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“Room for improvement”

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Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #3 of 171 Hotels in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 October 2011

The hotel has a lot of potential but let's itself down by too many small errors. Some examples are the shower floods the bathroom floor as screen is too small, bathroom set out with fantastic candles no matches!, second dect phone base is only a holder does not charge so battery runs out in the middle of the night and beeps to wake you up,hotel built round cobbled court yard so luggage gets dragged over so early departures wake you up. Could get the porters a good soft wheel trolley! Room service 50mins for two sandwiches which were cold on arrival. Nice touches such as complementary cocktails sent to room. I must say the staff try very hard and have a good attitude but the attention to detail needs looking at!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Adsjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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393 - 399 of 669 reviews

Reviewed 7 October 2011

Scratches in the wall, bumps in the floor, definetly they have a maintenance issue. The service is excellent, small nice hotel, the decoration is way too modern for a Colonial hotel, they brought everything forom Italy, but the place is in a beautiful historica place and the furniture is way too modern. The bread at brakfast is amazing!!
Definetly the rooms need TLC but it is a nice, well loated small hotel

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank Vtostado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

I really did want to love this hotel but left feeling very disappointed .It doesnt in any way match up to the luxury boutique tag it aims at, or charges high rates for.

First impressions were very good as it looks stunning, with a big globe light in the courtyard, a funky modern feel to the bar and loud u2 music playing on arrival. The rooms are large. Free cocktails and canapes brought to the room at 6 were welcome.

But when you actually stay here the failings start to mount. The rooms layout is all style and no common sense.Clearly designed by hip people who never actually stay in hotel rooms. We stayed in 2 different rooms and had a good look into another so this isnt based solely on one room ( 5 and 14)

The lighting makes reading impossible and the 'bedside' light is so far out from the side of the bed it doesnt shine on the bed at all and doesnt swivel. The bathroom has hip frosted glass doors but it made a loud scraping sound which is not good when used in the night. The trendy test tubes of toiletries in a rack in the bathroom looked good, but the print is so very tiny it is nigh on impossible to read what the contents of the 5 tubes are! And when you take them to the shower they will fall off the shelf or spill all the contents out as they dont sit anywhere. The finish of tiling and paintwork is shoddy in bathrooms especially.
Free water is always welcome, but at the bedside for use at night, is a glass bottle with a metal cap needing a bottle opener sensible?

Bathrobes but no slippers supplied. If you try the spa you find you must go up 2 flights of stairs to mens changing rooms, then come back down slippery stairs in barefeet to use the hot tub area. As we saw elsewhere in Peru the spa is poorly manned and ringing the bell brought no staff, so we had to search for towels and robes ourselves and found no water anywhere.

You may see this advertised as having a pool, and staff asked us if we had been swimming yet. It is NOT a swimming pool, it is a long hot whirlpool tub.

Restaurant service is also patchy. It was nearly empty on our first 3 night stay so they didnt offer the breakfast buffet at all, asking us when cocktails came to choose breakfast items and time for the net day. Thats fine, but every morning the restaurant was deserted and we had to holler for attention and nothing was ready. One night for dinner they had no napkins as they 'were in the wash' ! When the music CD ends you get squally unpleasant feedback noise repeatedly. U2 is hip for this vibe of hotel, but Gypsy Kings singing Volare certainly is not! Food was fine though.

Reception wasnt as efficient as it should be at this price point either . Ask for an umbrella as it rains alot and the reply should not be 'we dont have any, theyre all broken'! The wifi code given in the room is not the code you need for the 2 internet computers, they dont bother to tell you until you find the presumed code doesnt work. Noisy workmen started drilling directly behind our heads when we used the net. One computer doesnt work properly - you will note a review several weeks ago said so,so they dont seem to read these reviews and act on them.

