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“Authentic Old Cusco”
Review of El Balcon

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El Balcon
Ranked #3 of 355 Cusco B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Pinole, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Authentic Old Cusco”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

We stayed several nights at El Balcon over the course of 2 weeks. The people there were extremely helpful, responding to every request. Their English was always adequate and far beyond our poor Spanish. One time we were able to store our rental car inside their one-space parking area. The road up to the hotel is narrow and one-way, coming down-hill, which challenged my driving skills. Our rooms on the upper floors gave wonderful views of the town of Cusco but the walk up the stairs were taxing due to us not being acclimatized to the elevation. On our arrival the hostess took us to the dining area and promptly brought us coca tea to help us deal with the elevation change from Lima. The hotel is walking distance from Plaza de Armas where there are an abundance of shops, restaurants, outfitters, etc. yet the area around the hotel is basic Peruvian. The hotel is also an antique in itself. I was often left wondering how the old architecture had been modified to make this such a cozy place to stay. We were able to store some of our luggage there on our trip to Machu Picchu. Lastly, the staff helped arrange our stay at El Albergue hotel near Machu Picchu. The courtyard has an abundance of flowers which led to the beginning of our bird list for Peru. El Balcon arranged for us to be picked up at the hotel and be brought there, and they arranged the taxi for our exit to the airport at the end of our trip. This is a perfect service for your entry into and exit from the Cusco area. I recommend El Balcon very strongly.

Room Tip: Get as low a floor as you can the stairs challenge the new arrival.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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362 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 3, 2013

In September 2013 my husband and I stayed 3 nights at El Balcon before leaving for our 4-day Inka Trail hike, then we returned to El Balcon for 1 more night after our hike. El Balcon kept our luggage locked away at no charge while we were away on the Inka Trail. We found all of the staff to be friendly and very willing to make our stay enjoyable. The complimentary breakfasts were delicious and the staff even served soup for us as late at 9:30 pm one night for a nominal charge. The rooms were clean and we loved the décor and the view. I picked this hostal because of the lovely courtyard and the way it was different than a standard hotel. Also, the price was reasonable. I would definitely stay at El Balcon again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We stayed at the El Balcon in March of 2012. The people were phenomenal, the rooms were clean, the heat left a bit to be desired but throw another blanket on and save enough to buy one to take home. Our friends stayed in a 'nice' hotel that cost an arm and a leg, was noisy, and just not all that El Balcon was...

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Laura R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We stayed 4 nights in El Balcon in August 2013. The hotel is situated in a quiet street, beautiful views from the balcony. Staff were friendly, attentive and efficient. You feel that you are in Peru and not in a hotel that could be anywhere in the world. We liked the decor and the antique woven cloths hanging on the wall. Breakfast was good, and authentic too, with coffee made 'a la Peru' and not from a coffee machine, for instance!! There is always some hot water available, to have tea, infusions and, of course, 'mate de coco', good to help with altitude dizziness. The rooms are simple (with clean bathrooms) and again, of local style. We felt completely safe and when we went trekking for 5 days, we left our valuables in the office safe (passports/ laptop) with no problem. During our trek we needed some administrative help and Janet (from the front desk) happily and efficiently helped us. If you are looking for a Peruvian style hotel, El Balcon is perfect.

Room Tip: In our opinion, some rooms are nicer than others... go and check for yourself which one you like bes...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sylvie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2013

I stayed at El Balcon a second time and was received wonderfully. The staff are warm and are as kind to each other as they are to you as their quest. The living room is a lovely place to read and or just have tea. The quests that come to El Balcon seem to be as well mannered and well intentioned. Enjoy your stay however long or short.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

El Balcon is a charming hotel, with gardens located on a hill within 10 minutes walking distance to Cusco center. The room, with 2 double beds on the second floor was agreeable, but with 1 small window. Neglect was shown on the bathroom ceiling and tile in the shower. The ceiling had water damage from the roof. Since the ceilings are tall, the water damage and black mold hanging from the corner ceiling was not initially obvious to us. Upon inspection of the bathroom ceiling next to us, we realized it wasn’t just one area of neglect, but chronic neglect. Cleaning the ceilings hygienically and a little white paint would hold over the ceilings in the lower season for repair.

