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“Wonderful Location, Few Steps from Machu Picchu!”

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Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Ranked #2 of 30 Hotels in Machu Picchu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 August 2014

This is an exclusive property located steps from the entrance gate to the Machu Picchu site. This hotel can only be reached on foot via the Inca Trail or by a winding bus ride up from Aguas Calientes. This is a small lodge and I suggest booking it in advance. Restaurant had great gourmet food. Tea time was served everyday and it included a delicious array of French pastries, chocolates, and finger sandwiches. A down point was that you shared the large buffet restaurant with day visitors, although the selection of dishes is impressive. Even though it was very busy outside the hotel during the day, we escaped to the chaise lounges in the quiet, well–tended gardens wedged between the buildings, listening to the sounds of bubbling fountains. With a prior arrangement we took a guided tour of the ruins after the official closing time. We also went really early to see the sunrise before the buses get there, which is one of the main reasons to stay here! While the location is remote, I say the service here ranks among the best in the country, giving you a seamless experience as any other Orient Express hotel. Front desk staff is wonderful, willing to assist you on many different issues. I recommend this to anyone heading to Machu Picchu.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank PSchicke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments through the Trip Advisor website.

We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay in our Lodge.

On behalf of all the staff of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, we look forward to welcoming you in the near future, in order to share our highest service you deserve.

Sincerely,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

What's five star: 1) Staying at Machu Picchu! 2) The staff 3) The view of Wayna Picchu from the garden jacuzzi.

What's two star: 1) The long bus lines and 2) The rooms/halls. Utilitarian carpet, thin walls, cheap shower tiles, small rooms, small windows, loud buses idling outside, etc. But are these things what you come to MP for? No. Keep in mind that you're on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere and everything has to be brought in on the winding narrow road. The reasons to stay here are to be steps from the impressive ruin site and to have a respite from the overwhelming crowds.

The customer service was excellent. The staff was eager to hold our bags before we checked in and wanted to make sure we had a wonderful visit. They let us check out a bit later because our son was sick. At dinner our server, Marcelo, was very understanding of my dietary restrictions and also noticed our son was feeling bad and brought him muna tea. Magnifying glasses are available at the front desk to examine the orchid garden. Every night at 6pm the bartender gives a complimentary pisco tasting. The breakfast buffet was wonderful as was dinner. The
customer service and food were excellent. It was magical to be there, even in the rain. If you want marble bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows, go to Lima.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank haveboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments in Trip advisor, the commitment of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is to give the best to our guests and your overall impressions about your stay are very important to us.

I felt deeply pleased to hear that you fully enjoyed our facilities and privilege location, allowing you to enjoy as much as possible of Machu Picchu Citadel, while you giving us the opportunity to take care to provide you an unforgettable experience and take care of every single detail you may need during your stay with us.

I would like to extend our most sincere gratitude for your encouraging words, our Staff always is taking great care over every detail with our guest, it is very satisfying to know that Marcelo was able to provide the service you deserve.

Finally I would like to thank you once again for sharing your invaluable review.

Sincerely,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

We stayed here after doing the one day Inca Trail. We were staying in the standard room on an all-inclusive basis.
Our room was fine - although only a view of a wall out of the window (but then the views are all from the gardens anyway). The toilet and shower were in the bathroom but the sink was in an outer section between the bathroom and the main part of the room.
The staff were really friendly and helpful - our guide had forgotten to leave our permits with us in order to get into the site for sunrise - one of the reception staff managed to get copies printed off for us so we didn't lose out - excellent service!
We used the hot-tub to watch the sunset where the view was fabulous but the tub could have been cleaned out - it was a bit slimy. We ordered beers from the phone there which were brought up quickly - what a way to end the day!
Also the gardens have a lot of orchids and hummingbirds in which we sat and watched for a while too.
We had the obligatory Pisco Sours for pre-dinner drinks and then moved to the restaurant. This had a nice ambience and a bit of a buzz as it was full. The food was excellent and so was the wine.
At 2.00 am the stay took a turn. I started to feel ill (no idea what caused it - not blaming the hotel - wasn't altitude sickness) I progressively felt worse so I only had a small breakfast. We then walked over to the site for sunrise - (If I had been staying in Agua Calientes, I would not have been able to visit the site as too ill, but being next to it, I could walk over, knowing I could run back if necessary - another advantage to being up here)
Unfortunately, no sunrise - too cloudy. Our guide came at 7.30 but I was too ill so stayed in bed. I managed to walk over an hour later to get a picture of me there (and the stamp in my passport!) before going back to bed.
When my husband returned with our guide I had taken a turn for the worse. The hotel let me keep the room for an extra hour whilst the doctor was called - note - excellent medical facilities on site!
She gave me a couple of injections to help me get down the mountain. The hotel offered me the day room - but unfortunately a family then turned up so I decided to sit in reception.
This is where the hotel could have been more flexible. My guide was really concerned about me and didn't want to leave me. However, she is only allowed to eat in the buffet restaurant and not the hotel's. My husband asked if she could eat there and was told no. In the end my husband paid for her lunch (£30 for a burger). It seemed a bit inflexible especially when I wasn't going to be eating my lunch that was included!
I have written to the hotel about this but so far no-one has come back to me. (By the way - my husband was mistakely given someone else's bill which was $1500 for the night, they had been B&B and paid for food - therefore our £500 all inclusive price was the right choice!)

