With its extensive private reserve, stunning riverside setting, and spacious rustic-chic guest rooms, this is one of the best hotels in the area of Aguas Calientes, the town closest to Machu Picchu.
The hotel stands apart from Aguas Calientes on its own 12-acre densely wooded reserve, at the foot of the mountains and beside the Urubamba (aka Vilcanota) river. It’s a five-minute walk into town, which is a lively, ramshackle affair full of hostels, souvenir stalls, and internet cafés – as well as its namesake hot springs. It’s a half-hour bus ride up to Machu Picchu.
The low-slung colonial-style buildings, rough cobbled footpaths, and a jungle setting give the hotel an attractive rustic chic feel. Interiors are elegant, the décor and lighting subdued, with handsome Andean and tartan alpaca blankets and throws adding flashes of colour.
All rooms have spacious marble bathrooms with inside and open-air showers, bathtubs, robes, and Andean slippers made from recycled materials, plus televisions and iPod docks.
The casual Café Inkaterra, with its roof of thatched palms and views over the railway line, is open all day and serves quinoa soup, fresh green salads and Peruvian staples such as causas (a potato and meat dish) and lomo saltado (stir-fried sirloin).
The main dining room does fusion cuisine, using local trout, alpaca meat, and local cheeses, and is a tad more formal, with fixed dining times and a good New World wine list.