Monday, March 20, 2017

MORE THAN BIG FIVE – 6 CAMPS WITH QUIRKS & STYLE


We have just returned from a trip through six private game reserves in South Africa. All are luxurious camps and rich in game, but each has its own special charm and appeal for different kinds of people... 


Stalking past our Landrover in Sabi Sand Game Reserve

See near the end of this blog. Why you must book very early in South Africa, and other tips...


 6 PRIVATE GAME RESERVES

These private reserves all open to that vast reservoir of game, the Kruger National Park. They offer exhilarating offroad driving when conditions are right and passionate, knowledgeable rangers. In the picturesque camps enjoy five star facilities, delicious and plentiful food (included along with wine), friendly service and much more. Some take no children under 16 while others accept little humans of all ages...

LONDOLOZI TREE CAMP - HONEYMOONERS

To die for or get married for. Perfect for honeymooners, the camp radiates breathtaking designer chic and a fresh living feel of Africa. Spacious suites with plunge pools sparkling like jewels are wrapped in bush and birdsong. Known for leopard sightings, food (Relais & Chateaux) and elevated views from lounging and dining decks perched in the trees. Open camp with wild animal visitors so staff wait in the evenings to escort you to your suite.


Heading into the sunset on an afternoon into evening drive with ranger and tracker

Dining platform cradled in trees with views out over the bush and distant Sand River

Suite 3 with safari chic decor mixing rich brown with pale creams for a more contemporary and fresh feel

A common lounge area at Tree Camp full of African artifacts artfully presented with attractive scatter cushions on plentiful sofas
Early morning view out to the plunge pool from the bathtub in suite 3 - the bowl standing here is full of salt crystals. Some suites offer views of the Sand River
Heavenly to lie in a bubbling sparkling pool on the deck surrounded by bush. Gaze out from the lounge, indoor shower and bath through wide windows. Or step out to the open air shower for more bush watching and then lie in the shaded gazebo to watch nyala in the undergrowth. Come night repair to a pristine bed wider than it is long, in a romantic tent of netting, with the suitcases neatly out of sight in the dressing room.

See also Select Collection.


  • FACTS: Londolozi Tree Camp is an adult camp: no kids under 16 unless taken for sole use. Only 6 suites 71 sqm, boma for atmospheric firelit dinners with enthusiastic staff singing and dancing, sequestered freeform pool for shared use, chic elevated dining and lounging cradled in the trees. Use of main camp Varty facilities – spa, advanced gym etc. For children book camp for sole use, or go for one the other Londolozi camps like Pioneer.
  • REMARKS: More about the other Londolozi camps below. 


ANDBEYOND NGALA SAFARI LODGE - TRENDY COUPLES & FAMILIES


Newly renovated, fresh and stylish with 22 suites spaced out in beautiful wild bush joined by graceful curving walkways. Loungers spill out from the contemporary safari-chic lounge onto a terrace facing a waterhole enjoyed by wild life. Afternoon tea is a real event here. Later, lantern lit dining brings a magical mood. Treats are in store for honeymooners and this camp is also great for children with 2 kids pools and kids 6+ on safari. Open camp, so you are escorted to your room after dark.

A very full tummy makes this cheetah a little nonchalant of our close presence as he relaxes on the floor of the seasonal (dry) Timbavati river
White rhino peacefully grazing. Man is their big predator and some 3 rhinos are killed every day in Africa mostly by insiders who are tempted by big money originating mostly in China. Absurd, unverified stories about manly prowess and cures for disease are the engine of this greedy trade.


Suite 6. AndBeyond's newest renovation has created a really chic style  with bespoke furniture and lamps, well placed pictures, garden bathrooms and a veranda for game watching
The atmospheric lounge spills out onto comfy sofas on terraces overlooking a waterhole, where we saw a warthog mum with her young and their cute erect tails

Safari style lounge with soaring thatch and art to fit the theme of nature and conservation...
Mama Connie is the warmhearted host. Enjoy excellent game watching in Timbavati Game Reserve - and the AndBeyond WILDChild programme for youngsters. The Timbavati is a seasonal river and is very often dry -  but is like a sandy highway for game. Afternoon tea is a succulent event where you meet both cake and your ranger to discuss the afternoon and evening drive. The morning drive is heralded before sunrise with a knock and some sustenance in the room.

