Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located just two blocks from Plaza de Armas
  • Restored 16th-century convent with original details like arcades and archways
  • Handsome, corporate-style rooms with traditional wall art and modern amenities
  • Luxurious marble bathrooms with separate tubs and Aromatherapy toiletries
  • Huge colonial-style central courtyard with brick arcades and patio furniture
  • Sharp spa with indoor pool and Inca-inspired healing treatments
  • Elegant restaurant serving Peruvian cuisine
  • Excellent buffet breakfast with omelette bar and eggs cooked-to-order (fee)
  • Variety of meeting rooms, some displaying ancient Peruvian artifacts

Cons

  • Wi-Fi in rooms only free for Marriott members (a free program)
  • Oxygen for high-altitude sickness only available for an additional fee

Bottom Line

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco Hotel is a 146-room luxury hotel that's located on a busy street corner just two blocks from Plaza de Armas. This strikingly handsome property was converted from a 16th-century convent and retains many original architectural features, like dramatic vaulted ceilings and towering stone walls. Rooms have a traditional, but modern, look, with crisp bedding, attractive furniture, and large marble bathrooms. Social spaces throughout are dark and elegant, while the colonial-style courtyard, with its long extended brick arcades, is possibly one of the largest amongst Cusco hotels. The spa has an indoor pool and hot tub, but there's no gym, and expect to pay extra for Wi-Fi. For a hotel with a gym and more relaxed vibe, try Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa instead.

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Scene

Handsome luxury hotel set in a restored 16th-century convent, with modern and traditional touches

As with most Cusco hotels, JW Marriott El Convento Cusco Hotel retains many of its original colonial-era architectural features -- in this case those restored from the vast, 16th-century convent that it once was. There are majestic high ceilings, towering stone walls, and looming stone archways: large, austere spaces that convey this hotel’s distinguished luxury feel. The reception area is museum-like step back in time, with its stone walls and polished terra-cotta floor tiles. A dazzling modern re-interpretation of the Inca Sun God Inti, in shimmering gold flecks and shiny fluttering pieces, is a central focus of the reception area and sets the tone for the rest of the hotel: present-day luxury within the context of ancient Inca culture. There are other modern touches, in the form of chic yellow ottomans in the lounge and sleek geometric lines in the bar. Dark wood and dark leather furniture throughout contribute to the polished effect, while ancient Peruvian artifacts and ornately carved Baroque-style pieces add mystique. It's one of the more expensive options in town, but still manages to be popular with all types of travelers, including families, friends, and couples.

Location

On a busy brick street corner, just two blocks from Plaza de Armas

This Marriott hotel is situated on a busy brick street corner, where there are plenty of passing tourists as well as locals going about their business. It’s just two blocks from Cusco’s vibrant main square, Plaza de Armas, and there’s a laundry service just across the street as well as various tour agencies, shops, and restaurants. The 16th-century Cusco Cathedral is just next door to the plaza, while the Inka Museum is a five-minute walk from the hotel. Qurikancha, the most important temple of the Inca Empire dedicated to the Inca Sun God, is also five minutes away on foot. Meanwhile Sacsahuayman, a pre-Inca citadel and UNESCO site dating back to 1100, is a five-minute taxi ride away. Wanchaq Train Station is a 15-minute taxi ride and Poroy Station -- the departure point for Machu Picchu -- is 30 minutes by taxi. Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is just a 20-minute taxi trip.

Rooms

Attractive rooms with traditional touches, plus large marble bathrooms and luxury amenities

Rooms have a traditional look with plenty of modern and local accents that put them a step above most of the bland Marriott properties that we've visited. The brown, gold, and red color scheme echoes that of the rest of the hotel, while classic Andean-style patterns and dark wood furniture look classic and timeless. Luxury Suites might be worth the upgrade, as they feel extra homey, add separate livings rooms, and have even more artsy details. All rooms have luxurious marble bathrooms in neutral tones, and come with Aromatherapy toiletries and separate marble-lined tubs. Some rooms overlook Cusco’s terra-cotta roofs and distant Andean peaks, while others overlook the vast inner courtyard.

All rooms come with minibars, soundproofing, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with cable channels. The hotel provides free bottled water, bathrobes and slippers, free shoeshines, chocolates, and local Peruvian bath salt for a luxurious soak. Most rooms have built-in oxygen administration, which enables reception staff to channel oxygen straight to the room without visiting -- perfect for privacy while suffering from high-altitude sickness, but it’s not free. There is both wireless and wired internet access with basic as well as high capacity download speeds, but Wi-Fi is only free for Marriott Rewards members, which is free to join.

Features

Dramatic restaurant with good local food and an elegant spa with indoor pool

Aside from its impressive colonial architecture, the most striking feature of the hotel is its Pirqua Restaurant: it has magnificent high ceilings and a dramatic long gallery-style layout, with dark wood beamed ceilings, stone walls, and low-hanging iron-wrought and brass chandeliers. The local Peruvian dishes are hailed to be some of the best in Cusco from previous guests. The breakfast buffet is not free, but is excellent and abundant according to guests. There’s a good variety of hot and cold foods including a selection of breads and an omelette bar where eggs are cooked to order.

An elegant spa with an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room is perfect after a long trek along the Inca trail. There's no gym, but guests still adjusting to the high altitude may not feel a need for one. As with many Cusco hotels, there’s a central colonial-style courtyard with extended brick arcades and long galleries, as well as plenty of patio seating and fresh muna plant pots. The hotel also has five different meeting rooms, the largest one holding up to 400 people. Despite being popular with families, there are no kid-specific amenities here. There’s free coca and muna tea, as well as free Wi-Fi in public areas.

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Things You Should Know About JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Address

Esquina De La Calle Ruinas 432 y San Agustin, Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru

Also Known As

  • JW Marriott Hotel Cusco

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