Andenia boutique hotel: A hotel haven on the way to Peru's Machu Picchu

South America's biggest drawcard is Peru's 15th-century temple complex of Machu Picchu, so travellers should sharpen their elbows when hunting for accommodation.

The newest option is hidden deep in the Sacred Valley, between Machu Picchu and its jumping-off point, the city of Cusco. Tucked away from the souvenir touts and bus tours, Andenia doesn't cater for the masses: the new hotel has just nine rooms, and is located 10 minutes from Urubamba, where the PeruRail train stops on its way up to Machu Picchu.

The hotel is undeniably Peruvian: guest rooms are housed in two separate casitas (small houses) made from adobe, with alpaca blankets and indigenous ceramics as well as textiles by local artists on display. French windows open onto private terraces in the deluxe rooms with views of the gardens and the peaks of the Peruvian Andes beyond.

There's Peru's famed cuisine on the menu, with ingredients drawn from its own gardens which guests are invited to explore, and the hotel can arrange visits to the surrounding villages to make ceramics, learn traditional weaving or whip up a little chocolate. High on the list should be lunch at Mil, where one of the world's top chefs, Peru's own Virgilio Martínez (of Central, in Lima) cooks in a spectacular setting, overlooking the Incan ruins of Moray.

Andenia encourages disconnection with the outside world, and reconnection with self. So don't expect TVs in the room (although they do offer iPads already loaded with Netflix), there's already plenty of drama in the nearby historic sites include the striking fortress at Ollantaytambo and the blinding white patchwork salt mines of Maras.

Those leery of altitude sickness should note that Andenia is 500 metres lower than Cusco, at 2900 metres in altitude.

Stays cost from $231 a night. Those already on their way to Peru can join Design Hotels Community and pay half-price on stays until March 31, breakfast included, with upgrades and late check-out on availability. See designhotels.com

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