  • FACTS: 22 stylish rooms with indoor and outdoor showers and bath with a view;  Three family cottages each have 2 interleading rooms, there is 1 triple, and 1 family suite which enjoys its own safari vehicle, 2 bedrooms en suite, master bathroom with view, dining room & private pool. The lodge has beautifully decorated shared lounge, extensive outdoor lounging area by the waterhole. Spa with view, attractive pool with drinking trough for elephants (to reduce elephant dirt) and 2 kid’s pools adjoining, another nice lounging area by the pool. 
  • REMARK: Wake up call is not much later in winter at this lodge.
We saw a couple of honeymooners bathing and lounging comfortably beside the sparkling pool. There are two kid's pools, and  a trough for elephants. Meanwhile  warthogs grazed and toddled off to drink in the waterhole by the Ngala Safari Lodge lounge.

ANDBEYOND NGALA TENTED CAMP - NATURE LOVERS

Intimate and friendly bush hideaway. Only 9 tents, in earthy colours, but smartly equipped like a hotel room.  Dining and lounging areas in dark wood are raised in the bush facing the sandy Timbavati riverbed.  It’s all about the bush and expert guiding – and pool recreation under the trees “peopled” with monkeys and the occasional elephant treating the pool as a roadside bar. Of course guards escort you to your tent after dark.

Summer is greener, hotter and rainier. Winter is said to have better game viewing because it is dry and animals congregate at water holes. But one big advantage of  February for us (and for the elephants) is that it is marula season. We saw elephants shaking marula trees to cause fruit to fall so they can feast. Humans enjoy marula fruits in Marula liquor.

Can this really be called a tent? Inside it has all the luxury amenities you usually find in a five star hotel - though I would have welcomed the Colonial tradition of a kettle to make tea in the room. They explained I could order tea to be delivered to the room.

This baby monkey stuck his head in the sugar bowl when I vacated my place after a totally foamy and delicious cappuccino. Afterwards his mother licked his head to clean off the sugar

A rustic casual style lounge with dark wooden floors and a veranda overlooking the Timbavati river
While we were there a leopard roamed around the camp during the night. We also heard about an exciting leopard sighting from a spa therapist who saw it right by the window of the spa.

  • FACTS: 9 tents with 5 star facilities (*no coffee & tea making but a horn to blow in case of alarm). Communal pool, spa tent with riverbed view. No kids under 12. Magical pamperings for honeymooners  - when we were there a lantern lit riverside table was set up for a man who planned to propose.
  • REMARK: A 16 year old girl staying in own tent near parents seemed to be a little afraid of her aloneness. Her family moved there from the fab 2-bedroom suite at Ngala Safari Lodge and were nostalgic about it. 




For more about Ngala Tented Camp see also Select Collection.

ANDBEYOND KIRKMANS KAMP - SOCIABLE COUPLES & FAMILIES, PIONEER HISTORY


Like being a guest in a beautiful pioneer homestead with a party every night, and carafes of brandy to help yourself. Original family items include a lion-shooting gun of Harry Kirkman’s on display. The camp is sociable and child-friendly – with views down to the Sand River from traditional cottages. Great game viewing with AndBeyond rangers and Jan-Mar visits by elephants to eat marula fruit while you lunch/breakfast on the veranda. Good value luxury camp. 

Lion with her kill by the roadside watched over by a tree full of vultures - and a couple of Landcruisers from Kirkman's.

Kirkman's lounge in the original 1920s homestead with old items  mixed pleasantly with new.


Harry Kirkman's rifle that shot a lion that attacked him almost a centuy ago.

