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Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado
Take a deep breath, and take it all in: this charming retreat on the banks of the Urubamba River is the perfect base for a relaxing getaway—and, thanks to a lower altitude than Machu Picchu, it’s also the ideal place to get acclimatized before exploring the site or a retreat to contemplate all that you have seen if you arrive here after visiting the famous Inca site. Designed to resemble the Andean villages dotting the historic Sacred Valley of the Incas, the 21-room, two-villa hotel is all about celebrating the region, from the local textiles, decorative pieces, and photographs in the rooms to the picture windows and private terraces overlooking the river and surrounding hills. Contemporary details abound, too, like the Swiss showers, under-floor heating, WiFi, and golf carts.

You'll also find local influences in the two restaurants as well, which highlight ingredients both from regional markets and the hotel's organic garden. The wood-and-stone El Bar del Huerto, also with river views, is the place to sip a Pisco Sour and chat about your Valley adventures with other guests. And while the array of available area activities is definitely tempting (think horseback riding, river rafting, and thermal baths), be sure to save time for simply relaxing in the on-site spa and pool—the first outdoor, solar-heated one in the Valley.

Riverview Retreat
Overlooking the river, the Spa Mayu Wilka has three rock-walled treatment rooms in which guests are pampered like they are Inca royalty. Get scrubbed with quinoa or Maras salt, hydrate with a wrap of coca or golden algae, and get accustomed to the altitude with a specially designed Altitude Acclimatizer massage. Indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, and steam and sauna rooms round out the spa facilities, while at the infinity-edged UNU pool, you'll find solar-heated water, a dedicated food and beverage menu, and more river views.

A Sacred Journey
Settle onto a blanket beside the flowing Urubamba River and let the spirits take over. The hotel's signature spiritual Andean ceremony, led by a local shaman, is an unforgettable experience that aims to connect guests to nature—and, in many cases, help them re-connect with themselves as well. Through chanting, the offering of fruits and coca leaves, and other time-honed rituals, the shaman will offer thanks to Pachamama (aka Mother Earth), and ask her for her blessings. For those who are open to this spiritual ritual, it's a rejuvenating, centering experience that honors the heart of the Sacred Valley.

Do Feed the Animals
Savvy travelers aren't the only ones chilling at the hotel—three adorable alpacas also call the place home. You'll see them as you walk to and from the main building and the riverside rooms, but for a more up-close and personal interaction, guests can help feed the critters in the morning and afternoon.