The Best of Belmond

The Hotel Chain Embodies the Luxury of Experience

If you are a devotee of JOURNEY, then you know that the Belmond group of hotels is one our favorites on this site. While several of the hotel’s most memorable locations have been featured here before, there is still so much more to explore and know about this unique, elegant, and experientially-based hotel chain that has redefined the modern luxury holiday hotel stay towards something more than just plush, it creates a moment.

We’ve cast a wide net and have come back with the properties and experiences that make this one of the world’s most magnificent hotels with whom to vacation, and put them on this list highlighting our favorites the world over. We hope you’ll fall in love with them as much as we have.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

This is what dreams are made of, quite actually. The Venice Simplon Orient Express is a romantic journey back in time to the era of elegant First Class train travel across picturesque landscapes. On this one-of-a-kind experience, take an overnight journey in the plush Art Deco train carriages on four routes through Europe. Go from Venice to London, Verona to Paris, Venice to Paris, or Verona to London and prepare to be ensconced in nostalgia, glamour and indulgence.

Expect richy-textiled train cars, staff uniforms that harken back to a bygone era, white tablecloths, fine china, and all the details of 6-star luxury, only on the tracks. The entire train is finished with the finest details, from an unrestrained use of rich fabric and upholstery to unique details like etched glass basins in cabin toilets. The most beautiful design element is the heavy use of inlaid wood which panels everything from the train car walls to the cupboard beneath the sink in each cabin’s bathroom.

Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast

This is the Amalfi of dreams. This property is situated 1,000 feet above sea level and is the highest point in Ravello. Aside from its perfect position, the building itself is a restored 11th century palace that has been adoringly, and authentically, outfitted with antiques and original frescos and flanked with lemon groves and olive vines.

The style of each of its 50 rooms are Neopolitan, which means each interior is clean, smart, and with a touch of old-world flair through a generous use of antiques. The rooms feature heritage Italian details such as a heavy emphasis on tilework, from terracotta to mosaics, all set within a color palette of muted mustards, powder blues, and creamy mauves that live upon a canvas of creamy whites. Most of the rooms feature water views from the terrace as well as a private garden.

While it may be perched at the peak of the Amalfi, the hotel is generous in providing guests with access to the sights. It operates a complimentary shuttle which drops people off to nearby Positano and Amalfi and also offers a daily-mini cruise to be able to enjoy the Amalfi from its truly most privileged point, the water.

Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany

Prepare to experience Tuscany like an aristocrat at the Castello di Casole. This property is a restored 1oth century castle which belonged to the noble Bargagli family of Siena. Aside from its rich provenance, this is one of the largest private estates in Italy and is surrounded by 4,200 of private land that holds the valleys, vineyards, hills, and olive groves for which Tuscany is synonymous.

It goes without saying this property is one of exclusivity and intimacy with only 39 luxuriously finished rooms. What is special about the rooms here is that there is an option for the style of room a guest might want, which is either a classic Tuscan suite in the castle or something contemporary Italian overlooking the olive groves.

The difference between the room styles are not vast, the contemporary rooms still err on the side of classic, it’s more the overall vibe that separates the two. The castle rooms are built within the ancient building and as such feature archways and stone walls. While the contemporary rooms feel more modern in their architecture. Both feature important Italian design features such as terracotta tiles, heritage rugs, and significant wood furniture.

Of course, with 4,200 acres at your disposal there is no lack of things to do such as hiking, biking, wildlife walks, painting classes, and wine tasting tours. This is all in addition to the outdoor infinity pool, three restaurants, spa, and fitness center.

Only an hour from Florence and less than three hours from Rome, Castello di Casole is an accessible idyllic getaway far enough away to feel immersed, but yet just close enough to all there is to see in the region.

Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino

What is in a name? In the case of Splendido, which translates to splendid in Italian, it means everything. Like its name, this hotel is magnificent and impressive, and also equal parts sumptuous and glamorous. It embodies la dolce vita and its prime location and unsurpassed accommodations have attracted the world's shiniest personalities through its doors for decades. From Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, to the Duke of Windsor, to Madonna and Tom Hanks, this hotel is the plush epicenter of all things fabulous on the Amalfi.