Nostalgia is the word with this array of old photos above the comfortable five star bed in the iron roofed traditional cottage. The bedroom opens onto a veranda with 2 comfy armchairs and a view of the Sand River. (Cottages 10-14 have good views)

A pitstop in the evening with AndBeyond ranger Ricus under a spreading Ficus Sycamore

Kirkman's lounge ready for a sociable evening as guests drift through from the bar and their stories of the day's encounters
The veranda of your traditional cottage is a lovely place to lounge and we saw the Sand River increase its flow after a day of rain when no guests could arrive or leave over the causeway. Rain poured down on our safari vehicle with us tucked elatedly (fresh and almost dry) inside green plastic hoods - but the rain didn't stop an elephant visiting us in the camp. Another highlight was a visit to a hyena den nearby where the little fluffy ones did everything cute to fix up the bad PR hyenas suffer.

This elephant came in through the rain to lunch on marula fruits as we ate on the veranda at Kirkman's  - here he tries a few other leaves for good measure
One of many inquisitive giraffe we saw at Kirkman’s and elsewhere
– the darling of the bushveld. Giraffe always stare and are the most popular animals –
when asked “what do you want to see on your first safari?” most answer “giraffe”.



See the Select Collection website.
  • FACTS: 18 rooms in cottages with traditional iron roofs and verandas with armchairs, best views from numbers 10 to 14.  Spa, infinity pool, gracious lounges and bar, dining room, veranda and deck dining. Open camp. Guards see you to the room at night along an unpaved (sometimes muddy) path. Kids 6-12 can join game drives at manager’s discretion (i.e. if they can behave in civilized fashion and/or you rent a vehicle for sole use) . Babysitters can take care of the little ones while you are on a game drive. 
  • REMARKS: Very charming. No dressing room, no outdoor shower and no kettle/tea and coffee making – but we persuaded our butler Simon to bring us the wherewithal.
  • HISTORY: Kirkman, like all the old pioneers, tried to farm and found himself in war against the lions and disease. He sold to the famous Rattray family (who started Mala Mala) and the farm’s era of conservation started in the next generation. Later Kirkman’s was bought by Stephen Saad – who recently bought Mala Mala too so they are back in the same “camp”.

ROYAL MALEWANE - LOVERS OF INTIMACY, INDULGENCE & OPULENCE


Upper crust and celeb clientele enjoy this exclusive lodge with opulent décor, attentive staff, and good food. Ideal if one of the party prefers to skip safaris for an appealing spa, gym and 25m lap pool, or hide away in an artful thatched cottage with plunge pool and gazebo.  Despite the exclusivity the lodge is warm and relaxing – and you could dress down or up. Good leopard, lion and elephant viewing.

Sleepy leopard hunted down with a bumpy ride through the undergrowth
A herd of African buffalo cooling down happily. Last year there was a drought and the buffalo were so weak that the lions just killed for sport, leaving lots for the other predators to eat

Romantic four poster in Luxury Suite (opening room type and definitely capital L for luxury) - with a two person sofa placed by the glass doors for the view onto the wide deck with its pool, gazebo and sun loungers. The contemporary bath tub is another spot to lounge with a view - and of course so is the gazebo. When you stay here you definitely want to stay longer...


Vast deck and private pool of a 2-bedroom "Royal" suite - you get your own safari vehicle and ranger too

Vast artfully, joyfully and eclectically decorated lounge as well as a dining area in one of the 2-bedroom suites 

Africa House villa-style exclusive accommodation in the bush with loads of features

Own pool with a view of the bush and passing wild life, and peaceful ambience for your private party of 12


Our ranger Nicola was great on animal behaviour and knew many of the territorial predators intimately (lions and leopards), knowing which were friends with who and who were good mothers or not. We were beautifully surprised after a game drive to arrive at the firelit scene of a magnificent bush dinner laid out elegantly in a large tent. 


