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“Significant design flaws but good service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of El Mercado Hotel

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El Mercado Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle 7 Cuartones 306, Cusco 84, Peru   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 145 Hotels in Cusco
Brooklyn
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Significant design flaws but good service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

The designer responsible for the renovation of this hotel completely missed the mark for a hotel that is part of the Mountain Lodges properties. The previous reviewer makes note of the issues that can potentially be resolved; no telephone service, missing items, lack of reliable wi-fi) the bigger issue is the basic design of the rooms, public spaces and overall esthetic.The lodges on the Salkantay trek are very well planned and comfortable without being pretentious. This hotel, on the other hand, has no relationship to the thoughtful design of the lodges. The most significant problem has to do with the heating. While the use of radiant heat could have been a great solution, placing it in a small portion of the wall is inadequate for the job. Had radiant heating been built into the floors, it would have worked well. In the room we stayed in before the trek, we never had enough heat, especially since the wall with the heat is about 15 feet away from the toilet, shower sink, which is open to the room and covered in marble, which is another big mistake in a climate where it is really cold. The floor in the toilet was always freezing as was the toilet seat. Why would marble be used in a climate that has really cold nights? It is pretentious and very inappropriate. The shower walls are in marble and never warm up. When we asked about the heat, they obviously knew about this issue, because they had these huge propane heaters available and brought us one. But the heater needed to be on all night in order to heat up the shower and toilet area, which is very problematic since propane heaters use oxygen for combustion, and at over 11,000 feet there isn't a lot of oxygen to spare. In addition, each of the rooms have all four walls that aren't heated either by a hallway, since that is open to the outside, and none of the rooms share walls since they are all exterior rooms and have an open light well between rooms. The rooms on the top floor have some views, but lower rooms have windows facing the light well which is shared by the adjacent room.

The room, although it is large, is awkward. The doors to the closet with the safe and hanging space can't be opened very far since they are blocked by the bedside table. It is interesting that the floor plan shown on the fire exit plan on the back of the door shows very different layouts, including enclosed bathrooms rather than the open ones. Perhaps when they decided on the heating system they realized that there was not way that an enclosed bathroom could be kept warm by a wall on the opposite side of the room. The furnishings are also strange, more appropriate to a hotel in Miami Beach than Peru. In a country with weaving traditions there is a plastic rug on the floor. Maybe the designer had a plan for a tropical hotel in the drawer that had been cancelled and was able to sell this as "trendy" and "upscale". We had expected a hotel that was similar to the really lovely lodges, but were severely disappointed.

On the other hand, the personnel working the breakfast was very sweet and try to do everything to help. The personnel at the front desk are aware of the issues, but can't do very much to help. We needed to try to change some flights and no one offered to help us, given that we could make phone calls.

One last item that perhaps has been changed is that there is music in the hallways. That in itself isn't necessarily a problem, but the entire time we at the hotel (2 days prior to the trek and one day after) they were playing the same Ray Charles CD. Now I like Ray Charles as much as the next person, but the same CD over and over again is a bit much. And in the first room we were in, the speaker was just outside our door, so even in our room we heard the music. When we suggested that it was after 11 and that it would be nice to turn off the music they did, but it was back on the next morning.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms on the top floor have decent views, the rooms on the lower floors have only a view...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
ExperienceML P, Manager at El Mercado Hotel, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for leaving your comments on the Tripadvisor we do appreciate the time you took to give us the details of your stay that unfortunately were not up to your standards.

Please accept our apologies for the inconveniences you have experienced, we regret that the Hotel you were expecting was not in appropriate conditions regarding maintenance, decoration and music.

We truly look forward to welcoming you again in the near future and give us the opportunity to reverse the bad impression we left on you.

This comments are an invaluable tool to improve our service.

