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Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Huaraz
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

I had a reservation here. I arrived early in the morning, no one was available. I had called the phone number attached here on trip advisor no one answered me. Basically, worst service ever. Not to mention I was stranded and didn't get any help. When i got to the hotel the gates were locked and a man from the hotel told me check in wasn't until 3pm. I work in the hotel industry and expected more from this hotel.

Stayed: February 2014
11  Thank Trebble_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Owner at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Dear Client,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor, I note that this is your first review and that your only other review is one on an economic eating house in New York, where you now work, originally being from Peru.
From your review, I believe that this has been written by the daughter who made the booking rather than by the mother for whom the booking was for. I respond as such.
I can understand that it is upsetting that there has been misunderstanding and miscommunication between you and your mother but I believe to pass the blame on for this to our hotel is completely unfounded and unjust. In fact it feels like a direct attack in order to damage our business, almost no mention is made of the quality of our establishment, our food or service level. It is almost all to do with you not wanting to pay your bill.
Let us look at the facts
24th of December: You first contacted us by email inquiring into availability for a reservation for you mother only, for the 16th and 17th Feb of the Valentine's weekend as a special treat to your mother. I replied to you that we did have availability, pencilling it tentatively into our booking schedule, awaiting your response.
15th of January: Because we had other enquiries for the same room, and as you had not written back to my original response, I wrote to you out of courtesy to see if you still wanted the tentative booking, as we require like most hotels, payment to secure booking.
16th of Jan: You replied saying that you wanted to ring and pay by credit card, because there is not an Interbank in New York (clearly, as Interbank is a Peruvian bank). Any bank in the world is able to do an international money transfer to Interbank in Peru, many of our clients do it. We do not accept credit card payments.
The same day: I replied that as a favor to you, and in retrospect foolishly trusting you, I said that your mother could pay straight into the bank upon arrival in Peru or in cash upon arrival at the hotel.
18th of Jan: The rate was confirmed between us as $304usd total for the two nights of the 16th and 17th. The booking was fixed between us in a “Gentleman´s agreement”. You told me that your mother would be turning up with a sealed envelope with the $304usd, and as it was a treat for your mother that she was not to open it but to hand it straight over to reception upon arrival.
On the 22nd Jan: I asked you by email how your mother would be arriving, so that we could arrange pick up, also giving you the rate for pick up. I then did not hear from you about pick up of your mother until -
11pm 15th Feb: Between 11pm when we heard from you on Saturday night and 6am on Sunday it is NOT possible for us to arrange pick up. To expect us to do so, especially when we asked for all the details of her arrival 25 days beforehand, most people would consider to be completely unreasonable and unrealistic.
Your poor logistics and communication between you and your mother can hardly be considered our fault, and for you to try to pass this blame onto us I consider childish and deeply insulting.
There are many different bus companies Lima-Huaraz with different terminals in completely different parts of the city. You did not use the safe and comfortable bus company that we recommended to you, but one of the cheapest, most unsafe and uncomfortable. We could hardly have guessed this, and to guess would have been to send a pick up to our recommended bus company, for which your mother would have refused to pay for.
Early morning Sun 16th Feb: Your original booking was for just your mother. Then your mother arrives in the morning of Saturday with two unannounced guests - her two sisters, apparently absolutely furious that there was no pick up to greet her, and that the gates to our property were locked. We do lock the gate at the bottom of our drive to ensure the security of our guests. She says that she doesn't want to stay as her sister is pregnant and would prefer to stay in Huaraz.
Access to the hotel: If you had arranged transport with us OR told us at what time your mother should be expected, before 11pm the night before, then she would have had no difficulty entering the property at the crack of dawn. Check in for the rooms is at 3pm as stated on our website, we do not expect clients before breakfast unless we are otherwise informed.
Your aunt´s pregnancy was not of our doing and the downside of which should not be passed onto us especially as she was one of the unannounced guests. Staying in Huaraz doesn't make much sense from an altitude risk perspective as we are 300m lower than Huaraz and therefore less adverse effects from hypoxia are experienced at our location, we also have an oxygen cylinder at the hotel in case of emergency.
