6 reasons why Sol y Luna hotel needs to be on your bucket list
Machu Picchu features on most traveller’s bucket lists, and rightly so! Often visitors excitedly rush to Aguas Calientes to get a glimpse of the Wonder of the World as soon as they possibly can. In doing so, they skip straight through one of the most beautiful and fun-filled parts of Peru: The Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Peacefully nestled within the valley is the charming Sol y Luna hotel, part of the Relais & Châteaux group which is without doubt one of our favourite hotels. Below are 6 reasons why we think you should consider making a stop at Sol y Luna, and taking in the beauty of the Sacred Valley before you make your way to Machu Picchu.
Reason 1: Location
Sol y Luna is the perfect base for discovering everything Urubamba and the surrounding towns have to offer. It is 60km from Cusco (approx. 90 minute drive) and 1km from Urubamba town which has its own train station and is a 2 hour train ride to Machu Picchu station with Peru Rail. It is ideal for exploring the stunning Sacred Valley which can be as adventure-filled or as relaxed as you’d like!
Reason 2: Rooms & facilities
The hotel has 43 private, homely ‘casitas’ which are encircled by alluring mountains and well-kept gardens, which immediately make you feel at peace and in awe of the surroundings. The casitas are spacious and colourful, luxuriously decorated, filled with art, terra cotta tile floors and marble filled bathrooms. You arrive to handmade petit fours and come home to an inviting open fire and a big bubble bath. With a beautiful outdoor pool and jacuzzi, it feels like you’re swimming in an Andean paradise. There’s also a gym, but we got tired just thinking about working out at altitude so we stuck to the spa and the pool!
Reason 3: Culinary experience
We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food in both Sol y Luna’s restaurants. The first night, we had dinner at ‘Wayra’, a ranch style house that is open to the public, the food in this cozy restaurant is made with Andean ingredients grown by local farmers. We had a mouth-watering ceviche and delicious lamb ribs whilst sat in front of a lovely, warming open fire.
The following day we tried the lunch at ‘Wayra’. We had cuy (guinea pig) to start, trout and lomo saltado for main and an assortment of Peruvian desserts, among them the famous picarones (a delicious Peruvian take on doughnuts made with sweet potato). Not only is the food scrumptious, but we were also treated to the daily, traditional horse dancing show whilst we ate outside which is highly recommended!
On our last day we we had dinner at Killa Wasi Restaurant which serves Novo Andino cuisine, a blend of Andean, coastal and international flavours. The menu changes according to the season. The food here was also outstanding!
Reason 4: Outstanding service
We have rarely stayed at a hotel where we’ve been shown such good service. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we felt cared for by all the staff. Every waiter gave us great suggestions and their full attention. The hotel manager and even the owner, Petit, came to see how our stay was going and if there was anything they could do to help. We loved the personal touches of coming back to a hot water bottle in our bed and taking us for a horse back ride around the grounds just to name a few.
Reason 5: Experiences
Sol y Luna offer a wide range of exciting activities such as kayaking on Huaypo lake surrounded by snowy Andean peaks, mountain biking around Pisac and Ollantaytambo, horse riding to Maras and Moray and traditional cooking classes.
We took part in two activities which we will never forget: firstly, quad biking through the Sacred Valley and secondly, paragliding over it! We had a fantastic quad biking guide who directed us through a local mountain village, stopping off at hidden ruins and great view points along the way. In the afternoon we drove up to a nearby hilltop where we (once mentally prepared!), leapt up into the air, strapped to our pilots and spent 20 minutes soaring over the most genuinely breath-taking view of the valley below. We even landed in a corn field and were greeted by a young alpaca farmer called Raul. We simply cannot recommend a better way to spend an afternoon.
Reason 6: Sol y Luna Association
The most rewarding part of staying at the hotel is the fact that your stay is directly helping to support the Sol y Luna Association which runs the Sol y Luna Intercultural School and four foster homes for students from local communities. The hotel owners, Petit and Franz arrived in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in 1988 and fell in love with it so much that they founded the school in order to offer children from impoverished homes a good education. They now have over 200 pupils and it feels great to know you can help contribute to their education. The school is just down the road from the hotel and guests are welcome to visit.
Get in touch with Sol y Luna hotel and experience the Sacred Valley at its fullest!