The Coziest Family-run Lodges of the Sacred Valley
We stayed at a total of four hotels during our week in Peru's Sacred Valley, and the most memorable hotels were two family run lodges, one in Urubamba, and one in Ollantaytambo.
At Urubamba, we stayed at the Hospedaje La Florida. A friendly couple runs the place, and the husband gave us an impromptu tour around the place, which he explained was a converted country estate.
The veranda was a perfect place to take our first sips of coca tea!
There were lots of crafts and artifacts sprinkled around the property, like a mortar for grinding grain, or an antique textile from Ollantaytambo.
The rooms themselves were amply sized, and I got the best night's sleep on the trip thanks to the extra thick, heavy comforters that were piled on top of the beds.
Then the next morning we were greeted with the most bountiful breakfast spread! The afternoon before, the owner asked us which juice we preferred: papaya, orange, or pineapple. We chose papaya - freshly prepared! Besides the juice, we also had eggs made to order, warm, soft bread, a selection of teas, avocado (called "palta" in Peruvian Spanish), salty cheese, and these funny pats of butter that they stood on end and arranged in a star shape!
There was also a cruet of black liquid. My dad actually thought it was soy sauce and put some on his eggs, but it turned out to be homemade coffee concentrate. We later found out that, despite being a producer of coffee beans, it's typical to get instant Nescafe at breakfast. The owner said that instant coffee has a lot of extra chemicals, so they prepare this coffee concentrate instead. Such a nice service!
Our next stop was Ollantaytambo, where we stayed at the Kamma Guest House. It's situated along one of the original Inca alleys, too narrow for cars to enter. When we arrived, our guide helped us with our luggage, but when we departed, they called a gentleman with a tricycle to take our luggage down to the main square. His grandson? son? came along for the ride!
Our room was on the end of the second floor, with windows on three sides giving us views of the surrounding mountains and the grain storage Pinkuylluna. In fact, our hotel was directly across the street from the entrance to the Pinkuylluna trails.
At night, I went up to the rooftop terrace to take advantage of the nighttime skies free of air and light pollution. And made my first attempt at night photography! Here you can see the grain storehouse in the foreground, and a ton of stars in the background.
And here you can make out the Milky Way!
We also had breakfast on the rooftop, where we had some fruit salad, cereal with puffed wheat and quinoa, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, yogurt, and eggs to order.
In Aguas Calientes and Cusco, we stayed at hotels of the mini Peruvian hotel chain Terra Viva. They were both highly rated on all of the review sites, and were okay, but these independent, small lodges of just a few rooms each, Hospedaje La Florida in Urubamba and Kamma Guest House in Ollantaytambo were the standout experiences for me!