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“Orient Express--Great hotel, great tour company” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belmond Hotel Monasterio

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Belmond Hotel Monasterio
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Palacio 136 | Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco 5184, Peru   |  
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Ranked #8 of 147 Hotels in Cusco
Omaha, NE
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Orient Express--Great hotel, great tour company”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

We booked with Orient Express through our travel agent. We have been very pleased with the hotel and the enriched air. The food is fabulous, and the service excellent. We have booked our tours through Orient Express as well, and were very very happy with our day long tour to the Sacred Valley. There were four of us in our group, and Danny, our guide was excellent at pacing the trip to meet what we wanted to see and do.
Thanks!

Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
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1,380 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Detroit, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2009

I love this hotel, great service, good food, great experience, ...

Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
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Colchester, UK
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2009

We arrived early afternoon feeling the effects of altitude sickness, flying in from Lima, feeling a bit dizzy and headachy. However, we were offered some cocoa tea as soon as we arrived while the check in process was done for us by our guide. A few minutes later, feeling refreshed, we were in our room.

It was quite a small room, with no curtains, just shutters which you have to reach outside to close, which does minimise your privacy of a morning! No matter, it was comfortable room, decent size bed which again was comfortable. We had a small bathroom which did, and all in all, it was a satisfactory if a bit basic room, periodically decorated with old large oil paintings of a religious theme looking down on you - a bit daunting at times!

We were close to the town centre which nestled in the mountainside had nice views especially from the town square, a nice busy thoroughfare to sit down in the gardens watching the back packers, tourists and locals selling their wares go by. There were a lot of restaurants (and the ubiquitous MacDonalds - even in the Andes you get them!), bars and cafes of varying simplicity coupled with some for finer dining. We had a nice italian the first night that seemed popular with tourists, although my poor wife was sick that night - not through the food, but altitude sickness!

The hotel itself is an old monastary and the haunting chants of choral type music is quite soothing and puts you in the mood for the place, as you wonder down the corridors for breakfast. It has 2 lovely gardens and courtyards with seating around. The breakfast room is like a church room, large and airy with stone surroundings - very in tune for what the place is (as you would expect). Breakfast was fine with a very helpful chef bringing a great omellette and fried aggs to our table. Coffee and juice, meat and cereals, hot and cold buffet regular stuff. Not outstanding, but very good. Service was great and we had no issues.

We took dinner there in the main restaurant on our 2nd night which was very good. Again, service was attentive and friendly. A good menu and well cooked meal was flavoursome and well presented. I had a great pork tenderloin, one of the best I have tasted. Overlooking a darkened courtyard, the place had atmosphere and we had a very pleasant, relaxed evening.

Next day we were off, via the Hiram Bingham (recommended highly!) to Machu Picchu, but we returned the night after back to the Monasterio to be placed in a much larger room, with a larger bed and bathroom. The same decor, but this time it had a writing desk, more space available, and a big pillar in our room - careful in the night going to the bathroom! Bed was great and although up at 5am, we were refreshed.

Overall , a well situated hotel dating back to the 15th century, and it shows in authenticity and decor and the general building. It had a calm tranquil feel with modern amenities and touches. We had pre dinner cocktails in the lounge bar one evening and the log fire was going and it made for a lovely feel. When we got the bill it was in dollars - since I had local curreny I asked for it to be converted. She did so using the rate of the day, then coming back, offering an improved rate giving me an even better rate of exchange, something she didn't have to do.

I rate the hotel for atmosphere, service, food and overall ambience - the rooms vary as do the quality of the decor (and hairdryer!) but overall, a great place to stay, and we would again if ever we came back to the area. A very enjoyable 2 days.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2009

Best hotel we have stayed at in South America. Faultless service, excellent food, wonderful ambience and location. Expensive but well worth it.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights at the Monasterio, and loved the courtyard, furnishings, and ambiance. All of our meals were quite good, and the staff polite, attentive, and helpful. Its location is close enough to walk to major sites. One disappointment - our room was very small, and its one window looked out over a small portion of tiled roof onto another wall with windows of other rooms. For privacy, we kept the shutters closed (no draperies or curtains), which then allowed no light into the room whatsoever, making it closed off and claustrophobic. Because we were so tired from 2 days at Machu Picchu, it wasn't worth the effort to request a room change. Looking back, we should have requested it upon arrival.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

The 'romantic' within me so wanted to have an unforgettable experience at what I had hoped would be a truly majestic experience (based on fellow traveller's reviews). My comments will no doubt cause controversy with a few, but I wish to be honest and assist others in making an informed decision about staying at this hotel. I wish to premise this review with the fact that I did indeed take advantage of a last minute promotional rate (thank goodness) because I do not warrant that it is worth anywhere close to the rack rate of c.$600 per night. Also, I am in the Travel Industry and as such have visited nearly 70 countries and stayed in numerous top quality hotels and resorts over the years. This does not mean that I value my opinion any higher than someone who has travelled less than I have, but inevitably I do have a lot of situations that I can refer to as a 'yard-stick' measure. My review may appear harsh but I have to take into consideration the expense of staying at The Monasterio.

