Incredible Service, Excellent Value, Decent Loding
WHERE: Terra Andina
WHEN: December 07 (between Christmas and New Years). This was a good time to visit Cusco, at least weather-wise. The average daily temps were between 60 and 70 F. There were bursts of rain a couple times during the week, but nothing horrible.
WHO: I spend probably 25% of my time on the road for business. I typically stay at Hiltons and Marriotts, with the occasional Sofitel or Star Hotels thrown in for good measure. When traveling for pleasure, I’ll stay anywhere from Motel 6 to Hampton Inn, depending on price, location, schedule, etc. This is just to give you some idea of my frame of reference.
LOCATION: The Terra Andina is located on Calle Union, about a half-block away from the San Pedro train station in Cusco Peru. It’s a 10 minute stroll to the Plaza de Armas, where the majority of touristy restaurants and interests are located. For those taking the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes), the location is one of the Terra Andina’s greatest strengths.
CHECK IN: Checking in couldn’t have been easier. Thanks to an early arrival, it took 15 minutes or so for a room to be prepared. There is a small waiting area near the lobby, complete with complimentary coca tea. This ‘Mate de Coca’ is supposed to alleviate the affects of altitude sickness, as well as provide an overall energy boost. I didn’t notice that it helped or hindered one way or the other, but it was extremely comforting in the mornings. An important thing to note, is that checkOUT time is 9am, much earlier than most Americans / Europeans are used to.
LAYOUT: The T.A. used to be an old colonial mansion, so the layout is a little odd and haphazard. This also results in none of the rooms being the same. Most of the rooms are located along the perimeter of the central courtyard, which is the hotel’s restaurant. These rooms have no ventilation, except for a window which opens directly onto the center...where people are constantly eating, walking, talking, and checking in and out. This could be a problem for people who need complete silence to sleep, so ask for a room that is set farther back.
Getting back to the courtyard / restaurant for a moment, it was extremely nice to have someplace to ‘hang out’ during the day which was away from the noise and chaos of Cusco. It was like having a little private oasis to get away and recharge the mental batteries for a while.
ROOMS: The first of 3 rooms I had at the Terra Andina was very nice. It was triangle-shaped, and everything was very well-kept and comfortable. The bed, linens, and pillows were extremely comfortable. The bathroom had a skylight, and it probably had the deepest bathtub I’ve ever seen. There was an issue with water leaking on the floor from the shower, but there was also a drain in the center so it wasn’t an issue. The second room I had was considerably smaller, but was a standard rectangle shape. This room had a large, flat-screen TV hanging on the wall, and a small fridge / mini-bar. The third room I had was about the same size, but not nearly as ‘nice’. There was a small TV, no fridge, and the bedding consisted of many heavy cotton blankets instead of the nice down comforter from rooms 1 and 2. To be fair, though, my ending up in the third room came as a result of my pulling the curtain rod from the ceiling in room 2, and asking to be re-located at 10:00 at night. I consider myself lucky that they had any other options for me, so I am NOT complaining.
The one complaint that I do have, is noise. The layout of the hotel, combined with the fact that everything is tile or stone, means that every noise is magnified and echoed throughout the hotel, all night long. It wasn’t like there were people partying all night or constantly banging on stuff, it was just normal going-about-your-business noise. Short of carpeting all the floors, or maybe using acoustic ceiling tiles, though, I just don’t know that there’s a solution. The third room, (#209) was the quietest of the 3.
SERVICE: Wow!!!!! The service at the Terra Andina, from the front desk to the restaurant staff, was simply amazing. It was probably in the top 3 of any hotel I’ve ever stayed with. I go back and forth with myself on whether the location or the service is the T.A.’s greatest strength. Either one is enough of a plus that I will stay there again. I could go on and on saying the same things, but the service was just top notch.
RESTAURANT: Prior to traveling to Cusco, I did my e-research, and had a list of the best recommended restaurants in town. While I wasn’t able to hit every one on my list, the best food I had in Cusco was at the Terra Andina Restaurant. In addition, it had the best (and coldest) Pisco Sours I had in all of Peru. The quality of the food, combined with the fantastic service, made this one of the nicest surprises during the trip. The breakfast buffet was pretty good, with a omelet-to-order available.
