Hostel Quilla (Calle Quiswar s/n, tel. 084/79-5432, US$5 shared bathroom, US$16.50 private bathroom) is the town’s best budget option. Rooms are simple and cozy and there is a communal kitchen, equipped with an oven. The shared bathrooms have hot water.
Just down the street is another cheap option, Hostel El Tambo (Calle Horno, 1.5 blocks from the plaza, tel. 084/77-3262, US$5 pp) The baths are also shared with hot water. According to the owner, Hiram Bingham stayed at this hostel back in 1911.
In the old Inca town, Hostal Chaska Wasi (Calle del Medio s/n, tel. 084/20-4045, www.hostalchaskawasi.com , US$5 dorm, US$9 d) has several clean rooms, with wooden floors, arranged around a tiny courtyard. The terrace on the top of the building is a good place to drink tea and look at the Inca granaries. Walking through town, and following the road left (toward the ruins) to the San Isidro neighborhood, you’ll find a few families that have turned their homes into hostels under a now-defunct government program. Rooms here cost around US$5 for dorm rooms and shared bathrooms. Private rooms are also available.
An excellent option in this price range is the new Hostel Iskay (Patacalle s/n, tel. 084/20-4180, www.hosteliskay.com , US$10–15 s, US$25–30 d with continental breakfast), a small and lovely hostel with a beautiful garden and an astounding view of the ruins. The rooms are clean and simple (the family room on the other end of the garden has a beautiful kapuli tree that grows into the wall of the room). The common living/dining area with sofas, television, books, and board games has real Inca walls and an open kitchen. The friendly Spanish owners are long-time residents of Ollantaytambo .
Another comfortable option is KB Tambo (Ventiderio s/n, tel. 084/20-4091, www.kbperu.com , US$20 s, US$30 d), which has cozy, unpretentious modern rooms with private bathrooms from singles and doubles to family suites. It has a beautiful small garden and a rooftop with amazing views of the ruins, a Jacuzzi, full bar, and pizza oven.
Hostel Las Orquideas (Ferrocarril s/n, tel. 084/20-4032, lasorquideas3 [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$20 s, US$30 d with breakfast) has small, plain rooms with private baths around a courtyard and garden. Spend your afternoon relaxing in the grassy courtyard.
Ollantaytambo ’s most charming and best-known hotel is El Albergue (Ferrocarril s/n, tel. 084/20-4014, www.elalbergue.com , US$58 s, US$74 d with breakfast). The lodge was opened by Wendy Weeks, a painter from Seattle, who arrived here in 1976 after an overland journey with her husband, writer Robert Randall. After her husband’s death in 1990, Wendy stayed to raise her two sons here—Joaquín, who now runs the lodge, and Ishmael, who is an internationally recognized sculptor. Wendy Weeks is a beloved member of the community and a passionate spokeswoman for its preservation.
To reach El Albergue, head to the train station, through the gate, and down the tracks in the direction of an arrow and large sign for El Albergue painted on a wall. Or if you are arriving by train, simply disembark, and you’ll be there. Compared to the mayhem of the station, El Albergue is a hushed paradise. Blue-and-yellow tanagers flit among datura flowers and a huge Canary Island palm that was planted in the 1920s.
The rooms are huge, with whitewashed walls, wood tables and beds, and an uncluttered grace. This year, eight new upscale rooms, which cost US$94 per night, have been built in the back. They have floor heating and bathtubs. Decorations include local weavings, Wendy’s paintings, a vase of flowers, and a river stone or two. After a breakfast of coffee and French toast, guests browse through the eclectic store, which sells books, weavings, bottles of Matacuy (a homemade digestif), and sundry hard-to-find objects—Ekeko dolls, Waq’ullu dance masks, and all the metal fittings for a sapo table, the colonial game that is like horseshoes with a twist. Days end with a book on the wood balconies above the garden, followed by an evening steam in the wood-fired sauna. Bottled water, and pisco sours on the house during happy hour, come with the rooms.
Hostel Sauce (Ventiderio s/n, tel. 084/20-4044, www.hostelsauce.com.pe , US$89 s, US$98 d with breakfast) is a serene, upscale establishment with eight sun-filled rooms overlooking the Ollantaytambo ruins. The restaurant, serving salads, meats, and pastas, has a cozy sitting area with a fireplace and couches.
Built in 2000, the luxury Hotel Pakaritampu (Ferrocarril s/n, tel. 084/20-4020, www.pakaritampu.com , US$127 s, US$132 d with breakfast) seems a bit out of place in Ollantaytambo . The modern two-story buildings appear overly grand for this humble town and its ruins.
But if this doesn’t bother you, the hotel does have pleasant gardens and large rooms with wood floors, spring mattresses, goose down duvets, telephones, and small balconies. The nice couches and a fireplace are good for having a drink by, and there is an interesting library. The restaurant is not recommended. Other services include laundry, Internet, and luggage storage.