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Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

5.0 out of 5.0

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

5.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

I do not usually write a review based on a one night stay but felt that this hotel deserved comment. Its location, at the entrance to Machu Picchu, makes it ideal for visiting the site. Reception always seemed to be crowded but somehow the staff still managed to provide excellent and swift service. Bedroom and bathroom were fairly compact but comfortable and adequately furnished and we enjoyed a terrace adjacent to the gardens. WIFI was good and there were the usual amenities associated with a top class hotel. We enjoyed dinner in the restaurant which had a varied menu. The food was excellent as was the service. At breakfast, there was a good selection of hot and cold dishes and we also partook of the substantial buffet lunch provided on the day that we departed. Service throughout the hotel was exemplary and our only negative experience was that access by train and dedicated bus was rather tedious.

We stayed here for one night to visit Machu Picchu. The decor of the bard and main restaurant was of a high standard and design to give a relaxed 'lodge' feeling. However the staff and service delivered were befitting of a 5* Hotel. The size of our standard room was snug yet comfortable and provided all the usual facilities necessary for a short stay. The quality of food was also of a good standard. One benefit of staying in this hotel is the access to and from Machu Picchu ("MP"). While the hotel seemed exceptionally busy during MP visiting hours, it quickly became a haven after closing time. Its location opposite the ticketing entrance gate provides the opportunity to better time your visit and not queue for the transfer buses from the town below MP.

The best part of this hotel is the location which is right at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Most of the people leave the area and have to return down to the village while we were able to stay up on the mountain next to the entrance to the park. If you choose, you have the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset without many people. They have a garden area where you can sit outside and enjoy the views. The food is fine, but not great. The staff is friendly. Rooms are small but comfortable! The hotel is very nice...more a 4 star property. What you are getting is the special location.

Machu Picchu could arguably be a modern wonder of the world; so may be the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. Let me share my biases with you, but ask you to ponder first…… Why are YOU planning to tour the most visited and magical site in the whole of Peru? When YOU travel to a totally foreign land, do you relish valet parking, HBO and the current sports playoffs, a choice of steak and Californian wine and your favorite American newspaper? If so, the Belmond may well fall short of your stated needs. If instead, you relish meeting passionate folks who will work tirelessly for you, welcome you with a cool cocktail and tasty local food, while sharing stories of their families, education, hopes, dreams and culture (should you deem you have the time to listen), then this enchanting spot could well tickle your fancy. Unless you have helicopter access, enjoy your chosen train ride up to Machu Picchu Pueblo (AKA the town of Aguas Calientes). Depart the train, drop your bags at the platform with the man with the biggest smile (at the Belmond sign) then chose your stated ascent up the winding road to the “entrance” to the Machu Picchu citadel/monument and the 2 mountains which will likely still be waiting for you to conquer them. Once at the bus disgorging point, as the throngs of keen young hikers, elderly ramblers, excited Peruvian families and foreigners from many lands head up the walkway, you walk a dozen or so steps to the hotel and breathe, smile and pat yourself on the back for making the singular best choice of your trip. The team will bring you into the restaurant for welcome drinks and the sharing of information & passport numbers that seems mandatory for all Peruvian hotels. Our welcome was efficient, pleasing and honest. We joined our bags in our rooms having been granted an early check in and an upgrade (thanks AmEx!) and were escorted around the highlights of our rooms and the shared gardens. Our food was excellent throughout. I noticed lorries bringing water up the mountain, presumably so we could flush and bathe? I noticed pallets of food being carted in from the buses, and the chefs sifting through it to ensure it met the high standards they sought. One morning we took breakfast in bed and then carried the whole table and its pedestal up to the terrace and ate our morning repast gazing at Huayna Picchu which was top of our to do list for hiking at 11am that day. We met staff who wore permanent smiles, and tolerated our dumb tourist questions, with a genuine wish to help and make our stay better. No problem was too big to handle. A big shout to Carmen J; a young lady who seemed to hold sentry like position at the front desk but still retained an unwavering smile and welcoming air that is often absent from tired staff at the luxury hotel in a busy city where you last travelled for business or education. At our departure, she even personally delivered to our room a handwritten note and a couple of bag tags, as is the custom at Belmond properties across the globe. Anyone know the correct name for a Peruvian three-man mariachi? This chipper trio graced each of our dinners with their presence and I think our wives considered leaving us and heading home with this merry band! They shared their joy via superb Andean pipe and drum music and their happiness was simply infectious. An easy decision to buy a couple of their CDs and look forward to playing them after a challenging day at work next week. I`d value the opportunity to revise a few prior opinions I came across in recent reviews; Noise from buses. Sure it`s there and starts at 5-45am. My guess is that if you can pay the Belmond bill, you likely have some noise cancelling earphones, or can pack some squishy ear plugs? If you have the foresight to acquire acetazolamide for the altitude, remember some noise reduction strategies too if you know you are a noise sensitive traveller. Lack of views on property. Really? See some pics below. Small ablution rooms. I`m 6-3 and am owner of a typical American BMI. I got in and got out as did my wife. No hassles, no upsets. The slippers were really nice, and we bought 2 Belmond laundry bags which absorbed all the DEET and sweat, but will likely travel with us in the future. Sure a Jacuzzi would have be nice, but also a Top Golf overlooking the Temple of the Three Windows would have been fun too. Doubt any are in the plans for 2020. In other countries, people happily make do with the infrastructure they have and play the hand they`re dealt. Overpriced? Always your subjective judgment call. Remember, if you allow them to be, today`s expectations can easily become treasured tender memories or tomorrow`s resentments. Like the petals vs the thorns on a rosebush, it`s largely up to you where you choose to place your focus. Nothing to do at night? Who were you there with; is the recapping of the events of the day, peeking at your photo stack, or putting your feet up on the terrace watching the sun cast it`s final rays over Yantanin an inadequate way to end your day? If so, good luck fining something better – do let me read your post when you do! This property is a small and homely place, filled with staff who want to succeed and want you to relax and use all your senses to take in the stones, peaks, smells, clouds and delights of their most treasured and sacred space. It was private enough for us to recover and rejuvenate after our walks, but still share drinks and stories with some equally excited guests from several countries. Belmond seems to do an excellent job with the resources they have at hand. I commend them and wish them well.

