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Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Hotels

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

  • entrance to Machu Picchu Map It
  • Luxurious Retreat
  • Fodor's Choice

Pros

  • Prime location at ruins' entrance
  • Great astronomy
  • Personalized service
  • All-inclusive

Cons

  • Double the price of other luxury options in Aguas Calientes

Updated 09/22/2014

Fodor's Review

This upscale hotel at the entrance to Machu Picchu puts you closest to the ruins, a position for which you do pay dearly, but nowhere else can you sit in a hot tub, sip pisco sours or tea, and watch the sunset over the ruins after the last of the tourists depart each afternoon. At night, astronomers and novice stargazers alike will appreciate the big Andean sky and there is even an expert on hand to orient you to what you are seeing as well as give talks on the cosmology

of the Incas. In the morning, not only will you have the thrill of watching the sun rise over the crumbling stone walls but you'll be the first ones through the ruins' gate. Run by the owners of PeruRail, Belmond (formerly called Orient-Express), this hotel is a destination in itself. The rooms come with top-of-the-line amenities and the decor is currently being upgraded, giving the rooms a lighter, airier feel. While expensive, the all-inclusive rates include meals from the restaurant and bar, which is exclusive to hotel guests. There is an additional restaurant that has an excellent international menu and serves a popular S/100 buffet lunch which is open to the public. Future plans include creating a meditation space with views of Machu Picchu.

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Hotel Information

Address:

entrance to Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, Peru

Map It

Phone:

084-211–094-Hotel; 01-610–8300-in Lima; 800-237–1236-in North America

Hotel Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • All meals

Updated 09/22/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Jim

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Nov 28, 2005

Don't Fall for the mountain

Way overpriced. Nothing to do around the hotel after your visit to ruins. Not really in the clouds as sometimes advertised. Crowds huge outside the hotel.

By Hollie

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Sep 25, 2005

Treat yourself to a very special location.

Yes it is ridiculously expensive, that is if you can even get a room, but how often will you visit Machu Picchu? Orient Express Hotels have great staff. Your service begins upon arrival at the train station with a luggage porter. Somehow our porter tracked us down, walked us to the ticket booth, (Soles only), walked us to a Western Union so I could exchange money safely, walked us back to make sure we got tickets and walked us to the bus. Exceptional.

For those who did not know to buy their tickets for an unguided days visit, the Monestarios desk staff took care of the problem without inconvenience. The rooms were very nice and the hotel quite handsome. The proximity to the ruins is just a thrill. Everyday the trains disgorge about 1500 visitors, who wander about or tramp over to the crowded buses for the hair raising drive up the switchbacks, to join the lines at the gates. Not quite seething humanity but there are crowds, which you can delightedly leave behind at the doors to the Sanctuary Hotel. We took the O&E staffs great advice and found that afternoon was best for visiting the ruins, since the trains start leaving about 3:00. The dining room/bar were very comfortable and the food and service were very good. Internet service was available at the bar. Our room had a deck where we could check the skies. Had they been clear we would have attempted a dawn viewing, but due to clouds we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast instead. Do take your mosquito repellant. The weather is warmer here than Cusco. Sadly, we had only one night here and spent a second night at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, which was very expensive and not worth the money. The Pueblo's service and food is poor.

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  • Service

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Aug 30, 2005

Very Special!

I liked this hotel and felt very privileged to stay here. I read some bad reviews beforehand but was pleasantly surprised. I think many improvements were made in the years since it opened. It didn't remind me of the pre-fab shed that someone described. The restaurants were pretty, particularly the a la carte one reserved for guests only (glass sunspace, fireplace, cozy chairs in the bar), and the food was great. We had a standard room in the main

building, which although small, was very attractively decorated (king bed, small table and chairs, TV, minibar, bathroom (shower only). The linens and toiletries were nice, and I loved both the afternoon snack and the burning candle that was left at the evening turndown. Perhaps the upgraded rooms in the new building at the back of property were larger, and they had direct access to the patio and garden with teak tables/chairs and 2-person cushioned loungers. I felt that it was worth every penny to be right onsite, although the hours for visiting MP (and the prices) aren't any different for hotel guests than for the general public. The room rates are expensive, but consider that it includes three meals and all taxes (in 2005 anyway). And the food was really good! They rose to the occasion and presented wonderful multi-course meals. I didn't feel isolated or "stuck" like others had mentioned, although I did only stay for one night (two would have been ideal, but only one was available). One thing I wish I knew beforehand: there are Lodge porters just after exiting the train station who transfer your luggage to the hotel. Conversely, they also deliver it back to the exact train car that you travel home on so that you can spend some unencumbered time in Aguas Calientes without dragging your bags around. If I ever return to MP, I would love to stay again.

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By Steven

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Jun 22, 2005

No better location

My partner and I were surprised to find, after reading some rather mediocre reviews of the Lodge, that it is actually quite a good hotel (probably because Orient Express has taken it over). Rooms are somewhat small, but we had a terrace with a spectacular view of Huayna Picchu. The grounds are very well kept and the restaurant served excellent food. After all the tourists leave at 16:00 when Machu Picchu closes, the hotel becomes a very peaceful

place in a grand setting. It's just so damned expensive!

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By Bob

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Jun 14, 2004

Overpriced and Isolated

This hotel is way overpriced. The building looks like a prefab shed constructed in a few months. The only thing going for it is the location that is right next to the ruins. However, if you stay here you are stuck here. The town is a half hour bus ride each way. The lunch buffet is standard and not worth the money.

By Kim

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May 12, 2002

Worth the stay

Last ones out of the ruins and first ones in only because we stayed here. After we finished with the ruins they had a plate of appetizers waiting. After dinner they had candles in our rooms. Nice and relaxing and you did not have to worry about catching the last bus down the mountain. Worth every penny to us.

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