SAFETY / SECURITY: While this location is decidedly less touristy than the Plaza de Armas, it is NOT a bad location. In all hours of the day or night, there is a very strong police presence, and many normal Peruvian families living their lives. At night, the road and adjoining areas are completely lighted. There is the normal troupe of beggars, homeless, and train-station-hanger-outers that comes with ANY city center, but no more or worse than anywhere else. I never had any issues or incidents, either inside or outside the hotel.
SUMMARY: The Terra Andina hotel is a nice place to stay. The location and service make it doubly so. When I return to Cusco, I will happily and excitedly stay there again. I will, however, make sure to ask for a room that sits away from the central area.
We were there for four nights. The rooms were clean and had everything we need. It would have been nice if they had windows looking to the outside.
The breakfast was the best we had at any hotel in Peru. The only problem with the dinning room was that it was cold.
Fine time at the Terra Andina
On a cobbled side street within a two minute walk to the Peru Rail train station this hotel is top notch, excellent staff and helpful tour organizer this hotel is a pleasure. The rooms are a nice size and clean and tidy with a good hard bed and all the mod cons, except no bar fridge. The bathrooms are Holiday Inn style but the showers have excellent heat and pressure which come in handy when you are trying to cope with the high altitude. In the lobby there is a Coca tea dispenser and as soon as you enter the hotel one of the staff is there with a cup, this tea is a life saver. They also have free internet with a computer that you can use on a first come first serve basis, the connection rate is surprisingly fast. The breakfast was what I had come to expect in Peru, but it is lade on with a little style and a slightly better selection then some of the other hotels I stayed at, they also start breakfast nice and early which is important considering that the first train to Machupicchu leaves at 6am. They also give you a handy simple map of the town, a nice touch. Next time I will stay there again.
We had a terrible experience with this hotel. We prepaid for three nights but ended up only staying two nights. The hotel would not refund us our money although they had ample notice.
The beds were uncomfortable.
I suggest you stay at Casa Andina instead where the quality is better and the room rates are lower.
Close to San Pedro Station
My husband and I stayed for 2 nights (19th Nov; 22nd Nov '07) at this hotel and we had a relatively comfy stay.
1. Location - the hotel is just a block away from the San Pedro train station - very convenient to catch that early morning train to MachuPicchu. Its a 15- 20 minute walk to Avenue Sole/ Main Plaza - pleasant stroll during the day, but at night your strongly advised to take a cab to and fro (4 soles one way) as the neighbourhood is dodgy and considered unsafe.
2. Staff - everyone we encountered was great - right from our check-in they were wonderful - arranging our city tour, making restaurant reservations, calling taxis, extra pillows etc... ever smiling, courteous, efficient and prompt.
3. In the lobby there is a computer with free internet use; 2 urns with hot Coca tea available 24hrs; complimentary breakfast is served in the inner courtyard and consists of quite a spread - eggs, sausages, potatoes, pancakes, cereals, fresh juices, fruits, yogurts, croissants, coffee, tea..all good.
4. Dining - should you not want to go out for meals you can eat at the courtyard restaurant - decent menu and prices - we had very good, rather large soups on our last night here.
5. Rooms - a mixed bag - our first room was on the ground floor with windows that opened on to the corridor and inner courtyard - so it was a tad noisey. The room was small - hardly any space to move around without stubbing a toe, but it was clean, the queen bed comfy, the furnishings new - though the armoir had a fresh varnish smell that made me queasy after a while. The bathroom was spotless and the shower only stall was fine - good water pressure and hot water. The wall mounted flat screen TV had a variety of channels. The main flaw with the room was a lack of ventilation making it very stuffy and hot throughout the night.
Our second room was much better - also on the ground floor with windows opening on to the courtyard it was surprisingly quite. The room itself was much larger and spacious with 2 double beds, a table and chair, a bigger bathroom with a tub etc. The suitcase we had left in storage at the hotel was already placed in the room awaiting our arrival which was a nice touch.
Money Grubbing Hotel
We stayed at this hotel in December 2007 during our visit to Cusco and Machu Picchu. This hotel is dishonest!!! They tried to nickel and dime us on everything. We stayed on the first floor with the room windows open to an inner court yard. The window was unlocked so that anyone can climb in while we were out. The in room safe would not open with my personal code. The office had to come and unlock the safe. I felt it had been tampered with while we were out. Luckily, we did not leave any money or our passport in the room. DO NOT STAY HERE!!! I recommend staying at the Novotel in Cusco or for a low cost version the Hostal Marani. Hostal Marani was very clean, safe and secured in the evening. The staff were very nice and accomodating and did not try to pull a fast one like the Terra Andina staff.
