Nestled into a hillside alongside the roaring Urubamba River and with the craggy mountains of the Sacred Valley as a backdrop, the Belmond Rio Sagrado property is beautifully placed for those looking for a serene getaway, located halfway between Machu Picchu and Cusco.
Rio Sagrado means ‘Sacred River’ in Spanish and the connection with the river, mountains and earth are evident in many aspects of the hotel. When you arrive you are seated in a cosy study, filled with books and with a huge telescope for viewing the night skies, which were so important in Incan times.
Originally constructed as a family vacation spot, with the original villas now accommodating larger groups of up to 10 people, the Rio Sagrado hotel has expanded out over a hillside, with a variety of different rooms and options. Natural materials are a feature, and the way that the rooms and casitas mould over the hill makes you feel that it’s grown organically. With only 23 rooms in total, it’s a small, boutique hotel with a feel of exclusivity.
Food is a feature, and we were offered a delicious pachamanca picnic by the river. El Huerto (the Orchard) restaurant is a delicious fusion of Urubamba’s best-kept culinary secrets and provides elegant dining by the river.
A highlight is an outdoor heated pool, fantastic for year round relaxation, which sets this hotel apart from most other SV Hotels which only offer unheated (and therefore cold!) pools. A beautifully appointed spa is located in a wooden and stone building and offers a luxurious range of treatments using local therapies.
As you would expect for a property of this standard, the Rio Sagrado rooms have been created with careful attention to detail. Balconies are carefully concealed from their neighbours using plantings of indigenous trees, and you can shower looking out over the landscape –with your private parts modestly obscured by clouded glass! Large beds, pima cotton sheets – and heated wooden floors, as expected from a hotel like this, your stay will be extremely comfortable. We also were pleased to see recycling options in the rooms.
As the aim of the hotel is to getaway from the busy world, relax and connect with nature there are no televisons in the rooms, but wifi is accessible if you wish.
Finally a word on access – the hotel does offer one disabled/easy access room at the top of the hill and provide a golf buggy to access all locations in the hotel, including the restaurant located near the river. Otherwise, access to the rooms is via a series of steep steps and may not be a wonderful option if you struggle with climbing or descending steps!