It's a good hotel at the entrance of Machu Picchu. We stayed here so we could leave Machu Picchu as last people and enter it at 6 am before the buses arrived. That was a very good choice! The staff and food are very good. It's an expensive hotel, but if you book early it's way cheaper. ( we booked late, which made it very expensive) If you have the money, we think this is the best hotel available!

What a lovely Garden Room we had in the Hotel . It wasn’t big but we knew we would not be in the room much anyway. Cocktails were delicious and included in the price - a pleasant surprise ! The bar was warm and welcoming , a haven from the queues of people and buses outside. A typical Peruvian band played a 30 minute cabaret which was fun . Dinner was absolutely delicious . All the staff were fr4iendly and welcoming.

The only reason to stay here is its location, but with buses running every two-minutes from town (a somewhat frightening ride due to a series of sharp turns) there are less expensive, and (frankly) better options in town. The town is lively, safe and full of shopping, dining and drinking options. There are also at least two deluxe hotels in town, and it is only a 10 minute bus ride from Machu Picchu (MP). STRIKE 1 - MP opens at 6AM and buses began arriving at 5:30. There is no early admission for Belmond clients, so you are packed-in with everyone else (literally hundreds of people) at the opening. And this was off-peak! Can't imagine the crowds during peak season. STRIKE 2 - Once it gets dark there is literally nothing to see or do in MP. There was live music at dinner at the hotel, but nothing else. STRIKE 3 - While all meals were included, dinner was truly mediocre. My chicken was so overdone, it was inedible. My son's pasta dish consisted of only three pieces of ravioli. We did not finish our desserts as they were barely palatable. At the end of a long and tiring day of hiking, we simply returned to our rooms very disappointed. STRIKE 4 - The next morning we called the front desk to have someone get our bags. THREE calls to the front desk - ALL unanswered! We ended up carrying our own bags downstairs. Not consistent with deluxe hotel service! STRIKE 5 - Our "deluxe" room was small and the only closet was in the bathroom. We also noted that the "garden" suites opened onto the shared garden - so there was no privacy for those rooms! The Sanctuary is NOT worth the price - stay in town instead. Notably, when we returned to the Monasterio in Cusco, we told them of our experience at the Sanctuary. They were clearly surprised and contacted the manager of the Sanctuary. He sent us a bottle of wine and a cheese plate. It was a thoughtful gesture but they need to vastly improve client service at the Sanctuary - specifically the front desk and the dinner service.

The Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the ideal location when you are visiting the Citadel in Machu Picchu. The hotel is expensive for what you get, namely small rooms and bathrooms. But it is clean and comfortable.

We spent two nights at the Belmond and only stayed there to maximize our time seeing Machu Picchu, and since one person in our group doesn’t have the stamina to get to MP by bus from Agua Calientes every day. The hotel room was average, relatively small room with basic/not fancy furnishings. The hotel setting is gorgeous and staff were really nice. The restaurant service was relatively slow, even when the restaurant was only half full, and eating dinner in the restaurant wasn’t ideal because the dining room was very noisy. Peoples’ voices seemed to bounce off the dining room walls so people talked even louder at their tables to be heard. Then, a small group of musicians started singing and playing instruments, which added to the noise. If I ever visit MP again, I would stay at the Belmond because of its location though.

If you read through the reviews, most are about the location or the train trip and not that much about the actual hotel! Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is a total tourist ripoff and extremely disappointing. We have used Belmond all over the world but believe that the Sanctuary Lodge is a Belmond cash printer and has, in my opinion, little more to offer than a Holiday Inn! For starters the deluxe room we had did “have a view” - over a roof and a diesel fumed bus stop with some mountains in the background and are not properly cleaned between the sausage factory type of check-in and check out. The other option was a standard room (exactly the same size) with no view for USD 200,00 less. A re-design of the hotel should be looked at. The shower room/toilet was probably 600mm wide and 3000mm long. You could not use the toilet as the person in the shower could not get out of the shower! In other words, the “ablution facilities” (no other word for it) is smaller than that on the Belmond train! on top of this. Water is offered in plastic bottles, bins are lined in plastic which indicates no environmental responsibility. To waste my time on the absolute lies, inefficiencies and hollow promises from the staff who seem to have no authority to make any decisions is not my wish. The alcohol might be free but using low grade products to high end guests is just disingenuous! I would commend the restaurant as the food is excellent and the service of Carlos who is absolutely excellent and totally efficient. Carlos is of the standard of the Belmond that I used to know. Thank you Carlos. You were the highlight of our trip. All in all there are really good hotels down the road (I’ve checked them out now) which offer excellent value for money in a vibrant little town. There is no benefit for paying premium prices to stay at the entrance of Machu Picchu and in front of a diesel fumed bus stop that has probably 5 buses every 10 minutes. You are unable to gain access to Machu Picchu outside the general entrance times and only at the time printed on your ticket so check that too. The 25 minute bus ride is very comfortable and the view spectacular and you need to take that bus ride regardless whether you stay at the Belmond or at a hotel in the beautiful little town Some photos shown. The letter means nothing. Read “opportunity” and not privilege with regard to access to Machu Picchu. I would strongly advise that you carefully check out your benefits, rooms and value for money before you commit yourself. To end this sorry report, even the guides do not hold the Belmond in good regard. Do I need to say anymore!

Carretera Hiram Bingham Km 7.5 Machu Picchu Cusco

Hotel highlights

  • Close to Huayna Picchu
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa

Huayna Picchu is within a mile (2 km) of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, and other popular attractions like Aguas Calientes Hot Springs are within a few miles (5 km). This 5-star hotel has 31 rooms and welcomes guests with 2 restaurants, a full-service spa, and free in-room WiFi.


Enjoy dining at one of 2 onsite restaurants including Tinkuy Restaurant, which specializes in international cuisine. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with 24-hour room service, entertain your taste buds with a drink at the bar/lounge, and mingle with other guests at the free daily manager's reception.


An LCD TV comes with satellite channels and a DVD player, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi and wired Internet. Beds sport down comforters and the bathroom offers a hair dryer and free toiletries. Other standard amenities include a dryer, an iPod dock, and a minibar.

Property features

Awarded Conde Nast Gold List status in 2012, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge features a full-service spa, free WiFi in public areas, and spa treatment rooms. Transportation is made easy with a train station shuttle. Staff members are on hand to provide concierge services, luggage storage, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Other amenities at this luxury hotel include express check-in, express check-out, and free newspapers.

Room options

Deluxe Room, Terrace (Deluxe Terrace Room)

Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Superior Room, Terrace (Superior Terrace Room)

Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Standard Room (King Patio)

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Standard Room (Twin Patio)

Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

86.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 2486 reviews