Belmond Palacio Nazarenas - Cusco - PeruBelmond Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco
Your ‘Once upon a time… Journey' starts here
Built on Inca foundations, rich history meets modern indulgence in Cusco's fairytale hideaway
We’ve preserved all that is precious: original Inca stonework, colonial frescos and gold-framed paintings. And yet, upon entry a contemporary Cusco comes to the fore. Discover a fabulous spa, the city's first outdoor pool and daring cuisine from leading Peruvian chefs.
Daringly Modern Indulgence with Timeless Appeal
Step past walls of Inca stones and into a cloistered courtyard with an ancient fountain at its heart. But within these timeless walls, contemporary Cusco comes to life. Find a fabulous spa, the city's first outdoor pool and stylish restaurants serving cutting-edge local cuisine.
This intimate urban retreat has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and with its own private bar where guests can create drinks accented with fresh ingredients grown at and around the hotel.
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a hotel in a former convent built on Inca walls at the centre of Cusco, Peru. It is located in a small square close by the Plaza de Armas and the city cathedral.
The hotel stands on the site of a former Inca building and reuses stones that may have been used in the original construction. Shortly after the new building’s completion as a private home in the mid 1500s it had a succession of owners, including the famous warrior and gambler Mancio Serra de Leguizamón.
In 1644 the Jesuits acquired the property and used it as a school. In 1650 Cusco suffered a devastating earthquake and the building required extensive repairs. It continued as a school until 1673, before being sold to a private owner in 1687.
In 1715 it was turned into “beaterio”, a type of convent for what was considered to be a “lower order” of nuns. Its occupants came from families of the native aristocracy, rather than immigrant Spanish clergy. The nuns never received the level of funding enjoyed by the “higher orders”, and therefore the building’s fabric remained simple at best.
A church was built within the complex, which the public were allowed to visit. On such occasions the nuns sat in screened enclosures that still stand today. Although this church is no longer permanently consecrated it is still used for religious worship, weddings and secular gatherings. A mezzanine area above the church is now used as a library with a display of artifacts discovered during recent restoration.
One of the former nuns’ cells has a fresco of Christ, known as the Lord of Huanca, which has always been highly venerated by the people of Cusco. It has recently been restored by distinguished art restorer Julio Ninantay.
The nuns ran an orphanage within their complex and also made marzipan delicacies for sale to raise funds. Transactions were conducted via a turntable so that neither seller nor purchaser need see one another. This device can still be seen at the hotel’s entrance.
Many early frescoes were painted on the walls of the complex, a number of which remain and have been restored. A fountain sits at the centre of the main courtyard, with Inca-style water channels running from it.
One of the hotel’s suites, thought to have once been the Mother Superior’s quarters, has a coffered ceiling painted with pink roses. Other rooms contain features such as Inca-style niches and brick arches.
In 1876 a girls’ boarding school and a lower school for “young women of scarce resources” were introduced.
In 1961 the Nazarenes dissolved their order into that of the Carmelites and the number of nuns living in the building reduced. By 1977 the last ones had moved out and the building was leased to the Peruvian government agency Plan Copesco, with the aim of restoring it.
Plan Copesco left the building in 1997 and in 1999 the lease was transferred to Orient-Express Hotels. Following a complex restoration project it opened as Palacio Nazarenas in 2012. The hotel has the first outdoor swimming pool in Cusco, a spa and a restaurant that uses herbs and vegetables grown in the hotel’s gardens.
In 2014 the company changed its name to Belmond Ltd. At that time the hotel was renamed Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas General Information
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Location:
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Plaza Nazarenas 144
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Management: Belmond Ltd.
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Number of suites: 55