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“This boutique-style hotel the heart of picturesque Cusco has got character, charm, and a strong homely feel. Formerly part of the city’s old farmer’s market, the rooms and quaint atmosphere guarantee a personal and friendly service, and guests feel automatically immersed within the cultural and historical traits of Cusco and Peru. The live music in the evenings comes highly recommended - try to catch it if you can.”
Set in a former market near Plaza de Armas, El Mercado is run by Mountain Lodges of Peru. Part of Cusco’s colonial heritage, the interior has been renovated by Peruvian designer, Jordi Puig, who’s given a modern slant to traditional patterns and textiles.
The guestrooms and suites have a rustic-luxe feel, with wicker baskets and distressed paintwork complemented by cosy blankets, abstract artworks, and colourful rugs. Heated walls keep the rooms snug, while the suites have freestanding bathtubs, walk-in wardrobes and open fireplaces.
The restaurant serves hearty home-cooked Peruvian cuisine with market-fresh ingredients. There’s also a coffee shop and lounge-bar serving light tapas.
El Mercado provides a stylish yet cosy base to explore the historic centre of Cusco and the nearby archaeological sites. It makes an excellent start or end point for the multi-day treks to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.