Performing at the atmospheric bush dinner with colour and enthusiasm, rhythm and shaking hips
  • FACTS: 6  luxury pool suites reached by raised boardwalks through the trees, 2 two-bedroom pool suites with massive arty lounges and sole-use safari vehicle, Africa House with vast art studded lounges, 6 quirky artful bedrooms with extravagant bathrooms, nice pool with view into the bush, and sole use vehicle. Attractive spa with 3 treatment rooms (1 for couples), appealing cabanas, gym, 25m lap pool. No children under 10 in the luxury suites - no restrictions for 2-bedroom suites & Africa House.
  • REMARK:  Royal Malewane lies in Thornybush Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park area. Cheetahs and elephants are not territorial and come and go from the vast Kruger Park so they are not as well known as individuals. 


For more about Royal Malewane see Select Collection HERE.


RATTRAY'S AT MALA MALA - PRIVATE SOULS & SAFARI ENTHUSIASTS


Classy colonial elegance, suiting very private individuals in vast suites (size of houses) with two complete his and her bathrooms with own dressing rooms. Private plunge pools, facing the Sand River. Fabulous game viewing, arguably the best in South Africa, with educated ranger hosts who also dine with you and keep your wine glass full. Fenced camp so no need to be walked to your room at night. No children under 16.

Leopard shows his woody camouflage as he surveys his kingdom - threatened of course as ever by lions

Hippo chances to thunder out of the water and cross the sands of the Sand River


Adorable juvenile elephant caressing his mama

iPhone snap of a close passing leopard


Nikon view of same leopard


Clean symmetrical elegance with one whole side of the large villa devoted to His bathroom and the other to Her bathroom, with central sofa for watching the Sand River for passing elephant herds. Elegant entrance hall. Sometimes you hear banging on the roof - it is monkeys rather than "cat on a hot tin roof". The other sound on the tin roof can be rain drumming...
  • FACTS: 8 spacious river view suites. Simple spa, pool, gym, access to Mala Mala main camp facilities (though Mala Mala main camp guests not allowed here). No bush dinners – but bush breakfasts round a fire in winter. Civilized feature: can skip early rising for game drives in winter and head out at 10am if you choose.
  • REMARK: Some staff seemed to be new. The ranger filled in the gaps smoothly.

 

MALA MALA MAIN CAMP & SABLE CAMP - RESORT LIVING & SAFARI NOSTALGIA, FAMILIES

Very loved camp that became a benchmark for the luxury South African photo safari. The main lounge and bar are full of atmosphere, festooned with memories of a hunting past.  It is an open camp with animal visitors. Sociable, more resort style living than the exclusive Rattrays and child friendly. Now that Stephen Saad owner of Kirkman's has bought Mala Mala a facelift will start in 2018, Sable Camp first to uplift. Mala Mala is famous for its excellent game spotting.

Lion hunting passes close by our Landrover


A suite with an extra bedroom ä typical tall thatched roofs in traditional African ronadvel style 

Safari style bars and lounges full of tradition and hunting memories

Like most camps in Sabi Sands the farms started with cattle farming which failed because of lions and disease, and became hunting concessions. When the son took over Rattrays, he changed to conservation and photo safaris – which are taken to an advanced level with cameras for hire and technical advice.

  • FACTS: Main Camp: Kids of all ages accepted. No kids under 4 in the boma dinners or on game drives unless parents book own vehicle. Babysitting. 19 rooms 40-85 sqm with decks 15-20 sqm, his & hers bathrooms. Pool, gym with a few machines, massages.
  • Sable Camp: No kids under 12. 5 suites 85 sqm with his and hers bathrooms, and 2 bedroom Lion’s Den suite with central lounge. Decks 15-20 sqm. Use of main camp facilities.
  • REMARK: The camp is beautiful with trees, greenery and views of the Sand River, but there are signs of noble age with thinning thatch here and there. In the renovations set for 2018 the his and hers bathrooms will become bigger modern bathrooms

OTHER LONDOLOZI CAMPS - FROM FAMILY SAFARIS TO ULTIMATE INDULGENCE


Varty Camp - an arty and creative clutter of Africa inspired items

View of the Sand River 
Breathtaking private pool for each of the Granite suites nestled into the granite rocks beside the Sand River

Lounging area at the main camp Varty - in contemporary mood the animal heads are models, not the real dead thing

Picture windows at Pioneer Camp - one of 3 extensive suites. The camp is popular for sole use.

