The hotel was a short taxi ride away and we were surprised that we were already feeling the effects of the altitude. Cusco is over 11,000 feet above sea level (higher than Machu Picchu and surrounding villages) so it may hit you hard!
When we arrived to the Palacio del Inka, a bell hop immediately took our bags into a waiting area in the lobby and offered us some coca tea to help with the altitude sickness. The effects of this are unproven but, hey, when in
Upon check-in, the front desk agent informed us that we had been upgraded to a “junior suite.” I am Starwood Gold (thanks to an American Express Platinum card I had up until a few months prior) so that would explain the upgrade. The agent also gave us the code to the complimentary wifi – one of the 3 Gold welcome benefits to choose from (bonus Starpoints, complimentary in-room Internet access or a complimentary beverage).
The bell hop brought us to our room, which was definitely better, but it wasn’t a suite. There was no separate bedroom + living room area. It was a weird setup with a floating wall separating the entrance from the rest of the main area.
The most interesting part of the room was that there were glass windows & doors that opened up to a shared hallway/balcony overlooking the inner courtyard. It was a pretty unique setup and very cool!
How We Stayed Here
Redeeming points at Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection by Starwood is quite easy and there are several options. It is a Category 4 hotel so you are looking at a few different redemption options:
- Free nights: 10,000 Starpoints per night
- Cash & Points: 5,000 Starpoints + $75
- You can also upgrade paid rates to “better” rooms or suites with Starpoints
In my opinion, Cash & Points is the best value of your Starpoints and that’s what we used. However, cash rates are not too intimidating if you feel like paying for your stay and earning points instead of redeeming.
I wish we had more photos of this gorgeous property, but for the next day and a half, altitude sickness really took over. Much of the first night was spent in the comfortable king bed and the next day was spent exploring Cusco before we continued our journey towards Machu Picchu.