After lunch I was taken down the mountain in the bus - the hotel staff walked me over and got me on first and at the front. Once we got to Agua Calientes, a wheelchair was brought to the bus and a lovely porter took me to the hotel's special waiting room. It was an oasis of calm & the attendent was lovely and they had really lovely toilets too!

I would go back to this hotel in an instant as the views, the food and the service were excellent. They just need to be a little more flexible when something out of the ordinary happens.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank LockyNorwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments in Trip Advisor and helping us in improving our services. The commitment of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is to give the best to our guests and your overall impressions about your stay are very important to us.

I felt deeply pleased to hear that you could enjoy our facilities and privilege location during your stay with Us.

Thank you for your sincere feedback, I hope we have the honor to welcome you in the near future.

Sincerely Yours,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

We spend here 2 nights. Arriving early noon, so time for still a visit to Machu Picchu. The entrance of the park is a footstep away. The next day we climbed the mountain. The staff was very friendly and food great. Highly recommended butnit all has its price. But you avoid the long bus line in aguas caliente.

Stayed: August 2014
Thank Arpaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all, let me thank you for your time and we appreciate your invaluable comments.

I felt deeply pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay in Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.

Thank you for your sincere feedback, I hope we have the honor to welcome you in the near future.

Best regards,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

This hotel is steps from the entry to Machu Picchu. Well worth the price to stay so close as you can wait up to 90 minutes for bus transfers on busy days so this is a huge time saver. Rooms are mediocre and dated at best, however, the service and food at this hotel is impeccable. It is full board so drinks and meals are included which offsets the cost of the room. I definitely recommend this hotel.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
Thank Lady_Travel_1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments in Trip Advisor and helping us in improving our services. The commitment of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is to give the best to our guests and your overall impressions about your stay are very important to us.

We already started a refurbishing of our public areas and rooms with new materials, furniture, with a contemporaneous decoration in order to upgrade the lodge facilities and always correspond to our guest’s expectations.

Finally I would like to thank you once again for sharing your invaluable review.

Sincerely,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Sanctuary lodge

To start my review, I think it is best to help the next traveler get there:
TRAIN: after you get off train in Aguascalientes, grab your luggage and walk through train terminal and past guard shack into open courtyard before market area. You should see several guys wearing beige clothes with Sanctuary Lodge logos. They will check your name and take your luggage to hotel. (Do your self a favor and always keep a lock on your bags. A lot of bags are left in hallways and anyone can grab something).
BUS: after that you need to walk through market area down and to left and walk over bridge. Look to the left while walking over bridge and you will see green buses below, that is where you are trying to go. So keep winding down and to left and left again at street where you see the same bridge you walked over. There are a couple of bus ticket booths, one on each side of street. You will see the white boards with prices and typically people standing in a line waiting for the next bus. If you are only at hotel one night, buy round trip. If more than one night, you can only buy one way.
AT TOP: when at top get out of bus and go up stairs into lodge reception area to check in.

Hotel Pros:
-The hotel overall is fairly small and at any given time there is a large employee to guest ratio.
- The rooms are very clean and of average size. The bed was best sleep I had in Cusco region. If you get a terrace room, it is nice to have chairs and table to eat outside looking at mountains. Another plus is no one is above you for room to room noise.
- All inclusive food and 24 hour room service was nice, including the mini bar.
- The staff does seem to work hard to ensure everything is satisfactory.
- They will try to make the food the way you want in restaurant so ask if you don't see something on menu.
- Jacuzzi is nice after all the steps in Machu Picchu . It also has a view of ruins.
- Biggest Pro - location! After we arrived we ate lunch, changed and went into Machu Picchu. It is a two minute walk to gate and while the vast majority of visitors are leaving to catch bus down, we were walking in to get fantastic pictures with a limited amount of people in back ground. The gate closes at 4, but you can stay in until 5:30. We basically had 2 hours to enjoy without the crowds. On the next day we slept in, got some free breakfast and strolled in for more exploring. By 10 am it is thoroughly jammed with visitors and you see a lot of backs, hats and elbows in front of you. It takes longer to get around since everyone stops for pictures. Again, nothing like coming out and walking into hotel instead of the extremely long bus lines! Worth money just for that.

