Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only lodge that is in the National Park for which it is named. Waking up at this Orient Express hotel is probably the best part of staying here because you’re amongst a privileged few who can be in this spectacular setting before the tour buses begin to arrive. Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is located steps from the entrance gate to the Machu Picchu ruins. The famous Inca trail is also at its doorstep.
This is not a flashy lodge by any stretch of the imagination even though many of its guests have arrived from Cusco on the luxurious Hiram Bingham train. Location! Location! Location!
A few stone steps lead to a simple check-in area and leather sitting area, with area photos from a 1912 National Geographic expedition lining the walls of this and the neighboring public areas.
One doorway leads to an attractive rustic bar and a la carte restaurant with an abundance of rough stone, wood and locally inspired decorations. The stone fireplace and large bar are the centerpieces, and windows face surrounding mountains. Named Tampu, this highly popular and panoramic dining room is the best on-site. Be sure to try the lomo saltado or their special recipe of ceviche.
The other doorway leads to a large buffet restaurant, which guests share with day-trippers. The selection of dishes in both venues is impressive, especially considering that most items must travel four hours by train before being carted up the mountain. The best part of this property is its all-inclusive nature allowing guests to relax without worrying about signing any checks.
The busy atmosphere of the location subsides at night, but in the daytime guests can escape to chaises in the quiet, well-tended gardens wedged between the buildings, accompanied by the sounds of bubbling fountains. Additional amenities are limited to a massage room, but with prior arrangement, guests of the hotel can take a guided tour of the ruins after official closing time. Before the Orient-Express Group took over, the building was a simple travelers' lodge, a heritage still evident in the size of the rooms. Careful planning obviously went into sourcing quality furniture that would fit the small spaces and make the most of every nook and cranny. Rooms are essentially the same, and all have a pleasant view of mountains or gardens, but guests pay a hefty premium for the dozen rooms with the coveted panoramic Andes views from outdoor terraces.
Antique armoires and headboards give some gravity to the lodge theme, while colonial chairs and Inca art make up for the plaid spreads and lack of floor space. Amenities include TVs with VCRs or DVD players, minibars, wireless high-speed Internet, complimentary bottled water, robes, phones and small but luxurious dressing areas.
Baths come with stall showers, hair dryers and biodegradable toiletries. Despite their twin beds, the most desirable rooms, with great views and a terrace, are numbers 35 and 38-40. The two suites have double the space and terraces large enough for a cocktail party. Orient Express regulars will be a bit disappointed in the quality of the furnishings, but the location is stunning enough to make up for it.
Room service runs around the clock. Recent updates have been made to improve the soundproofing of windows. Pets are not permitted.
Although the location is remote, service here at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge ranks among the best in the country. Rates include all meals and bookings far in advance are recommended. The property is frequently sold out from May through September.
Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is a member of exclusive Virtuoso travel network. Book online or contact our Virtuoso Travel Advisor [email protected] for more details.
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