No picture of Machu Picchu can prepare you for seeing it with your own eyes. Perched high in the Andes, it is one of few places in the world that can be described as truly unmissable. It’s on everyone’s travel wish list, attracting a million visitors each year. But there’s only one way to see it in style: by staying at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. When we say we’re one of a kind, we mean it. Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel that sits at the entrance of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. For years we have been the unofficial gateway to the Inca world, inviting our guests to explore with unrivalled access and expert guidance. While most visitors to the citadel endure a winding bus ride from Aguas Calientes, our snug retreat is a few footsteps away. Wake before sunrise and be the first through the gates. The mountains look magnificent emerging from a thick cloak of mist, and Machu Picchu is stunning in solitude. Stop, breathe and soak it all in; once-in-a-lifetime experiences like this deserve to be savored. By mid-morning, when the path in front of the hotel is well travelled by visitors, our lodge reveals itself as an oasis of calm.