Hotel Cons:
- Bus Tickets/Buses: For the money, the hotel should really just hand you a bus ticket when they take your luggage instead of making you go find the ticket office and wait in another line. They have a set number of people checking in and out based on train times. It just seems they should have their own bus to take you to top. For these reasons alone, I can't give them a top rating.
- Restaurant Service: the staff is great but the kitchen seems very slow. We realized that if we ordered even while waiting for a table, we got our food faster. In addition, after people left their tables, most of the time the table was not cleaned off for 20 minutes or more. One time at lunch almost every table around us was unbussed. They could use a dedicated "bus boy", instead of the waiters waiting for the hostess to clean it.

Leaving: The hotel will take your luggage to same area where they took it from you, right outside security gate at train station. If you don't already have it, just buy your bus ticket and hop on next bus. Almost no wait at 11am when you have to check out.

Summary: the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is costly, however after watching literally thousands of people waiting in a line at the bottom, and waiting in lines for busses going down each day, it was absolutely worth the additional expense. Besides, while those thousands had to leave and wait in line for the bus, I was going in and taking that perfect Machu Picchu picture that will be hanging on my wall. I recommended this hotel for that alone.
(To Travel Is To Live)

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
8  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all, let me thank you for your time and we appreciate your comment.

I am deeply pleased to know that you could appreciate our location and facilities; our hotel offers the privilege to overnight on a platform of the Citadel who has been allowed to fully enjoy your visit to the magical citadel.

Thank you very much for your invaluable comments; I hope we can welcome you again in the near future.

Kindly regards,

Marc Yeterian
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

and stay here!
Yes this an expensive place to stay, however i warranted our stay by using the money i saved on not hiking the Inca Trail and truly maximising my experience at Machu Picchu.
Some reviewers have commented on noise levels, others on the level of customer service and standard of hotel accommodation. Please don't let these put you off staying. You will be staying in a Lodge and not a hotel, which is where some travellers may be disappointed, however i don't have anything negative or even constructive recommendations to offer because there were none.
I know that is a pretty high recommendation but honestly there were so many thoughtful touches which simply enhanced our stay.

I booked a triple room for one night, my mother, brother and I (well it is expensive!). Yes it overlooked the car park but it also had a breathtaking view of Wayna Picchu. Our room was really quiet (very good double/triple glazing), but then again we were out on site even before any of the coaches started arriving. In the evening its just you, the wildlife and the mountains.
Beds were extremely comfortable, luxury cottons (700+ thread count), pillow menu, ethical toiletries, fluffy ropes and slippers, extra large candle lit at turn down service, complimentary ice cold beverages in the fridge (and proper coca-cola in a glass bottle, which after the hike up Wayna Pichhu it was very well received).
Restaurant - very good, pisco tasting at the bar, with a very knowledgable barman - with the best huancaina dip and crisps; breakfast was everything you would expect from a 5* establishment and more.
The fact that they have a day room for guests arriving very early or leaving late was fantastic. There you can leave your belongings safely, freshen up in the generously sized luxury bathroom and enjoy light snacks and complimentary drinks.

Service was exceptional. I felt as though staff really cared for guests and wanted to do as much as they could to ensure our stay was everything we hoped it would be.
Location - the sole reason i booked - the peace, the energy of MP. For us the more time we had exposed to this wondrous site simply enhanced and exceeded all expectations - what a trip and what a stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank fussyfoodlove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oeperu, Gerente at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all, I feel so honored to know your opinion about our property. I´m pleased for choosing our Lodge as a destination to organize your visit of Machu Picchu Citadel.

I am glad to know that you could enjoyed our privileged location in front of the citadel while you giving us the opportunity to take care to provide you the service that you deserve.

Thank you very much for your kindness and invaluable comments; I hope we can welcome you again in the near future.

Kindly regards,

Marc Yeterian
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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Additional Information about Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Address: Carretera Hiram Bingham Km 7.5 | Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu 5184, Peru
Phone Number:
Region: Peru > Cusco Region > Sacred Valley > Machu Picchu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Machu Picchu
#2 Family Hotel in Machu Picchu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Machu Picchu
Price Range: £442 - £1,065 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Sanctuary Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No picture of Machu Picchu can prepare you for seeing it with your own eyes. Perched high in the Andes, it is one of few places in the world that can be described as truly unmissable. It’s on everyone’s travel wish list, attracting a million visitors each year. But there’s only one way to see it in style: by staying at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. When we say we’re one of a kind, we mean it. Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel that sits at the entrance of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. For years we have been the unofficial gateway to the Inca world, inviting our guests to explore with unrivalled access and expert guidance. While most visitors to the citadel endure a winding bus ride from Aguas Calientes, our snug retreat is a few footsteps away. Wake before sunrise and be the first through the gates. The mountains look magnificent emerging from a thick cloak of mist, and Machu Picchu is stunning in solitude. Stop, breathe and soak it all in. ... 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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