Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo
Set in the middle of tropical vegetation, The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is a mini village of luxurious whitewashed and terracotta casitas nestling into terraced hills.
Thick alpaca blankets and open fireplaces create a feel of laid-back luxury, Andean style. The glass-walled restaurant, serving contemporary Andean cuisine, offers glorious views of the rapid-flowing Urubamba River and the Andes Mountains, while colourful Peruvian crafts and authentic pre-Columbian artifacts decorate the rooms of this 100% carbon-neutral hotel. The Una spa uses natural essences, and the relaxing eucalyptus and bamboo sauna calls after a day spent at the famous Inca site. Minutes away from the train station, this hotel may not be directly at the ruins themselves but its 12 acre gardens more than compensate for that.
Why We Love It
Due to the hotel's delightful orchid gardens and relaxed atmosphere, many people often wish they had stayed longer than the one or two nights around their visit to Machu Picchu.
Mountain Lodges of Peru
The idea behind these lodges is to offer trekkers the opportunity to experience the essence of adventure without compromising on creature comforts.
The first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to Machu Picchu follows the Salkantay Route; an ancient trail located in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the spectacular Andean mountain range home to Machu Picchu.
The starting point is the Salkantay Lodge, which is located in the high Andean valley of Soraypampa at 3,850m above sea level. In addition to high-quality cuisine, the lodge offers weary trekkers an outdoor hot tub, cosy reading rooms, a bar and lounge and twelve well-appointed double rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
After the first two nights spent here, trekkers continue their journey, spending one night at the three remaining lodges; Wayra Lodge at Huayraccmachay, Colpa Lodge at Collpapampa and Lucma Lodge at Lucmabamba. Although these lodges are smaller in size, each offers the same amenities as the base lodge.
The final night is spent at a hotel in Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu's base town, and after breakfast the following day the group will explore the ruins with a guide. As of 2016, Mountain Lodges of Peru can offer the same comfortable trekking experience, following the Lares trail, as well as the Salkantay.
Why We Love It
The Salkantay Route is much less travelled and, many consider, more scenic than the more famous and backpacker orientated Inca Trail.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Frankly, thanks to its location as the only hotel next to Machu Picchu, this could be a hole in the ground and we'd still recommend it.
As a Belmond property, Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is far from a hole in the ground. There are just 29 rooms and two suites tastefully decked out with Peruvian touches. Several have terraces and access to the hotel grounds.
Although none of the rooms have views of the Machu Pichu itself, some look out across to Huayna Picchu, the peak that makes such a dramatic backdrop to the ruins in the classic photographs of Machu Pichu.
Tampu Restaurant has spectacular views of the dramatic mountain scenery, and serves excellent examples of Peruvian cuisine, arguably the most fashionable style of cooking in the world at the moment. Sister Restaurant Tinkuy specialises in lighter lunches.
Local guides can be arranged through the hotel to explore the surrounding area of Machu Picchu. The citadel of Machu Picchu is also a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. However should guests want to sample some shops, cafes and hot springs, the town of Aguas Calientes is only a short bus ride away.
For those looking for a bit of R & R the lodge offers a range of massages and aromatherapy treatments, as well as a full wellness exercise programme.
Why We Love It
The hotel is a mere five minutes walk from the entrance to Machu Picchu, so guests can pop across at first light safe in the knowledge they will have beaten the inevitable crowds to one of the world's most famous views.