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“Wonderful surroundings and location, poor quality and expensive food” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belmond Hotel Monasterio

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Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Ranked #5 of 162 Hotels in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Wonderful surroundings and location, poor quality and expensive food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2007

The physical environment of the hotel is excellent. It is a stunning converted monastery set around two cloistered courtyards. The chapel is a microcosm of the splendor of many of the churches that are abundant in Cusco. The hotel is situated a short walk from the main square, although the effects of altitude make a short walk seem like a small hike! With the exceptions below, service was very high, especially in moments of crisis, such as calling the local doctor to the hotel. In terms of the rooms, there are dangers in generalizing from the specific, nevertheless. The rooms are very small even by UK hotel standards and miniscule by US. A number of the rooms have oxygen enrichment systems, others air conditioning, some both and others neither. There are rooms with oxygen enrichment and no air conditioning. Avoid these in all circumstances. Ask to move rooms as the benefit of the oxygen enrichment can only be appreciated by the windows being closed. Our room temperature was in excess of 27 degrees at night and hotter during the day making any relaxation/rest time in the room impossible. Regrettably my partner suffered a serious bout of food poisoning while staying at the hotel which made the room a very uncomfortable experience. Fans were provided on request, but no mobile air conditioning units were available. Food quality, service and price are matters of personal expectations/experience and difficult to objectively compare. On a continuum from Michelin experience to good Mall type food the quality was poor and the service slow, dismissive and complacent. The price point for this hotel engenders high expectations which were not satisfied. E.g. $50 for consume, tomato and mozzarella salad, a beer and mint tea seemed a little expensive as was the two course, dull evening meal for $110 and the $45 cold club sandwich room service. Had my partner not been suffering sever illness we would have eaten elsewhere. I would strongly recommend that the quality and service of other local restaurants would be much higher.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — rooms/food/service
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Elvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philippePeru, General Manager at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, responded to this review, 21 November 2007
I am always very sorry to read this kind of comments, and to find out that a guest did not enjoy the Monasterio.

The Monastery was originally built in 1595 on the site of the palace of Inca Amaru Qhala. The hotel remains a national historical landmark, protected by the NIC (National Institute of Culture) and has retained its original characteristics and charm. That is why rooms have been re built based on the Monks cells. Travel agents are fully aware that our rooms do not have the size of newly built hotel room. Refurbishment is also done gradually and pending of government authorisation. This is the case of the air conditioning in our junior suites, and we hope to have this implementation done during next year . Please note that there is no other hotel in Cusco offering air conditioning.

In regards to our prices in the restaurant I cannot reach to same total of this trip advisor member; so will give you the prices individually: consommé 11$, tomato mozzarella salad 17$, beer 5$, infusion 4.5$. An average dinner for two including beverages and glass of wine is indeed 100$, a club sandwich in room service is 20$. Our prices are service and taxes included.

Cusco is located at 11,000 ft and high altitude symptoms can be headache, fever, diarrhea. nausea and desydratation.
I cannot check if the guest called a doctor, but if it was a food poisoning occurred in the hotel, I would have been aware of.
Doctors are obliged to show me the medical exams proving that it was contracted in the Monasterio.

Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2007

Booked 2 rooms through Hip Hotels for promotional rates of approx. $450 per room per night, oxygenated rooms + breakfast for stay in early November 2007. Hotel is still the most elegant option in Cuzco, situated near the Plaza de Armas. The property is a beautifully restored monastery dating back to the late 1600's. Service is nearly excellent; staff is friendly; food is excellent. However, this is a very pricey hotel; decor is too solemn and for some it might feel severely religious; hotel is beautiful but lacks ambiance because the "monastery" aspect is over-emphasized; Gregorian chants play all day, making the place feel more like a church or museum than a "Hip Hotel." BIGGEST DRAWBACKS: The beds are very "springy" (nothing resembling "Westin Heavenly Beds"); avoid duplex suites because the upper level (where the sleeping area is located) gets very warm at night and since there is no air conditioning, you cannot cool the room unless you open the tiny windows (allowing all the outside noise in). Consider that sleeping in Cuzco is already challenging due to the effects of high altitude -- a warm room does nothing to alleviate insomnia. BIGGEST PLUS: You can book and pay (for a 5% service fee) the Orient Express Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu at the reception - there is no better train service in the Americas than this train and this is the most memorable way to visit this wonder of the world. \Worth every cent of the $550 per head train r/t/ fare. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: Management could do a better job at "ritualizing" the coca tea served upon checking in; breakfast offerings should be less English and highlight more Peruvian fare; the hotel's personality could be less solemn; staff at the courtyard restaurant should be more proactive/anticipatory (they only serve you if called -- rarely take initiative to come over to offer any of the many expensive drinks or food) and most of all...need to find a solution to baggage storage -- piling up all luggage around the courtyard is a shame -- cheapens the whole experience; makes you think that you have arrived instead at a cheap group hotel in the Dominica Republic.

