Hostal El Santuario is conveniently located right at the base of Machu Picchu and is only a few minutes walk from Aguas Calientes' main train station (the train station where all of the tourist trains like Peru Rail come in), the Machu Picchu bus station and a bunch of local restaurants and shops. It was a good location for people in my family who grew tired of walking after days of hiking in Machu Picchu and on the Inca Trail.
However, immediately when my family and I came in to check into the hotel (yes, this is more of a hotel than a hostal despite the name of this place) the staff said that we needed our passports and immigration cards to check in. We expected to be asked for our passports, which is customary when traveling and checking into foreign hotels. However, half of my family had left our immigration cards in Cusco, and we didn't know that we needed them to check into the hotel. The hotel never notified us nor wrote on their website that we needed our immigration cards in order to stay at the hotel. Because of this, the hotel said that they would "forget about our oversight" if we paid them a "fee." Well, to say the least, we thought that this was pretty dishonest. Long story short, we agreed to fax our immigration cards to the hotel immediately when we got back to Cusco, but, of course, it turned out to be quite a hassle. On this end, I would not rate the hotel very highly when it comes to integrity and service. It turned out to be quite a headache and a bad way to start our stay in an otherwise pleasant hotel.
Now, onto more positive aspects of this hotel. The hotel is very clean; they offer a wonderful and complimentary buffet breakfast complete with eggs, toast, coffee, local fruits, hot cocoa, tea, yogurt, cereals, cold cuts, juices, etc. (a wonderful way to start your day of hiking in Machu Picchu); they have free internet access in the lobby via a PC computer (no wifi, though); complimentary tea served at all hours in the lobby (very soothing!); and, of course, they have a fantastic view of the gushing and lush Urubamba River. It's pretty cool to be lulled to sleep by the flowing river running outside your room.
I'd say book this place, but make sure that you either bring your immigration card with you for check-in or be sure to know how to deal with BS if the hotel throws it your way.
- Also Known As:
- Hostal El Santuario Hotel Aguas Calientes
- Hostal El Santuario Aguas Calientes