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“location vs. cost” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

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Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu 5184, Peru   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machu Picchu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“location vs. cost”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

The lodge is perfectly nice -- small, comfortable rooms, good food, accomodating service. But the cost is outrageously high. Still, if you can afford it, this is the only rational choice if you're staying at Machu Picchu overnight. After arriving around lunchtime, we went out to explore the ruins for a few hours. When we were done for the day, we simply walked out of the gate and into the lodge for a shower and a rest before dinner, avoiding a 25 minute bus ride down to Aguas Calientes and a trudge to a hotel. And the next morning we walked a few steps to the ruins a little after 6am, when few people were there, spent a couple of hours walking around watching the fog lift, then went back to the lodge for breakfast. After resting up for an hour or two, we went back for another couple of hours of exploration, returning for lunch. This civilized schedule is something that would be impossible if we'd stayed anywhere else. As we said, the cost is outrageous, but if you can handle it on your one and only trip to Machu Picchu, this is the way to go.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oeperu, General Manager at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your contribution, it will certainly help other guests coming to Machu Picchu!

All the best,

Gustavo de Leon
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,293 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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singapore
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

We planned to spend 1 night in Machu Picchu as we planned to trek the Inca Trail. Expecting to be very tired from the trail, we did not want to make our way down to Aguas Calientes. So we indulged the exorbitant prices of this hotel purely for its location.

The rooms are very small and there is a smell of cooking fumes throughout the hotel corridor and rooms. We had a terrace room so we could open up the door to the terrace to air the room. The bathroom was too tiny. Beds were comfortable tho.

The jacuzzi has to be pre-booked at 30mins slots. It was quite fun soaking in the jacuzzi with wine in hand after a tiring day at Machu Picchu.

It is full board. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was good. As we booked our private guide for Sacred Valley, cycling and inca trail through Amazonas Explorer, our guide was not from Orient Express. Our guide met us as we were finishing up breakfast for our walk through Machu Picchu. So we invited him to have a cup of coffee. Our guide had a cup of coffee and 1 croissant. However, we were charged a full buffet breakfast for 1 adult. He was only there for about 15mins and had nothing else. When enquired, we were told that there is no ala carte price. We found this to be ridiculous. We paid because we did not want our guide to feel bad but did not appreciate such inflexibility at all.

We had a good time in Machu Picchu and climbed Huanya Picchu.

The location of this hotel afforded us the convenience of getting into Machu Picchu before the first rail or buss arrives from Aguas Calientes. Being in Machu Picchu when it is almost empty and being the last to leave at sunset is an invaluable experience. We were able to head back to the hotel for lunch and freshening up before making our way to rail station to catch our train back to Cusco.

At the time we picked this hotel, he have read the reviews and knew we were paying for the location only. It did serve the purpose well. Being in this location - this hotel has so much potential. I wish the hotel could be improved.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
77 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
239 helpful votes 239 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

This hotel is ALL about location. It's the only accommodation on the top of the mountain, a stone's throw from the Machu Piccu ruins. Other visitors have to come up the mountain in the morning and go back to their hotels in the evening -- but YOU get to have this wonder-of-the-world scene almost to yourself before they arrive and after they depart. YOU get to take stunning photographs without worrying about other people in the background. YOU get to sit in silence and contemplate the majesty and mystery around you. And YOU get to see the sun rise and set over the ruins and surrounding mountain range. It is a truly extraordinary sight and something you can never forget.

As for the hotel itself, it's OK -- about a 3 or, optimistically, a 4 star by international standards. The rooms are small but comfortable, the food in the hotel guest dining room is good, the staff are helpful. The room rates are outrageous. But you aren't paying for the room, you're paying for one of the rarest privileges on earth. It is worth it? For most people, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime event, so if you can stretch your budget, yeah -- go for it!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oeperu, General Manager at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comments which will aid us in constant improvement and upkeeping of our level of service.

Sincerely,
Gustavo de Leon
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

This is the place to be, it is next to the historical site of Machu Picchu, you can enjoy the site and the views long after the hordes of tourist have left with the last bus and train.
The hotel is excellent, very high quality for such a remote spot.
The rooms are luxurious and have the softest bed linen I have ever had!
The staff are very good, and try to remember your name and mention it at breakfast and diner, which we thought was very nice and thoughtful, especially as ours is difficult to pronounce foreign name.
This is definately value for money, for a once in a life time experience.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

Location of Hotel is excellent only steps away from Entrance to Machu Picchu.
Inclusive food is of high quality and delicious
The staff are hit and miss, at first they were not as accommodating, until they realised my wife was suffering altitute sickness. They went out of their way to ensure we were ok, i commend them for their efforts.
The rooms are cold - no heaters installed, and for a lodge built not so long ago, bathrooms etc a re not of the highest quality. We got continuous hot water, but for a 5 star accommodation expected better. The bathroom was clean, but dating and not to 5 star quality. We were put in the far room (just before the terrace seating area). note that these rooms were better then rooms in the other wing (bigger bathroom & room) however walls were paperthin. We could hear people outside socialising, doors opening and closing which was very disruptive..

Hotel did allow us a late checkout and moved us into another room to freshen up. We really appreciated how they looked after us.

All in all a great hotel for location. Quality of rooms dissapointing due to price you pay

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetherby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

The approach to the hotel winding back and forth above shear drops 2000 feet into the valley below is an experience , not for the light hearted.

A brilliant location for Machu Pichu, excellent All Inclusive and supportive staff. The Hiram Bingham Service is clear and working.

Lovely grounds and a great outdoor hot tub!

