Peru Part 3 - Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
As you step into Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba there is an immediate wow factor. This gorgeous hotel is nestled at the foot of a mountain with stunning panoramic views of the Andes, which the hotel takes full advantage of with floor-to-ceiling windows. It has possibly the most impressive hotel lobby in the world. When we arrived we were given a glass of Chicha Morada, a traditional drink made from purple maize and then we were shown to our room. The hotel has 24 casitas dotted along the hillside and 12 rooms in the main building. Our room was a private casita, which was bigger than our flat back in London. It had stunning views of the mountains, comfortable beds, sofas and a well appointed bathroom. The thing I love most about this hotel is the attention to detail. The keyring for the room key is made of plaited naturally dyed yarn, the room is decorated with traditional rugs and blankets sourced from Chinchero and even the bottle of water has a woven cover. After settling in we headed over to the main building to claim our free Pisco Sours. The bartenders were lovely and gave us a mini lesson on making the perfect Pisco Sour and gave us some useful advice for Machu Picchu.
My favourite feature of this hotel is the teatime, which happens every day from 3 to 5 pm. I think every hotel should have teatime, in fact I think every day should involve teatime. A hot water urn and a selection of local herbs were set out in the lobby and guests could make their own infusions and help themselves to a selection of delicate biscuits infused with local flavours. I had a blend of wild growing mint, and my husband had a coca tea, which is believed to help with the altitude. If you need a little extra help adjusting to the altitude the hotel has oxygen tanks on hand.
The hotel offers a number of free nature walks and excursions. Before dinner we went out for the Twilight walk. We each grabbed a candlelit lantern and headed up the mountainside lead by our guide. As the stars came out he explained that this valley was sacred because the flow of the Milky Way mirrored the flow of the river. We learnt the Incan constellations, so different from those we can see back in England and he explained the Incan theological hierarchy. This was such a wonderful insight into the traditional culture, and such a beautiful experience.
After we got back it was time for dinner. I don't have pictures of what we ate because there's nothing worse than somebody getting out a digital SLR and standing on a chair to get the right angle, but needless to say everything was delicious. When we got back to our room a fire had been lit (it gets chilly at night in the mountains) and a chocolate left on each pillow.
I think breakfast might be my favourite meal in the hotel; I had quinoa at pancakes and my husband had Peruvian style eggs, all made to order, with an array of fresh juices, smoothies, fruit salads, cold meats and cheeses available on the buffet. I know I've said it before, but the thing I love most about this hotel is the incredible attention to detail. Everything is thought out and on brand. In the dining room there are beautiful chairs covered in traditional textiles from Chinchero, the plates and bowls perfectly match the decor and even the placemat is woven. We were very sad to leave this beautiful place, but we needed to head onto the next leg of our journey to Machu Picchu.
We stayed at Inkaterra free of charge, but all views and opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Inkaterra for having us, we had an amazing stay.