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“Recommend if you are on a budget.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Balsa

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Hotel Balsa
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jiron Cajamarca 555, Puno 01, Peru   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 65 Hotels in Puno
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Recommend if you are on a budget.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2011

This was an average hotel as far as facilities go. The location was good - right by the cathedral. The staff was really great... very very helpful and always a smile on their faces. I stayed 2 nights, one at the beginning of my Lake Titicaca homestay journey and one at the end. The first night I got a pretty good room. It was a bit cold, but the heater provided eventually warmed it up. Bathroom was clean - not the ritz, but overall not too bad. The second night the room was clean, but again quite cold and unfortunately the heater didn't work too well. There was also a bit of an 'sewage' like smell starting at around 10PM to about 9AM - very good. I am very sure the hotel would have been more than happy to resolve my 'issues' for night 2, but I was just too tired to call down
and tell them :), so I don't hold it against them.

They are also the first hotel I have stayed in so far in Peru that had room service. It's not expensive. The chicken sandwich was quite good - chocolate cake was not so good. Oh and the coffee they serve at breakfast and via room service is quite horrible - perhaps bring some Starbucks VIA with you ;)!

I do recommend this hotel if you are on a budget (I am not sure how much it was as my stay there was included in a package I purchased throught GAP Adventures).

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    28
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

We stayed here for a couple of nights as part of a GAP tour. The hotel is nothing special but clean. All in all ok for a three star hotel. Puno itself is not that exciting and I would recommend not to spend too much time there.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sao Jose Dos Campos, SP
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2010

The hotel is well located as it is very close to Puno's Plaza de Armas. Staff is great and always friendly and helpful.
Free wi-fi connection works perfectly in the rooms.
Rooms size is good with a big wardrobe on them. Bathroom was good with hot shower all day long (not just for 5 minutes as others hotels in Peru).
Great deal, I recommend for everyone.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2010

We had a great experience with this hotel! We arrived fairly late into Puno from Cusco (avoid Turismo del mer) and the staff at the hotel were great! We got our room quickly and they even contacted the tour operator we were using whilst in Puno so we could be briefed. The room was spacious and clean with bathroom. Because its peru, we expected less, and this place certainly exceeded expectations. The location was fantastic, 5 min walk from the plaza and all the eateries. Free internet and the breakfast buffet was good in range and quality, you would understand after eating just bread every morning! they had yoghurt, cereal, fruit, eggs, meat and yes, different types of bread! What made our stay great was when we came back to the hotel from our homestay, they informed us that our bags which had been in storage had already been taking up to our rooms and that everything was ready for us! now thats service! a perfect stay and many thanks to the staff who made it great!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Puno
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2010

I would like to thank the staff at Balsa in for taking extra special care of me during my stay in Puno. Especially Mrs. Marisol (head house keeper) and Mr. Orlando. They were friendly and helpful and made sure my room was well kept when I was unwell.
Gracias
Julie from Australia

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 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
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New Zealand
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2009

I stayed here for 2 nights as part of a tour around Peru.

This hotel was perfectly adequate with free coca tea, hearty breakfast which started early, fairly large rooms and helpful staff.

The hotel was included in my tour and I probably would not have selected it myself but was suitable for us and better than others I stayed in.

  • Stayed November 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2009

The Balsa Inn doesn't have to try too hard, as many tour operators use this hotel. They must get good deals to put up with the complaints from their guests. If you eat breakfast here by a window, concrete can be dumped right next to you. People carry rocks and concrete through the hallways as they're building something on the roof. This is the hotel that jack built. Some corridors are just bricked off as if they sealed something nasty inside.
it would not surprise me one bit if that was true. We stayed here twice, the rooms are cold, one room someone had been to use the toilet, never flushed and left it for weeks. This overflow room had had the water cut off it hadn't been used for so long. Imagine the surprise when they checked me into it. Imagine too getting checked into one room, that smelled awful, so you ask to move to another worse room. Manager says he has nothing else, so you go back to the smelly room. Only to find someone had been in - in those two minutes - and urinated on the toilet, the seat, the floor, and never flushed. They left me to clean it up. Some rooms have showers with louvre vent windows opening into a lobby/hallway. From various floors you can see right into the shower and bathroom - and you can see a lot! Outside the room little piles of dirty clothes would show up, when I asked one passing employee, they just shrugged their shoulders. The clothes would come and go... As I say, it's just plain weird here. It's like you're in the way of some grander project and you can just make do because they're all so damn busy with something far more important.
The heat is poor here, hotel looks ok in the lobby, there is free internet, but uses ancient software and someone kept changing the setting to record all your site passwords. Every PC in peru and Bolivia has a non genuine version of Windows or so it seems, so if your mail needs a modern browser, it's gonna be tough.
Having said that this is Peru and the hotels here are all pretty much a hit or miss affair. That said, no one comes to Puno for the town, there's not much redemption here, and the nearby airport town of Juliaca is a bit worse. You are only safe on the main drag between the two downtown squares, where there's lots of armed cops guarding bank doorways. All the touristy restaurants are here.
Puno is the boat gateway to Lake Tititcaca, and on Taquile, Uros and Amantani it's a million miles from Puno in every sense. That's not a bad thing! If you come here, do a homestay with a family on Amantani, a far better use of your time than Puno. Nobody there would pee on your toilet seat and floor, they maybe poor, but they are clean and nice!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Balsa

Address: Jiron Cajamarca 555, Puno 01, Peru
Location: Peru > Puno Region > Puno
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 65 Hotels in Puno
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Balsa 3*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are your best and safer choice. With our welcoming attention and efficient service you will feel at home.The Balsa Hotel offers to all its guests the comfort of its modern facilities and equipment, thus like its experience in Hotels.Our only intention is to satisfy desires and necessities with our guests, guaranteeing their unforgettable holidays and making the most of your . Luxury rooms and bathrooms Buffet Breakfast included for all guests All carpeted rooms Box spring beds Super king beds Private bathroom with tub and shower Hot water 24 hours Heating in all rooms Hair Dryer in all rooms Safe box in all rooms Telephone in all rooms WI-FI in all Hotel TV per cable. ... more   less 
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