It sits on a privileged hillside above Portofino Harbor and embraces its guests with details such as a rich garden, a world-class spa with sauna, a heated saltwater pool, tennis courts, and gourmet cuisine. Each of its 70 rooms are decorated in sublime, yet regal, Mediterranean style with details such as artful wallpapers, pastel palettes, and jewel-toned furniture. Terraces are railed with beautiful black wrought iron which matches the terrace’s furniture. Expect the epitome of old world details throughout such as perfectly laid herringbone floors or classic black and white tiling at the bar.

This is a place from which to enjoy the views, which is why most rooms have an outdoor space from which to see the water while much of the dining takes place outdoors, redefining the experience of dining al fresco.

Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino

The little sister to the Splendido, this hotel is just as magnificent as its sibling, although simply smaller in scale and, dare we say, even finer details.

Also located in Portofino, this 14-room jewel box of a property used to be a guest house for fishermen and other travelers in need of shelter. In an ode to its nautical heritage, both from being a fisherman’s outpost to its location just above the Portofino Harbor, the decor inside Splendido Mare is a mix of nautical meets Neopolitan in Ligurian tones and is widely considered to be the most plush hotels in all of Portofino. This is because rooms are outfitted with very understated details by very big names such as Murano, Loro Piano, and Gio Ponte all of which lend a sense of rich timelessness to the hotel’s aesthetic and creates the same vibe for hotel guests.

While this may be a hideaway made up of labyrinthine corridors and precious gardens, there is still much to do and see. The town of Portofino is just on the hotel’s doorstep and in order to offer guests the full nautical experience the hotel offers complimentary excursions on its own private wooden gozzo boat, a traditional fishing boat that embodies the golden-age charm of Portofino. Or for even more amenities, guests are invited to take the shuttle bus to its big sister, Splendido, to enjoy all the offerings there including the spa, tennis courts, pool and renowned La Terrazza restaurant.

Villa Margherita, Amalfi Coast

This is not the first time this property has appeared on our site and with due cause, because it is an intimate gem of a property. A two suite villa situated 1,000 feet above the Amalfi Coast, this 11th century home is truly a sanctuary.

The property can be rented as a whole, where both suites are booked, which entitles guests to a full-time butler and private chef. Even if only one suite is booked, guests will still enjoy the privacy and elegance of the Villa through a bi-level suite with a master bedroom, living room, and convertible second bedroom.

The true luxuries here are in the one-of-a-kind design details including Fortuny fabrics from the 1960s, fabric from makers including Colefax and Fowler, and Braquenié, while each room is finished with hand-painted trompe-l’oeil ceilings by the Milanese house of L'Artigianato. Of course, if all else fails, there is always the original Matisse to fawn over.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina, Sicily

The greatest German literary figure in modern history, Wolfgang von Goethe, once said, “To have seen Italy without seeing Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all.” What von Goethe meant was the magic that is unique to this mysterious Italian island that lives where the Mediterranean, Ionian, Tyrrhenian Seas converge is something to behold.

Sicily’s landscape is as diverse as its people, gastronomy and culture and because of its warm climate, archaeological sites and beautiful scenery it became a fantasy come true for so many artists who came to Sicily for inspiration.

That inspiration runs so deep at the Belmond Grand Timeo that Truman Capote once checked in and didn’t leave for two years and it’s where DH Lawrence wrote the scandalous Lady Chaterjee’s Lover. The list goes on: William Faulkner, Audrey Hepburn. Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant have all had stays here.

With 71 rooms and suites and replete with a Michelin star restaurant, this hotel sits on a high, rugged cliff with views across the medieval section of Taormina, the water, and the omnipresent Mt. Etna volcano. The entire property is ensconced in gardens with the likes of fragrant jasmine, wildflowers and bougainvillea.

The vibe at this hotel is more of Sicilian manse rather than resort or hotel—although it is an all-encompassing stay with a spa (known for its lava and pumice treatments) swimming pool and fitness center—and as such, is an amalgamation of plush sitting areas, elegant marble hallways, while guest rooms combine subdued European old-world elegance with clean contemporary lines. Amongst it all are the undeniable Sicilian accents seen mainly in the use of the traditional colorfully-painted porcelain in the vases and tableware. There is also an emphasis on opening the indoors to the outdoors, seen in massive oversize windows and balcony doors that open widely to the outside.

For the ultimate magical experience, catch the sunset from the Literary Terrace and then you will understand what captured the minds and hearts of so many golden era luminaries.