We spent 4 nights here and had a good experience. As soon as we arrived they offered us inca tea and somewhere to sit which was a relief as I was suffering from altitude sickness - it was a really nice place to be to relax and rest whilst we adapted to the altitude. There is free internet in reception. The breakfast is adequate. The rooms are very clean and it seemed recently decorated. It was reasonably priced. About a 10 min walk to plaza de armas which was good so we could wander around and see cusco a bit. Very close to the train station so we could walk there early in the am and back in the pm without any trouble. I would definatly reccomend staying here.
OK Hotel but location was not great
The hotel was OK. The location was quite a walk to downtown and restaurants especially with the altitude. It was very close to train station however we only used it once. I would have stayed in the heart of down town to experience it all.
I arrived at the hotel at 11am or so and was greeted by someone who took my bags from me and sat me down in the lobby area (more like a large living / dining area). I was handed a hot cup of Mate de Coca tea to help combat altitude sickness.
In a matter of moments, I was asked to fill out some registration form while I relaxed.
I was then shown to my room upstairs.
The room was sparse, but it didn't need to be anything but sparse. I particulary like the print of the Madonna and Child over the bed.
The TV was small, but who comes to Cusco to watch TV?
The restroom was nice and the shower was great!
I had breakfast in the hotel the next morning, but I personally did not enjoy it. I think many people did, but I did not. The OJ was as sour as one could stand. I'm just admittedly not a breakfast person.
The hotel is literally a block from the train station San Pedro where the Backpacker and Vistadome trains head to Machu Picchu. Extremely convenient.
The next day when I used the safe, I found a large / nice man's ring in the safe. I immediately brought it to the front desk since it was not mine and I'm sure the previous guest had misplaced it.
While using the internet in the reception area, I heard the front desk clerk attempt to find its owner. That was very reassuring.
Overall, the hotel is clean and friendly and very convenient. I would stay here again without hesitation.
Will stay here again and recommend it to everyone.. anyday
While it is literally two minutes walking distance from the Peru-rail train station which will take you to Machu Picchu (most likely reason you are staying in cusco).. that's not the only reason i would recommend this place.
It is 2 soles (a.k.a less than a US dollar) of taxi fare away from everything .. the plaza, the bars and the whole works.. and being couple of blocks away from the hustle-bustle is a good thing because you can get a quiet night's sleep..
The manager and everyone else was nice and friendly.. they help you with the travelling around cusco in case you have not planned it already..
The rooms are smaller in size.. so, if you are more than two people and planning to get one regular room, you will surely suffocate.. Other thing to remember is to let them know in advance that if you go out in the night and get back to the room pretty late.. Especially after 2am..
Try to get rooms upstairs to avoid all the noise (early in the morning) in the first floor, witht he kitchen staff, people packing and getting erady to leave etc..
If you checked in alone and they see another person the next day, they will charge you extra..
traveling to Cusco
My wife and I will be traveling to Cusco in August. We have reservations at the Terra Andina hotel. Does anyone know the reputation of this hotel?
Also, we would like to do a 4-5 day trek to Macchu Picchu; any recommendations?
RE: traveling to Cusco
Not sure about the hotel.
The Inca Trail is booked until early September.
Salkantay is the popular Inca Trail alternative that goes to Machu Picchu. Reservations are not needed for it.
There are other alternative Inca Trails but they do not go to Machu Picchu.
RE: traveling to Cusco
Some friends and I wanted to hike the Inca trail but as you now know it is booked until at least August. We are hiking the alternate route up to Machu Picchu with a company called Peru Planet they are based out of Cusco. We will be taking what they called the Salkantay Trail (it is the back side of the Inca trail mountain)and it will still end up at the ruins of Machu Picchu. It is said to be harder than the Inca trail because you climb to a higher elevation and it is a 5 day/4 night trip for $195 (much cheaper and not as crowded as the Inca Trail).
RE: traveling to Cusco
I am from Peru and now I am living at USA, while I was living in Peru I was working in Travel Agency specialized in Inca trail anyways...about the Hotel..is a relly good hotel..don't worry they have a good reputation and special good service....right now just be worried how you will enjoy your days in cusco....thanks for visit my country, if you want know more just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org ....good luck