Tell us about the atmosphere and location
The Sacred Valley of the Incas has become a cornerstone of Peru’s thriving tourist industry, with easy access to the citadel of Machu Picchu and the ancient city of Cuzco. And while that has brought crowds in ever larger numbers, Hacienda Urubamba’s location, set well back from the main road in 100 acres of lush farmland, means guests can experience this spectacular part of Peru without having to deal with the hordes of travelers who ply this route year round. The location is nothing short of incredible. The main house overlooks razor sharp ridges which climb to sharp peaks, the changing light giving each mountain its own allure as the day wears on.
The altitude (the hotel sites at 3,200 meters above sea level) means that everything moves at a pleasingly stately pace. The main lounge, with its roaring fire, is the perfect place to sip on a pre–dinner Pisco sour.
What’s the latest?
Although Hacienda Urubamba opened in 2015, its specifically created spa is a more recent addition. With treatment rooms overlooking mature lavender fields, the main appeal is the herb garden, where guests can harvest ingredients for their own, personalized massage oil, including chamomile and zesty Andean mint. Following treatments, guests can relax take advantage of the sauna and outdoor cold shower before settling into the hot tub, which overlooks the hotel’s own farm and the Andes in the distance.
What can you expect to find at the hotel?
Hacienda Urubamba featured 36 rooms in total. 12 are found within the main house, with nine superior deluxe, two junior suites and a vast ‘owner’s suite’, arrayed over one whole corner of the building. Downstairs, the main building features floor to ceiling windows, all the better for taking in the view while lingering over a cocktail or eating at the in–house restaurant.
There are also 24 casitas (literally ‘small homes’) spread spaciously over the hill behind the main house, backed by limestone–streaked hills. Each one features a patio, as well as a wood burner, with staff on hand to light a fire whenever required, a particular treat to return to after dinner.
As with other Inkaterra properties across the country, they are designed to mimic traditional homes, with wooden beams and stone walls abounding. Amenities include toiletries made using local ingredients, with vast and comfortable beds, TVs with local and international stations and coffee–making facilities with beans from local suppliers. Rooms start at £299 per night.
Hacienda Urubamba operates an Earth to Table concept, meaning ingredients used in the restaurants impressive menu are sourced on site, with meat brought in from local farms. While traditional dishes, such as lomo saltado and trout ceviche are readily available, alternatives such as tagliatelle made with wild mushrooms foraged around the property are what set it apart. The 100-acre farm is at the heart of the property, growing a wide variety of corn, kale, strawberries and elderberries, the soil irrigated by glacial meltwater and the ample rain which falls from November until March. Everything is organic.
Staff in both the restaurant and the wider hotel are extremely friendly and attentive to all needs, big and small.
What type of trip and traveller is it for?
Hacienda Urubamba is ideal for guests who want to experience the majesty of the Sacred Valley in a relaxed and luxurious setting, while learning about local culture. Inkaterra’s approach means that on–site excursions are included, with the chance to learn how to make chicha, the local corn–based beer that is available in villages throughout the valley, understand pre–Incan myths on a night hike under the stars with one of the in–house guides or go out birdwatching at dawn.
On the QT
The guided day time hike to over 3,400 meters offers truly stunning views of the valley and only takes an hour. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and will help you find the most photogenic spots while teaching you about the local flora and fauna.
The shops in all of Inkaterra’s properties source the very best homewares and interiors from their specific region and Hacienda Urubamba is no different. The traditionally made blankets are worth searching out, allowing you to take some local style back home with you.