La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca, Spain

In the heart of Mallorca within the village of Deiá and just a short meander away from the blue waters of the Mediterranean lives La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca. Because of its impressive ode to art as well as the two restored 16th and 17th century manors that make up this hotel, this is one of the world’s most well-known hotels in the world.

The property’s focus on art and artistry comes from the inspiration of Deiá itself which has long been known as an artists village. This theme has been executed with delicacy and passion at every touch point of La Residencia.

It starts with the interiors of the guest rooms which have been designed to be individualistic, charming and full of character so that no two rooms are exactly the same. The general aesthetic, though, is that of a sublime Spanish country feel executed through the terracotta floors, spiraled four-poster beds made of wood, and the use of rich creams in the wall coloring and textiles. These calm neutrals are then splashed with hits of color such a blush colored sofa or teal basins in the bathrooms. For an ode to all-out artistry, there is the Matthew Williamson Suite which features layers upon layers of color through the delicately patterned blue wallpaper, adjacent to silvery textured drapery, and furniture like nightstands and the bed done in varying shades of aqua.

Overall, there is art woven into every aspect of life at La Residencia. Each room is decorated with Mallorcan antiques and respectable pieces of local art while there is an art gallery on the property which is highly-acclaimed and hosts exhibitions and performances. The property is also home to one of Spain’s largest permanent sculpture gardens and 22 original Miró paintings that live on-premises at the cafe named after the artist.

This transporting experience takes place within the luxury for which the Belmond is known. Expect an award-winning spa with indoor pool, steam, sauna, jacuzzi and optional open-air treatment rooms, gourmet dining along with activities like tennis, hiking and boating. Of course, there are art lessons if guests should feel so inspired.

Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira, Portugal

A timeless and elegant way to enjoy a seaside holiday, Reid’s Palace is as every bit as palatial as its name suggests. Make an entrance through the grand lobby with its cavernous ceilings, old world mouldings, arched doorways, heaving chandelier, and intricately designed marble floors all which lead to striking views of Funchal Harbor below.

This property has entertained hotel guests for more than 125 years, and during this time it has been able to perfect its special blend of refined luxury, discreet service, and exemplary gastronomical offerings at the Michelin-starred William Restaurant. Set within 10 acres of well-planted gardens within which sit tennis courts and swimming pools, including its beloved tidal pool which sits just at the edge of the ocean.

Each of its 111 rooms are outfitted with a balcony or terrace to take in the panoramic views or lush gardens below. The rooms are stately, and as such, expect rich carpets, calming tones like creamy creams and gentle pastels. The furniture within is a mix of textured fabrics and wood pieces and oversize windows are draped in dramatic linens.

Experiences and exploration are musts while here. Guests can enjoy hikes to the summit of the São Lourenço Península, known as one of Madeira’s wildest wonders. Between the unique landscape to the unsurpassed views which ends with a walk back down to the beach, it is something that is wholly and uniquely Madeira. In addition, there are boat rides to the Desertas Islands and Botanical Workshops.

Our personal favorite is a jeep ride to watch the sunrise above the clouds from the top of the region’s third highest peak, after which a private butler awaits guests to serve breakfast at the top.

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, England

More than a hotel, this is a place for a French gastronomic experience in the heart of the English countryside. This property is a culinary destination before it is a hotel because it was created in collaboration with celebrated Chef Raymond Blanc OBE with the intention to host one of Britain's most extraordinary culinary experiences. The result is a two Michelin-starred restaurant nestled in the English countryside amidst an intimate 32-suite hotel.

Chef Blanc is known for using the freshest and finest ingredients in his dishes, many of which are pulled directly from the property’s 2-acre kitchen garden which produces over 90 varieties of vegetables and 70 varieties of herbs. The wine cellar excels as much as the cuisine and contains over 1,000 bottles, 60% of which are of French provenance.

Chef Blanc’s influence did not stop at the food, his input is felt strongly through each of the suites which have been designed based on his travels and executed by prestigious UK interior designers. For example, The Botticelli suite features free-standing Victorian tubs and hand painted ocean murals, while the Chinoiserie suite is laden with silks and gold leaf. The property itself boasts one of the most revered gardens in Oxfordshire.