  • Liked — The service and the historical aspects of the architecture of the hotel.
  • Disliked — The solemnity of teh decor and the uncomfortable beds.
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank ClubWorldTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesquite, Nevada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2007

You will love this hotel!!!!!Its the type of place that the minute you walk in, you feel "good". Its warm and cozy and has alot of history to it. The staff will do just about anything to ensure that your stay is happy. We ate in their resturant, which was very good. Our rate included a daily morning breakfast, which was served buffet style. It was also very good and they serve about any time of food you could imagine.

The hotel is in a great location. Its about a block from the main square, where they have lots of shops and good place to eat. We walked all over town and its very safe and clean. Theres alot of history here, so its something everyone should enjoy. Cuzco is over 11000 feet high, although we had no altitude problems. I guess some people coming here get sick from the altitude, but we had no problems. Its a really fun city and this hotel is definatley the place to stay. Our room was cozy and clean. We stayed 2 nights and it was special.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank TAHOEAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2007

My sister and I stayed there for 2 days in the first week of October. I wish I stayed longer. The service is absolutely top-notch from the turn-down service to the concierge. Even when I had a bout of food poisoning, they were able to summon a doctor very quickly in the middle of the night and buy the needed medicine right away. If you need to stay in Cusco, this is the place to stay.

The only thing is that to get all of this service, expect to pay for it. It is not for the cheap traveler.

  • Liked — Exquisite Service
  • Disliked — Expect to pay for it
  • Stayed October 2007
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jevangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2007

This was one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in. Beautiful rooms with luxurious amenities, magnificent food, terrific service. My only complaint is that we paid US high-end prices and we were in Cusco (it was a bit of a shock compared to the rest of our trip & accomodations). You can easily find a wonderful hotel in Cusco for less than a fifth of what Monasterio charges (we stayed at a wonderful place for 3 nights for $80/night - Monasterio ran around $500). I recommend staying here for 1 night just for the experience, and staying elsewhere for the rest of your trip if finances are a concern.

  • Liked — Luxury! Was wonderful after trekking the Inca Trial for 4 days :).
  • Disliked — Prices were ridiculous for Cusco.
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank All_About_Karma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2007

Let's just get it out there: this is one of the nicest and most beautiful hotels in all of Latin America. Certainly the prettiest we saw in Cusco. But it comes with a steep price tag, so consider carefully.

The service is top-notch although a bit impersonal as tour groups are being whisked in and out. My husband and I were travelling on our own and felt a bit ignored by the conveyor belt of groups passing by us.

Our room, while small, had a nice balconey with chair. But we did not use the balconey as it overlooked a row of similar balconeys so a bit of romance lost. Also, our room smelled of cigarette smoke although the front desk assured us it was a non-smoking room (they brought us room freshener spray). We were overall happy with the room but a bit disappointed as we had asked to have a room facing the second, smaller courtyard (which we did not get). We had an oxygen-ready room but did not use it as we were coming from a higher altitude.

The bar was nice, and sitting by the fire after dinner was neat. We did not eat dinner in the hotel. The breakfast is excellent although coffee service lags for my caffeine-starved morning mood.

Overall, would give a rating of 4.5 for experience. Might try somewhere else if we returned as might get "more" for the money. And why they only give you 30 minutes of free internet then start charging is beyond me given the prices here.

But you can't go wrong staying here as it is simply beautiful, especially at night. Very romantice and I imagine the experience would be divine if one came during less popular times of the year.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — Impersonal service, crowds
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank blacklabinSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Desert, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2007

I loved everything about this hotel. It has a great "vibe." You could feel the energy walking through the hallways of this amazing hotel--an actual monestary. This is one of the coolest places I have stayed--ever. There is no where else in Cusco to stay! BEST of all--I was DEATHLY ill from food poisoning (not from this restaurant), and the staff was amazing!!!

True 5 star :)

  • Liked — History--STAFF
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Danni0005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Property: Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Address: Calle Palacio 140 | Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco, Peru
Phone Number:
Region: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Cusco
#4 Business Hotel in Cusco
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cusco
#7 Family Hotel in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel Monasterio 5*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Right beside the lively Cusco central square is Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. This delightful retreat combines centuries-old charm with luxury hotel service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites-all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard. The ideal hotel from which to discover the delights of Cusco, its doors open to a vibrant scene of old and modern architecture, markets, galleries and restaurants serving 'new Andean' cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monasterio Hotel Cusco
Hotel Monasterio

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