Cusco airport is somewhat of a paradox: a small regional facility that sees little business travel, the airport serves thousands of tourists visiting Machu Picchu every month. With the vast majority of passengers flying for leisure, there isn’t significant demand for lounges, and none of the local airlines operate a club a CUZ. The VIP Lounge is operated by the airport and functions as a pay-in facility for all passengers, regardless of airline or class or service. The club also welcomes members of popular lounge access programs such as Priority Pass.
The VIP Lounge is accessible to both domestic and international travelers, but there’s a catch – it’s located outside security.
VIP Lounge Cusco CUZ design
Tucked in between various offices and below the security checkpoint, the lounge is on the small side and doesn’t have windows and lacks daylight. Yet, the space is elegant and pristine, the lighting pleasant, and the ambiance warm and soothing. With typically few patrons, the club is quiet and relaxing.
The design is reminiscent of an upper-scale coffee shop, with comfortable seats around dining and coffee tables, a bar, and a food serving area. The décor is enhanced by an Inca-inspired stone wall behind the bar, pictures of landscapes throughout, and opulent bouquets of fresh flowers.
The layout feels open and spacious. Power outlets are available along the walls, although not at every seat.
VIP Lounge Cusco CUZ amenities
The lounge has a complimentary, dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot.
The cheerful staff greets patrons with a menu highlighting the food and beverage offering. A large selection of soft drinks and fruit juices is available. A favorite of ours is the orange juice robot which cuts open a squeezes oranges to produce fresh, delicious juice. Espresso, coffee and tea are also naturally available and the staff will craft the drink of your choice. There is also a full bar, though all alcoholic drinks come at a cost, and aren’t especially cheap either. That’s an odd move for a pay-in lounge, and it is bound to frustrate a number of customers.
On a brighter note, a full snack and sandwich menu is available, and all items are complimentary and made to order. The sandwiches are pretty simple, and when we visited, the kitchen was missing a few ingredients. Our sandwich ended up being a creative mashup of several menu items, but the staff was very helpful in accommodating our limited Spanish and pointing out the available ingredients. The main drawback of the made-to-order formula, though, is that it may take a while for your food to be delivered.
Oxygen is available on demand for passengers who may feel uncomfortable at Cusco’s altitude. In an ironic twist, the lounge also offers a smoking room.
Other amenities include a small selection of magazines, as well souvenirs and jewelry for sale.
VIP Lounge Cusco CUZ bottom line
The VIP Lounge at Cusco airport is a lovely facility, especially for a regional airport. The club is elegantly appointed, operated with pride by helpful staff, and the made to order sandwiches are a nice touch. Unfortunately, given the location of the lounge outside security and the time it may take for the staff to prepare snacks, the club isn’t a great option for a quick last minute visit. It’s also somewhat disconcerting that a pay-in lounge would charge for all alcoholic drinks. Overall, though, for a regional airport, the VIP Lounge is an unexpected treat.