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“Location mimics why go to Colca Canyon in the first place”
Review of Hotel El Refugio

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Hotel El Refugio
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Colca Canyon
Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

El Refugio is nestled down in the start of the Canyon, just outside Chivay. It is a solid 15 min walk from town. It is a lovely, serene location, but therein lies pros and cons. The pros are that the hotel is nicely styled like an Eco lodge, the rooms are large, very clean, quiet and atmospheric. Wifi only works in the foyer. There is a nice thermal pool onsite, whereas for other hotels in the area you have to travel to thermal springs and pay to use them. The cons are that you are a little trapped because walking to/from Chivay in the dark s not a realistic proposition. This means you have to dine at their 'restaurant' which has a limited range - although our soup and salad combo was pretty nice as we were not at all hungry. Breakfast is serviceable, but nothing special. There is a big problem with the path down to the hotel from the bus parking area. It is still being repaired (see other reviews) and in parts is gravel and slippery. Yes, they carry your bags up and down the path, but it is a hazard and will trouble those not fleet of foot (or fit). Overall, a really nice hotel that is in an apt location for your visit to the Canyon. BTW, the Condors are spectacular, but try time your visit to when the other tour buses have gone!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Goldrichie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 215 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2012

We stayed one night at this hotel on the drive back from visiting Arequipa. We arrived (we were 3 couples) at dusk, the view was beautiful, the hotel is nestled in the bottom of the canyon on the river. There are many steps to reach the reception area which did not pose a problem for us, it actually made the approach even more magical. The gardens were beautiful, the reception staff very helpful, they retrieved our luggage from the car and brought them to our rooms. The room was very clean and comfortable as were the beds and bathroom. We wanted to use the thermal baths but the water was cold . It is very quiet and a great place to rest. The food was good but not remarkable. It was a great stay and recommend staying ther but I do not think I would go back . I would suggest that perhaps the hotel would indicate more clearly the location of the reception as well as a clearer sign on the road to help travellers find their way ( the sign is werathered and not very readable)

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Norma-Christine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

We stayed two nights here last month and the hotel we found beautifully located and well thought out. We stayed in a suite and the room was great - spa in room, bigger bed and clean.

The service we recieved was very helpful and attentive. In the restaurant we had a few good meals with great variety of food also. The hotel is located a little bit away from town (15 soles by secure taxi) and at the end of a gravel driveway which our tour bus refused to drive down as its hard to maneuver it so we did have a 10 minute walk after a tour one day. The only other thing I can fault is there is only wifi internet in reception and restaurant and very average speed. But we would stay here again

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Cosquilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We stayed at this hotel the night before we visited Colca Canyon to see the condors (that were a great sight). I do not recommend this hotel. It is located in a spectacular location right on the rapids of the Colca River but that does not make up for the bad night's sleep. The rooms are large but badly furnished and very cold with a small heater which is totally ineffective. Our room stayed cold and damp so that our towels did not dry overnight which made for an unpleasant start to the day. Perhaps all this would not be an issue when the nights are warmer but in mid April it was not acceptable. Dinner and breakfast were okay and the staff was certainly welcoming but nevertheless I cannot recommend this hotel if you want a reasonable night's sleep.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NSMKMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2011

Reading through very mixed reviews, I can only give you our experience

1. As others say, as stack of steps to get down to get to reception.
2. They have never finished the gardens and they are now overgrown with weeds
3. The outdoor hot pool was empty when we were there, and even it had been full was unusable as the pool are was full of builders rubble
4. The restaurant area was too cold to eat in comfortably
5. You are 8 km out of town and it is impossible to get anywhere other than the hotel grounds
6. Maintenance is so bad that the door had swollen and was not possible for a woman to open from the inside. My wife failed, I opened it, and invited the receptionist into the room and asked her to get out - she failed to open the door as well.

This is not a 4 star hotel. With all our problems the manager stayed well out of sight, and let pleasant junior staff deal with us.

Do not stay here, the place is a building site, there is no maintenance, and no management to be seen

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank moraira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2011

We had a lovely stay here. We were only here for one night and were the only guests which was a bit odd as the dining area and hotel does feel huge when there is only two of you rattling around in it. We did not have much time to fully explore the hotel but there is a nice stroll around the grounds- you can walk down to the river and take it all in while sitting on a rock. The thermal bath was just great.... we could have spent all day in there!

There are quite a few steps from the 'car park' to the hotel which could be a bit of a challenge at this altitude...... just take it slowly and at a comfortable pace as I would say the walk is worth it!

The evening meal was delicious- just one warning- we don't usually eat in hotels prefering to go out and explore, finding our own places to eat. This was not really an option here without arranging a taxi to get anywhere. This did not really matter as the food was gorgeous- three courses which was a struggle to get through, but good quality and very pleasant food.

We had a lovely room with a bath and a plug!! The bed was sooo comfy, which along with the sound of the river helped us have a great nights sleep.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank helensuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2009

Really liked the hotel! Am a seasoned traveller and have stayed in quite a few boutique hotels and El Refugio is definitely one of the better hotels I've stayed at.

Didn't know what to expect because it was a new hotel. We arrived the day after a large tour group checked out but the staff had already cleaned the entire hotel and it was spic-and-span upon our arrival. We felt like we were the first guests too because everything was so nice and clean! The rooms were very spacious and the panoramic view of the canyon walls from the dining room - magnificent! The food was excellent too. We saw the chef fish our trout right out of the river running through the hotel grounds.

The hotel organised a trip to see the condors for us in the morning and we had a comfortable ride there in a 4X4 and the condors were a sight to behold. And my favourite part of the hotel was the outdoor thermal bath filled with natural hot spring water. It made for a very luxurious soak after the day's activities and a great wake-up at 6am in the morning.

I really enjoyed my stay at El Refugio and would tell all my friends to stay there if they have the chance.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank mysterymeatballs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Refugio

Address: Carretera Rural A Cabanaconde | Putuco, 04001, Peru
Location: Peru > Arequipa Region > Colca Canyon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Colca Canyon
Price Range: $73 - $98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel El Refugio 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Refugio is located in the impressive Colca Valley. It is a rustic style hotel with a view of the river and the mountains. It has a pool fed by a natural spring of thermal water nestled in a majestic landscape. You can do several activities, like fishing, walking around our facilities to contemplate the surrounding natural waterfalls, as well as visiting the picturesque village of Chivay, just 5 minutes by car. In a beautiful setting overlooking the valley with a small central fireplace, our restaurant offers Andean specialties, where no matter your taste, eating will always be a pleasure. We also invite you to explore our bar with an extensive menu of innovative cocktails. Single or twin rooms have two double beds dressed in soft quilts for added comfort. Each of them has a small terrace or balcony, where you can admire a splendid view; our rooms have been built with rustic-style walls with delicate green tones, parquet floors and a spacious bathroom with exquisite amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Refugio Hotel
Hotel El Refugio Peru/Colca Canyon

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