Before we headed off on our Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, we stayed at the JW Marriott Cusco for two nights to acclimate to the higher altitude. We booked a third night at the JW Marriott Cusco after our trek before heading up to Lima. The hotel kindly stored the luggage that we didn’t need on the Inca Trail and it felt good to come back to a familiar place after a few nights in a tent. We loved the JW Marriott Cusco due to the beautiful design and inviting atmosphere. Here’s my review of the JW Marriott Cusco.
Booking the JW Marriott Cusco with Points
The JW Marriott Cusco is a Category 5 hotel. It can be booked for 35,000 points at the standard rate. Off-peak and peak redemptions price out at 30,000 and 40,000 points, respectively. A daily destination fee of about $35 will be added to your reservation at the JW Marriott Cusco, even when booking with points. Surprisingly, the fee positively impacted my review of the JW Marriott Cusco. It included an expansive breakfast buffet (or packed breakfast if you have to leave before breakfast), two Pisco sours, a Pisco sour making class called Pisco Sour Madness, a tour of the hotel, and unlimited coca and herbal tea. Of course, it would be better if this was included for free but I felt like it enhanced our visit. We enjoyed the Pisco sour class and got to taste different types of Pisco. We even had Pisco infused with berries, coca leaves, and hot peppers!
I have to say the Pisco sours I had at the JW Marriott Cusco were the best ones I had in Peru.
The tour of the hotel was also very interesting. The hotel is built around the remains of an old convent. The $56 million restoration project not only saved the original design of the convent but allowed for the preservation of Inca remains that were found underneath the hotel.
JW Marriott Cusco Location
The location of the JW Marriott Cusco cannot be beat. It’s about a two-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main square. Cusco can be a little sleepy, but there are dozens of restaurants within walking distance. You can also walk to some of Cusco’s main sights like San Francisco Church and San Pedro Market, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame. It was also walking distance to Alpaca Expedition’s office which is where we had our meeting the night before our Inca Trail hike.
Dining and Amenities
The JW Marriott Cusco has one main restaurant and bar called Qespi. It’s located right off the reception area and takes up most of the lobby.
We took the Pisco Sour Madness class right near the bar and then had our free Pisco sours at the bar. The vibe here is so nice that we ended up staying for dinner. Marriott did a really nice job with the decor of this hotel since we rarely decide to stay at the hotel for dinner. In the morning, the breakfast buffet is set up in the same area.
The JW Marriott Marriott spa offers Andean-inspired healing treatments, massages, and facials in addition to a pool and sauna. The spa is open until 11:00pm so there’s plenty of time for a late-night sauna session after a day of visiting the Sacred Valley. Surprisingly, the JW Marriott Cusco is the first Marriott I stayed in that does not have a gym.
Upon entering the JW Marriott Cusco, you’ll see an amazing piece of artwork behind the reception desk. Over 6,000 Swarovski crystals were used to create the piece that resembles the sun as an homage to the Incan sun god Inti.
This art installation looks even cooler at night!
To the right of the reception desk, is a coca and herbal tea station that’s available 24/7.
The rest of the first-floor lobby is taken up by the restaurant and bar and a separate lounge area. The lobby opens up into the magnificent courtyard preserved from the original convent, and one of the most picturesque spots in the hotel.
JW Marriott Cusco Classic Inca King Room
As much as I love the hotel common areas, the room itself was not all that exciting. The hallway on the first floor leading to the elevators carried over the aesthetic I’ve been raving about.
However, once you leave the first floor, things are a little less glamorous. The hallway overall fit the theme but didn’t have the same wow-factor as the lobby.
Here’s the entrance to the room with a large mirror on the right. All rooms are “oxygen-enriched” which is supposed to help with the altitude. We didn’t feel any effects of the altitude. I’m not sure if this works, but if it does, it’s not helpful if you are trying to acclimate for a hike.
The room itself was small with a king bed, a desk, and a dresser that the TV was on. It was on the third floor and as a result, the window was very small and barely had a view. If you want natural light, this is not the room for you.
The bed was extremely inviting after a series of three overnight flights from Boston. We were so thankful that the hotel let us check in at 7:00am!
Here’s the TV with a view of the entrance to the right.
In the space before the bathroom was a closet with bathrobes and slippers.
There was also a coffee station.
The bathroom was nice but on the smaller size.
It featured a standalone tub, shower stall, and one sink.
The toilet being placed so close to the shower made it difficult to share this space.
As with all JW Marriotts, the toiletries were from Aromatherapy Associates.
There was also a box with more toiletries like dental kits and a comb.
After we left the room for the day, we came back to a welcome amenity of chocolates made in-house.
That concludes my review of the JW Marriott Cusco. Overall, we loved staying at the JW Marriott Cusco. While the room was nothing to write home about, I can honestly say it was one of my favorite hotels we’ve stayed at. I absolutely loved the decor and Marriott did a fantastic job preserving the historic feel of the convent. The added fee can be annoying, but the delicious breakfast, Pisco sours, and other extras certainly made up for it. If you find yourself in Peru, don’t hesitate to stay at the JW Marriott Cusco!