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A Conversation with Petit Miribel, Founder of Hotel Sol y Luna, in the Sacred Valley

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In a place where the ancestral traditions of the Andes are strong, Petit Miribel has established her dream life together with her husband Franz and their two children.

Photo: Ultimate Journeys Peru

It has now been more than 15 years since the entrepreneur arrived from France with the intention of getting involved in community service projects. It’s a goal that she ultimately realized by founding The Sol & Luna Hotel, Restaurant, and Association, which is located in Cusco’s Sacred Valley. The business promotes harmony with the environment and generates local employment opportunities, benefiting the surrounding communities. The Sol & Luna Association also sponsors a school, which currently has 97 students. To find out more about her work, we sat down for a conversation.

What moved you to relocate to Cusco and start your family here?

My desire to share. I found the opportunity to create the business model I dreamt of as a way of growing with the community.

What’s the Sacred Valley’s magic?

Its people – especially the children who we support and who attend the Sol & Luna Association’s school. The Valley is a place with great wealth and potential. We have to give the children the opportunities that are lacking so they can learn and becom

How would you describe your relationship with the people from the communities in the Sacred Valley?

Photo: Flickr

We have a relationship of mutual respect and learning that has allowed me to better understand the complex local culture. I have been able to share their needs and happiness while respecting our differences.

Now that there is more interest in Peru’s regional cuisines and in using organic, eco-friendly products, what can you tell us about the gastronomy in Cusco and the Andes?

There is an amazing variety of crops in the Andes, but very little is taken advantage of. For example, we live in the country that boasts thousands of potato varieties, but we only really use white and sweet potatoes. In the Sol & Luna Hotel, around 90% of our products are local, and with the creativity of our chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Nacho Selis we have put together a versatile menu, recognized for its freshness, subtlety and originality.

What kind of exclusive services can tourists find in the Sacred Valley?

Photo: Flickr

The Valley has an interesting assortment of luxury lodgings, restaurants and bars and out-door activities; what is missing, however, is a quality cultural option – but we’re taking care of that. Our restaurant, Wayra, offers novel cultural activities that enrich the soul and we would like for Urubamba to develop creative proposals.

Do you think that the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley are good alternatives for travellers who desire luxury experiences?

Definitely. Cusco is an important destination in terms of global tourism, and it can be approached in an exclusive and luxurious fashion. A significant part of the luxury tourism sector puts emphasis on the importance of partaking in ethical activities. In our case, the Sol & Luna presents a singular model that offers the luxury of a beautiful space combined with a genuine experience. We have developed a place in which Peru is represented in colors, arts and gastronomy. Additionally, our architecture reflects a harmony with our surroundings that showcases our respect for nature.

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This interview previously appeared in Ultimate Journeys Peru

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Diego Oliver is a Peruvian writer and author whose work can be found in the travel magazine Ultimate Journeys. He loves to focus on Peruvian culture both modern and classic, traveling the country, as well as social responsibility.