el albergue ollantaytambo
Hotels, Peru, South America, Travel

[Review] The El Alburgue Ollataytambo Hotel in Peru

After arriving in Cusco, we drove directly to the El Albergue Ollantaytambo, roughly a two hour drive. It's a charming hotel located right by the train station, which was incredibly convenient when we visited Machu Picchu later on that week. The grounds at the hotel were so lovely,with flowers everywhere and what especially stood out was the delicious food experiences at the hotel. featuring food from the on-site organic farm.

There is a two-night minimum stay at the restaurant which includes a Pachamancha Lunch experience, a distillery and coffee roasting tour, and breakfasts. Also recommended is the off-site restaurant also owned by the hotel called Chuncho.

The lobby of the El Albergue Ollantaytambo.

el albergue ollantaytambo - gift shop

The Hotel Room

The El Albergue Ollantaytambo was almost completely booked so we stayed in a room that wasn't normally open to the public. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - fruit 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - bedroom view 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - bathroom
el albergue ollantaytambo - bathroom 3

The Restaurant

el albergue ollantaytambo - restaurant

Muña for altitude sickness. I did get a bit of a headache after the first night in Ollataytambo from the altitude. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - coca drink

I still dream about this delicious gooseberry jam.

el albergue ollantaytambo - gooseberry

All hotel guests can order off an organic breakfast menu with several delicious selections. There is also a selection of juices, coffees, fruits, and cereal/granolas at a small buffet bar for hotel guests also. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - cafe mayu

We tried the Tacu-Tacu, which featured a football shaped refried bean pancake, topped with fried eggs and sarza criolla (an aji and onion sauce)

el albergue ollantaytambo - breakfast eggs

Also, I super enjoyed the Saludables Tostadas Crocantes, which was toasted bread with the most delicious avocado, tomatoes, and cream cheeses.

el albergue ollantaytambo - breakfast spreads
el albergue ollantaytambo - breakfast 4

The Pachamanca Lunch

We were super excited to try the pachamanca lunch. This is a pre-Incan way of cooking that is 8000 years old and is still a very popular way of cooking in Peru. This method of cooking allows for baking, grilling, and steaming, just like a convection oven. 

There is a whole team assembled to put together our delicious pachamanca meal, which can be booked even if you are not a guest at the hotel. Chicken, pork, and lamb are included for the meats, seasonal vegetables, Andrean potatos, fresh salad, and chicha morada (Peruvian purple corn drink. The lunch is served three times daily at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm and the entire experience takes about 2-3 hours. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca team
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca oven
el albergue ollantaytambo - peru potatos
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca peas
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca greens

The meats are marinated with a chincho sauce. Chincho is a Peruvian herb that was cultivated by the Incas. It has a citrus scent and is related to the quinoa. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca chicken 3

These rocks have been heated for a hour and are 600 degrees Celsius. The way this method of cooking works is that the heat from the rocks underneath and over the meat, sears it, trapping the juices and protects the humidity that keeps the meat incredibly tender. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca underground oven
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca chicken 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca beans
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca pots
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca potatos
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca cooking
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca stones
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca seasoning

After everything is assembled this wet cloth is placed on top to trap the flavor and add moisture. It's the insulation part of the oven. Basically the earth itself is used as a cooking pot. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca cover
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca earth
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca farmer
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca chicken
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca sauces
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca salad
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca greens 3
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca plate
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca dessert

The Organic Farm

The on-site organic farm was started in 2010 and much of the vegetables served at the hotel are grown on the farm. No agrochemicals or synthetic fertilizers are used at the farm and the farms tries to use sustainable and traditional techniques of farming, including rotating crops, using biological controllers, and plowing with oxen.

Ollantaytambo is a city of agriculture and much of the income in the area is earned from farming ever since the Pre-Incan times.

el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca grounds 4
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca grounds 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca greens 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - pachamanca flowers
el albergue ollantaytambo - farm

The Chuncho Restaurant

The Chuncho restaurant is located off-site, you can take a 50 cent, 5 minute tuk tuk ride to reach the restaurant. The menu features local ingredients and flavors and ingredients from the El Albergue farm.

We were treated to the nightly set menu at the restaurant. 

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho menu
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho raw vegetables
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho passion fruit juice
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho soup

The local corn tastes entirely different from any corn that we are used to in the States and the kernels are huge! They are served at the restaurants with two salsas and a rock salt that you can grind according to your tastes. 

el albergue ollantaytambo

Next up was another round of appetizers

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho appetizers

Wheat salad featuring lemon, red onion, barley, and tumbo (a local Peruvian fruit - similar in taste to passion fruit). It's topped with passion fruit salt and alpaca jerky.

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho corn

Andean potatos 

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho potatos

I also loved that each course was paired with a cocktail! Neither of us were drinking alcohol so the restaurant was kind enough to make virgin version of their drinks. 

I could have drank gallons of this first drink, which was Moscow mule inspired. It features 7 herbs from the farm, Rosemary syrup, lime juice, and a fennel flower.

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho cocktail 3

The entire Pachamanca style spread at Chuncho.

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho pachamanca

Roasted pepper stuffed with mushroom and Quinoa pancakes.

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho appetizer 32
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho patties

Local potatos.

el albergue ollantaytambo

Passion fruit salad and local corn.

el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho salad
el albergue ollantaytambo

Alpaca and Cuy jerky.

el albergue ollantaytambo - meats
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho appetizer 2
el albergue ollantaytambo - chuncho cocktail

A beautiful spread of dessert

el albergue ollantaytambo - desserts

Quinoa pudding

el albergue ollantaytambo - rice dessert

Sweet Tomato

el albergue ollantaytambo - dessert 2

Cacao truffle with almonds.

el albergue ollantaytambo

Our stay at the El Albergue Ollataytambo was a lovely experience, we would recommend the hotel, especially as a stay right before you are heading out to Machu Picchu as it is conveniently located right next to the train station. If you are a foodie who is passionate about authentic local foods and sustainability, this is the hotel for you!

We were provided a complimentary stay at the El Albergue Ollataytambo by as always all opinions are our own.

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