Cordially yours,

El Mercado Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    20
    5
    3
    0
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Washington DC
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

This hotel is largely used as a one or two night stop in Cusco for those going to or coming from the other Mountain Lodges of Peru . It is a nice, new hotel. However, as of August (and at least into September) 2013 it is going through an expansion that is causing some problems: their is no phone service in most rooms; they can run short of hot water; newer rooms may be missing items such as lamps/TV reception/hangars, etc. Finally, most employees were friendly and seemed ready and willing to help, but a couple kinda had an attitude. The management seems intent on fixing these issues as soon as possible so this may be short-term. Indeed, I'd report anything amiss and they seem willing to try and fix it, if they can. But as of August 18 their punch list was pretty long.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with others (e.g., another couple or kids that have their own room) you should...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExperienceML P, General Manager at El Mercado Hotel, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of all our staff we offer you and your family our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences that you experienced during you stay.

We sincerely hope to have a second opportunity to offer you a new experience in the near future.

Cordially yours,
El Mercado Team.
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Washington DC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

I spent two days here before and after the Mountain Lodges of Peru Salkantay Trail trip.
The hotel is in an awesome location, near the Carmelite Monastery and within a seven to eight minute walk to the main square. The hotel's breakfast is awesome(especially the fruit smoothie drinks and the service equals the Waldorf in New York. For example, I was missing a adapter charger for my I phone and one of the employees went downtown and purchased one for me.
Keith W in Washington DC

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

The El Mercado is a great pace to start and finish after the Salkantay trek with the Mountain Lodges of Peru group. Great location in the heart of the city, the hotel is still finishing so needs to get past a few minor issues like phone, heating, etc after opening in June but everyone is very helpful and take great care of you. The juices for breakfast are freshly made to your order, which is a nice touch. The menu is limited but excellent, it could be expanded and refined as the hotel gets established, but the decor is creative. The turn down service with hot water bottle warming the bed was wonderful. Enjoy this small gem in Cusco.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granger, Indiana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

This was an incredible stay. We spent a few days here before and after our Trek to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay Trail. Eduardo , Alex and staff went above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. Eduardo even made special arragements for us to call our kids, when the hotel had some issues with the phone! It never would have happened that way elsewhere.The decor in the rooms and public space is exceptional. Every staff member was courteous, kind and attentive to our needs. They addressed us by name from the very first day!

The location is a bit off the main tourist area which made it a great place to stay. It is convenient to local markets, restaurants, and sightseeing. The breakfast, with fresh juices made to order, was fantastic. I would highly recommend this hotel for any length of stay in Cusco. We appreciate all that they did to start and end our trip wonderfully. Thank you Eduardo, Alex and staff.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

The El Mercado Hotel is a very special place in a perfect location. The hotel just opened in June of 2013, and you can tell the owners took great care in every detail. There are handmade Peruvian hats used as super creative decoration in the main dining room (all are lit from underneath along the walls). The breakfast was incredible complete with made-to-order omelettes and the BEST fresh fruit & veggie smoothie bar. The staff is absolutely willing to do whatever it takes to make your stay special (Adriana, Alex, Nadia to name just a few). We arrived at 7am from Lima (after traveling 18 hours), and they provided us a room to sleep & shower while they cleaned the room we had reserved for the next few nights. If you are going on the lodge-to-lodge trek with Mountain Lodges of Peru, it's a perfect place to stay since all the meetings happen there & it's run by the same organization.
The only drawback would be that the hotel isn't completely finished, so they are still working on some of the rooms and installing the elevator. I assume all of that will be done relatively soon.
The bathrooms are wonderful, large and have super soft/thick towels. The shower heads are "rain" show style, which I love. The beds & linens are top notch.

Room Tip: We had our children with us and reserved a suite. It was great to have the two connecting rooms. Our...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

I stayed three nights at this Hotel and strongly recommend it. The staff was very helpful, the food was excellent and the bed perfect. When I was there the nights were too chilly to be outside but they also have a wonderful courtyard. The shower was to die for!!

Room Tip: I stayed in a regular room and it was just fine. I did appreciate having a TV and the BBC. There d...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Mercado Hotel

Address: Calle 7 Cuartones 306, Cusco 84, Peru
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 145 Hotels in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Mercado Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Mercado is Mountain Lodges of Peru’s new boutique hotel in the heart of Cusco. It is proof positive of the company’s total commitment to its guests, featuring original and eye-catching interiors and exceptional customer service that starts right at the very beginning of the adventure, in Cusco itself. ... more   less 
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