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“A Real Treat in a Country Not Known for Upscale Hotels”

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Senses Boutique Hotel
Ranked #10 of 49 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Level 6 Contributor
675 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,862 helpful votes
“A Real Treat in a Country Not Known for Upscale Hotels”
Reviewed October 23, 2011

Senses Boutique Hotel was a major reprieve for us after two and a half weeks in Bolivia. We had stayed at "5-star hotels" previously in other cities which were only 5-stars in someone's fantasy, so we had low expectations going in. However, we were pleasantly surprised. Senses wasn't perfect, but it blew away any other hotel we'd stayed in or even seen in any city in Bolivia. By Bolivian standards, I can say this was definitely a 5-star hotel. Now, that doesn't mean you can compare it to any Orient Express or Mandarin Oriental in the world, but comparing it to other hotels in Bolivia we were overjoyed.

LOCATION - For a nice stay in Santa Cruz proper, the location can't be beat. It's right on the main square. We had a massive close-up view of the cathedral right across the street, and the beautiful main square is right across the street. You don't have to walk far to find something to eat, and in the same building as the hotel, there is a Sky Bar that has very good quesadillas and fajitas (that are more like enchiladas but good anyway) and a panoramic view overlooking the square and cathedral. There is shopping nearby, a laundromat is about 3 blocks away (15 Bs/kg), everything you need. Not a ton of great restaurants around, but taxis are only about $1.50 anywhere you want to go so no problem. The location on the square and in a shopping mall has a downside though - noise. There are concerts and/or protests inside the mall and/or at the square nightly (we were there for 3 nights and there was music and things going on until about 11:00 PM each night). We had to turn the TV up loud to try to drown it out, but forget about sleeping until it stopped.

HOTEL - The hotel is unusually laid out for a boutique hotel - in fact, I'm not sure I really found much boutique about it. It is a 5-star hotel located in a shopping mall. It has all the amenities you'd expect - a small swimming pool on the roof, a spa, free wireless internet (we had some problems with this, but they worked hard to fix it for us), room service, a restaurant and bar (well, the restaurant seemed to be only open for breakfast, while they used a restaurant located in the shopping mall as their other "restaurant"), and even a concierge (who was rarely there, but was helpful when he was). The staff speaks very little English except the manager and concierge who are rarely to be seen. They are all very nice though, especially the young guy that works nights - he'll do anything for you with a smile. The hotel is nearly brand new and feels fresh throughout.

ROOMS - We booked the penthouse suite for $200/night. A great deal by American standards, and really by Bolivian standards too. We had a similar room at another hotel for about $130/night that was really poor. The room was very large, huge flat screen tv, free wireless internet, a table where we could work and use the internet, a separate sitting room, a huge balcony (but no chairs on it - that was ok though, it was often really hot or really windy), and a great view of the cathedral. The bathroom was huge and very nice, the shower was wonderful after some really bad ones in Boliiva, the only thing weird was no doors on the bathroom or even the toilet. The bed was really nice, but unfortunately the A/C vent was located right next to the bed so it was really loud and kept us awake. You couldn't turn it off though, too hot. Strange placement. Overall, a great room for a great price.

FOOD - The restaurant is only open for breakfast, which is average. Egg cooking station, fruit, bread, and cereal. But it was enough. The restaurant is nice with a view over the square. The other "restaurant" is really an independent restaurant inside the shopping mall, but it is right there so why not. Downstairs is more of a juice bar (good jugo con leche and helado), while upstairs you have the bar and restaurant which has a panoramic view over the square and cathedral. Good Mexican dishes, the other dishes tasted more like a food court. There are a few other restaurants within walking distance, or you can take a cab for about $1.50 to anywhere in the city. Room service was available, same menu as the other restaurant.

SERVICE - The staff was very helpful throughout our stay - the lack of English was difficult sometimes, but it worked out with a few calls to the front desk and some patience. No worries. They try to help. The young guy who was there in the afternoons and evenings was wonderful, so nice and eager to please. The manager and concierge were rarely seen, but they had good English and were helpful when they were there. Housekeeping was sketchy at best - there was a dead grasshopper next to our bed that remained there all through our three night stay. They do not do turn-down service and we had to lower and raise all our many blinds every day, which was strange for a 5-star hotel. Some days we returned in the afternoon to find our rooms still not cleaned.

Overall, Senses was outstanding compared to the other hotels we'd stayed in throughout Bolivia, and far better than the hotel that our travel agent recommended to us. We were very happy we stayed there, and can recommend it - as long as you bring your earplugs! It isn't on a par with top international hotels, but it is good, clean, and well-located, a real prize in a country that has a long way to go in the upscale hotel category.

Room Tip: I don't think you can find a quiet room, especially on the weekends, but the Penthouse has a gre...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Johann&Sandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SENSES BOUTIQU... H, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Senses Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, September 4, 2015
Google Translation
Estimado Huésped
Reciba un cordial saludo, de toda la familia Senses, nos sentimos complacidos al saber que tuvo una satisfactoria estadía tanto en nuestro establecimiento como en nuestro país.
Agradecemos el tiempo dedicado en compartir su grata experiencia de su viaje en Bolivia.
Saludos Atentos
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Lamai
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2011

Senses hotel in a very charming Boutique hotel right in front of Santra Cruz's main square.
The Hotel rooms are as you would expect of a 4 star hotel in europe.My room had a large bed, large bathroom, mini bar, huge flat screen TV.

The hotel breakfast serves continental options mixed with local treats the we pretty good!

The hotel hosts an open restaurant and bar that is open to the main square with a vast array of meal options.

The only thing I disliked was that my room smelled like cigarret smoke. When I complained they put an aromatherapy/cromotherapy gadget in the room that disguised the smell a bit.

The internet connections isn't great but it's free and you can get the work done.
It takes the cab roundly 20 minutes from the airport to get to the Hotel

Many of the European mobile phones won't get a line so be sure to buy a local SIM card at the airport or you can also find them close to the main square.

I know the Hotel has a swimming pool but as it was raining during my stay I didn't get to try it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anacodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SENSES BOUTIQU... H, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Senses Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, September 4, 2015
Google Translation
Estimado Huésped
Reciba un cordial saludo, primeramente agradecerle el haber elegido nuestros servicios durante su visita a nuestra ciudad, así mismo el tiempo dedicado en compartir la experiencia que tuvo en nuestro establecimiento.
Comentarios como el suyo nos motivan a seguir trabajando con el principal objetivo de mejorar nuestros servicios siempre buscando la innovación y calidad.
Esperando contar con su preferencia en una próxima oportunidad nos despedimos cordialmente.
Saludos Atentos
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Senses Boutique Hotel

Property: Senses Boutique Hotel
Address: Plaza Principal, Calle 24 de Septiembre, Esq. Sucre No 5, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Location: Bolivia > Santa Cruz Department > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 49 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Senses Boutique Hotel 3.5*
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