“Gentleman´s agreement” We told your mother that you had promised to honor the booking and that we had turned away several bookings because we had honored yours, therefore being out of pocket. We are a small owner managed business and can´t afford to lose income in busy periods through leaving empty rooms when we experience excess demand over supply.
Despite this behavior, and without her paying anything to the hotel, we again out of courtesy and professionalism offered to arrange a taxi to take your mother and aunts to Huaraz, she refused and walked down to the main road to take one of the passing Combis or minivans passing by.
We wrote immediately to you and informed you.
You replied that you completely understood and that you would send you mother back with the payment.
You mother returned: and decided to stay, and as she had 2 unannounced guests we could not put her in the luxury suite that you had booked. It is a matrimonial room and can only take 2 people, as on our website. We therefore moved her to another room that could accommodate all 3 of them. The room is of a similar standard with the same quality beds and an ensuite bathroom.
Sunday the 16th of February pm: You then wrote to us to complain that your mother was not in the luxury suite, and that the room had no heating, WIFI, or TV. Nowhere on the website do we advertise that there is heating, WIFI or TV in the rooms.
Heating: Our hotel is in a tropical environment and therefore does not require heating in the rooms, there is a fireplace in the bar for ambience.
TV: There is a TV with satellite signal in the bar, although most of our guests think it rather ridiculous to come to such a beautiful area to lie around watching TV. In fact our brother lodge had TV, DVD and home cinema in all of its rooms, but because they were never used they gave them all away to the local schools.
WIFI: We have wifi provided by a MIFI unit and 3G SIM card in the bar, it is not a broadband connection, something that might also be an unrealistic expectation in the Andes.
You said in the same email that you did not understand why you should have to honor the payment of the reservation as your mother was not in the suite that was booked, as stated your mother had turned up with 2 unannounced guests that even you did not know about, and the suite is a double room and therefore can only take 2 people, as detailed on our website.
Of course although we charged her less for the non suite room, we did need to charge the 3rd person for the extra bed and the included breakfast. USD$133 + US$40, per night.
Monday 17th: after the 3 clients had breakfast your mother was handed the total bill, including the restaurant bill, your mother said that everything was supposed to be included, that in all hotels food and beverages and massage were included in the rate. Hotels do not generally include all food and drinks, unless advertised as all-inclusive. She contradicted herself, knowing that the food was extra. We have never advertised that massages are free, we have to bring in qualified masseurs at a direct cost to our clients, we do not charge for the coordination.
She refused to pay the restaurant bill of USD$159, but paid USD$133 + US$40 for the extra bed without honoring the payment of the 2nd night which she did not stay but that we lost out on from turning other bookings away.
The 3 clients then tried to leave clandestinely through the staff side gate off of the property without paying the rest of the bill: the restaurant bill $159, or the 2nd night. Our manager did not let them pass and he locked the gate, the 3 clients said that they were held hostage, I disagree. I think that in any hotel, that you try to leave without paying the bill in full, that security will be called, and if the bill remains unpaid that the police will be called.
I approached the client and asked her to please come forward to settle the rest of the bill so that she could go. She phoned you her daughter. I then was handed the phone and was told by you that you were talking to the US Embassy. I find this amusing as I am also an American citizen, having lived and worked in San Fran most of my life and am fully aware that your mother´s behavior would not have been tolerated by hotels in the States either.
You told me that you weren't going to pay you mother´s restaurant bill because they were so expensive and you didn't authorize the food, the prices of the food are on hand in the restaurant, like in most restaurants worldwide. You clearly didn't study our website, one should not presume that an establishment is full board unless you have seen this on their website or elsewhere.
Police called by us: We had to call the police as your mother had not paid the full bill, we were left with no other option. After a delay the police arrived and your mother folded in part handing me USD$121 and she was then free to go, still leaving us out of pocket on the restaurant bill and the 2nd night.
Although still out of pocket by this point I was completely fed up with the whole unnecessary scenario and left the group free to leave although the bill for the 2nd night and restaurant bill was not fully paid. It turned out in retrospect that the group had even removed the toilet paper from their room.
We shall no longer be receiving any bookings without prior payment, in ANY circumstances, if this is the kind of thanks that we get, your behavior has unfortunately forced our hand, and detrimented more honest and organized people.