This was not the first time that I had stayed at an Orient Express hotel. I do appreciate that every hotel has individual standards but the service here was very much dependent on whom was on duty that day. First of all the good points:

- Darwin (Guest Relations) - superstar of the hotel. He offered exemplary service and attempted to fulfil all requests made of him.

- Caesar and Hugh (meeter/greeter at airport and driver respectively) - 2 people who showed true Peruvian warmth and accompanied us on a few organised trips/drives

- Illariy restaurant - the quality of food at Dinner was superb. There was not a huge selection on the menu, but what they did offer was delightfuly cooked and presented.

- Location - it was pleasant to be just a couple of blocks away from Plaza de Armas and accessible to all of the cathedrals/markets/shops etc..

Negative points:

- I completed the hotel comments form and have not received a reply from the hotel manager thus far. No doubt their only reply will be to this one, where they have more visibility (am I being sceptical?)

- Hotel room was more 3 - 4* not 5*. Rickety and hard bed (two twin beds pushed together to form a King bed). I'm not particularly fussy, but both my husband and I woke up with stiff backs every day (guess we're getting on a bit?!)

- Hair-dryer - it was one of those horrid (and dangerous) dryers stuck to the wall where the element gets extra hot, burns the scalp and you worry that it will sizzle the roots. I asked for a hand-held one and they did eventually deliver it. I expect this at a Holiday Inn Express/Hilton Garden Inn not at The Monasterio.

- Peru Rail staff at the hotel. The lady who worked at the hotel was positively snotty, no other word for it. My husband was told by Caesar to confirm our reservation and ask for the bags that had been left for us at front desk in anticipation of our trip on the Hiram Bingham. He scurried back to the room totally embarrassed saying that she had dismissed him and made him feel incredibly stupid for asking about either point. Lo and behold when we mustered up the courage the next day to ask another gentleman on reception he at least looked for us and then found the (very nice) Orient Express bags that had been indicated. Please don't get me wrong, we are not people who seek out 'freebies' but we had been told that the bags were meant for us as part of the Orient Express experience and were excited to receive them. It was merely the attitude that the lady gave and instead of going the extra mile she said 'I do not know what you are talking about, there are no bags for you' and with a dirty look and closed the matter.

- Staff at the hotel, some of the concession workers (jewellery/gift shop) do need to crack a smile every now and again instead of 'checking out the customers from head to toe with disgust'. I was often embarrassed to walk through the lobby area for fear of being given filthy looks by some of the people there. We were dressed for comfort with a little bit of style at least!

- Patio could not be used until night #3 as despite our request they did not change the light bulb outside until very late on night #2. In their defence they had left an apology letter alongside 2 bags of chocolate gooseberries that needed to be eaten within three weeks. The gesture was nice but it was apparent that they were using the chocolates that were very near their end date!

- Breakfast selection. The only cereals on offer were of high sugar and no substance - something like fruit-loops. I don't require a huge selection but it really was poor. The atmosphere was very regimented with the Maitre D' clearly trying to get everything done on time but as such the staff lacked genuine smiles. It's only breakfast! Help your staff to enjoy it more and the customers will too.

- No Virtuoso recognition. We had used the services of a Virtuoso travel agency to book our stay and they have amenities/room upgrades/receptions etc. with properties that they work with. The Monasterio said that they had never heard of Virtuoso and that we should work through other companies such as Abercrombie. Very disappointing.

All in all, this hotel really missed the mark with us. The above points may appear trivial to you, but when you consider what this hotel charges and the way that it describes itself as one of the best hotels in S. America, it is in no way deserving of such pomp and ceremony. Having stayed at several 4* and 5* hotels in S. America I wouldn't hesitate in recommending many others, but alas the Monasterio is not one.

My final point would be to say - save your money for the Hiram Bingham train - now that is worth every penny and a truly delightful experience!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oeperu, The management at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, responded to this review, October 23, 2009
Dear guest,
Thank you for your detailed feedback, we have proceeded to correct some points and strengthen our staff training. We apologize if our service could not meet the usual Orient-Express class during your stay with us. Once again thank you for your comments and we are glad to interact with our guests via tripadvisor.

With best regards,

The management.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amelia Island, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the hotel. We had a two story loft room that provided us with lots of room. The grounds were meticulously manicured. The breakfast was superb and the staff friendly and professional! We stayed at three Orient Express hotels while in Peru and enjoyed every one. Our tour operator inkastravel.com suggested this hotel and it was an excellent choice.

Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oeperu, The management at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, responded to this review, October 5, 2009
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your great experience, on behalf of the management and the staff of our Orient Express properties in Peru I would like to thank you for choosing us. We very much appreciate your comments on our quality service.

Kind Regards,

Patricio Zucconi
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Address: Calle Palacio 136 | Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco 5184, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cusco
#4 Family Hotel in Cusco
#5 Business Hotel in Cusco
#6 Luxury Hotel in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel Monasterio 5*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Right beside the lively Cusco central square is Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. This delightful retreat combines centuries-old charm with luxury hotel service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites-all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard. The ideal hotel from which to discover the delights of Cusco, its doors open to a vibrant scene of old and modern architecture, markets, galleries and restaurants serving 'new Andean' cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monasterio Hotel Cusco
Hotel Monasterio

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