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“Charming hotel with great view”
Review of El Balcon

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El Balcon
Ranked #4 of 346 Cusco B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Charming hotel with great view”
Reviewed 3 July 2010

El Balcon is an adorable little hotel with lovely balconies and gardens. The views from the balcony are amazing. My husband and I stayed here for four nights during our honeymoon and found El Balcon very comfortable. It is just a couple blocks from the Plaza de Armas and in a fairly quiet area. The staff was overall friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amanda623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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English first
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 January 2010

I had a fantastic stay El Balcon Inn.

I was picked up from the airport in brand new people carrier, by a very friendly driver who handled my bags (including cameras and laptop etc) as if they were his own - unlike your average taxi driver. This was much appreciated as the altitude hit me as soon as the plane doors opened, and so I was feeling a little light headed.

The hotel is perfectly situated - just a block or two from the central Plaza De Armas, so all the best museums / bars / resturants etc are very close walking distance, but being up the hill from the plaza a little meant that not only was it quieter than some of the other streets near the plaza but also meant the views from the garden / balconies are fantastic panoramas of Cusco.

Staff were all very friendly and spoke good English, being more than happy to recommend some great resturants and the most interestign sites etc in the city. Breakfast was superb, with fruit, coffee, fruit juice, hot peruvian bread rolls and eggs and ham. Teas and Matte de coca were available 24 / 7 in the dinning room - self service, which was great as the coca tea was delicious and helped a lot with the altitude.

My room was fairly large with excellent tiled wet room, TV, large soft towels, reading lights, local tapestries, and a nice hot powerful shower (which was at a sensible height unlike many in peru - no croucing showers!). The bed had wonderfully comfortable covers, and lots of extra blankets to keep cozy and warm durring those Andean nights. I travel a lot for work, and have stayed in all sorts of 4,5+ * hotels all over the world - overall for value for money El Balcon was definitely amongst the best.

The style (traditional whitewashed adobe, restored colonial woodwork, and a goregous terraced garden full of trees (complete with 'talking' parrot), plants and interesting artifacts was stunning. Wireless internet was very quick, think speedtest was showing healthy ~650Mbps down and ~200 up - about the same as work's buisiness connection in the UK !

Would definitely recommend to others, and when I get back to Cusco - El Balcon will be my obvious choice, already plannign trip back there with my partner who couldn't make it due to work - will be booking the honemoon suite which looked fantastic - they let me have quick peak when I asked before leaving for Machu Picchu!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravellingBritLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
81 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2009

Lovely courtyard so first impressions are very good. Very few staff speak English, so we had difficulty getting what we needed, however when they did understand, they were very obliging. Room was quite small but adequate; double means double (not queen) so bed felt small, especially since floor sloped causing you to roll to one side. Hot water 24/7 not quite true....first shower had hot water, second did not. Bathroom drain had an odour so we covered it; heater was very noisy. Breakfast posted 5 am to 10 am but no one there at 6 am before we left for Machu Picchu. Breakfast was okay but not very large and no choices. Dispute over exchange rate charged was later corrected when we returned from Machu Picchu.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank l0vet0travelCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2009

Don't get me wrong, it's not like there's anything wrong with this hotel. The beds are comfortable, there is hot water, and breakfast is alright. However, for the amount we paid we expected a higher class of hotel. Very noisy - we were awoken before 7am each morning (however... this is probably just Cusco, not the hotel). The bathrooms aren't anything special (but there is 24/7 hot water, which is something to be said). The heaters in the rooms didn't work but the blankets kept us warm enough at night. The biggest annoyance of this hotel was we literally had to switch rooms every night - VERY annoying, since checkout is early in the morning and check-in is in the afternoon. They claimed that the only room one night available was the "honeymoon suite" - twice the price of all other rooms and a total rip off. Again - nothing is really wrong with this hotel, but for this price you should be getting a lot more.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lola_gnome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
128 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2009

Located opposite side of square from san blas - less touristy - 5 minute walk from square.

Paid $70USD per night in July 2009. Was nice clean place. Nothing special, just a cut above backpacker-type hostel while retaining the PERUVIAN style which is what I was looking for.

