Tag Archives: Starwood

Part 8: My Love Affair with Starwood Continues

Part 1: Getting to the Sacred Valley is Not Easy
Part 2: The Most Awesome Hotel Ever
Part 3: When in Urubamba…
Part 4: A Town Called Olly
Part 5: Can You Pass the Salt?
Part 6: How to Get to Machu Picchu
Part 7: I Came, I Saw, I Conquered (Machu Picchu)

Hotel points allow me to stay in hotels I never would be able to stay in otherwise. For some people, a bed is a bed no matter where they are. But I confess: I like luxury. I like being updated to a suite. Correction: I love being updated to a suite. I love sitting in a beautiful lobby, enjoying free wifi that actually works and relaxing on a sumptuous couch.

I loved our hotel in Cusco. Especially after the damp, dank excuse for a hotel we stayed at in Aguas Calientes.

After our visit to Machu Picchu, we made our way to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, located at a breathtaking 11,500 feet. Cusco overflows with its Inca and colonial past. And our hotel in Cusco was no different.

SPG’s Palacio del Inka is located in central Cusco, a seven minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, in an old monastery. The entire hotel reaks of colonial elegance – medieval columns, rich, dark colors, velvet upholstery, ornate decorations, and stone floors.

Cusco map

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When we checked in, I was pleasantly surprised to find out we had been upgraded to a suite despite my lack of status. The suite consisted of two separate rooms — a separate living room area with a couch, desk, chairs and a television, and the bedroom — which had its own television. And get this — we had two bathrooms!

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The living room part of our suite

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The bedroom

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The master bathroom

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The view of Cusco from our window

Needless to say, we had an amazing stay. Thank you Starwood!

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PART 2: The Most Awesome Hotel Ever

Part 1: Getting to the Sacred Valley is Not Easy

About two years ago I read a review of SPG’s Tambo del Inka in Peru’s Sacred Valley, and I decided that one day I’d go to Peru and stay in that hotel. Oh sure, there are other reasons to go to Peru. Machu Picchu comes to mind. But I’d like to add this hotel to the list.

As a category five, the hotel cost us 12,000 points a night for two nights – instead of paying $300 per night. When we walked in, it was too early to go to our room, so we enjoyed the free wifi in the enormous lobby and lounged outdoors on some very comfortable couches overlooking the river.

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Tambo del Inka is designed as a natural oasis – high ceilings with big glass windows, lots of natural wood and light, and bright Peruvian colors. When you walk outside the hotel, you are greeted by a beautiful fountain and the mountains overlooking the Sacred Valley.

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Our room was similarly pleasant. It was fairly large considering I do not have status and we did not get upgraded. By European standards, you might say our room was positively huge. The hotel also supplied our room daily with fresh bottle of water, which goes a long way in my book.

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Everything about the hotel enhanced our sense of relaxation. We almost didn’t want to leave and had to force ourselves to go outside and explore the surrounding towns. Sometimes, a hotel is just a place to sleep as you explore a new city or country. Tambo del Inka was much, much more.

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