One of the most beautiful places in Peru is the Sacred Valley, located in Cusco. It has it all: history and beautiful landscapes, gentle people and magical elements, and a good place to stay, the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel.
Breathe, disconnect, relax! In other words, feel free! This is possible in one of the most magnificent sceneries of Peru, the Sacred Valley, located in Cusco, where the Incas established their sanctuary. And that is precisely what the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel offers you, but enhanced.
The hotel is built on what used to be a beautiful old colonial estate called Yaravilca, next to which the imposing Vilcanota River flows. These two characteristics would be enough to make the hotel a magical place, but fortunately, these natural and architectural qualities have been enhanced. Get to know more about the other benefits of the Aranwa hotel in the following lines.
LANDSCAPE, ARCHITECTURE, FACILITIES
Every time we visit Cusco we head straight to the Sacred Valley. And not because the city doesn’t seduce or excite us, on the contrary, we do it for acclimatization reasons. Facing more than 3 thousand meters above sea level in Cusco can be shocking for some people, even more if they come from places located at sea level.
The Sacred Valley is just over 2500 meters above sea level and, therefore, it is the best place to start the journey through the ancient territories of Manco Capac, Pachacutec and their descendants.
The Aranwa Hotel, due to its proximity to the river, especially between May and November when there is no rain, is a cool and warm place, plenty of bright sunshine in the mornings, cool in the afternoon and a little cold at night, but not extreme.
As we said, the hotel combines the beauty of the natural landscape with its architecture, most of it contemporary. The old estate house Yaravilca remains intact, and it has some rooms decorated as in colonial times, but with modern-day conveniences: air-conditioned, with Internet and, above all, with paintings referring to the Escuela Cusqueña.
There are also modern buildings, where are located, for example, two restaurants, a bar, an art gallery, an orchid garden, souvenir stores, an impressive spa and, of course, presidential suites, luxury suites, some overlooking the river, others with a view of the lake, the colonial courtyard and more, all decorated with Andean details. Remember, here we worship earth.
And, as if this were not enough, the hotel has an Andean chapel, an exact copy of a church in La Libertad, with a striking bell tower from where you can see the imposing Sacred Valley, and where weddings are celebrated with Andean and popular religious touches.
In addition, the entire hotel is surrounded by immense and well-kept gardens where alpacas, llamas and even noble peacocks walk fearlessly, adding more beauty to the landscape. And of course, for the little ones there is also a mini zoo with local animals and others from the coast and the jungle.
The hotel has more than five hectares of land, which allows, for example, an orchard where some of the products served in their restaurants are grown. Furthermore, its extension allows guests to take long walks through their facilities, even on bicycles provided by the Aranwa hotel itself.
And since we are talking about the hotel’s various advantages, we cannot fail to mention, besides its movie theater where popcorn is free for the little ones, its art gallery, a place where several of the emblematic photographs of the famous Martín Chambi are exhibited, including one of his mythical cameras. There are also photographs of his talented descendants, such as Julia Chambi, and other photographers from Cusco.
KITCHEN AND BAR
Aranwa’s cuisine worships Andean ingredients in both restaurants, Pukawi and Rikhuna. For this reason, their dishes include corn and potatoes, trout and quinoa, alpaca and guinea pig, goldenberry and incredible Andean herbs such as muña, chincho, black mint and more.
Chefs such as Miguel Hernández, Carlos Mayta and Gonzalo Ruiz de Somocurcio, who, with a cosmopolitan outlook, have incorporated the best products from the orchard with ingredients from other parts of the world, have passed through the kitchen of the Aranwa Hotel. Here it is possible to eat a Cusco-style baked guinea pig, but also trout makis, juicy skirt steaks, native potatoes of infinite colors and shapes, and even burgers with Andean and European cheeses.
On the other hand, in the Kusibar, a pioneer named Hans Hilburg, served his best cocktails: zamboni, maricucha and mosquito. Obviously, Pisco and Andean fruits and herbs such as prickly pear, goldenberry, banana passionfruit and muña, without omitting distillates such as gin, vodka, rum and whiskey and, of course, the new Andean distillates such as Caña Alta, which is produced nearby in Ollantaytambo, are also very popular. As you can see, you will not suffer from hunger and thirst at the Aranwa hotel.
UNNO, THE NUMBER ONE SPA
However, any visit to the Aranwa Sacred Valley hotel will be incomplete without visiting UNNO, the on-site spa. The pampering options it offers are innumerable, but we recommend that you don’t leave the Sacred Valley without at least enjoying a massage.
All of these massages are special, and many of them have the typical Andean products, not only in terms of their essential oils, made with the aromas of the herbs and flowers they use, almost all from the hotel’s orchard, but also in their rituals, all in search of inner peace and, of course, of a revitalized body.
There are also those following the oriental tradition, those techniques developed in Thailand, Philippines, Japan and other places where the delicacy of beauty is imposed.
And how can we forget the water circuit, ideal “for intensive healing and wellness of body, mind and soul”, which includes sauna, Turkish bath with medicinal herbs, Jacuzzi with different temperatures, hydromassage, showers with aromatic essences and much more.
In fact, Pisac, Urubamba, Moray, Maras, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo and so many other wonders are all destinations in the Sacred Valley, but, as you will have learned reading these lines, the Aranwa hotel can be a destination in itself. Do not miss it!
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel
Address: Antigua Hacienda Yaravilca, Huayllabamba, Urubamba, Cusco, Peru.
Telephone: (084) 581900.
All photos by: Zaid Arauco.