  • The camps stretch out in a line alongside the Sand River among beautiful trees in this order Tree Camp, Varty, Granite, Founders, Pioneer and you can wander along a shady path between them for a  good stroll passing the odd nyala, monkey or tortoise. All camps have private plunge pools.
  • Most exclusive are Granite Private Suites (adults only)  – with vast accommodations, stunning pools nested in the riverside granite and outdoor bathtubs viewing the river (Relais & Chateaux/R&C). No visitors from other camps may visit Granite.
  • Pioneer Camp (3 suites at 138 sqm) is marked by nostalgic photographs, memorabilia and chic feel, also noted for food - R&C. Children accepted – two of the suites connect by glass walkway.  Camp popular for sole use.
  • Main camp Varty has a chic dining and bar area as well as gym, spa, kids club, meandering pool, and sophisticated photography studio visited by all the camps. Founders has a peaceful tuned-in elevated yoga platform with reclining Buddha, arching trees – yoga included for all camps with or without animal visitors. Varty and Founders, each with 10 suites, are not R&C and welcome children over 6. 

TIPS

Important tip – book as early as possible as South Africa has become incredibly popular…

A second tip – book even earlier if you want a sole use safari vehicle so its easier for the children (usually 6 and over) to go on safari with you - and so you can pursue your own interests in say bird photography and not find yourself on a "Ferrari Safari" to see the Big Five in one ride (or some other passion). It also allows you to start later in the morning if you choose and also to avoid the need for "pit stops" with strangers (though they can be a lot of fun).

For a 3G family consider the bliss of taking a big bush villa, 2-bedroom suite or an entire exclusive camp so  three generations can share the pleasure of meeting animals in the wild. Many of these more luxurious family accommodations automatically include a vehicle with ranger for sole use. The kids will remember the rangers as their heroes forever.

Another tip - book a longer stay so you can have quality time to enjoy your accommodation, swim, and enjoy the spa. Try to stay at least 4 nights - and consider having your own pool in summer for magical cooling hours on your deck.

Also a good idea, book a lodge with an advanced gym and lap pool (as at Royal Malewane) to ensure some exercise. With safari holidays come hours sitting and meals and more meals. Five meals a day are usual including two breakfasts, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, apart from snacks and drinks while out in the bush.  Your rate usually includes all these meals along with local drinks - and at some premium drinks (barring French champagne).

Final tip: other excellent Lodges in South Africa include AndBeyond Phinda, known for its ecological diversity. Vlei Lodge at Phinda has only 6 chic suites, with private pools and views over a wide grassland clearing in the bush, teeming with game much of the day. In addition to the Big Five Phinda offers magical cheetah spotting...

Select Collection has many more suggestions on where to enjoy luxury safaris in BotswanaTanzania.and elsewhere.
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Phinda is brilliant for cheetah spotting. You can get great pictures as cheetah hunt in the daytime


The daily routine

The usual is to eat a light breakfast at 0530 hrs (maybe an hour later in winter attired in hats and gloves) and then head off before the sunrise to catch night predators and other animals before heat of day invites them to hide away in the shade. Return to a large breakfast, and not too long afterwards lunch. Then afternoon tea reinforces you for the drive into the sunset and a stop for sundowners. Finally drive home to the camp in the dark where you may choose to shower and dress up or dine unashamedly in your safari gear looking as if you deserve this nonchalant, exhilarating decadence. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THE BEST OF PERU - IN STYLE

With good reason Pernilla Aguillar is our Peru specialist. She has lived in this South American country and has visited many times. Her latest trip takes in highlights of the scenery and culture, and the best accommodations available… 

Her trip starts in the capital Lima…

Lima

With some 9 million people, Lima is full of chaos, traffic jams, street dogs and people everywhere. But it is also a place to discover history, culture and some of the world’s best restaurants. Eat, eat and eat ..

City center has beautiful colonial style architecture and a wonderful cathedral. However, the best hotels and safest areas to stay are on the coastline. Miraflores is the most popular area for tourists with its many restaurants and high end hotels. Barranco is the upcoming trendy area with nice restaurants, arts and hip ‘vibe’.