We returned for another night after touring elsewhere including to Machu Picchu, so most luggage was sent back to the hotel. On arrival we were told our bags were already in our room so the guide left us. Alas the bags were not there and after a long wait we had to go to reception and make a fuss to get them to help us locate them. They couldnt find our company reps number without tipping out a big box of cards on the desk and rifling through it in a messy way. We felt we had to loiter in reception to oversee them trying to assist us. Eventually they were tracked down at a nearby hotel but we had a nervy hour fearing they had been lost.

And finally a moan about meanness over checkout time . They knew we were being picked up at 12 and had seemed very quiet throughout our time. Yet they insisted we had to check out at 10. After much pleading, with rather bad grace they conceded 11 but wouldnt give us until 12, so we had to sit about in the lounge from 11 to 12 - they have tea available but the glass cups barely fit under the hot water tap, style over substance again!

Far too little attention to service and detail to compete with the famous Monasterio which is just down the road. Such a shame as it looks so good at first glance.

Restaurants handily located on your doorstep are Fallen Angel which has wonderful bizarre decor, and the excellent MAP cafe which is top class.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank roy999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
matrix336, Owner at Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2011

Dear Mr. Roy,

We are very glad you liked our hotel facilities and style, however we would like to sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay. We strive for excellence so your feedback is very much appreciated because it has helped us to improve some functional aspects of our hotel. We are always looking to please each and every one of our guests as best as we can.

We have taken a number of measures to address the items you pointed out. For instance, we are now providing our guests special book lights for reading at bed. We have also changed the toiletries’ test tubes for ones with larger print so our guests can easily read what the contents are. We are also looking for the best way to accommodate the tubes in the showers so they don’t fall off the shelf or spill the contents.

In terms of the free glass bottled water at the bedside, we use glass because of its friendliness to the environment; however we are adding bottle openers hanging to the bottles themselves in order to make opening them as convenient as possible.

We have also added a large number of new umbrellas that our guests can borrow, and are now reviewing their condition frequently so new ones can be added on a continuous basis.

In terms of the complimentary internet computers and laptops we lend our guests, we have removed the need for access code to ease their use by our guests.

Regarding the fact that the luggage was not delivered by your travel agent to our hotel, it is by itself out of our control; however we have prepared a formal procedure for addressing this type of situation so our guests can receive proactive and effective help if this were to happen to them.

Again, we thank you for your feedback.
Best regards,
Casa Cartagena’s Management.
.

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Reviewed 23 September 2011

Beautiful courtyard. The room is large and nice. Bathroom was a bit interesting with large open shower and random pebbles scattered around in the corner. Breakfast in the morning was great. Staff was friendly. Its in a good location to the Plaza de Armas. Only knock is that the pool is indoors and small and wouldn't allow any adult beverages poolside, but otherwise great spot to relax and cash up on sleep after a long hike on the Inca Trail!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lak711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

On the day of our arrival the moment we saw the insides of the room (see attached photo for the sample of their "modern" decoration) we were not expecting much from this hotel, but what followed was below our most modest expectations.

Firstly last thing we want after an 11 hour train trip is being continuously disturbed in our room( we received 4 phone calls from the restaurant asking us to order breakfast for the next day and tell them exactly what time we are going to have it). In the end I went to reception and asked if we can just come to the restaurant and order our breakfast then(the answer was yes). Next morning around 7am we showed up in the restaurant and found it completely empty. One more trip to reception and in ten minutes later they wake somebody up and in further 30 minutes our breakfast is finally served (to be fair, the restaurant staff was polite and the breakfast was ok). Next days we did order the breakfast in advance which has no impact on the speed of the service.

Next evening around 9pm I called reception and asked to turn off a very noisy fountain outside of our room, which was promptly done. At 4am the morning after, they start flushing the bloody thing making us jump in our beds (imagine the sound of toilet flushing for several minutes, but much louder).

Rooms were not cleaned properly, one day we arrived in the afternoon after a long hike to find that there are no towels in the bathroom but instead we have cleaning solution left in the room. Another 2 trips to reception, and finally in 20 minutes we get our towels.

