“15 years ago, this square was dead,” my guide says as I stand in Cusco’s glorious central square, Plaza de Armas. “There was barely anything here.” I look around. What a difference 15 years has made. There is a palpable energy to Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage city showing off both its vast history and a joyful South American spirit. Spanish churches and squares are built right on top of centuries-old Inca ruins and the historical city buildings sport pink terracotta roofs.
I’m here for the opening party of Palacio Nazarenas, the first grand opening party that luxury brand Orient-Express has ever thrown. Housed in a former convent next door to Orient-Express’ beloved Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, which soft opened in June, blew me away. The party, held last...