The Belmond Rio Sagrado is located about an hour’s drive away from Cusco, just outside of the town of Urubamba in the direction of Ollantaytambo train station, making it a great halfway point between Cusco and Machu Picchu. At a lower altitude than Cusco, this is also an ideal spot to acclimatise to the higher altitudes while taking things at a slower pace.
Built to resemble an authentic Andean village, the hotel’s 10 rooms and 11 suites are set over a series of different levels, broken up by colourful flowerbeds and trickling water features. All face down towards the valley with the river and gardens as their focus.
Each of the rooms are light and airy, with large open windows looking out over the valley. Deluxe Rooms have their own terrace overlooking the hotel’s gardens and Urubamba River, while the Junior Suites have their own private garden facing the River. Two private villas, sleeping up to 6 guests, open directly out onto the hotel’s gardens and offer panoramic views over the valley. It’s worth noting that there are no TVs in the rooms, which is designed to help guests connect with their surroundings.
For us, what really makes this hotel is the facilities. For relaxing, there is the Spa, with a jacuzzi and Inca shower and a heated outdoor pool overlooking the river. The hotel’s restaurant serving traditional and modern Peruvian dishes has panoramic views over the river and gardens and a pretty terrace for warm sunny days. The hotel also runs weekly Pisco classes and barbecue nights. For those not tempted to spend all of their time at the hotel, staff can also arrange horse riding, rafting and hiking activities in the local area.