Beds were ok - little hard, rooms were small. Internet machine was a single tiny screen in at the end of a narrow reception area. Breakfast was small, but decent if you are not a big eater.

Bottom line - if you are looking for something better than a hostel full of hippies and cheap backbackers but not the sterile environment of an upscale hotel, this is it. Price seems high for the labor/RE market of andean highlands, but I guess thats what all hotels in cusco are.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lurch1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2009

We decided to stay at Hostal El Balcon based on the reviews we saw on TripAdvisor, and were not disappointed. Some things have changed since some of the earlier photos were posted on TA: the breakfast/dining room now has a glass enclosure that makes it feel more bright and open, and the landscaping is fuller and more mature. We stayed for 2 days prior to our trip to Ollantaytambo/Machu Picchu, and another 3 days upon our return.

Room: The rooms have very thick adobe walls that keep the room cool during the day but gets a bit cold at night. They'll bring in a portable heater if you ask, and it's more than sufficient to heat up the room. The floor is wood and feels like it is the original 1630's floor! We got a double room - which was huge (in fact on our second stay they moved a third bed into the room and there was still ample space). The beds were comfortable and had wonderful thick wool blankets and a (down?) comforter. Reading lights above each of the beds.

Bathroom: The bathroom was very basic but clean; but the best feature was that it always had hot water - something you cannot take for granted in Cuzco/Machu Picchu. Bring your own toiletries.

Breakfast: There is hot water, coca leaves, & tea bags available 24 hours/day (serve yourself). Breakfast is warm (Peru style) bread, jam, butter, cereal, fruit, and eggs to suit. Breakfast was a comfortable occasion with warm greetings all the way around from the staff and other guests. We didn't learn until our last day that you could also order food (dinner/lunch) if you wished.

Staff: Everyone was very friendly and helpful - you feel like you're visiting friends/relatives. From Rosa and Dani at the front desk, Joni (sp?) who cooked breakfast, to the guys who made the rooms and cleaned the property - everyone made use feel very welcomed.

Location: 3 blocks from Plaza de Armas on a quiet street. We always felt safe walking to/from the hotel - even in the evenings. Location is the opposite end of the Plaza from most other hotels, which is actually good because you won't have to worry about bar/restaurant noise, drunk tourists, or noisy traffic.

Make sure you check out the photo albums in the breakfast/dining room, it shows photos of the hotel's remodeling process and some of the original structures.

One caveat: this is a very old building, so the doors and windows are not soundproof; don't be surprised to hear some outside noise. This is true of most buildings in Cuzco.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank houstonturtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
49 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2009

Located a couple blocks from the main square, this is a charming hotel. It has a pretty courtyard with colourful parrots in the centre. The staff, although most of them don't speak English, were very friendly and helpful. Some of our group were suffering very badly from the altitude, and they went out of their way to help.

We went on the four day Inca trail, and we were able to leave our bags with them while we went. Pick up from the airport was also included in the very reasonable rate.

It was quite cold when we were there in March, but we had a space heater in our room, whic kept us warm. Plenty of hot water as well.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Intrepidtraveller81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Balcon

Property: El Balcon
Address: Tambo de Montero 222, Cusco 00000, Peru
Phone Number:
Region: Peru > Cusco Region > Cusco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 346 B&Bs / Inns in Cusco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — El Balcon 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located only three blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the city of Cusco, El Balcon has a commanding view of the entire city, cathedrals, churches, mountains and the Ausangate glacier. El Balcon is a renovated colonial Casona that dates back to the 1630s built atop the preceding Inca terraces. Inca stone work and colonial balustrades mesh harmoniously around terraced gardens creating an atmosphere that is beautiful, historic and authentically Peruvian. Some of our amenities and services include free airport transportation, complimentary hot breakfast and buffet, laundry, and free yoga classes. We are happy to help with any travel arrangements so that our guests can experience the best that Cusco and the Sacred Valley has to offer. At El Balcon we strive to provide our guests with the highest level of hospitality so that they have all they need to feel comfortable at our family establishment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balcon Hotel Cusco

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