5-Star Hotel Guide


Journey in 5-star luxury from Lima to Machu Picchu and beyond


Discover the Peru's 5-star treasures

Peru has reinvented itself as a chic 5-star travel destination. Its Pacific capital teems with stylish bars and boutiques, its superb national cuisine is becoming more revered by the day, and its top luxury hotels are leaders of the pack in South America.

I was recently given a coffee table book called Wonders of the World that highlights the most breathtaking man made places to visit on our Earth. On the cover was a photograph of Machu Picchu and after studying it in detail, I decided my husband and I would build a trip around visiting this great site.

Location, location, location….and Belmond Hotels knows how to do this perfectly in Peru. They own six incredible hotels perfectly positioned around Peru, as well as a luxury train to enjoy all of its riches. We chose to stay in four of them and created a one week journey aimed at discovering the many different areas of this magical country.

Our week started in the capital city, Lima. Located on the Pacific coast, it was a perfect choice to begin the wind down from work to vacation-mode with its laid back, friendly atmosphere yet urban setting. Lima has a dry and mild climate and sprawls for miles with modern high rises alongside Colonial mansions from the 16th century. We stayed at Belmond Miraflores Park in the lovely Miraflores district.

Belmond Rio Sagrado was our next stop, located in the Sacred Valley. You fly into Cusco where the mountain tops seen from the airplane seem to reach the sky higher than you’ve ever experienced before. 

Arriving at the Belmond Rio Sagrado feels like you’ve discovered a tranquil Andean hideaway set alongside the rushing Urubamba river away from the main dirt road. There are willow trees and a sprawling lawn shaping their grounds. The rooms and suites all have balconies with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that face the flowing river and are decorated with locally woven soft furnishings in vibrant colors against wooden floors and tiled bathrooms. 

We stayed two nights, participating in a shaman ceremony of gratitude at the water’s edge, as well as a short trip to see Ollantaytambo, one of the great Inca fortresses and sacred areas in the Urumbamba Valley that is nearly 600 years old. 

It was then time to take the train to Machu Picchu - the only way to access the area unless you are walking the Inca trail. The Vistadome train leaves from Ollantaytambo and is an hour and a half ride through the Sacred Valley to the ruins. 

The gates to get into the site are directly next door to the next hotel experience, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. This hotel has the distinction of being the only hotel at the top of the mountain and it’s literally next to the entrance to the site. Just phenomenal.

After our life-enhancing time at Machu Picchuhere we boarded the famous Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco. This luxury train is a glamorous throw back to the 1920’s with its perfectly polished Pullman style carriages. 

Again wonderful staff met us at the station and escorted us to the main center of Cusco where we checked into the peaceful and stylish Belmond Hotel Monasterio. The buildings were originally built in 1692 as a seminary and it operated that way for hundreds of years. 

Cusco is a small city that used to be the capital of the Incan Empire and is now a fusion of its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. It looks almost frozen in time with its cobblestone streets and clay-tiled roofs and is filled with local artisans selling colorful textiles on every street corner sitting next to their pet llama. 

We had three full days to explore which allowed for time to just wander. The city streets are filled with Incan relics amongst the colonial splendours of the Spanish conquest. Hotel Monasterio is home to a splendid restaurant called El Tupay.

The entire week spent in Peru felt like we were going from one incredible adventure to the next. The combination of seeing a modern wonder of the world and educating ourselves ancient history, mixed with total relaxation and rejuvenation was crafted perfectly by the Belmond group. Each hotel location inspired the week differently so you end up learning something new in a perfect rhythm of luxe travel. Highly recommended!