Having traveled in cooler areas a heater was requested in advance. Both the heater and the TV had to be replaced and we were wondering if other guests went without. The hotel was safe and there was a sufficient safe box. The breakfast was nice though the same every day. With the market near a change in the menu or fruit would be have been a nice surprise. Due to altitude sickness, a simple, but delicious chicken soup was prepared.

The hotel contracts out their travel advisor who we did not use, but another guest had. One advisor, very effective and aggressive in their sales did well, but the incentive is only for their commission, not for their relationship or customer service to hotel guests. It was apparent this concession changes on a regular basis. The staff has been left to run this hotel, and they are certainly doing the best they can without owners sufficient inspection of the property. During our visit the accountant was overseeing the operation and this simply does not work when you have a great location and potentially a precious gem. With ownership commitment and customer care, it could compete with other hotels in Cusco. This gem should be a rustic hotel, not an OLD hotel.

Room Tip: Second floor is best. Get Specific instructions and advise Front Desk the time you are arriving. B...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Wold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

This hotel was very quiet and in a good location. We were less than 10 minutes walking distance to the city. I can’t say that this hotel or any other hotel in the area is easy to find on your own so I would make sure you arrange transportation with someone that knows where they are going. Every morning we were made fresh breakfast which included eggs, fruit, and coffee. This was perfect for me but by husband was hungry after an hour without any meat. The rooms were small, which wasn’t a big deal but the beds were small also (not ideal for two adults). The room was constructed using some type of hide (animal skin) to hold the ceiling together which was absolutely terrible for my husband’s allergies. The hide began to grow mold or hold some type of allergen that was terribly irritating. The bathroom was large and clean but very cold. The only heating element we had for the room was a portable heater so we would move it to the bathroom every morning and back into the room after. The room provided a small safe but it was useless if we wanted to fit anything larger than a tablet inside. We used it for our passports and cash. The beds had nice warm blankets on them but they were not soft at all. The view from the room was superb. A major concern for us was safety. Our rooms were not that secure, they were kept locked with padlocks! On two occasions we returned to our room only to discover that the maid left the padlock unlocked. This was very discomforting. Rolland, who is the onsite travel advisor, is very kind but does not offer any deals better than what you can find in town. He gave off the appearance of trying to be helpful but like any other business man, he was bothered by offering help if it didn’t involve his own interests (commission). Prior to my arrival to Peru I arranged transportation with El Balcon. Rolland was there on time to pick me up on time but the downside was that he made my husband and I wait outside in the heat while he was taking care of another matter at the airport. This was displeasing, especially since we had to pay for the pick up and it was not complimentary.

Room Tip: See if you can find a room without animal hide.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Candice B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Balcon

Property: El Balcon
Address: Tambo de Montero 222, Cusco 00000, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 355 B&Bs / Inns in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Balcon 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located only three blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the city of Cusco, El Balcon has a commanding view of the entire city, cathedrals, churches, mountains and the Ausangate glacier. El Balcon is a renovated colonial Casona that dates back to the 1630s built atop the preceding Inca terraces. Inca stone work and colonial balustrades mesh harmoniously around terraced gardens creating an atmosphere that is beautiful, historic and authentically Peruvian. Some of our amenities and services include free airport transportation, complimentary hot breakfast and buffet, laundry, and free yoga classes. We are happy to help with any travel arrangements so that our guests can experience the best that Cusco and the Sacred Valley has to offer. At El Balcon we strive to provide our guests with the highest level of hospitality so that they have all they need to feel comfortable at our family establishment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balcon Hotel Cusco

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