Belmond Sanctuary LodgeMachu Picchu, Peru
Owing to its unique position adjacent to the ruins at Machu Picchu, the Sanctuary Lodge is one of the best-known hotels in South America. After the last public bus returns back down to Aguas Calientes at the end of the afternoon, guests can briefly enjoy the ruins in relative tranquillity and it is this which makes this an exclusive place to stay.
The hotel was originally built as a lodge and was taken over by Belmond in 2000. Its 31 rooms are compact at around 160 square feet and the hotel does not have any views over the ruins. However, there are well kept gardens to the rear with views of the surrounding mountains and forests, and there is a simple but attractive spa.
Service is up to the normal Belmond standards and there is a nice small dining room and bar. The larger Tinkuy buffet restaurant is open to the general public and gets quite noisy at lunchtimes. It is advisable to get a room overlooking the rear gardens, or one with a small terrace which provides a valuable additional seating area in dry weather.
During the daytime the crowds visiting Machu Picchu congregate in front of the hotel, but outside visiting hours it takes on a serene and tranquil atmosphere.