Written by Cat DiStasio
There are lots of reasons to visit Peru. It’s a gorgeous nation full of history, culture, and delicious foods. Peru is also one of the only places on earth you can spend the night in a hotel room that is suspended 1,300 feet from the ground on the side of a mountain. The Natura Vive Skylodge is a unique destination, offering accommodations for daring travelers who want to know what it’s like to sleep in a condor’s nest, perched high above the Sacred Valley of Cuzco.
Getting to one of the Skylodge Adventure Suites is the first challenge. Visitors must scale the 1,300 feet up to where their accommodations are dangling, or use a zipline to hike the ascent. The approach is all part of the experience, though, which is intended to immerse guests in nature and connect them with their surroundings in a very visceral way. (Fear of heights can contribute to that, we suspect.)
Each suite measures 24 feet by 8 feet and sports transparent polycarbonate walls on an aluminum frame, enabling guests to take in a 300-degree view of the valley below. The individual ‘rooms’ can sleep up to four people with a double bed at one end of the floating capsule and two single beds that double as galley seating in the main area of the suite. Despite the see-through walls, there is some privacy to be had, which comes from lightweight opaque curtains guests can draw around and in between the sleeping areas, should they so desire.
The Skylodge rooms also have one of the most amazing bathrooms we’ve ever seen. Well, it’s not that the bathroom itself is so special, but consider that the toilet is situated facing the exterior wall of the suspended structure. This positioning gives the “sitter” a spectacular vantage point of the sprawling valley below. That’s something you just don’t normally see in a john.
In the main area of each room, there is a small dining area, but most visitors opt to take their meals on the ‘rooftop patio.’ A stay at the lodge includes a feast of local gourmet foods and wine, so guests can kick back and relax after a long day of mountain scaling, taking in the view over a special meal. And, possibly, visitors will clamor for ‘just one more’ glass of wine to prolong the inevitable: falling asleep in an aluminum box dangling from a cliff face.
An unforgettable one-night stay in one of these dangling pods will run you around $290, but that includes dinner, breakfast, and adult beverages, so it’s actually kind of a steal—especially if you maximize the selfie opportunities.