One of South America’s most alluring destinations, Peru’s diverse geography and traditional cultures have been enchanting travellers for decades. Offering some of the continent’s most immersive cultural experiences, striking landscapes, mysterious ruined cities and outstanding cuisine; Peru never fails to impress in terms of unique experiences or luxury accommodations.
Here are some of our favourite luxury hideaways in magical Peru…
Titilaka, Lake Titicaca
Perched on a peaceful and picturesque private peninsula around an hour outside of the chaotic city of Puno, Titilaka Lodge is an exquisite Relais & Chateaux retreat on the shores of the spellbinding Lake Titicaca. This cobalt-blue lake, situated almost 4,000 metres above sea-level, is the cradle of Andean civilisation, where local people believe the creator-god Wiracocha sent the first Incas, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, to civilise the region.
The hotel offers a comprehensive full-board experience, providing guests with spacious suites, three gourmet meals a day and a unique programme of activities by the lake away from the crowds of tourists in saturated Puno. Covering a broad spectrum of nature observation, cultural activities, historical tours and stunning hikes; the lodge’s excursion menu allows travellers to explore beyond the obvious. Activities are available on a small-group or private basis with expert English-speaking guides. For an exclusive, comfortable and unforgettable experience of this deeply culturally significant region, look no further than Titilaka.
Sol y Luna, The Sacred Valley
Tucked away amongst exuberant gardens in Peru’s lush Sacred Valley, Sol y Luna is an effortlessly charming combination of Peruvian tradition and French-inspired hospitality. The hotel’s French owners offer a stunning luxury hotel with exquisite cuisine and service which, even more importantly, has a social conscience.
The hotel finances a local school where children from vulnerable backgrounds are provided with a quality education. Each colourful and delicately finished individual casita (bungalow) offers guests enormous privacy with upgraded premium suites also featuring a private terrace with a secluded Jacuzzi. As with any Relais & Chateaux property, food plays an enormous part in the experience at Sol y Luna where the hotel’s two on-site restaurants Killa Wasi and Wayra offer an elevated Peruvian cuisine inspired by the bounty of the fertile mountain valleys of the region. Enjoy relaxing in the heated outdoor pool to the soundtrack of local birdsong or indulge in a spa treatment inspired by the mystical cultural heritage of the Inca. Sol y Luna is charming beyond belief and the best place for a luxury retreat in this historically and culturally rich Valley.
A brand-new luxury offering in the ‘White City’ of Arequipa, so named for its colonial constructions made from the pale ‘sillar’ volcanic rock, Cirqa seamlessly blends a modern minimalist style with the opulence of the historical building’s colonial past. Moulded into the shell of a 16th century monastery, Cirqa’s exclusive rooms and suites are a juxtaposition of the quaint exposed brick arches of the original building with a sleek monochrome interior design.
Visiting guests will be treated to an intensely detailed personalised service. Assigned a host at check-in, which is conducted in the comfort of your room, you will be able to contact your personal assistant via Whatsapp on your own phone, or on an iPad provided by the hotel in order to coordinate meal times, excursions or ask them to heat up the hotel’s stylish plunge pool for you, located on a sun-soaked interior courtyard. As a Relais & Chateaux member and sister-hotel to Titilaka, mealtimes at Cirqa are an intimate and special event. In the cosy restaurant, heated by a large open fireplace, enjoy a gastronomic journey through Peru’s unique ingredients and diverse culinary heritage. Situated mere blocks away from Arequipa’s impressive Plaza de Armas, Cirqa is unquestionably the best hotel in town.
Hotel B Barranco, Lima
Occupying a fully restored Republican-era summer villa in the bohemian neighbourhood of Barranco, Hotel B is one of Lima’s most in-demand accommodations. The stunning façade of the historical building offers guests a special kind of welcome and things only improve the longer you have to spend in this unique boutique.
Owned by a collective of local artists, Hotel B is a hotel/gallery, where the art that adorns the walls changes with the seasons to celebrate the pinnacle of local cultural achievement. Offering perhaps one of Lima’s best breakfasts, Hotel B takes pride in its attentive service and homely hospitality. With a variety of chic communal spaces for guests to enjoy during their stay, the property feels like a tranquil oasis in an otherwise quite busy and overwhelming city environment – the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring Lima’s main attractions. Learn to make a traditional pisco sour (the Peruvian national cocktail) in the sophisticated art-deco bar area or enjoy a personalised tour of the city with one of the hotel’s dedicated local guides. For those seeking an exclusive luxury experience of Peru’s dynamic capital, Hotel B will not disappoint.
Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco
One of a few charming luxury hotels situated on Cusco’s Plaza Nazarenas, a few steps from the city’s impressive main square, Inkaterra La Casona offers travellers a unique luxury experience in a house bursting with history. This original colonial era Spanish home occupies the site of a former Inca construction and was later home to Diego de Almagro, an aristocratic conquistador instrumental in the conquest of Peru alongside Francisco Pizarro. During Latin America’s tussle for independence, famous liberating general Simón Bolívar also briefly lived in the house.
With just eleven suites that celebrate Peru’s rich pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial heritage through thoughtful and evocative décor, guests feel immersed in the history of this hybrid city that straddles the Andean and European cultures. Serving gourmet cuisine and offering blissful tranquillity even in Cusco’s busy city centre, this exclusive hotel is unrivalled in its attention to detail.
Simon Williams is Director of Humboldt Travel. Humboldt Travel is a luxury travel company specialising in tailor made holidays to Latin America.