Review : JW Marriott El Convento Cusco | Marriott Bonvoy

Hotel JW Marriott El Convento Cusco
Country Peru
City Cusco
Room Type Deluxe room with king-size bed
Loyalty Program Status Gold
Points Per Night 43,000 to 68,000
Hotel brand JW Marriott Hotels

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco
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To the point Exploring Cusco in Peru, I stayed at the JW Marriott El Convento, a five-star hotel set in a historic 16th-century Spanish colonial building. Here's a look back at my experience.

In the historic center of Cusco, Marriott Bonvoy offers two accommodations: the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco and the Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco. I chose the first option, being curious to learn more about the origins of the hotel’s historic building.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Reservation and destination fees

Prices for a stay at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco vary greatly according to seasonality, ranging from 43,000 to 68,000 points per night, or 235 to 352 USD in the high season from May to August. In both cases, there is an additional destination charge of USD 37.55 per night, which cannot be paid in points.


Here is what’s included in the destination fee as displayed on the site at the time of booking:

  • Access to press reader
  • 25 USD discount on spa treatments
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • Breakfast
  • Oxygen in rooms
  • 2 Pisco Sour cocktails per day per room
  • Historical guided tour of the hotel
  • Pisco Sour creation workshop

Please note that more activities (listed below) are offered free of charge by the hotel.


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JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Location

The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco hotel is located in the heart of Cusco’s historic center, very close to the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main tourist plaza, where you’ll find stores, restaurants and major tourist attractions. From the airport, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the hotel by cab.

From the hotel, it’s easy to explore the historic center on foot. You don’t have to go far to find excellent cafés and restaurants in Cusco. If you’re looking for a little respite from being at high altitude, you can use Uber’s services for really cheap in Cusco.

Cusco is the ideal starting point for many excursions in Peru, whether it’s a visit to Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley. Local tourist agencies abound, so you can easily choose the excursions that suit you best.


JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Check-in

Upon arrival, it’s impossible not to be dazzled by the imposing centerpiece of the reception area, a work of art covered with 76,500 Swarovski crystals and depicting Inti, the sun god of the Inca people. A successful first impression.

A concierge service and self-service tea station are also available at the entrance. I recommend coca leaf tea, which helps you acclimatize to Cusco’s high altitude.


When I checked in, I was presented with a booklet with the experiences offered by the hotel and included in my stay, which will be described later. I was also told that access to the spa was free for guests, and that you simply had to book in advance.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Rooms

The choice of rooms at the five-storey hotel varies greatly according to category: from the basement room with a window overlooking an Inca wall, to the imperial suite on the fourth floor with a view of the surrounding mountains. For my part, I opted for a deluxe room with a king-size bed, located on the 2nd floor.

A member of staff accompanied me to my room and advised me not to open the window, as the room’s oxygenation system allows guests to acclimatize to Cusco’s 3,400 m altitude. There is indeed an adjustment period of a few days for most people on arrival, so this detail was appreciated.


The room is charming and respects the historical character of the convent in its design. The only thing missing, in my opinion, was a desk, which would have been very useful since I was working remotely. I hadn’t checked this detail when booking; it is possible to get a work desk when booking a suite.

The bathroom features products from Aromatherapy Associates that I particularly liked, a walk-in shower, a bathtub and a bathrobe.

For a more luxurious experience, a room on the third floor (courtyard terrace room) offers access to the terrace with a direct view of the courtyard. If I were to stay at the hotel again, I would choose this room category.


JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Common spaces and history

To stay at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is to immerse yourself in a historic site of great importance, as the original building constructed in 1592 served as a convent of the Order of the Augsutinians during the Spanish colonial era.

Without going into great detail here, the restoration of this hotel cost $75 million and was carried out in collaboration with UNESCO in order to preserve the building’s historic heritage.


Significant archaeological discoveries were made in the process, and these remains (Inca artefacts, pre-colonial walls), were preserved and integrated during the restoration. The guided historical tour of the premises offered by the hotel every evening is a must for understanding, discovering and appreciating this rich history. If you miss it, at least make sure you visit the basement, converted into an exhibition room.

Take time to stroll around the third-floor terrace, where many colonial paintings are on display. The hotel grounds are well worth a visit during your stay; from the inner courtyard to the preserved architecture on the first floor, there’s plenty to see and learn about the hotel’s history. A book explaining its history and restoration process is available on site.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - Services

Breakfast and brunch

Served in the ground-floor restaurant from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., breakfast features a wide range of international options, as well as local specialties.

A waiter was on hand to serve coffee prepared by a barista, and it was possible to order eggs cooked to your liking (omelette, huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict, etc.).

The quality and variety of ingredients and dishes served at the buffet did not disappoint, and seemed to please everyone. Here is an overview:

Restaurant Qespi

Open all day, the Qespi restaurant offers international and Peruvian-style cuisine, in the same place where breakfast is served. The bar also offers a long list of cocktails and alcoholic beverages, as well as daytime coffee service.

Since Cusco abounds in restaurants offering high-quality local cuisine, I preferred to eat out.


Unfortunately, there’s no gym at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco.

Spa and pool

Access to the spa includes the following facilities: swimming pool, sauna, steam room, cold showers and Jacuzzi, with sun loungers set up around the pool for relaxation.

The spa is open to the public for a fee of around 24 USD for a 2-hour session. By reserving your spot, the hotel ensures that the spa is not too busy, since space is limited.

It is also possible to enjoy a full range of treatments such as massages, at additional cost. Unsurprisingly, prices are higher than what you’ll find throughout Cusco, but the 25 USD coupon helps keep the price down. I didn’t use any treatment during my stay.


As indicated on the booklet, there was:

  • A guided historical tour of the hotel, which used to be a convent
  • Cooking classes
  • A workshop to create Pisco Sour, the famous Peruvian cocktail
  • A tour of the JW Marriott garden
  • Meeting Panchita, the hotel’s resident baby alpaca
  • Weaving demonstrations every day
  • Alma Samay, a breathing exercise and sound therapy session

Some of these activities must be booked in advance, as mentioned on arrival at the hotel. During my two-night stay, I took the historical guided tour, had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Panchita and saw the artisanal demonstration. I didn’t have enough time to do the other activities, which I’m sure are worthwhile.

Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points

The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays at over 8,000 hotels worldwide is to have the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (and/or the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card).

In addition to the exceptional welcome bonus of each of these two cards, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all your purchases and 5 points per dollar at any of the Marriott establishments. On top of that, every year, you’ll receive a free hotel night certificate (worth 35,000 points) and 15 Elite Night Credits toward your Marriott Bonvoy status.


JW Marriott El Convento Cusco - My overall impression

My stay at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco was very pleasant; from the little touches like the chocolate given in the room each evening, to the very attentive service of the staff at all times, not forgetting the undeniable historical richness of the premises that made us feel in another era. You can also feel the care taken in the design, aimed at respecting the different cultures that have marked the premises throughout history.

The only downside: unless you’ve booked a suite, the hotel isn’t designed for remote workers or digital nomads, as there’s no dedicated space for those working on their laptops, and I sometimes had trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi (once I did, it was fast though). It’s easy to see that this is not the hotel’s primary intention, and it’s possible to find other excellent options for working in Cusco.

All in all, I’d recommend a stay at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco to anyone looking for luxury and comfort, and wishing to immerse themselves in Cusco’s historical and cultural heritage.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Marie-Ève Leclerc
Travelling is a way of life for Marie-Ève, who spends almost six months a year abroad. She's always looking for waves to surf, great coffee and the best strategies to travel longer. You'll probably find her in a coworking space with other digital nomads, or by the sea watching the sunsets.

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