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Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel renovation resonates with cultural authenticity

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hote
Reinforcing its focus on immersing guests in a combination of traditional indigenous culture and today’s savvy luxury, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel has completed a renovation of guest rooms and public spaces that evokes historic Peruvian and Andean themes and symbols while featuring world-class modern amenities.

“The renovation has truly achieved our goal of furthering and enhancing the Peruvian experience at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel while increasing guests’ comfort and enjoyment,” said Angie Clavijo, general manager of the award-winning luxury property at the foot of Peru’s premier tourism attraction.  

The inspiration for the project – by Italian and Peruvian designers Carmine Furgione and Sandra Chávez – centers on the Chakana, the Andean cross whose arms symbolize the four elements of nature:  Fire, Water, Earth and Air.  The elements are expressed through the use of warm color schemes, handcrafted art, indigenous materials and decorative elements made with traditional techniques, such as masks and vases. The design accomplishes a harmonious blend of the modern with the Andean past, meshing the feel and sensitivity of yesterday and the present.  Guests experience local culture throughout their stay while nestled in a luxurious lifestyle.  

Furgione and Chávez collaborated with master artisans from the Sacred Valley of Cusco and from Lurín in the Lima area in order to confer cultural identity to the design. The works they created for the hotel were inspired by the Pre-Columbian art of Peru’s most accomplished and illustrious cultures who left significant artistic legacies, the Moche and the Inca. While Inca, or Quechua, civilization is internationally known and recognized as one of the most remarkable in history, the Moche are less well known but remarkable in their own right. Prospering between 100-700 AD in the valleys of the northern coast of Peru, they were the finest metalworkers of their time, mastering a variety of techniques including gold-plated copper much earlier than in Europe. 

The guestrooms tie together two of the Chakana’s points: Earth and Fire. The rooms feature gold Chakana-shaped embellishments, warm lighting, leather decoration on the walls, and marble baths. The modern-Andean style is inviting and soothing.  

Representing Fire, the first floor – where the lobby and reception area are located – is emblazoned in gold and bronze, including metal wall decorations, tables and accessories. Among the beautiful replicas of Moche iconography are stunning bronze pectoral ornaments, 520 bronze beads (that were used in various ornaments and jewelry) mounted together in front of the main hotel door, plates and table centerpieces.  The Inca culture comes to life on the first floor with striking bronze masks inspired by the mythological faces of the Ayar brothers, and an imposing Inca sun – a beautiful work of art, fabricated in bronze exclusively for the hotel, that is an identical copy of the one found in the Koricancha Temple.

A staircase from the lobby lined with large vases of flowers leads to the second floor and Qunuq restaurant, where Earth resides. The walls are lined with handmade modern Andean works of art constructed of wood and sheep's wool dyed in natural hues. Earthy colors inform the furniture, from brown leather chairs with bronze details to marble and wood tables decorated with colorful accents. Qunuq, where the outside tables overlook the river, displays more than 300 ceramic pieces inspired by the originals in the Inca Museum in Cusco and the Larco Museum in Lima, as well as some designed specifically for the hotel based on Inca iconography. The works by the skilled craftsmen of Pisac (a community in the Sacred Valley of Cusco) portray everyday life at the height of the Inca civilization, from agricultural and fishing to food, including vases filled with quinoa and corn.

The element of Air is represented on the third floor. The fourth floor pays tribute to the element of Water with the renovated Aqlla Spa and its treatment program inspired by the indigenous Inca culture that incorporates their ancient beauty practices and techniques. Water and Air elements mingle throughout the hallways which are adorned with framed Peruvian textiles.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is spectacularly located on the banks of the Vilcanota River in Aguas Calientes at the foot of Peru’s premier tourism attraction. The luxury property with 62 rooms and suites offers an exclusive guest experience infused with Inca influences and luxury amenities, services and appointments.  Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel was ranked #6 on the list of the 25 Top Hotels of South America in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2015 Readers Choice Awards, and the #1 hotel in Aguas Calientes. Preparing authentic gourmet Peruvian cuisine, Qunuq Restaurant creates innovative and unique dishes that introduce ancient culinary traditions and exciting flavors to travelers and foodies.  Aqlla Spa makes its own indigenous products with regional ingredients and incorporates historic Inca techniques in its treatments.  Suquy Café & Bar mixes international, Novo Andino and exotic native cocktails focusing on Peruvian herbs and fruits. Rather than do the exhausting mass-tourism day trip from Cusco, Sumaq Machu Picchu’s guests fully experience Machu Picchu and the local Andean culture with the hotel’s proximity and ease of access to the legendary archaeological site and an array of indigenous culinary, cultural and nature experiences, from a Peruvian cooking class to renewing vows in an Andean wedding conducted by a shaman to hiking, climbing and bird watching.

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