Picture a hotel set in the Andes mountains of Peru in a building that was once the site of an Incan temple, then the home of Spanish nobility. Now imagine if that hotel was lovingly restored with modern and whimsical Italian designer furnishings and lighting. Is that the high altitude taking your breath away, or the high style?
Somehow, it all works. The Casa Cartagena Hotel & Spa combines history and contemporary design to energetic and welcoming effect in each of these 16 suites, some featuring frescoes uncovered during the restoration process. Every need is thoughtfully anticipated: oxygen-enrichment systems at bedside, massages and aromatherapy "stone walks" for feet and bodies tired from hikes, and thirst-quenching pisco sours at the Terrace or Lobby bar. Dine on your balcony, or sample Peruvian cuisine in the chic La Chola restaurant.
This stylish and fanciful resort is only moments from Cusco's main plaza, and - safe to say - like nowhere else on earth.