If that isn’t enough, indulge in true gastronomical immersion at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Designed for students of all levels, and also to be fun, the school offers everything from half-day introductions to residential programmes. There are also dinner party master classes and children’s courses. Most of what is taught are recipes that are important to the chef, and also those that inspired him on his journey to where he is today.

Grand Hotel Europe, St Petersburg

Where the Belmond group of hotels excels is they seem to understand the soul and nostalgia with the places where they make their hotels, and then invoke them (along with a sense of romance) at every touch point. The result is that it makes a hotel stay an experience, rather than a simply a cosseting place to lay your head.

At the Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, it is a place to relive the gilded age of Russian history with every moment. This is a property that is made up of only the finest classical elements like marble, crystal chandeliers, gilded ceilings, and stained glass.

The hotel sits in the heart of the city between all the major landmarks, and (as the hotel itself states) has been a meeting point for Russian, and international, high society for over a century. As such, the hotel serves as a worthy backdrop for its patrons and guests through its impeccably created art nouveau interior design. Chairs and sofas are wrapped with thick velvet in bright jewel tones, floors are meticulously laid in marble or herringbone, duvets are of rich jacquard in shades like baby blue which complement the gold tones that make up much of the interior palettes.

For the full Russian experience take the high tea caviar service in the afternoon or the caviar and vodka workshop. Although for the ultimate Russian moment, ask the hotel to book the private box at the Mikhailovsky Theatre for an opera or ballet.

Khwai River Lodge, Botswana, Africa

When on safari with the Belmond, expect an authentic African experience that has been elevated to the greatest heights of luxury. The Belmond has three safari experiences in Botswana, and while choosing which to highlight is a bit like splitting hairs, although the location of the Khwai River Lodge just on the edge of a leadwood and fig tree forest is extra special.

This property overlooks the Khwai River floodplains and further into the Moremi Game Reserve. This reserve is a place that has been rated as one of the most prolific in Botswana for spotting wildlife and predators, and some of the animals that are seen on a regular basis include elephant, buffalo, lions, leopard, and cheetah.

Guest rooms at the Khwai River Lodge are the epitome of luxury glamping. Each one is tented and perched high on platforms, designed specifically for gamespotting from room decks or hammocks. The added bonus is that it’s an ethical way to enjoy the animals without interfering in their existences.
While indoors, rooms are designed with the nostalgia of explorations of the past. There are four poster beds filled with heavenly, overstuffed pillows and draped with mosquito nets. Bathrooms are well-appointed and some are even completely outdoors. Although, just because the hotel is in the African outback, hardly means there is a lack of creature comforts. Each guest room is air conditioned and outfitted with a minibar, while the restaurant is world class. There is also a spa for all the indulgences, including taking massages on your balcony if you so desire.

Napasai, Koh Samui, Thailand

A collection of private villas ranging from one-bedroom to four, the Belmond property in Koh Samui Thailand envelops guests into an exclusive world for the height of Thai experiences. Nestled between the land and the sea and amongst cashew and coconut groves, guests are able to equally indulge in lazy beach days as much as they are able to enjoy a hike in the jungle.

The property is designed to be authentically Thai, and so the interior design is created in rich, dark teak wood and bamboo, while traditional textiles and weavings are used throughout from wall hangings to accent pillows. At this property, though, the outdoors are meant to be enjoyed as much as the indoors. Set on 43 acres of lush tropical gardens which are meant to be explored, the outdoors also meet the indoors through each villa’s ocean-facing balcony. Of course, for the ultimate in private experiences, look to stay in one of the oceanfront villas which feature their own private pool which sits adjacent to the expansive sea below.

La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos

Once upon a time, the hill of Phou Vao was where Laotian princes would come to fly their kites. With this magic in mind, the Belmond created La Residence Phou Vao on this very hill to bring to life the sweetness that lives on this land. Designed to be an authentic Laotian experience within the context of a colonial aesthetic, no detail was spared to bring this vision to life.

While teak, silk and the purest cottons are the tactile pieces that make up this property, the true centerpiece of La Residence Phou Vao is serenity. Being in Laos is the first and foremost peaceful in and of itself. Laos is Southeast Asia’s best kept secret compared to its neighbors such as the Philippines and Thailand, and as such, it is more quiet, less visited, and more preserved.

The property melds into this environment and boasts amenities like an open-air spa which sits beside a water lily pool and three full acres bursting with flora and fauna. To keep this peaceful nature, the hotel is committed to an intimate environment, which is why there are only 34 suites at the La Residence Phou Vao.

