Whether you plan to travel to Peru to explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, do some bird watching in the Amazon jungle or fly over the Nazca lines or all of the above, the country’s ever-increasing selection of 5 star hotels will allow you to do so in style, luxury and comfort.
Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco
Built atop the foundations of an Inca palace in 1592, the exquisite and iconic Hotel Monasterio –a national historic monument and beautifully restored monastery– is conveniently located just blocks away from Cuzco’s lively main square and artsy San Blas district. As much a museum as a hotel, it features an opulent vaulted chapel, several courtyards, a refectory where a breakfast buffet is served and a vast collection of 18th-century Cuzco School paintings. Alpaca linens and complimentary wireless high-speed Internet are offered in all 126 air-conditioned and flawlessly decorated rooms, which open to patios and for those suffering from soroche, or altitude sickness can be oxygen-enriched. Guests can enjoy a sumptuous Mediterranean-style lunch at the hotel’s “Illariy” restaurant or a pre-dinner cocktail and canapés in the Lobby Bar, where the cool vibes of Cuzco’s best jazz will dazzle their senses.
Palacio Nazarenas, Cuzco
Housed in a former 16th-century Carmelite convent and tucked away in a quiet cobblestone square, this all-suite boutique hotel is, quite simply, one of Cuzco’s best jump-off points for the luxury Hiram Bingham train ride to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The hotel’s 55 elegant oxygenated suites feature both whitewashed adobe and perfectly-aligned Inca stone walls, Spanish colonial murals and friezes, hand-crafted ceilings, colonial arches, Persian rugs and large heated Peruvian marble bathrooms. Guests can experience mood-enhancing Andean aromatherapy and indulge in blue corn and honey treatments in Hypnôze, a full-service spa, take a dip in Cuzco’s first and only infinity pool, and dine in the hotel’s “Senzo” restaurant. Ran by Chef Virgilio Martinez, it offers exceptional, contemporary and texture-rich Andean cuisine meticulously prepared with fresh produce, indigenous herbs and decorated with edible flowers.
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu
Staying overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only way to fully and intimately experience the magic and mystery of the “Lost City of the Incas”. Perched just strides from the ruins, the Lodge has two suites and twenty-nine elegantly decorated rooms with modern and top-of-the-line amenities, twelve of which offer a direct view of the mountain-ringed Inca citadel, as well as breath-taking sunrises and mystical moonlights. Guests can enjoy sumptuous à la carte Andean specialties prepared with fresh produce grown on the Lodge’s own plot in the airy, sunlit “Tampu” restaurant, and leisurely explore the ruins from early morning to early evening, when most of the visitors and buses that travel to Machu Picchu have departed.
Casa Andina Private Collection, Arequipa
Meticulously restored and remodeled, the storied Mint House –a national historic monument and one of Arequipa’s few true luxury options– is located just blocks from the main plaza and the must-see 16th-century Santa Catalina convent. The hotel features private courtyards, a chapel, high vaulted ceilings, original frescoes, gold-leaf murals and reliefs, sillar or white volcanic stone walls, and sumptuously decorated suites. Guests can enjoy regional delicacies such as stuffed rocoto peppers, traditional prawn chowder, alpaca with port wine sauce and Arequipa’s famed texture cheese ice-cream at “Alma”, the property’s elegant gourmet restaurant.
Hotel Paracas Libertador, Paracas
Nestled in a quiet bay across from Peru’s Paracas Nature Reserve and Ballestas Islands –home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world, this luxurious resort features modern and stylish two-story bungalows with private balconies or terraces and 400-thread-count Peruvian cotton sheets, a gym, various restaurants (fusion and Italian cuisine) and a world-class spa. In this oasis where the sea meets the desert’s sand dunes, guests can indulge in a massage, quinoa facials, thermal mud exfoliating body wraps and anti-ageing green tea treatments or simply sit back and enjoy appetizers and a pisco sour –Peru’s flagship cocktail prepared with pisco, egg whites, lime juice and regional bitter, by one of the two pristine heated pools. Those ready for adventure can set sail to the Ballestas Islands on a luxury yacht, or travel to Nazca Lines by chartering a sightseeing plane.
Inkaterra’s Reserva Amazonica Lodge, Tambopata
Located on the banks of the winding Madre de Dios River, this rustic yet luxurious rainforest retreat provides an unforgettable introduction to Peru’s incomparable biodiversity. A canopy tree house built on a private platform at some 90 feet, or 27 meters, above the lush floor below–, and thirty-five thatched roof cabañas are available, including the “Tambopata Suite”, equipped with a private plunge pool and terrace, a hidden outdoor shower, hammocks and screened siesta lounge. Specialty dishes are prepared using native ingredients and techniques and are served in the spacious two-story dining pavilion, which was built around the trunk of a large strangler fig tree. When not trekking through the rainforest, bird watching or visiting native Amazon communities, guests can relax in the hotel bar, lounge or spa (reflexology, reiki and cold stone massages are offered).
Titilaka Hotel, Puno
Standing, alone, on a peninsula on the shores of Lake Titicaca one of the largest, highest, and deepest in the world, the five-star Titilaka Hotel is just a boat ride away from the drifting totora reed islands and the birthplace of the ancient Inca Empire. The modern property’s eighteen fully equipped, airy and fuchsia-hued suites (the color of the Andean “Qantuta” flower) feature heated floors, spa-like bathrooms, banquettes, king-sized beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and a more than exceptional view. Guests can enjoy an intimate fireside meal –such as lake trout, alpaca, quinoa and other locally sourced specialties– on the hotel’s waterfront terrace, indulge in a massage or take a dip in the heated pool. Titilaka Hotel, a carbon-neutral property, is perfect for honeymooners, nature-lovers, photographers and bird watching enthusiasts (depending on the season, you can see flamingos, herons, grebes and ducks) that travel to Peru.
Five-Star Hotels in Lima
Some of Peru’s best hotels are located in Lima, a city that offers world-class cuisine, vestiges of colonial architecture, foremost archeological museums, private golf clubs, and a vibrant nightlife. Some of these world-class properties include the Park Hotel by Orient-Express, the JW Marriott Hotel located atop the Costa Verde’s rocky beaches and cliffs, the recently inaugurated Westin Hotel and Convention Center, the authentic Country Club Lima Hotel and downtown’s Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center. To find out more about these luxury hotels, you can read “Lima Luxury Five Star Hotels”.