From the incredible terrain to the richness of Peruvian culture and history that surrounds you everywhere you go, Peru is simply a magical destination. The natural backdrop of mountains, canyons, coastline, deserts, and lakes are set the stage for the incredible traces of the Incan empire, built by countless hands over the centuries.
While on my travels and research trips around the country, I’ve sought out some of the most distinctive and luxurious hotels that meet B&R’s lofty expectations. From secluded canyon retreats to lakeside views, or the place to stay at Machu Picchu, here are my top picks.
One of my favourites in Lima, this splendid hotel features wonderful art, lush fabrics and rooms, with modern details like exposed wood beams. Located in the bohemian district of Barranco, this hotel is situated near some of the best art galleries, former conquistador mansions of all colours, beautiful and walkable neighbourhoods, restaurants, and the walkway along the sea. The Hotel B also has one of the hottest bars in town for Lima’s elite to see and be seen on Friday and Saturday nights.
Location, location, location: you can’t beat the Belmond: where else can you wake up and walk over to Machu Picchu? It is the only hotel on the actual grounds of Machu Picchu, located right outside the entrance gates. That means that guests here can avoid the massive lines to and from ‘Mapi’ and the Aguas Calientes, the nearby town below. The best part of staying here? On early mornings and in the evenings, enjoying the silence and serenity of gazing upon this world wonder after everyone has left—all from the comfort of the hotel’s outdoor hot tub. Priceless.
If you’re looking for proximity to Machu Picchu but with a livelier town setting and access to evening events (instead of hanging out at the top of a mountain), the Inkaterra Machu Picchu is another great option, especially for families, as there are villas available for big groups. Exotic plants from the lush forest line the hotel grounds, which attract all types of animals and birds—perfect to keep the little ones entertained.
Set amidst mountains and rugged terrain, you’ll delight in your stay at these fabulous little homes (‘casitas’) off the edge of the beautiful Colca Canyon, which, in some places, is lower in depth than the Grand Canyon. Catch a casual llama stroll-by (they’re abundant here), indulge with indoor and outdoor showers, head to the excellent on-site spa, or simply relax in your own casita’s private outdoor hot tub overlooking the canyon.
A superb property and hidden gem, this is one of our favourite finds. Designed with native colouring and natural elements, the Inkaterra has an incredibly relaxing and peaceful vibe. Enjoy a coca tea or pisco sour while cozying up to the fireplace in the lounge surrounded by framed ancient Inca textiles and weavings. (By the way, if you see a guy who looks suspiciously like Mick Jagger here, chances are, it’s probably him: it’s rumoured this is his go-to hotel whenever he’s in town).
This all-suite hotel has large rooms and boasts the only outdoor heated pool in Cusco, with the addition of an excellent spa, should you need a massage at day’s end. (Did I mention that each suite also comes with their own butler?) Try the coca-leaf Chilcano at the bar and enjoy the live entertainment on most evenings to get into the Peruvian spirit of things!