Belmond Miraflores Park

Overlooks the beautiful coastline. It’s worth upgrading to a suite with Ocean View! But all suites are bright and modern, with own decoration and finest of cotton linens and amenities. They also have an Exclusive lounge area for those staying in club rooms, offering breakfast, afternoon tea, snacks, tapas, daily newspaper and private concierge service. You can also use the showers if you have a late flight.


One-bedroom suite at Miraflores

But the place to gravitate to is the the rooftop with a year round heated pool and magnificent view to the Pacific Ocean. Here is also the small gym and SPA.



Belmond Miraflores rooftop
 Extra: Complimentary bicycles to explore the area of Miraflores. There is a very nice path just outside the hotel. Safe and nice. 

Lobby at Miraflores

Hotel B

Located in the trendy art district Barranco. This unique hotel offers superb rooms -  not one like another. As I walked around it reminded me of Greenwich hotel in New York (owned by Robert de Niro). . Hotel B has that kind of trendy, arty, personal touch. It was an old private house now turned in to this wonderful boutique hotel.

Hotel B

The Don't Disturb sign on a room door


They have a popular restaurant and a great rooftop with chilled out atmosphere. No pool but sun loungers and bar. The house drink is not the Peruvian Pisco but Gin. They offer complimentary afternoon tea and vintage style bicycles to their guests.

A hotel for those wanting a unique hotel.

Cusco

Surrounded by the Andes at 3400m above sea-level lies the beautiful and charming town Cusco.  Cusco – meaning “middle of the world” was the Incas capital before the conquistadors moved it to Lima.

In recent years I find that Cusco has changed to the better. A lot more high-end restaurants and 5 star hotels have opened. This without losing the magic of its own rich culture from the Andean people. As you walk the streets of Cusco you will pass original Inca walls and antique shops selling unique handicraft.

I visited three top hotels Monasterio, Nazarenas and Inkaterra, all located on the same little square, not far from Plaza de Armas.

Belmond Hotel Monasterio 

As the name suggests the hotel is located in an old Monastery. It even has a chapel with original paintings that can be used for special occasions or for group check in. Like many old buildings in Cusco it has a lovely courtyard where guests can have their breakfast, coffee or just relax.

Hotel Monasterio


Some of the rooms have extra oxygen (extra charge) so that you get the same oxygen supply as you would down at about 1000 m. 

The rooms are nicely mixed with rich wood furnishings and antique artwork with a touch of the Andean styles. There are two restaurants, a spa,  hairdresser, and Cusco’s only Nikon shop in the hotel.

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas                

Next door to Monasterio is Palacio Nazarenas, a boutique hotel (55 suites) with butler service in all suites. It opened 2012 after many years of restoration of an old nunnery. They also have little courtyards and one of them is an organic garden where they grow herbs. Everyday they serve complimentary afternoon tea.


Studio suite

All suites have extra oxygen in the air conditioner making the altitude go down with 1000m. In the suite you will also find a complimentary bottle of Pisco. The butler will introduce the guest on how to prepare a perfect Pisco Sour.

The suites are wonderful and spacious, up to date and light. Nazarenas had the most  nutritious breakfast buffet I have ever seen. All the goodies from the Andean highland (like quinoa, kiwicha and more) and all the fruits from the Amazonas. Wonderful start of the day.

A rare feature in Cusco - hotel pool outdoors

Nazarenas is one of the few hotels in Cusco offering an outdoor pool. Always heated to 25 degrees. That is a good reason to make the  hotel the first choice in Cusco. 

Inkaterra La Casona      

Inkaterra La Casona
Opposite Palacio Nazarenas you find a green door. A modest sign on the wall, no flags, no doorbell – just a green door. As you knock on the door a porter will open and let you in. There is no front desk; you do your check in in the lounge or in your room. Inkaterra La Casona is very small, only 11 suites.

