In place of a Bible, there is now a leather-bound guest register. Instead of monks chanting, reception plays a little on their sound system every so often. And quiet contemplation in the courtyard these days is now accompanied by a Pisco Sour or coca tea (the latter complimentary and available in the lobby lounge).
Rooms here begin at $310 per night, which includes a very large breakfast buffet, WiFi, little niceties like the coca tea, and access to a concierge who is very skilled in making Machu Picchu arrangements (as we personally found out).
Check out our photo gallery of inside a room, but here's what we thought of the property as a whole:
What we liked
· Location. It's walking distance (down a small hill) from the Plaza de Armas and most major tourist sites in town. Plus it's on a small plaza that's quite pleasant on its own, with other restaurants and the Monasterio's sister hotel, Palacio Nazarenas.
· The breakfast spread was very generous and well presented, and it even opens at 5am in consideration for those guests with extra-early departures for activities like an excursion to Machu Picchu.
· The hotel's restaurant for dinner, El Tupay, is very reasonably priced. We splashed out, ordering for every course (plus foie gras), and the total only came to $50 for one person, which we paid.
· A very cozy lobby lounge made us wish for extra evenings so we could just sit in front of the fireplace with a coca tea.
Things to note:
· Small tour groups were staying at the hotel, meaning the public areas could get briefly crowded at times.
· There is a supplement of $48/night for having your room oxygen enriched, which is optional but very tempting.
· The Monasterio is so well known as a luxury hotel that we were careful when asked where we were staying (as one should always be, really)
Disclosure: We stayed as a guest of Orient-Express but all photos and opinions are completely our own.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher]