Giancarlo, the manager of Sacred Dreams Lodge, welcomed us back with open arms and we couldn’t have been more appreciative. The three of us had a lot of fun and great laughs together when we first met. We discovered the area, joined town riots and balanced three of us on his motorcycle, but this time around we were bed bound. Kees and I decided to go back to because it is pretty much the easiest accessible spot from Cusco that is at lower altitude. By this point I was still suffering from what felt like a chest infection and serious cough while Kees was dizzy and feverish. At just 530m (1,730ft) lower, Kees instantly felt better though was still gasping for air in the night and sincerely feared that he would stop breathing and die. He was very transparent about his fear which only made me stress and feel worse. I was in constant disbelief that while I almost NEVER got sick on a four year budget trip through serious poverty, there I was on a short 6 week trip in my luxury palace feeling terrible.
Giancarlo didn’t hesitate to take us in and nurse us back to health, bringing tea, hot water bottles for the night and arranging food. At just 27 years old he was nothing like the stereotypical, suited manager I had imagined and that’s what I loved most about him. He gives Sacred Dreams Lodge the homey atmosphere you might find in a backpacker hostel, but you get the benefits of all the comfort you can imagine for a dream vacation.
The first time we stayed we were spoiled with a suite, the living room and bedroom separated by a wood-burning fireplace situated at the end of the kingsized bed. The rooms are all sitting up on the ledge of a mountainous wall amidst the quiet nature. I wish a picture or video could capture the smells, sounds and magic. We were both amazed by the extra bonus that there were absolutely no insects, something you always have to be appreciative of when traveling.
We woke up in paradise each morning with a view of the gardens from the ceiling-high windows. Water which has been redirected from the river (Giancarlo took us on a walk to see how the system works which was extremely interesting) flows in dainty canals that line the brick pathways and sparkle in the sun. I’m pretty sure when I was in kindergarten I drew something quite similar to this when they asked to draw my dream house.
The buffet breakfast was ready for us and we’d sit next to the hot crackling fire in the misty morning. Delicious freshly squeezed orange juice, avocado, papaya, and coffee were consumed while enjoying the visible nature through the restaurant’s giant windows.
One of the things that stood out about Giancarlo’s was his love of the lodge. He has just taken over management and cares about the place like it is his own. That was made clear when he came to our room to personally make the fire at the end of the bed to give us a warm night’s sleep. “I love what I do. I mean look I’m building YOU a fire. I’m the manager! This is someone else’s job but I love what I do.” He is very hands on, taking pride and responsibility of the property, like a king who rides into battle side by side with his army.
Our very first night Giancarlo ran excitedly up the stone steps to say, “You’ve got to come outside.” Standing together on the patio outside our room, we looked down at the dimly lit property. “Now wait for it.” And click, all of the little lamps lighting the paths blinked out and the stars popped! Though he must’ve seen that starry night sky a million times, his eyes twinkled like it was the first. The kind of passion he showed made me so happy, to see him enjoying what life had to offer him. The stars were beyond magical above the pitch black woods.
Mom had asked me if I was scared being out in the boonies and I was shocked. It hadn’t crossed my mind once. There were no imaginary boogie monsters hiding in corners. We felt so safe, never locked our doors and even slept with them open. I loved the creaky wood of the lodge, giving it that super cozy, family cottage atmosphere, like somewhere I’d grown up and have tons of safe fond memories of.
The second time around we had a much smaller room but it was no less luxurious. The beds are heavenly with their cloud-like, white sheets and fluffy down blankets. The amazing rain showers have great pressure and endless hot water. The natural stones beneath your feet in the shower are like a soothing massage.
I can honestly and truly say that this was one of THE most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in. And I’ve stayed in hundreds. If you ever end up in the Sacred Valley, you must stay here, and Giancarlo will take such good care of you. The only down side of travel is having to say goodbye, WAY too often. But the best part is one day finding each other again randomly on another part of the globe. Thank you Giancarlo for everything.
Kees made this promotional video for the hotel. Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Categories: Savannah Grace