Strongly recommended to those who want to mix gentile mountain exercise with 5 star living.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champaign, Illinois
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

This will be something of a different review: A comparison of two hotels, the Orient-Express Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge at the Machu Picchu ruins and the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes. I've filed the virtually identical review for the Inkaterra property. Why compare these two? Because for those interested in top class accommodations in the Machu Picchu area, these are the two obvious choices. I’ve now stayed at both, in February of 2011 my wife and I stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge and just last month, May, 2012, my son and I stayed at the Inkaterra property. The take home message here: In my opinion the Inkaterra Hotel in Aguas Calientes is a better choice. For the following reasons. First the accommodations. The rooms at the Inkaterra are nicer. We took a deluxe king room at the Sanctuary Lodge and while it was very nice, it was small and a bit cramped. Also small and cramped baths. The rooms at this hotel are located in the main building, and in a strip of attached single floor units, the Terrace Rooms, in a curve that fronts on a private grassy area. The superior-level room we had at the Inkaterra was larger, more open, and had a lovely all-glass access to our own private patio in a garden setting. The rooms are divided among several free-standing buildings sited around the property, each with maybe four or so units. Some have fireplaces. While the bath in our room was small, it had an excellent rain shower and wonderful towels. Beds and linens at both hotels are first-rate. The hotel itself. There is not much else to the Sanctuary Lodge but the rooms. The bar/lounge/guest restaurant, called the Tampu Bar Restaurant, is, if I recall rightly, restricted to hotel guests but it is small, and while comfortable, can be crowded. Afternoon tea is served here to registered guests. There is another, much larger restaurant, the Tinkuy room that serves breakfasts, lunches and dinners in buffet style. This restaurant is open to the public and can be quite crowded, especially at lunchtime. The main guest commons area at the Inkaterra has a central main lounge with fireplace, a small, intimate library, a smaller lounge area, and a separate bar. There is wi-fi service here; pretty good and free to guests. The restaurant, while part of the main building, is separate from the other rooms. It has a large, but intimate dining room and a very nice outdoor dining porch that overlooks the Urubamba River. How about the quality of the food and service? Excellent at both, with a slight edge to the Inkaterra for menu variety. Hotel grounds? The Sanctuary Lodge has a lovely, multitiered garden with small meandering paths. One section contains several hummingbird feeders that attract a host of these fabulous creatures. But that’s about it. The Inkaterra property is comprised of the separate accommodation buildings, the common facilities, a spa area, gift shop, a reception/check-in/out building, and a second restaurant complex all in a heavily gardened setting and connected by flagstone paths and steps. There is a lovely outdoor patio area where tea and coffee are served in the afternoon. This area also has a hot spa tub, and bird feeders but does not attract the range of hummingbird species I saw at the Sanctuary Lodge. There also are several smaller and more intimate patios with umbrella-covered tables and chairs, some with views over the Urubamba River. In short, the grounds are lush, beautiful and very romantic. Diversions. The main diversion at the Sanctuary Lodge is, of course, the magnificent Inca ruins, and you can arrange tours to all of the secondary sites through the hotel. But after that, there is nothing else for the hotel to offer. The Inkaterra offers a whole range of additional opportunities. First, of course, is the town of Aguas Calientes, only two minutes away by foot. Tired of hotel food? Well, there are lots of other restaurant opportunities in the town. Also a range of shopping opportunities from inexpensive souvenirs at the market to upscale Peruvian textiles, artwork, jewelry and artifacts from either the hotel gift shop or the finer shops in the town. The tour desk at the Inkaterra also offers area specialty tours including birding, orchids, the hotel-run tea, coffee and herb gardens, and a hike to a waterfall. Service. Excellent at both sites, although you should realize that overall service is not as good as one might expect at comparable properties in Europe or the US. I will note that during our visit last year, our tour group of five couples had problems with our second-day passes into the ruins. Much to their credit and our relief the desk staff at the Sanctuary Lodge went out of their way to make sure that we all were reissued the correct entrance passes. So, in comparison, the Inkaterra has better rooms, better facilities and better diversions. The Sanctuary Lodge has the advantage of being right at the entrance to the ruins. And a lovely site it is. But is this really such an advantage? The real value here is access in the early morning. The ruins open at 6:00 AM and if you want to tour the site during the sunrise, or if you want to hike to the Sun Gate or to the top of Huayna Picchu, staying at the Sanctuary Lodge has the start of your trek right outside your hotel room door. On the other hand, if you are staying at the Inkaterra, you have a 35 minute small bus ride up the switchbacks to the ruins to look forward to. However, during our stay at the Inkaterra last month, my son and I did the Sun Gate hike catching the 5:15 AM bus from Aguas Calientes (they leave every 15 minutes) and were at the ruins in time for opening. And the hotel offered breakfast beginning at 4:30 AM for those wanting early access to the park. So in fact, the inconvenience was minor. Then there is the issue of cost. Both are expensive; if you are worried about cost, you should take a pass on both hotels. There are other options. Finally, about the ratings. In ranking the two against each other and against the other options in the area, I give the Inkaterra property five stars and the Sanctuary Lodge four stars. If I were to rank them against the best of the hotels world-wide I’ve stayed in, I’d give the Inkaterra four stars and the Sanctuary Lodge three.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Address: Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu 5184, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Sacred Valley > Machu Picchu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machu Picchu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Belmond Sanctuary Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It offers its guests exceptionally easy access from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left. Sit out on a terrace and savour Peruvian cuisine based on produce grown on the Lodge's own plot: this delightful hideaway is the perfect place to relax and unwind in the shadow of the Lost City. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge By Orient-Express Hotel Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Hotel
Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

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