Balcony suite

The restaurant is small and for breakfast everything is ordered from the kitchen. There is no space for having a buffet breakfast out front but for sure they do have all you want in the kitchen.
Afternoon tea is complimentary. There is a tiny spa.

Décor is a mix of antiques and Andean textiles. Beautiful. There is an open fire in each suite and the floors are heated. Very nice - as Cusco can be cold.

 Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is a hidden gem. Here is so much to see and do. The Incas were very active in their agriculture here growing corn, potatoes, quinoa and typical Andean herbs and left loads of interesting places for tourists to visit. The valley is so beautiful with high green mountains, snowy peaks as backdrop, deep valleys, small towns (like Pisaq, Urubamba, Ollantay) and superb 5* hotels. It is also a place to stay if you want an active Peruvian visit.

The climate is nicer here than in Cusco where the night are colder. Sacred Valley has an altitude of 2400 m above sea level. 1000m less than Cusco. I would recommend at least 2 nights stay.
There is lots to do from visiting the Pisaq ruins and handicraft market and Ollantaytambo to riding, hiking, hot air ballooning and ziplining.


Inkaterra         

In the Sacred Valley - Inkaterra

Located outside the village of Urubamba in a remote area. Inkaterra is an elegant and lovely hotel with fantastic views. The main building consists of a lounge, reception, restaurants and a few suites while cottages are scattered around the area. All cottages have a smaller veranda with sun chairs to just relax and soak in the majestic mountains. The decoration has a wonderful and beautiful Peruvian touch.

A hotel  everyone would like.

Explora

Of the beaten track reached by a dirt road Explora was newly opened summer 2016. Explora as a chain is all about exploring the area you are in, a hotel for outdoor activities. This one is no different. Almost all excursions are included in the price.

Explora

The hotel is basically wooden with clean cuts and lines. Very “Scandinavian” one could say. The colors are mellow and earthy. The rooms are located in three (not so nice looking) separate buildings and the rooms are rather simple. I missed color and coziness… 
For those wanting outdoor activities all day long.

Belmond Valley Sagrado       

WOW - I absolutely love this Belmond property. It has the views, the accommodation, a large garden where they serve barbeque, nice pool area, Spa with Inca shower, sauna, Jacuzzi, and even 2 lamas living on the premises. They offer excursions in the area and even support local villages in society cooperation.

Their 3 bedroom villas are fabulous with wonderful design. In each villa there is a fully equipped kitchen, a living room with an open fire and access to the garden. Very private.
In the garden they have set up hammocks and placed sun chairs for relaxation overlooking the river

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca borders between Peru and Bolivia at altitude of 3800m above sea level. According to ancient beliefs, God Viracocha first destroyed earth by creating a flood and then created the sun, the moon and the stars from the lake.

Today there are about 40 Islands in the lake, some nhabited. Most popular to visit are Amantani, Taquile, Uros and on the Bolivian side Sun Island and Moon Island. In addition you can go hiking, canoeing, biking…

You need at least 2 nights stay.


Hotel Titilaka    

Some 2 hours drive from the airport of Juliacas is Titilaka. On the way you pass traditional Andean villages, both horrible and lovely at once. It might seem like a long transfer but it is sooo worth it...

Titilaka is a trendy boutique hotel with only 18 rooms. It is located right on the edge of the lake and all rooms have superb views over Titicaca. The most popular room type gives both sunrise and sunset views. All rooms have heated floors which are great as it gets really cold at night. There are plenty of common spaces with comfortable chairs to relax and in the lounge area there is an open fire, a popular stay for a drink after a day full of out door excursions.  The hotel has one restaurant serving really good food.

Sundowner by Titicaca
But you are not in this area just to stay in the hotel. You are there to explore Lake Titicaca and the surroundings. A lot of excursions are included in your stay as well as cocktail time and afternoon tea.



Love this place. 


Note: in May 2017 Belmond's luxury sleeper train will go between Cusco and Lake Titicaca. READ OUR INFORMATION. .

Pernilla Aguillar, our Peru specialist, is a travel advisor at Select Collection in Stockholm. We will tailor make a journey just for you and your party.