Best Western Los Andes de America, Cusco – Review

We had the opportunity to stay at this property while visiting Cusco during our trip to Peru last month. We originally had 2 nights booked at this hotel, one on 20,000 points which I had accumulated from a couple of promotions and from Topguest check-ins, and another paid night since I didn’t have enough points for two nights. Due to some itinerary changes we finally ended up booking a total of 3 nights. One for the first night in Cusco, and two for after our return from our stay at Sacred Valley and our stay at Tambo del Inka.

Getting there:

The hotel is a short cab ride away from the Cusco International Airport (about 10-15 min). The cab ride will cost you anywhere from 20 to 40 Peruvian Soles (you can negotiate it), which at the current conversion rate was about $8 to $15. A cab is the easiest and fastest way to get there. More likely than not your cab driver will also take U.S. dollars.

The hotel is right in the heart of Cusco, a couple of blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, the city’s most prominent landmark. You can walk the surrounding streets and can get to just about all major points of interest in the historic district on foot. A note of caution when walking. Beware of Cusco drivers when you cross the street. Yes, you will be crossing by the crosswalk, and no, they will not stop for you even when you’re on it.

Best-Western-Cusco

Check-in:

Check-in was pretty easy. The attendant just took our luggage to the main atrium sitting area and served us a mate de coca tea to help out with the altitude, while the staff brought us the documents and filled out all the paperwork without having to get up or stay in line.

Mate de coca at the hotel's lobby

Mate de coca at the hotel’s lobby

They gave us our room key (only one), which interestingly enough had a chip and our hotel name and room number printed on the key. I pointed this out to the staff as this is a major security violation. If you were to lose your room key on the street or anywhere else on the hotel, anyone who finds it can simply walk into your room. They said it’s easier for them to track them that way and know who’s in or out for messages, etc, but yet again, this is a big no-no in the hotel industry and it doesn’t seem like they will be changing it for the time being.

Hotel lobby

Hotel lobby

I had also gotten Best Western’s top status (Diamond) in preparation for this trip, but the staff either didn’t seem to notice or recognized me as a Diamond member, so we weren’t offered a room upgrade and since we were spending only one night at first, I didn’t bother to ask.

The room:

Our room was on the first floor. After landing on a place at 12,000 feet of altitude, I thought it would be a good idea not to go even higher. The room was nice and spacious, and the bathroom had a pretty large bathtub, although it didn’t drain properly when you showered, but I didn’t bother to report it.

Best-Western-Cusco

Best-Western-Cuzco

Best-Western-Cuzco

I had two main problems with the room. Since we were on the ground floor and right by the main atrium, a window next to our bed was right on the hallway where many people walk by dragging luggage or simply talking at odd hours of the night, and even though it wasn’t a problem the first night, on our second stay there was quite a lot of foot traffic and we got awaken a few times during the night.

The other problem is that the rooms do not have temperature control. The temperature is centrally controlled by the hotel. In Cusco it will get cold at night because of the altitude, and the room was just too cold. The hotel can bring you a portable heater at your request, but we asked for one and it was promised by the front desk clerk, but it never showed up.

Amenities:

There aren’t many amenities at this hotel, but they do have free wifi, which was very reliable and fast, and the breakfast is also included. The breakfast in my opinion was the best feature of the hotel, since they have plenty of variety and since most places in Peru use locally grown food and ingredients, it was pretty tasty. Coffee was really lacking, since all they offered was a “coffee essence” that you’re supposed to mix with water, but if you’re looking for gourmet or simply good quality coffee, Peru isn’t the place to find it, since they don’t have a strong coffee tradition.

Best-Western-Cuzco-breakfast

Best-Western-Cuzco-breakfast

Best-Western-Cuzco-dining-room

The service:

As I previously mentioned, the service was just ok. There was one gentleman, Rudecindo, who is the main concierge. He was outstanding, very friendly and attentive. He even walked a block with us and our bags the next morning to help us catch a tour bus we had reserved for our trip to Sacred Valley. With the exception of him, the other staff wasn’t very impressive or over the top. There was the incident with the portable heater that never came, and the 2 wake up calls we requested on two of the nights never happened. We also asked for some toiletries that had run out, and it took about 30 minutes for them to arrive. I suppose after staying at Tambo del Inka for 2 nights our expectations were sky-high, but I think all of these were reasonable requests that were never met or seemed too difficult for the staff to work through.

The veredict:

Overall, I did like the property and would stay in it again. We paid a pretty cheap rate of around $90 per night for 2 nights, and the third one was on points. You’re not going to get Ritz-Carlton service, but the free breakfast and the hotel’s great location are both a plus that compensate for the not so outstanding service.

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