And finally, MY WIFE'S EARRING WERE STOLEN DURING OUR LAST DAY IN THIS HOTEL; the staff was completely unapologetic, no one even bothered to show up in the room to pretend to help us search for them, and needless to say no refund of any kind or even apologies were offered.The hotel manager was very rude and dismissive and didn't seem to care much about the whole situation. The arguments he used were along the lines "We searched the room after you left and found nothing" and "This has never happened before".

I have no idea, where all the positive reviews here come from, we we been to 6 other hotels in Peru, and even without the stealing part, this place is by far the worst.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank AlexG57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

We had a nice stay at the Casa Cartagena. We arrived very late and they were waiting on us. The rooms were ample size both modern and rustic at the same time and the bathroom was huge. We had come from the Inca trail and appreciated the luxury of the bathroom with both a shower and a tub for our sore muscles. The hotel itself is quite beautiful with a relaxing courtyard and patio which we took advantage of and very modern bar and lounge areas.

1) Breakfast was ample and delicious. We were impressed with the breakfast buffet offering.
2) I received an 80 min spa/facial combo and although the prices were very high for Cusco standards the convenience was worth it and the treatment was good. Our group made use of the spa pool and this was a nice amenity as well.
3) The bar was great. The service was a tad slow but the drinks were delicious and were served with some small complimentary appetizers.

Our only complaints:

1) The internet was very slow and only one of the complimentary PC's was working. Given most hikers aren't traveling with laptops we were reliant on these and it was a tad frustrating.
2) They charge $25 to take you to the airport. Most of the hotels do not charge for this and even our much cheaper hotel on the front end offered this as a courtesy service. It is a bit annoying to be nickled and dimed at a luxury place.

Overall we were happy with our stay and would certainly consider staying here again if we are ever back in Cusco.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank amk26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2011

Cusco is a lively city and from this hotel you are just 3 minutes walking from downtown.
The standard suites are nice but nothing special: if you can afford it ask for the royal suite... Unbelivable!!
Nice and helpfull staff.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank Fedefulvio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa

Address: Pumacurco 336 | Centro Historico, Cusco, Peru
Region: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cusco
#6 Business Hotel in Cusco
#6 Family Hotel in Cusco
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cusco
Price Range: £195 - £427 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cartagena CuscoHigh in the Peruvian Andes lies the historic city of Cuzco, famous for its unique blend of Spanish and Incan cultures. Located just off a tranquil square behind the main plaza of Cuzco, Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa Cusco emerges after years of restoration, which respected the original design of the historic house, to become one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in the city. Its walls of carved stone, which combines warmth, elegance and perfection, invite you to experience the fascinating magic and traditional mysticism that will transport you through time in this historic Spanish house declared a cultural heritage site of Peru.Its lovely atmosphere was built on an ancient Incan site, occupied by the ruling nobility of that time and from which it takes its name: Casa Cartagena, former property of the local Spanish ruler of Cuzco, Don Fernando Cartagena and Santa Cruz.This luxury hotel in Cuzco is an intimate refuge that has only sixteen spacious and comfortable suites, which perfectly blend the modern with the ancestral and luxury with the historical. The rooms are distributed symmetrically along a spacious patio of your dreams where time is suspended. It is located in the historic center of Cuzco, which was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.Recovery from an exhausting trip to Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley of the Incas with our Qoya Spa will be something truly unequalled. It can be perfectly complemented with a delicious dinner in our restaurant which offers the best of local cuisine, "La bodega de la Chola", where poet Pablo Neruda was inspired and Che Guevara shared bohemian nights; it is considered one of the best restaurants in Cuzco.All of these unique features of Casa Cartagena and our warm and personalized service will make your stay in Cuzco an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Casa Cartagena Cusco
Hotel Casa Cartagena And Spa

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