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Cusco: Casa Cartagena

Casa Cartagena

The remarkable Casa Cartagena hotel in central Cusco, just a couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas, is packed with surprises. Behind the heavy wooden doors and the gabled façade of a colonial mansion, supported by Inca walls, you might expect to find a style inspired by the Spanish imperial age. But no – this is a boutique hotel where contemporary designers have been allowed to let their imagination loose, and they have come up with something really special. 

A first class establishment, it offers the high level of comfort, service and facilities you'd expect, but in its striking décor, defined by geometric designs and modern, boxy furniture, it is unique in Cusco. Colours are bold – reds, golds, rich browns and salt-bright white, with large checks and patterns. There's nothing remotely Peruvian about the style, but if you like the design hotel concept you won't be disappointed. 

The 16 luxury suites are huge, with a balcony or terrace and the option of an oxygen-enrichment system to combat altitude sickness. There's also a comprehensive spa complete with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna rooms.

The well-established restaurant has a good reputation and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda apparently used to eat here long before the building became a hotel. It serves a sophisticated menu making imaginative use of local produce.
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Visit Sacsayhuaman Inca fortress

What our experts say

I really liked the juxtaposition of the colonial building with the modern, spacious rooms. The staff go out of their way to make your stay memorable and add special touches like sweets on the bed, innovative welcome cocktails (we had a strawberry flavoured Pisco sour!) and the chance to have breakfast al fresco in the courtyard.

Sophie Barber

Sophie Barber

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