We knew that we wanted to stay in Aguas Calientes the night before Machu Picchu. This would allow us to get to Machu Picchu at 6am when it opened, allowing us the best chance to get great photos before everyone coming on trains arrived.
I looked on TripAdvisor to see what hotels were rated highly and came across the Panorama B&B. It was rated #1 of all of the B&B’s in Aguas Calientes. I contacted them to see if there was availability on the day that we needed. There was only 1 room available, which as naturally the most expensive one. At that point I was over looking for hotels and just wanted one that I knew would be good so I decided to splurge.
Room 402 – Double Superior King
After we checked in we were lead up the stairs to the top floor of the B&B. Once the door opened up I was in shock. It’s amazing how much of a difference paying more for a room makes. The room was very clean, quite large, had a balcony overlooking the river and even had fresh roses on the table.
There was an extremely comfortable king bed with high thread count sheets and 6 feather pillows. For the first time since we have been on the road, it felt like a bed that I would want to have back at home.
The balcony was actually very nice and pretty big as well. It even had chairs out on the balcony so you could sit and relax. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time on the balcony because the later it got in the day, the more bugs started to show up. In order to prevent ourselves from being bitten to death by mosquitos we avoided our balcony in the evening.
The bathroom was just as nice as the rest of the room. My favorite part though was the oversize, plush towels. It was a true luxury for us as we normally deal with small, thin, somewhat scratchy towels.
There was high end soap and shampoo in the bathroom also. I was giddy as we normally have the cheapest soap that hostels can find which isn’t the best for your skin.
Even though my shower was at 4:10am, when I was still partially asleep, it was nice. The water pressure was good and I had hot water.
Amenities at Panorama B&B
The breakfast service at the B&B starts at 4:30am. While this sounds insane, Machu Picchu opens at 6am and if you are hiking up like us, you need to leave a little before 5am in order to get to the gates when they open.
Having breakfast so early is a very nice touch. We thoroughly enjoyed having a good breakfast before we hiked up to Machu Picchu.
Our breakfast included:
I read online that other people said they had eggs as well. I’m not sure if we were a little too early for eggs since we were downstairs right at 4:30am or if they change up the breakfast from time to time. Either way, we had everything that we needed.
We were both impressed that we had a great wifi signal with good speed. We were able to upload quite a few pictures as well as Skype some family and friends when we were there.
As we walked up the stairs, we noticed that every floor had their own router. This is impressive in South America where sometimes your room location can dictate how good your internet connection will be.
The B&B offered a sack lunch to take up to Machu Picchu. Since it was described as a big lunch, we decided to split one, knowing that we would grab some more food in town once we were done at Machu Picchu.
The lunch was 25 soles or $7.50 which is somewhat expensive by Peruvian standards, but compared to the $40 or 130 sol per person buffet at the lodge next to Machu Picchu, it was a bargain.
Our lunch included:
- Ham, egg and cheese sandwich
- Granola Bar
- Graham crackers
- Small chocolate bar
- Bottle of water
During check in, the owner asked us if we had bags that we needed to store. When we said that we did, he told us to leave our bags in the room and the staff will take them down to store for the day. It was a nice touch to not have to lug our bags down the stairs.
When we returned from our hike, our bags were tucked away, safe and secure.
When I saw that we had Direct TV I wanted to check it out. Since there are very seldom channels that are in English, I was curious to see if Direct TV would offer any more options. There were a couple of shows I watch that were on, but sadly, all of them were dubbed in Spanish so I was out of luck.
The owner, Christophe, was extremely friendly and helpful. He went above and beyond in answering any questions that we had and made us feel very comfortable.
It always seems that the really good places to stay have one thing in common – a great owner.
The location of the B&B could not have been better. It was a short 5 minute walk from the train station or town and right on the road that you take to Machu Picchu. It was a relatively quiet street as there were not too many hotels, shops or restaurants nearby. We both slept like babies, hearing only the sound of the river outside our window.
I read online that some people had issues sleeping as the buses to Machu Picchu go right by the B&B starting at 5:30am. This was a non-issue for us as we had already walked halfway up the mountain before the buses even started running.
This was the first time that we really splurged on a room during our trip. While I know that we could have found something cheaper, I’m glad that we spent the extra money. I’m learning that every once in a while, spoiling ourselves is something that needs to be done.
I would highly recommend Panorama B&B to anyone who is looking to stay in Aguas Calientes. The room was very large and clean, the staff was friendly and the location was perfect. There isn’t much more that you could ask for.