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“History, Culture and Impeccable service: a perfect combination”

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Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Ranked #4 of 164 Hotels in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“History, Culture and Impeccable service: a perfect combination”
Reviewed July 18, 2006

We loved every minute of our 4 nights stay at this gorgeous hotel. The rooms are exsuitely appointed and they keep the charme of their original use (the hotel was built in 16th century to be a monastery).
Service is by far the most attentive we ever received in all of Latin America. The friendly and professional staff seem able to anticipate every need of their guests, always with a genuine smile and ready to assist.
We loved the sumptous breakfast and the magical, mystical atmosphere you experience while sitting in the wonderful cloister. Hotel Monasterio was unquestionably one of the highlights of our journey throughout Peru.

  • Liked — the oxygene enriched rooms!
  • Disliked — no internet connection from the rooms
  • Tips/Secrets — have breakfast in the restaurant - the buffet selection is very rich
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank AmanJunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Flagstaff, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2006

The Hotel Monesterio in Cuzco is considered by many to be one of the country's premier properties, part of the Orient Express group. I spent three nights there in July 2006 and was extremely thankful I was not paying the full rack rate (in the neighborhood of $500 per night) since I was part of a tour group. In fact, it seemed as if everybody was there with one group or another, since we recognized baggage tags from many of the typical upscale U.S. companies like Abercrombie and Kent and Mountain Travel Sobek.

Most guests arrive in the early morning, having taken red eye flights from the U.S. to Lima and then taking a dawn shuttle flight to Cuzco. Fortunately, the hotel anticipates early arrivals, and we had no trouble checking in about 9 am. You are offered a cup of coca tea in the lobby (drink it and ask for more to reduce the effects of altitude sickness). I found it a bit incongruous to have the doorman wearing a top hat, given the street kids begging at the entryway, but there is plenty of security if that is one of your worries. In fact, there appeared to be a surplus of staff standing around with little to do.

The rooms might seem a bit small by American standards, and two double beds filled the space with little maneuvering room. The sheets are monogrammed, there are Moulton Brown items in the bathroom, and free bottled water is there upon arrival and then again in the evening. Rooms off the main courtyard are very noisy because of the acoustics that allow you to hear every conversation being held there. This is a real problem in the morning when early risers heading to Machu Picchu congregate on the first floor and forget others are still sleeping off their jet lag. Rooms in the back courtyard are a bit larger, but avoid being on the street side, where local noise can be just as bad as the tourists.

The buffet breakfast features freshly squeezed orange, mango, and papaya juice, and several hot dishes such as potatoes, bacon, eggs, and french toast. A chef makes omelettes to order, and there is a big selection of breakfast breads, pastries, and cakes. The tables are set with linen, and the setting is part of the former monestery (hence, the name). At dinner, the restaurant provides a nice ambiance, but at prizes that are stratospheric. Just because it is Peru, don't assume that you are paying less.

In fact, prices are probably the main reason why I give a thumbs down to the Monesterio. It is considered the accomodation of choice for those staying in Cuzco, and you are likely to be told it is the ONLY place to stay. But I found it difficult to justify the prices, the formality, and the gold jewelry being sold in the lobby in comparison to other hotels nearby. Even the Colonial rooms in the Novatel are less than half those of the Monesterio, and much larger, and if you stay in a standard room, the cost is much more reasonable still. The Novatel's lobby is covered, allowing you to hang out there even in the evening, while the Monasterio's courtyard gets chilly and there are only a handful of small tables with no other places to sit. Monasterio has more antiques and a chapel; the Novatel has a friendlier staff, slightly less bountiful buffet and bigger bathrooms.

If price is no object, you might think the Monesterio is worth the bucks just because of the name. But if you would rather spend your dollars on another trip or alpaca sweaters, skip the big name.

Helpful?
11 Thank FLGTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheresaX, Director of Sales&Marketing at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, responded to this review, July 19, 2006
We are obviously disspointed to hear that your TripAdvisor Member was not content with The Monasterio Hotel. The entire team strives to meet and go beyond expectations. That is certainly the reason the hotel has been constant receiving various international awards. We always recommend our travelers that during their stay they share any comments they have or upon check out fill in the guest comment forms, which we take very serious. Those are tools we can use to really see the feedback from our guests.

In regards to our menus, those are available throughout the hotel enabling a guest to choose prior entering the restaurants if he wants to dine with us. There is a wide range of dishes on our menus where obviously as a 5star establishment we make sure all is fresh and therefore produces are flown in from various destinations in Peru and or South America. But as said the information is distributed all over the hotel, therefore it is completely the guests choice to either dine in a very unique setting or not. In addition, the Front Office team also has a list recommending the various restaurants in Cusco which we consider a must during one's stay.

Apart from a variety in our restaurants, as a 5star property we have various rates depending on the room category one books. But the uniqueness of The Monasterio, is the original structure which was not modified. All was refurbished according to the rulings of the National Culture& Heritage Insitution. No rooms at The Monasterio are alike in size and shape due to the history and protection of the building, so our guests cannot expect to find the typical hotel chain standardized room sizes. Imagine this building is over 450 years old making the property extremely special and a destination in itself, however this may affect therefore a type of traveller who is looking for something more standardized

But as said in our first paragraph we take all guest comments serious since we believe this is an important tool in order to monitor and improve on an ongoing basis our services. We shall make sure we continue to improve information assisting ultimately the guest when making his final choice on where to stay when visiting this extraordinary destination.