Note to readers, in life you tend to get what you pay for, if you want to spend a very small budget then the service level will reflect upon this. If you want a certain level of product then there is a corresponding price to pay. So in life you tend to get what you pay for, you won´t get a brand new Mercedes for the price of a Ford. Sadly it seems that this needs to be stated for some people.

Regards

Mariana
Cuesta Serena owner.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 64 of 172 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

It was a great time for our family. we felt very well looked after by Marian and her team. the food is spectacular, as are the feather blankets. there are many activities to do nearby. thanks we recomend this place totally for family time or any case.

Stayed: January 2014
1  Thank Juan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Owner at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Thank you Juan for your recent review! We enjoyed so much spending New Year's with you and your family.
Hoping to see you back some time soon!
Mariana @ Cuesta Serena

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Reviewed December 27, 2013

Stayed here mid December and very impressed with Cuesta Serena, a gorgeous hotel with beautiful and extensive gardens and amazing views of the mountain range and Huascaran (Peru's highest peak). The interior decoration is exquisite, colourful details are found throughout and our suite was decorated brightly and uniquely with Andean motifs and artwork. This was the perfect place to relax after trekking in the Cordillera Blanca, massages highly recommended, and the hammocks much appreciated. Pizza night was delicious. Many thanks to Mariana, Max and Mara!

Room Tip: Choos the suite with views of Huascaran mountain
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Simon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Owner at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your recent review. It was a pleasure hosting you in your stay, we hope to see you back!
Greetings from Cuesta Serena

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

The best Hotel in Huaraz!!!!
My family and I spent a wonderful time in Cuesta Serena.
This lodge is a beautiful place to stay; everything is perfect, the view of the mountains from your room, the service, the food, the people.
No doubt, we will visit this place again!!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Carla C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Public Relations Manager at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Hi Carla C,

Thanks very much for your review of Cuesta Serena.

We were delighted to hear what you had to say and even more so, knowing that you had such a good time. Whenever you would like to return, please let us know and we would be more than happy to help you organize your trip.

We really hope to see you all again soon.

Best wishes from all at Cuesta Serena.

The best Hotel in Huaraz!!!!
My family and I spent a wonderful time in Cuesta Serena.
This lodge is a beautiful place to stay; everything is perfect, the view of the mountains from your room, the service, the food, the people.
No doubt, we will visit this place again!!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

The minute you pull up the long winding drive-way the views are absolutely captivating. The cottages are surrounded by mountains! We traveled with a 2 year old and a 1 year old and I will say the common grounds are very kid friendly. The staff gets to know you by your first name and treats you like family. They are very accomodating; from the room set up to what you may like for dinner. If you do travel to Cuesta Serena, I would suggest staying more than 2 nights. There is so much to see around Huaraz but you have to travel to get there. If you don't want to travel, Cuesta Serena is a perfect place to kick back and relax!

Room Tip: We went in March and the temperature was perfect! It was cold during night, which there were plenty...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Grant2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Public Relations Manager at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Hi Grant 2008,

We would like to personally thank you for your review of Cuesta Serena. We are very glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed your visit. As you mentioned the time of year that you came if perfect and you get some really good weather.

We do hope that you come back sometime soon and please let us know if you do want to return and we can arrange everything for you.

Best wishes from the Cuesta Serena Team :)

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Reviewed October 3, 2013

If you want to relax, eat well, take unique excursions, feel as though you were on the top of the world surrounded by a magnificent view with snowcapped mountains, hotel CUESTA SERENA is the GREAT PLACE to be....!!

Enrique Velasco

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Enrique V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Public Relations Manager at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Hi Enrique V,

Thank you so much for your review of Cuesta Serena we really appreciate it. It´s always nice to hear that our guests enjoyed their stay and we really hope to see you again some time soon.

Warm wishes from all at Cuesta Serena.

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Reviewed October 3, 2013

My wife and I spent a great time in Cuesta Serena. Is such a beautiful and relaxing place to be at. It has such an amazing view of the cordillera. The host and staff are extremely friendly. They make you feel like at home. It's definitely the best place to stay at in the whole Callejon de Huaylas. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ruben A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuestaSerena, Public Relations Manager at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Ruben A,

Thank you so much for your recent review of Cuesta Serena. It is always a pleasure to hear back from our guests and something that means a lot to us, as the feedback we receive enables us to give you the best possible service we can.

We hope to see you again soon and please let us know if you are coming so that we can help arrange everything for you.

Warm wishes from all at Cuesta Serena

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 Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel

Address: Km. 580 Carretera Central Norte | Anta-Huaraz, Huaraz, Peru
Location: Peru > Ancash Region > Huaraz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Huaraz
Price Range: $250 - $335 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cuesta Serena is small owner managed boutique andean-style hotel located just outside of Huaraz. It boasts some luxurious rooms with beautiful furnishings and attention to detail, in a picturesque setting called Callejon de Huaylas, Peru. The food is fresh and organic with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The personalized service is something we pride ourself on. The hotel sits on top of a Cordillera Negra's hill overlooking multiple white glaciers including the majestic Mount Huascaran (22,205 ft.). Cuesta Serena is 30 minutes away from Huaraz in the district of Anta (7,800 ft.) ... more   less 
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