On Luxury Walking Tours, Cookie-Cutter Hotels Just Don’t Cut It
When you’re fortunate enough to find your name on a Travel + Leisure World’s Best list (as we did last month in the Tour Operator category), you check to see how your friends fared, too. Sure enough, among the many hotels where we stay on our tours that won a World’s Best Award, two names leaped off the page, both of them in Peru.
First, the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, formerly a 16th-century monastery, and the gathering point for guests on our walking tour of Peru and Machu Picchu. The stylish Monasterio lays claim to a lofty spot: # 3 among City Hotels in all of Central and South America. When it rains, it pours, because a second hotel on the same tour — the Inkaterra Machu Picchu — placed in the top three among Latin America’s Resort Hotels. (More on the incomparable Inkaterrra below.)
What do these rankings mean to our guests? On a Classic Journey, we handpick each of our hotels, like the Monasterio and the Inkaterra, with an eye for authenticity and luxury. From 5-star properties to one-of-a-kind retreats like a restored villa in the Tuscan countryside or a rainforest lodge in Costa Rica, they’re the reward that awaits our guests at the end of an active day.
Providing such luxury for less is often a product of who you know. With expert help from our local guides, we’ve spent 15 years cultivating personal relationships with hoteliers around the world. We use these connections to keep rates low, so our guests enjoy exceptional accommodations at 20-40% below what other tour companies might charge.
For more lodging highlights, look for the “Hotels & Reviews” tab on our individual itinerary pages. In the meantime, you can preview a few of our historic favorites right here:
* Grand Hotel Miramare, Santa Margherita Tuscany & the Cinque Terre, 3 nights
Overlooking the Portofino Coast, the Miramare is a fixture on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List. Manicured gardens and seaside terraces recall its Belle Epoque origins more than a century ago.
* Villa Athena, Agrigento Sicily, 2 nights
This 18th-century villa is the only hotel located within the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Imagine dining al fresco with the Temple of Concordia illuminated against the darkened sky…
*Chateau de Sully Normandy & Brittany, 2 nights
Located at the end of a formal drive amid a 50-acre parc, this 18th-century chateau is our launching point for exploring the D-Day landing beaches and the legendary Bayeux tapestry.
* Hilton Imperial, Dubrovnik Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, 3 nights
With the Adriatic for a front lawn, this 1895 hotel is a stunning blend of classic and new, just like Croatia itself. Just steps away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
* Palais Jamai, Fès Morocco, 2 nights
A Moorish masterpiece, this palace-turned-hotel was built in 1879. Quintessentially Moroccan with lush gardens, courtyard fountains, and extravagant tilework, it towers above the Fes medina.
* Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta Canadian Rockies, 2 nights
Situated on sparkling Lac Beauvert, this rustic lodge is your gateway to canoeing, fishing, horseback riding and more in the pristine wilderness of Jasper National Park.
Our Guest Services Coordinators are on a first-name basis with the proprietors of each Classic Journeys hotel. As our resident experts, they’d be delighted to answer your questions about destinations, daily agendas, pricing and more at (800) 200-3887.
* A special note about the Inkaterra: While another Peruvian hotel makes much of the fact that it’s physically closest to Machu Picchu, it still can’t trump Inkaterra’s 12 acres of private casitas, riverside trails, orchid gardens, and 18 species of hummingbirds. In the same way we carefully select our hotels so they add value to our guests’ vacations, voters in the Travel+Leisure poll clearly used similar criteria in ranking the Inkaterra so highly and leaving the other property off their lists!