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Review of El Balcon

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El Balcon
Ranked #1 of 413 Cusco B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 13, 2009

Great reception at the airport, efficient transfer to the hotel. Had room #1, the suite, with a second bed added to the room for my 14 yr old before we went trekking in the mountains. Balcony view was outstanding, hot water was great, great location, people could not be nicer, quiet respite and great place to "land in Cusco." Big fluffy towels, great garden to sit in, nice covered porch on the second floor to watch the City below. Very much liked El Balcon. Super value, nice bed, great covers, great woodwork doors and balconies, not the Sheraton, but you shouldn't come to Peru and/or Cusco if you are looking for the Sheraton, should you? This is a great place to stay and I highly recommend it. Only substantive advice (beyond book room #1 if you can) is to bring a small bottle of shampoo. They provide soap, but not shampoo.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank rowingman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 29, 2009

I agree with the favorable reviews of El Balcon. It is a charming property, with the advantage of good location near the main square and an excellent value. Rates included internet (24 hour), tea, breakfast, TV, and telephone. Really, an incredible deal at $25 cash in summer if booked direct. The staff as mentioned were truly friendly and helpful and there was always someone with some fluency in English. The room I had on the top floor was larger than I expected for the price (with an overheight ceiling with exposed beams). There is an incredible assortment of antiques and furniture on display. The breakfast was pretty good, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, bread, juice and assorted hot beverages, although coffee is by the cold brew method and actually I think at this altitude the coffee is not a good idea. The property was well maintained and clean. One morning there was a parrot in the courtyard who seemed tame (he was feeding from a container in the tree). The main issue is the lack of elevator and steep access to the property and to the units via flights of stairs, but I think I wold return despite this drawback. The staff called a taxi for me in the morning to the airport and made sure that I paid the going rate (which is a nice change from overpriced hotel transfers).

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank mlgb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2009

Stayed at this wonderful hotel for four nights. Loved everything about it, especially the most helpful front desk staff. The hotel is housed in a 400 y.o. building and an interesting collection of artifacts from the years past is exibited in the beautiful garden, in the dining room and the reception area. I would love to stay there again.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ager01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2008

We stayed at the El Balcon Hostal in Cusco for 5 nights in total, 4 before the Inca Trail, and returned for one night afterwards. Throughtout our stay, the staff were incredibly friendly and could not do enough for us. We had corresponded with Rosa for our booking, and she remembered us when we arrived. They came to pick us up at the airport, and helped us in with our bags. They offered a safe in their office for our documents etc, and we kept charge of the key.
The Hotel itself is fairly basis, but it's such a beautiful, tranquil and charming place. The rooms are on 2 levels, with an open courtyard below, leading to the 'restaurant'. The bedroom was perfectly fine for our short stay, as it was winter, they provided lots of blankets for us, and there was a heater. At first, seeing that we had one of the rooms on the upper level, we were delighted as the views across Cusco were amazing, especially by night....however we quickly realised the downside when we attempted to climb the staircase, having to pause for breath half way up (only about 10 stairs in total!!).
It is the altitude in Cusco which will dictate the level of enjoyment above anything else. If you don't take it seriously, it can really affect your stay quite badly....even then, we tried to do everything by the book, but withing about 3 hours of being in Cusco, I felt really bad and was vomiting continuously. Luckily, Rosa was on hand to again, deliver a top class service, giving me the local medication for Altitude sickness and coca leaf tea. By the morning, when I could get out of bed finally, Rosa made a point of asking how I was, and if there was anything more they could do for me - fortunately, that was the end of my sickness for the rest of my stay.
We often wandered into Cusco centre from the Hotel, it was about a 15-20 minute walk on the first day...dropping to about 5-10 minutes by the end of the stay, when we had becomed more accostomed to the air. The Plaza de Armas is a beautiful place to just sit and relax, watching the world go by. We also ventured to the Quoricancha (Temple of the Sun), the Church on the Plaza...but there was so much more to see and do that we just didn't give ourselves enough time. There are a couple of well advertised craft markets, however walking from El Balcon to the Plaza, there were smaller markets down little side streets - these really were amazing places, beautiful hand crafted goods which cost next to nothing, yet they still expected you to haggle. We purchased a beautiful hand carved chess set for about £3.50! Also, the Alpaca woollen ware is not to be missed, especially if you are doing the Inca Trail - the hats and gloves came in very useful indeed during the cold nights. We went with Peru Treks for the Inca Trail - not the cheapest tour company, but we did our research and liked their business ethics and professionalism....we couldn't fault it. There was a strike planned in Cusco the morning we were due to depart for the Inca Trail, so Peru Treks decided to contact us and leave the night before - so we had one extra night camping right by the start of KM 82 ! This did mean that we missed out on the Sacred Valley Tour, as this had been planned for the morning before the Inca Trail, which was a real shame, but would rather have missed that, than risk not being able to get to the Inca Trail.
El Balcon held our main luggage in their storage whiclst we were on the Trek for no additional charge, and although it meant clearing the room and going into a different one on our return, this didn't matter in the slightest to us.
All in all, our stay in Cusco was one of the most memorable, and beautiful places we have been to. We could have stayed at a more plush hotel, but we were attracted by the rustic nature of El Balcon, which just added to the overall feel for the city. The slight disadvantage were the steps that we needed to walk down / up to get to the centre, however after a couple of times it became easier and easier - they weren't steep, or many at all, but just any exertion of exercise when the air is thinner took it out of us. But we wouldn't want to stay anywhere else when we return...!!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HBoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2008

We enjoyed our stay at El Balcon, Cusco. It is conveniently located 3 blocks from the central square in Cusco. The hotel is quite charming, clean and comfortable. They serve hot breakfast in the morning and the running hot water is a plus. Overall, no complaints aout our stay here.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wanderLust18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2008

We absolutely loved this hotel. The rooms are small but adorable! the view from the balcony is amazing! It does not feel like you are living in a hotel. This is more like you are staying over at a friends house. The owners are very friendly and make you feel right at home. The breakfast is good. They even serve homemade food at dinner. We stayed here a few times during our visit before we went to the jungle then we came back just before setting out for the Lares trail and then again for a night before leaving Peru. Both before the jungle and the trail we stored our suitcases there (we are on a trip around the world so we have a lot of stuff).
This is not a hotel for people who are used to luxuries however. This is the place if you really want to experience the local hospitality. the rooms get a bit cold at night. (I just slept with my fleece on, didn't bother me!) It is fairly close to the Plaza des Armas but the road it is on is small and feels a bit remote. It is also uphill from the main road that leads to the Plaza.
I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Afferz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2008

We stayed here for several nights in August, both before and after returning from various excursions/hikes in the Andes. The place is very well kept, charming, with beautiful colonial architecture. I would definitely stay here again. The dining room, where breakfast is served, is open all day for lounging, reading, drinking tea. A very lovely space. The only draw-back for some people is that it is a very short hike up hill from the central plaza. But in this city, EVERYTHING is essentially uphill from the plaza unless you stay right on the plaza, which I wouldn't recommend. Furthermore, the views from the hotel balcony are magnificent, and so very much worth the walk in my opinion. Also, if you are too tired to go out at night, the kitchen will prepare you a very modest but tasty meal.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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3  Thank emcurry1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 #1 of 413 B&Bs / Inns in Cusco
Price Range: $47 - $102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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