All of this is nestled within a UNESCO world heritage site where life has remained fairly unchanged in the small village. Monks walk the street each and every morning to offer their respect at the many temples and the night market is alive each evening to haggle over local trinkets. All in all, this is an unspoiled Southeast Asian experience of a lifetime.

Jimbaran Puri, A Belmond Hotel, Bali, Indonesia

The Belmond chain of hotels is all about experience, and once again at the Jimbaran Puri, they have created a sanctuary that brings out the best of the best of the famed Indonesian island. Situated on a strip of powder white sand on one of Bali’s most exclusive bays, this hotel is bordered by a lush jungle on one side and sparklian Indian Ocean on the other.

A collection of 38 cottage suites, 4 pool villas and 22 deluxe pool villas, each guest room features a private garden, terrace, and outdoor shower and has been designed with authenticity in mind. Ceilings are high, beamed and peaked, furniture is teak, floors are marble, and bathtubs are sunken and terrazzo. Each suite is a true oasis and even the smallest cottages feel like plush mini-villas. Classical balinese art and sculpture decorate the rooms while many of the beds feature the romance of a canopy bed.

It’s easy to get to this property from major hubs like Jakarta or Singapore, which are 2-4 hours away by air respectively. Or just a short one-hour drive from Ubud. There is yoga and tai chi, and of course world-class spa and dining, but this property does go out of its way to be family friendly. There is a dedicated pool for children, child-centric activities, as well as an accommodating chef willing to prepare anything to a child’s taste.

Road To Mandalay, A Belmond Boat, Myanmar

The Belmond excels at thinking out of the box in the hospitality industry and as such they are one of the few hotel chains that have taken their brand off the ground and into the water.

In lavish Belmond style, the Road to Mandalay is a luxurious yacht experience on a grand cruiser that navigates the tranquil waters of Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River. When it launched 20 years ago, it was the first luxury cruiser in Myanmar and has established itself as a pioneer and leader on the Myanmar waters ever since.

An intimate setting limited to only 82 guests across its 4 decks, The Belmond have brought all the creature comforts on board so guests are relaxed and pampered. From a generous pool deck to a spa to gourmet cuisine, while the rooms themselves are modern and elegant and full of handcrafted details authentic to Myanmar. Expect a handmade touch to many elements in guest rooms from the woven coverlets to the natural soaps.

The most special aspect of this journey is taking in the unspoiled beauty that is unique to this country, and The Belmond goes out of its way to make a trip on this cruiser as memorable as possible. They offer stays that range from 2-11 nights and are committed to helping guests create a custom itinerary to meet their specific desires which could include a continuation to places like Koh Samiu, Bali, or Yangon.

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara, California

Some say that certain parts of the California coast can be called the American Riviera, and of course it would make sense that the El Encanto in Santa Barbara sits right in the middle of it.

This property imbues every part of a West Coast Riviera fantasy more than any other place since it opened in 1918. Since then it has been considered as the seat of Santa Barbara society.

Situated high in the Santa Barbara hills and spread over 7 acres of lush and secluded gardens. It’s an amalgamation of low-key glamour, old world Hollywood, and a proper relaxed California vibe.

The rooms at El Encanto have been designed to bring inside the intangible things for which California is known such as its warmth, textures and hues as well as the outdoor elements for which the Golden State is so beloved. Wood is a very prominent element in the interior design of the rooms, from the floors to the furniture to the vanity details in the bathroom. However, the use of this material is done in the California way so that while it feels old-world elegant, it never feels antique. To bring softness and texture to guest rooms there are elegant rugs, creamy linens, and even some beds with textiles headboards.

It’s a place to indulge in wine and views, although in the true spirit of California, health and wellness are built into the experience for a taste of authentic West Coast lifestyle. For example, the fitness studio is more than a gym, it holds classes. The pool is not just a pool, it’s saline to be mindful of human skin. Of course, electric bikes are available for guests to take in the coastline.

Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel, San Miguel de Allende, México

The Baroque/Neoclassical city of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, which means that any hotel that exists within its parameters should embody the spirit and beauty of the city. It goes without saying that the Casa de Sierra Nevada is an impeccable representation of the best this city has to offer.

