Km 62 Cusco–Urubamba–Pisac–Calca Highway, Huayoccari, Huayllabamba, Urubamba.
Inkaterra's newest luxury retreat, a former colonial cattle ranch turned stylish highland hideaway, distinguishes itself through sweeping Andean vistas, distinctive design, luxurious comfort, and an abiding commitment to the character and heritage of the region.
Peru's celebrated Sacred Valley of the Inca is no stranger to visitors. For many though, a visit to the fertile valley that was once the epicenter of the Inca Empire is little more than a layover on the way to Machu Picchu. This April, the luxury hotel group Inkaterra opened a new Sacred Valley hideaway, Hacienda Urubamba, with the goal of enticing travelers to stop and stay awhile.
Perched on an Andean hillside in Huayoccari overlooking the valley, the secluded 100–acre retreat houses a spacious hacienda with 12 guest suites, restaurant, bar, and public areas, plus an additional 24 free–standing private casitas. An on–site spa is in development. Step outside to explore the rugged slopes of the Andes that tumble to the hacienda's doorstep, then venture into the nearby villages to discover traces of the Inca Empire and traditional Andean culture.
From its mountainside promontory, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba offers the kind of gasp–inducing Andean vistas that have lured adventurous travelers to the Peruvian highlands for centuries. Nearly every window frames a sweeping view of mountain and valley while oversized leather sofas and chairs draped in Andean blankets keep gazing comfortable. And as you might imagine, the night sky is an absolute stunner.
The sense of intimacy that Hacienda Urubamba conjures begins the moment you arrive—the staff waiting on the front steps to greet you, the relaxed and personalized check–in, the welcome glass of chicha morada, a refreshing non–alcoholic Peruvian drink made from purple corn. This welcoming extends throughout your stay with a staff that cares for you like family (only better).
The attention to detail at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is palpable—the vaulted, wood–beamed ceilings and floor–to–ceiling windows, the colonial–era antiques and pre–Columbian textiles, the carved wood furnishings and vibrant Andean fabrics that echo and embrace the region's Andean and Spanish–colonial heritage. Add in smart modern touches such as heated flooring, Wi–Fi internet, flat–screen TV with cable, iPad and speakers, and the effect is a stylish blend of past–meets–present. The resort has the feel of a private country residence.
An authentic local vibe beats strong at this retreat and invites guests to dive deep into the local character and heritage of the region through 15 exclusive experiences led by full–time explorer guides. Enjoy a lantern–lit nighttime walk and learn the stories of Inca–era astronomy. Brew up a batch of Chicha de Jora, an Inca corn beer. Search for native bird species. Tour the resort's organic farm. Meet native weavers. Visit nearby Inca archaeological sites. Shop for handicrafts and textiles in the local markets.
There are plenty of ways to raise your heartbeat too, like rafting the white water rapids of the Urubamba River and climbing Challa Huasi for a birds–eye view of the valley. Horseback riding and bicycling along rural paths and trails are activities in the works for later.
In the restaurant, an innovative menu showcases dishes that make the most of the regional offerings—don't leave without trying the trout from the nearby Pumahuanca valley—and the resort's 10–acre organic farm. The farm chacra, or vegetable garden, grows edible and medicinal plants, honoring the native crops and natural remedies of the Andes. There are fields of beans, artichokes, tomatoes, chilies, herbs, and other items cultivated with sustainable production methods. Foodies won't want to miss the complimentary farm tour.
Beyond the design, the food, and the service, what makes Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba truly luxurious is the unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere that reinforces the feeling of being a guest at a lavish country estate. And when you finally do take your leave, it's with a complimentary bottle of Pisco.
Not only is Hacienda Urubamba a luxurious base from which to explore the empire's heartland, it's also strategically situated just over the hill from Chinchero, where a new $658 million international airport is being planned.
Web Address: Inkaterra.com
Total Number of Rooms: 12 guest suites and 24 casitas
Published rates: $462 to $1,859 USD including full breakfast.
Review and photos by Ellen Barone except room shot courtesy of Inkaterra.