The DNA: Pedro Ibañez founded travel company and hotel owner and operator Explora in 1993 with the goal of opening up remote areas of great natural beauty in his native Chile. His seventh property, Explora Valle Sagrado of Peru, is located in a narrow valley flanked by mountains about 10 miles north of Cusco, Peru. Like its predecessors in Patagonia, the Atacama desert, and Easter Island, it was designed by José Cruz Ovalle, a leading Chilean architect and a master of wood construction. He created a linear complex of two-story blocks and five main buildings, squeezed onto a narrow slope within an archeological site of stonewalled Inca terraces. Crowned with Peruvian tiled roofs, the white buildings stretch along the landscape, each with wooden verandas to take in the views. At the center is a lofty communal space containing the reception area, restaurant, bar, lounge and conference hall, with ramps linking the two levels. Walkways connect the terrace to 50 guestrooms, each clad in varying wood tones for a softer aesthetic, in the two blocks at either end. Cruz remodeled a colonial manor once home to Peruvian revolutionary Mateo García Pumacahua to serve as a spa.
Seen: Hospitality Design, Top Hotel Design
Accolades: Condé Nast Traveler Hot List 2017
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 50 rooms & suites (40-53m2) (431-570 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2018 • architecture: José Cruz Ovalle ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk