I stayed at Casa de Mama for 16 days in March 2013 and I already look forward to staying there again in the future for many reasons. First, the location is perfect. It is on Atoqsaycuchi, a staired pedestrian “street” in the San Blas District, which I found to be the nicest part of the city that I saw. The Plaza de Armas is an easy and beautiful 10-minute walk through narrow Incan corridors where you will see lots of Quechua people in their native dress, alpacas, women making and selling handicrafts, while passing by interesting shops and through quiet plazas. Going back to the Casa from the Plaza is a little slower as it is mostly uphill, but it is still an easy walk and there are lots of places to stop and rest if you need to. There is also a way to circumvent the stairs (Choquechaca/Calle Triunfo), a slightly longer and easier route that involves walking up a steady incline. Groceries, cambios, laundry services, restaurants, and everything you would need are just outside the Casa door. Perfect location.
I booked a double room at Casa Mama because my nephew joined me during my second week in Cusco. It had two double beds, a refrigerator, portable heater, television with full cable (including HBO and other movie channels) and a kerosene stove. Silverware, cups, and plates were stocked in a hatch behind the bed. The kitchen area was a little small and tight, but it sufficed perfectly for my long stay. The bathroom was built around a living growing, tree, which I found to be cool and unusual.
My room was on the lower level, so it had a big window that looked out over the courtyard and a small secure widow that faced Atoqsaycuchi. My friend booked a single room directly above my room that was much larger, had a microwave, and a stunning view of Cusco, especially at night with all the lights on the mountains. I was jealous, but I also came to love my cozy little room on the courtyard with the trees and all the big hummingbirds just outside the windows, which could be opened for fresh air.The bed was sufficiently comfortable with lots of blankets.
I didn’t expect a nice breakfast to be served in my room each morning, but that comes with the price of the room and is so nice. Coffee, juice, bread, fresh bread, and scrambled eggs with sausage, an onion and tomato omelet, or bananas with honey were all in the rotation. It was a nice way to start each day.
But the best part of Casa de Mama is the people. Mercedes owns and manages Casa de Mama Uno and, in another part of town, Casa de Mama dos. Her English is excellent (she speaks other languages too), she is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and can offer practical information about the city as well as its history and culture, of which she is proud in a humble way. I arrived in Cusco with no luggage after a number of canceled and missed flights, so I was tired and irritable and extremely distressed about being in an unfamiliar place with just the clothes I was wearing. As a Lan Peru agent was leading me to fill out some paperwork, I spotted Mercedes standing outside holding a sign with my name on it. I gestured to her and she came running in behind me. From that point on she took over the lost-bags process, acting as translator, explaining the process, and exchanging information with the airline people. That was the biggest relief and exactly what I needed at that point. She then loaded me in a taxi and took me to the Casa, showed me my room, and had coca tea waiting there. The coca tea was wonderful and really soothed the throbbing headache I developed as a result of the stress and altitude. She assured me that my bags would arrive the next day, and although I knew she had no control over that, I felt better knowing she could call the airline and check up on things. The next day my bags arrived intact, as Mercedes said they would. The thing about Mercedes that I think everyone who has stayed at Casa de Mama knows is that she genuinely cares about her guests. This gives the Casa an element of warmth and home that you will not find in any hotels. It is a very rare commodity in today’s hospitality industry, and worth so much more than matching linens and luxury.
Carmen, the housekeeper, is always there when you need her. She is cheerful and warm in addition to being helpful and reliable. She is the one who makes breakfast, cleans the rooms, and keeps everything together throughout the day and night. She will take your clothes and wash them for a fee and have them in your room neatly folded and packaged within hours. She and Mercedes are two of the hardest working women I have seen anywhere.
People (workers, etc.) sometimes knocking on the courtyard door early in the morning was really the only aspect that could be improved. Mercedes and her husband (an artist who designs and builds the rooms and is all smiles) were building another room when I stayed there and the construction could get a little noisy sometimes, but it was during the day and I was usually out and didn't notice it. When I was there, it really wasn't that loud.
I found Cusco to be a genuinely friendly and warm place, overflowing with life and art. Every step is a photo opportunity. There is no shortage of smiles and it’s a beautiful place. Casa de Mama is the same way, full of art, life, smiles, and genuine hospitality. I can’t imagine returning to that wonderful city and staying anywhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Little house in the traditional quartier of San Blas, each room is a studio, equiped for your confort.Each rooms has a maarried bed, tv, refrigerator, microwelle, table, chairs, kitchenette, private bathroom, towels and linning, hair dryer and heater.The breakfast is included in the rate.Casa de Mama is located in a quiet pededstrian street, only 5 minutes far from the Central Plaza.We organize the tours in the region. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa De Mama Cusco Hotel Cusco