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Reviewed 28 August 2013

We stayed 4 nights in El Balcon in August 2013. The hotel is situated in a quiet street, beautiful views from the balcony. Staff were friendly, attentive and efficient. You feel that you are in Peru and not in a hotel that could be anywhere in the world. We liked the decor and the antique woven cloths hanging on the wall. Breakfast was good, and authentic too, with coffee made 'a la Peru' and not from a coffee machine, for instance!! There is always some hot water available, to have tea, infusions and, of course, 'mate de coco', good to help with altitude dizziness. The rooms are simple (with clean bathrooms) and again, of local style. We felt completely safe and when we went trekking for 5 days, we left our valuables in the office safe (passports/ laptop) with no problem. During our trek we needed some administrative help and Janet (from the front desk) happily and efficiently helped us. If you are looking for a Peruvian style hotel, El Balcon is perfect.

Room Tip: In our opinion, some rooms are nicer than others... go and check for yourself which one you like best! They are happy to change rooms.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sylvie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2013

I stayed at El Balcon a second time and was received wonderfully. The staff are warm and are as kind to each other as they are to you as their quest. The living room is a lovely place to read and or just have tea. The quests that come to El Balcon seem to be as well mannered and well intentioned. Enjoy your stay however long or short.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Heather C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

El Balcon is a charming hotel, with gardens located on a hill within 10 minutes walking distance to Cusco center. The room, with 2 double beds on the second floor was agreeable, but with 1 small window. Neglect was shown on the bathroom ceiling and tile in the shower. The ceiling had water damage from the roof. Since the ceilings are tall, the water damage and black mold hanging from the corner ceiling was not initially obvious to us. Upon inspection of the bathroom ceiling next to us, we realized it wasn’t just one area of neglect, but chronic neglect. Cleaning the ceilings hygienically and a little white paint would hold over the ceilings in the lower season for repair.

Having traveled in cooler areas a heater was requested in advance. Both the heater and the TV had to be replaced and we were wondering if other guests went without. The hotel was safe and there was a sufficient safe box. The breakfast was nice though the same every day. With the market near a change in the menu or fruit would be have been a nice surprise. Due to altitude sickness, a simple, but delicious chicken soup was prepared.

The hotel contracts out their travel advisor who we did not use, but another guest had. One advisor, very effective and aggressive in their sales did well, but the incentive is only for their commission, not for their relationship or customer service to hotel guests. It was apparent this concession changes on a regular basis. The staff has been left to run this hotel, and they are certainly doing the best they can without owners sufficient inspection of the property. During our visit the accountant was overseeing the operation and this simply does not work when you have a great location and potentially a precious gem. With ownership commitment and customer care, it could compete with other hotels in Cusco. This gem should be a rustic hotel, not an OLD hotel.

Room Tip: Second floor is best. Get Specific instructions and advise Front Desk the time you are arriving. Best to have the telephone number handy. We were not advised the street was under construction at the time of our arrival & we were unable to drive up the hill to the hotel.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Wold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2013

This hotel was very quiet and in a good location. We were less than 10 minutes walking distance to the city. I can’t say that this hotel or any other hotel in the area is easy to find on your own so I would make sure you arrange transportation with someone that knows where they are going. Every morning we were made fresh breakfast which included eggs, fruit, and coffee. This was perfect for me but by husband was hungry after an hour without any meat. The rooms were small, which wasn’t a big deal but the beds were small also (not ideal for two adults). The room was constructed using some type of hide (animal skin) to hold the ceiling together which was absolutely terrible for my husband’s allergies. The hide began to grow mold or hold some type of allergen that was terribly irritating. The bathroom was large and clean but very cold. The only heating element we had for the room was a portable heater so we would move it to the bathroom every morning and back into the room after. The room provided a small safe but it was useless if we wanted to fit anything larger than a tablet inside. We used it for our passports and cash. The beds had nice warm blankets on them but they were not soft at all. The view from the room was superb. A major concern for us was safety. Our rooms were not that secure, they were kept locked with padlocks! On two occasions we returned to our room only to discover that the maid left the padlock unlocked. This was very discomforting. Rolland, who is the onsite travel advisor, is very kind but does not offer any deals better than what you can find in town. He gave off the appearance of trying to be helpful but like any other business man, he was bothered by offering help if it didn’t involve his own interests (commission). Prior to my arrival to Peru I arranged transportation with El Balcon. Rolland was there on time to pick me up on time but the downside was that he made my husband and I wait outside in the heat while he was taking care of another matter at the airport. This was displeasing, especially since we had to pay for the pick up and it was not complimentary.

Room Tip: See if you can find a room without animal hide.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank CandyHime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2013

We stayed at El Balcon and found our stay slightly disappointing. Our immediate impression was quite negative as the service we received in the front desk was very cold and unfriendly. Our room was clean and basic. It straddles the fine line between rustic and old. There was a loud party going on next door until late into the night which made for difficult sleeping. There was hot water, however, almost too hot and difficult to control. We enjoyed the balcony views and the morning breakfast was good.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor have better balcony views.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MarenT60864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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