Suites offer luxury in the sky
(Photo above: Skylodge Adventure Suites give guests a lofty view of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Photo courtesy BUTTERFIELD & ROBINSON)
Peru’s Skylodge Adventure Suites is inviting fearless folks to truly hang around with intrepid individuals.
The unusual lodging option has three mostly glass “luxury capsules” visitors sleep in that are attached to a rockface 400 metres above ground in Andean Peru’s Sacred Valley.
Visitors reach the capsules after donning helmets and harnesses and then using metal rungs to work their way up what the lodge says are “very high and extreme vertical sections of a mountain.”
Climbers – who will always be attached to a steel cable that serves as a “lifeline,” safely holding them in place if they slip – must be at least nine years old and accompanied by a guide trained in vertical rescue on a journey up that will likely last three to four hours.
Zip-lines ranging in length from 150 to 700 metres in turn enable them return to the valley floor after they exit the lodge, which opened in 2013.
The capsules – made from what’s described as “aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate” and which are 24-feet long and eight high – have a walled-off bathroom, beds, lights that use solar energy and a dining area. Meals can be eaten on an outdoor platform.
Sense of adventure
Skylodge Adventure Suites – which for obvious reasons doesn’t want guests to become intoxicated – doesn’t have a bar.
“You’ve got to have a sense of adventure and be willing to rise to the challenge to stay in a place like the Skylodge Adventure Suites – in addition to not being afraid of heights,” says Veronika Macas of Butterfield & Robinson, who has seen Skylodge Adventure Suites, but not stayed in it. (Butterfield & Robinson sends people to the lodge for visits, but doesn’t offer to put clients in it overnight.)
But Macas adds that the lodge is clearly unsuitable for those who like to make “trips to the fridge at midnight, modest folks may not enjoy it, as the capsules have little privacy in terms of curtains and shutters, also those afraid of heights, those with claustrophobia or those uncomfortable being lassoed to a harness with every move.”
Elisabeth Hakim of Peru tourism board PromPeru in turn says she wouldn’t stay in Skylodge Adventure Suites as she’s “not a heights person. But I can imagine the views are fantastic.”
The Sacred Valley is famed both for dramatic scenery and its many Inca ruins.
Macas suggests a stay at Skylodge Adventure Suites enables guests to tap into “one’s own Indiana Jones-like voyage, minus the snakes and bad guys chasing after you with machetes, but all the same adrenaline. Hey – no guts, no glory.”
And, she continues, Skylodge Adventure Suites is likely great for team-building and trust-building exercises for up to eight people.
There is, she states “nothing like the fear of falling off a cliff to bond a group together.”