At 3,800 metres above sea level, close to the border between Peru and Bolivia, stands Titilaka lodge, directly on the shores of wonderful Lake Titicaca, long considered the origin and centre of the cosmos by Andean culture. RASK took a long trip from Cusco in order to experience the magic of this place…
Transfers to/from the hotel are complimentary and thoroughly enjoyable (their cars are equipped with wifi, blankets and beverages). The drive from Puno train station took about 45 minutes, and 90 minutes from the hotel to Juliaca airport (from where I flew back to Lima).
There are direct daily flights from Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. If time allows, I highly recommend reaching Puno from Cusco via the 10-hour train journey on Andean Explorer.
Every detail of the architecture and design is maximied for the guests to enjoy the astonishing, peaceful views outside and get pampered with world-class food and wines.
Minimalistic modern furniture is enriched by traditional colourful touches and great local artworks – the result is exquisitely chic, and gives a very distinct, authentic character to the place.
Common areas are filled with natural light during the day and warmed-up by a fireplace and soft music in the evening. The atmosphere is utterly peaceful and harmonious even when the hotel runs full occupancy: it doesn’t take long to make yourself at home, engage in pleasant conversations with the other guests or just enjoy the magnificent views with your loved ones.
Common areas are filled with natural light during the day and warmed-up by a fireplace and soft music in the evening. The atmosphere is utterly peaceful and harmonious even when the hotel runs full occupancy: it doesn’t take long to make yourself at home, engage in pleasant conversations with the other guests or just enjoy the magnificent views with your beloved one.
I arrived at the hotel late in the evening and I was escorted directly to my room, where check-in procedures were quickly completed.
Dedicated guides are at the guests’ disposal to plan each day’s activities according to individual interests. The choices are extremely varied and range from visits to local markets and archeological sites to more active options (treks, biking tours, kayaking and more…). Anything can be combined under the precious advice of the local guides and every activity is confirmed even for one single guest (I had, for example, a whole day of tours and activities with personal driver and an expert local guide just for me).
You don’t see members of the Staff around all the time, but you can be sure that someone is always available if you require any assistance. Even more, they’re great at anticipating needs and wishes, pampering guests with gestures such as checking you in on your flight and printing your boarding pass (even if you don’t request it!), or lighting up a bonfire under the stars every evening.
Service at the restaurant was unimpeachable - see more in the food & drinks section.
The design is contemporary, stylish yet quite simple, the layout is very clever, favouring natural light from the big windows facing the beds. Several colourful details testify the deep involvement of Titilaka with the local communities - mostly hand-made organic products and original handicrafts, many of which can be bought at the hotel boutique (money that goes directly to supporting the communities).
There are no big suites or family rooms, and you shouldn’t expect anything swanky or overly luxurious. Still, rooms are appointed with everything you need to feel warm and well pampered. The best "touches" in this sense were the free-standing tub, heated floors throughout the room and a very well stocked complimentary minibar.
"All-inclusive" is a word that usually evokes big buffets and/or a limited à-la-carte menu, but you shouldn't expect anything like that at Titilaka, and the glittering Relais & Chateaux brand stands at the entrance to prove this. The menu is varied enough to delight every palate, featuring both Peruvian and international dishes; most of the ingredients are locally sourced (I say “most” because you can also find exquisite French cheese, for example – something you could kill for in Peru!) and everything is fresh made at the hotel, including the bread you’re served at breakfast and the canapès in the afternoon.
A rich list of refined international wines and spirits is also included at lunch, dinner and cocktail hour. Only some exclusive labels come at an extra cost.
Meals are included on the excursions too. The lunch I had on the UNESCO-protected island of Taquile, prepared by a local family and set over a spectacular landscape, was in fact one of the most memorable moments of my stay.
Adjacent to the restaurant and the two main lounges there's a small bar, where guests can enjoy drinks and delicious appetizers before dinner. Meanwhile, in the background: the sunset, a bonfire and soft music playing...
There is no gym, and no need for it in fact, as you can plan a whole day of activities instead. There’s not a proper Spa either, only a small (but well equipped, and of course panoramic) massage room. I admit that an outdoor Jacuzzi would be the ultimate indulgence.
A small entertainment room and a boutique selling local handicrafts and travel essentials are also at the guests’ disposal throughout the day.