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oxygen at hotel monasterio

Bay Area
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oxygen at hotel monasterio

I'm sure this is a really stupid question--but here goes anyway. We are considering staying at the Hotel Monasterio before our Inca Trail journey next year.

I'm wondering how it can be safe to have oxygen be pumped into the rooms? If there's an earthquake and a pipe breaks, would there be an explosion? If there is a spark (maybe from the heater?) in your room, could there be a fire?

I don't know why I thought of this. But, now maybe some scientist (or not) out there can explain how this works. I assume it must be safe--or they wouldn't do it!

austin, texas
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1. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

I've always wonder that myself. I love Peru, but their safety standards cannot be what they are in other countries.

I will tell you that my wife and I seriously considered staying at the Monasterio solely for the the oxygenated rooms. The reasons we decided not to included: (1) the safety issue you raised, (2) the fact that a lot of reviewers reported hot rooms with no source of ventilation (I'd rather have an altitude headache than have to sleep in a hot room), and (3) the fact that at some point you have to acclimatize to the altitutde. As far as the last point, you will find that most major/nice hotels have oxygen tanks for treatment if a guest really needs it. However, the more I thought about it, the more I decided that hiding out in an oxygenated room is avoiding the inevitable: at some point you are going to have to breathe on your own.

Good luck with your choice. I will tell you that in lieu of staying at the Monestario, we stayed at the Libertador--which I did NOT like. So, maybe you should just go for the oxygen!

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2. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

johahleon,

Thanks for the answer. That's funny, because I had been wondering the same thing--if you're going to hike the Inca Trail, maybe the piped in oxygen is actually preventing you from acclimatizing and just delaying the inevitable.

However, I had been under the impression that you could either choose to let the oxygen in or not. Maybe that's wrong. But that still left me with the safety issue. My husband said that maybe it's not an issue in each individual room because it's just bringing the air up to a normal level of oxygen. But, that still doesn't solve the safety issue if a pipe breaks during an earthquake. Anyone know the answer???

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3. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

jonahleon,

By the way, what did you not like about the Libertador?

austin, texas
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4. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

Libertador was fine, but just not fantastic. It has an odd mix

of commercialized shops in the lobby and interesting architecture. That could be a recipe for charm, but it came off as odd and mix-matched. Same thing with the rooms. Parts of them (wood floors in suite, etc.) were charming. But other parts (bathroom, etc.) seemed dated and out of place. Some food at breakfast was good, other food was not. I suppose my main gripe was that our room overlooked a very busy street. So, if you were were warm, your choice was: stay warm or open the window and breathe pollution and hear loud noise.

I suspect that Monestario has a much more serene feel. But, it obviously has drawbacks too (price, size of rooms, lack of windows, etc.)

Lima, Peru
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5. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

I would recommend you aclimatize by staying in the Sacred Valley instead of Cusco.

Seveal good hotel options are offered.

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6. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

xochitl,

Thanks! Actually, the plan is to stay in both. First in the Sacred Valley and then in Cusco for a few days. I'm worried about the whole altitude thing, so we want to spend as much time acclimating as possible.

Lima, Peru
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7. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

I would recommend you aclimate in the SV, do the Inca Trail and then go to Cusco city.

You do not require to go to the SV and then to Cusco City prior to doing the trail.

Yr travel agent can pick you up from yr hotel in the SV.

Another TA traveler tried yr plan, and it did not worked well at all. (see redhead)

Fox Island...
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8. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

caligirl - Most people go straight to Cusco, take it easy for a few days, and then do the trek. I did this, I was fine. I have heard all the arguments for acclimatizing in Sacred Valley but I guess I'm hard to convince. I still think you should get used to altitude in Cusco before you start the Inca Trail. I stayed in a non-oxygenated room, I just can't see how staying in a room with supplemental oxygen will help at all with acclimatizing. If you get so sick you need oxygen then you will not be able to finish the Inca Trail.

U.S.A. ( the land...
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9. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

The oxygen pumped into some rooms using an oxygen concentrator is not pure ( 100 percent) oxygen. The air that we normally breathe at sea level contains only 21 percent of oxygen; as we go higher that decreases and we need more and more oxygen to keep us breathing normally and functioning well. The oxygen concentration in rooms can be raised upto some 24 -27 percent ( I'm not sure of the exact figure but it's somewhere in that range :-)) *without* increasing the fire hazard in rooms such as at the Monasterio that are at high altitudes ( in other words, the fire hazard is the same as that of rooms at sea level).

Basically, the increased percentage brings your room's altitude down to that of about 3000 meters (could even be a little lower than that). The effects on you, of the oxygenation, lasts for several days ( I'm not sure how long you have to stay in the room for that to happen), and when you leave Cusco to go to MP, you are descending to a lower altitude than Cusco and this keeps you from having to "re-acclimatize".

Very simplistic explanation, sorry...there's a lot more to do with partial pressure of oxygen in the blood etc., but heck, this will have to do :-)

But yes, you have to observe usual precautions such as not smoking and the oxygen concentrators have to have good seals etc.

The hotel only has some rooms that are oxygenated. I guess a guest who gets symptoms of altitude sickness could be transferred to these rooms, but otherwise, it's really not necessary to stay in one. Just take it easy for the first few days.

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10. Re: oxygen at hotel monasterio

Livinglife,

Thanks very much. That was a very helpful explanation. Sounds pretty safe. There's still the whole issue of if the pipes break in an earthquake--but I guess the key would just be to get out of the building quickly.

The Monasterio sounds like such a beautiful hotel. I think we'll probably plan to go there!