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 10, 2006

We were fortunate to stay at the Hotel Monasterio as part of our 20th wedding anniversary trip to Peru. The service was outstanding every step of the way. The facility is stunning. The minute you walk in the door you know you are staying someplace special and different. Yes, it is more expensive than the other hotels in town. It is worth it!

We stayed 3 nights before leaving for Machu Picchu. When we returned we were staying one more night before heading to Lima and home. They met us at the train station to take us back to the hotel. Imagine our surprise as we did not request this or tell them when we would be arriving (and no it did not cost extra!). In our room was a note welcoming us back to the hotel with a small bottle of wine and some desserts. Just a small example of the service. The Georgian chants echoing quietly in the hallways in the morning on the way to breakfast was also a nice treat.

Even if it doesn't work out to stay at this fabulous hotel come by for a drink in the evening and enjoy the beautiful bar and the art. The pisco sours are great!

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2006

We stayed at the Monasterio on our way to Machu Picchu. The hotel was truly a luxury hotel. Upon walking in and seeing the lovely large vase full of fresh flowers to walking to our room, the hotel was simply splendid. The rooms were smaller than in other places, but we did not feel cramped or crowed. The service provided was exceptional. The breakfast buffet could not compare to anything we ever seen on our travels through Europe. Very elegant and a large selection to chose from. Every evening, the hotel provides you a pair of slippers. I suffered with altitude sickness my first day, and the hotel provided me with an oxygen tank free of charge. I would highly recommend this hotel. Everything you can possible think of in the way of service is covered = total comfort.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank simplylovely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2006

The Monasterio is a charming hotel with great service and an excellent location. I'm not sure it is worth the hefty price tag particularly considering the size of the rooms. As one reviewer noted, it is a former monastery and the monks did not have large rectangular shaped rooms. All guest rooms and suites are made up of former monks cells so there is so much you can do. We had a two level junior suite, but it was extremely narrow and dimly lit. On our return stay after Machu Picchu we were upgraded to the Presidential Suite which was beautiful(great bathroom), but again it was a narrow series of rooms all in a row . The best thing about the Monasterio is the oxygen you can get pumped into most rooms. It really helps and is worth the $30 per night charge.
If you like large traditional spacious hotel rooms this might not be the place for you, but come over for a drink, dinner or, if your are there on a Saturday, see the dinner show. Wonderful Peruvian dancing.

Stayed May 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank Audrey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level Contributor
82 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2006

We stopped at this hotel 2 times on our way to and from Machu Pichu. This hotel badly needs a new manager. The wifi was broken on Thursday when we left for Machu Pichu. I reported it to the front desk, but it still was broken on Saturday when we returned. The front desk often had a line and the service staff was very slow to pick up bags. While I resalize th hotel is in Peru, we stayed at the Orient Express hotel in Ankor Wat last year and the service level was very much better.

Also, our first room was very small although it had a nice patio. Our second room was larger but had only a very small window so it had almost no natural light. The lights in the room did not make up for the dimness.

I would recommend not staying at this hotel until it is brought up to the level that its price should create.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JAH123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, responded to this review, May 30, 2006
I am really surprised to read this trip advisor member comment regarding a wifi problem in our Hotel.
We could not trace any complain of that kind on the mentioned days with the reception desk nor with the business center.
We have a general practice in place where immediately any comments get written down in a log book as do most hotels. We also revised the connection status on those dates and there was no interruption. Our wifi, works in the main patio, our lobby bar, and some of the few rooms.
It may occur that some guests computers need another configuration, and in that case our IT Manager is always pleased to help. We have also a fully equipped business center at disposal, where any guest can in addition also connect their computer to a secure server.

Regarding room size in the monasterio, no rooms are alike in size and shape due to the history and protection of the building, so our guests cannot expect to find the typical hotel chain standardized room sizes. This makes the property so unique because the foundation is the original building, this may affect therefore a type of traveller who is looking for something more standardized.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 8, 2006

We found our stay at the Monasterio to be the best part of our enitre trip to Peru (OK, I'll give Machu Picchu a few points too). Our trip was plagued by cancelled flights to and from Cuzco, upsetting our travel itinerary and forcing us to make several last-minute hotel and ground transport changes. Even though we weren't checking into the hotel until several nights later, Pedro, the hotel's Guest Services Coordinator, went out o fhis way to reticket our train tickets and arranged for a taxi to drive us 90 minutes out of Cuzco to catch the last train of the day to Aguas Caliente! After our flight out of Cuzco was cancelled, we called the hotel, tired and grumpy from a day at the airport, and they gave us a beautiful Jr. Suite for the night at a nicecly reduced rate just to make sure we were happy.

As for the hotel, it is beautiful beyond belief. We had a two-level suite with all the comforts of home. After a hard day of hiking it was an absolute oasis to return to in the evening. The hotel's bar was comfortable and the tables in front of the fireplace are magical. A stroll through the cloisters, with gregorian chants softly playing in the background and 17th century paintings lining that walls makes one feel like you've fallen back in time. We highly recommend the hotel. Now if they could do something about Lan Peru (the airline!).

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Property: Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Address: Calle Palacio 140 | Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Cusco
#4 Business Hotel in Cusco
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cusco
#7 Family Hotel in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel Monasterio 5*
Number of rooms: 122
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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