Unearthing Incan Relics in Cusco, Peru

October 26, 2012

JW Marriott Cusco

Every hotel has a story.  Some are built new from the ground up.  Some are historical buildings that are renovated and remodeled.  But once in awhile, while digging a foundation, we uncover history.  In Peru, while building the new JW Marriott Hotel Cusco, the construction site turned into an archeological dig.  What happened next makes this hotel story one of the most interesting ever.  But first, a brief history about the region.

Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru, sits high atop the Andes Mountains near Machu Picchu.  It’s the former capital city of the Incas and the oldest continually inhabited city in South America.  The hotel is located in the center of the city on the same spot as the ancient St. Augustine convent that dates back hundreds of years. Heavy machinery can’t enter this historic area. Digging is done by hand, with crews carefully sifting through dirt in search of relics. 

And they discovered a whole lot of them – Incan pottery, sculptures and other remains dating back to the 13th Century.  A large stone wall was preserved and remains in place inside the hotel. Take a look at this video to see how the archaeological team uncovered an ancient road, a canal and many religious items.


The archaeological work has added to the knowledge of Incan life, and it’s a great example of how Marriott works with local communities to preserve their cultural heritage.  Gustavo Diaz Salazar is the general contractor for the JW Marriott Hotel Cusco project.  He said, “The most important part is not the economic value of this project.  We believe value of this kind is priceless.”  Other workers were thankful that the hotel is displaying the many objects they excavated in its own museum.  It’s not often that a hotel project turns into an archeological dig and museum, but this one certainly did.  It’ll be a landmark for Marriott.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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I liked this article, I would like know this culture!!
Thanks for this interesting article

I was always a fan of Inca archaeological artifacts and I was always attracted by the legend of Paititi, the lost city...
When I'll get to Cusco, I'll make sure I explore it and the area thoroughly. I'd love to stay 2-3 weeks.

extraordinary experience of the Inca trail , those wonderful days after appreciating the scenery, beautiful sunrises and night, covered with stars, arrived at Machu Picchu . a dream come true , to rest the body of l effort, found this nice hotel , we recommend it.

That is the way to go preserving while keeping going forward.

Amazing. I'm in love with peruvian culture even though I have never been there. Now that I am a Marriott associate I wish one day I will be able to work there or at least visit this hotel.
Regards from China

It's great that you work to preserve the cultural heritage of this region. It would be great for other developers to follow your lead.

I love this story. Becoming an archaeologist has always been my dream. The discoveries are fascinating which makes it seem like it would feel like
christmas every day.

Thanks for the article

Lanaya R./Regional desk

Wonderful proyect because beside to preserve the Peruvian culture, give the chance to many people to learn more about the Inca legacy.

Mr. Marriott, thank you for sharing this! I am very happy to see how this kind of projects not only help our company be all around the globe, but also contributes with the local economy in Peru. Cuzco is a very beautiful place and I'm proud to see our company grow in the country were I was born. I'm also proud of being one of your GMs in California. Thank you for your leadership!

Wow! What an exciting find! So proud to work for a company that takes into consideration the importance of local history. I hope to some day be able to see this in person!

¡Very interesting! Congratulations to Marriott and the team which made this project possible. I hope to be at Marriott Cusco very soon.

Marriott is the best¡