This 37 -room jewel-box has been restored lovingly from its many former lives, which include a former convent, fort, and residence of the Archbishop of the town. To appropriately reflect the city within which it lives, this property is made up of architectural elements such as courtyards, archways, cloisters and passageways.

This hotel is special in that so many of its elements have been crafted by hand from headboards in the bedrooms, to tapestries and the artwork that hangs on walls, all of which live within a space where dark, earthy hues are the backdrop for the interior design. The vibe is of rich mahoganies, deep ambers, which are then softened with the use of shades of blue and creams. And while this hotel may be in Mexico it radiates a Euro-country vibe with its fort-like facade and stone fountain at one of the pools.

Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla

Sometimes all that one needs is the picture perfect and super relaxing Caribbean holiday. For when that desire comes up on the docket, escape to the Cap Juluca in Anguilla. This island is known the world over for its majestic white beaches, which are so pristine the sands are called platinum, and Cap Juluca is situated on one of the most exclusive and enchanting stretches of beach on the island.

As the ocean is the centerpiece, each room is generous with its access to its view and every room in the hotel is oceanfront. The architecture of the hotel is heavily influenced by the architecture of Mykonos and is evident in the stark white design of the buildings built with open air archways and domed roofs. The result is a stunning contrast between the aquamarine waters and the bright white of the buildings which, together, communicate a lucid coolness.

This coolness is also translated into the rooms, which take an elevated perspective on island life. Awash in a palette of the lightest of beige and white, everything from the floors to the beds to the sofa and chairs are in these cooling tones. To tie it altogether with the outdoors, there are subtle hints of blue seen in elements like the pipe trim on a sofa, a decorative pillow, or a throw. The finishing touch on each room is being framed in by the patio which is constructed of romantic archways and Greco Moorish columns.

Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco, Peru

Classic. Monastic. Artistic. This property is like walking into real-life renaissance, but if it were to have taken place in South America.

Monasterio is a 16th century building that has been painstakingly restored from its original use as a monastery with the goal of the renovations to keep as much intact as possible. As such, this hotel has features rarely, if ever, seen in hotels, such as a chapel gilded with fine works of art from the floor to the very top of its cathedral ceilings.

Where Monasterio succeeds in its mission to retain the authenticity of the building is that it effortlessly melds together the glitter of gilding seen in places like its chapel or the massive works of art finished with opulent frames with the deep calm of a monastery. There is a strong presence of the darkest of wood pieces which can be seen in intricately carved dining chairs or stairway railings, as well as the beams that are across the ceilings in many of the public areas. This is set against the backdrop of vaulted stone ceilings, archways and fireplaces, amidst which a palette of mustards, burgundies, and ambers continue this feeling of richness.

The guest rooms used to house Jesuit seminarians, so each one of the property’s 122 rooms are different and vary in size in format to keep true to its original state. The rooms, along with meeting rooms and restaurants are all situated around a massive central courtyard where a 300 year old tree lives in the middle of it all.

This property is an enclave and has an almost fort-like presence within the bustling town of Cusco, where there is much to see and do. A visit to Koricancha, the holiest site in Incan mythology, is a must as is a visit to the Plaza de Armas which is an historical site of the city’s most famous basilica and church and also has an array of restaurants to visit. Although the most exciting thing to do in Cusco is visit Machu Picchu, which is the reason why tourists flock to this town, because it is in such close proximity to this wonder of the world that it’s considered a gateway to the famous site.

Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu

The Belmond’s Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu brings together the excitement of exploration with the comfort and experiences for which the Belmond is known. It holds the title of being the only hotel at the entrance to the ancient site of Machu Picchu, and as such, guests at the Sanctuary Lodge enjoy the most exclusive position and access to the landmark.

Like its name, this hotel is meant to be a spiritual sanctuary. After spending the day exploring the lost city, guests come back to the lodge to experience activities such as yoga or a traditional shaman ceremony while indulging in fine dining, all created with the idea to enjoy the unparalleled tranquility of the area.

Although it would hardly be the Belmond if there weren’t an experience available to guests that sets it above and beyond any other experience. In the case of the Sanctuary Lodge, that is the luxurious Hiram Bingham train. As the team at the Belmond is keenly aware a trip to Machu Picchu is once in a lifetime trip, they’ve created this round-trip to journey to Aguas Calientes so guests can indulge in the height of elevated transportation into the Machu Picchu to make the trip one to never forget.