One of the many trains a day that head to and from Machu Picchu had just arrived disgorging two hundred tourists onto the Ollantaytambo train platform as I made my way to the El Albergue Hotel Ollantaytambo. There was chaos everywhere, with policemen shouting and directing traffic and children crying so stepping into the reception area of this hotel which was the original station house built in 1925 was like stepping into an oasis of calm.
Dark wooden furniture, polished wood floors and old photographs of trains help preserve the spirit of the train station but modern touches including the owner’s vividly coloured paintings hung around the hotel and decorative flashes of colour like the red cushions in the lounge make this hotel the ideal resting place after a long day in the Sacred Valley.
There are only 16 rooms in this hotel which allows for very personalized service and a warm, intimate atmosphere. All rooms have a patio or deck space for lounging and the rooms themselves are surprisingly spacious with high exposed beam ceilings. The decoration is simple, clean and cozy with great quality beds and fabulously soft sheets.
As the evening draws in, sit on the deck sipping a cool drink, listening to the birds and gazing at the mountains towering above. For a bite to eat head to the Albergue Restaurant (one of our favourite places to eat in Ollantaytambo) right next to reception. They have also recently opened a fabulous restaurant on the Main Square in Ollantaytambo called Chuncho.
Owner Wendy Weeks and her son Joaquin who now manages the hotel are dedicated to making the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. You can refill your water bottle with filtered water in the reception, the shampoo and soap in the bathrooms is dispensed in large bottles to reduce packaging waste and Joaquin has started a large organic veggie garden in the fields next to the house to supply the café and restaurant with fresh veggies.
Simply put, El Albergue is one of our favourite hotels in the Sacred Valley. It’s more mid-range than luxury with prices starting from US$109 and there is a wonderful charm to this simple but cozy hotel lovingly created by English-born Wendy and now managed by her charming son Joaquin.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- We think it´s definitely worth paying the extra for one of the superior second floor rooms that have balconies. Rooms 12, 15 and 16 have the best views of the surrounding mountains and the gardens.
- If you have time, don’t miss their Pachamanca lunch which is cooked in the traditional stone oven before your very eyes!