More about Rupa Wasi Eco Lodge
Family Tree House- Loved it!
Family of 4, 2 adults and 2 kids. Smooth check in, we arrived on morning train from Sacred Valley and were allowed to check in early to allow us to get up to MP early. The suite we had was upstairs/downstairs and soooo quaint. Kids had bunk beds downstairs and we had a double?queen up the ladder to the next floor. It was great overlooking the town from our bed and hearing the river running. Bedding was very comfortable. Bathroom was fine, we had ample hot water (kids didn't shower!!!) so hot water seemed to last for 2 showers in a row.
I enjoyed the simple breakfast- yoghurt, bread, juice and coffee.
Would definitely recommend it for a night or 2.
Worth the walk up 91 steps to get to
We arrived at the Rupa Wasi from the first train of the morning out of Ollantaytambo. While we had minimal luggage to store that day while we went to Machu Picchu, we had a very, very sick traveling companion who was lucky to have even gotten to Aquas Caliente. The hotel was so accomodating and got us a room immediately for her to stay in during the day while our guide took us to the ruins. They were so very nice, and even got her some hot tea to help her (it really helped - Mantanilla and anise tea combined). Only one of our rooms was ready, but that was more then we expected at 8:30 in the morning.
This hotel has gotten a bad rap because of the stairs to get to it, but it is really worth the walk. Just don't arrive with a big suitcase. We each had backpacks and were fine. Anyway, we had views of Machu Picchu from our porches and the sound of the roaring river was very soothing. The treehouse in the canopy were also very neat.
The second day, they stored our luggage for us while we returned to the ruins and then met us at the train station with it. Most accomodating.
While the rooms are basic, they are clean, the beds are comfortable, and the showers were great. We all took nice, long, hot showers. We also had breakfast and while it was simple, it was tasty. I think it is a great place, moderately priced and would return for another stay.
Good choice for a short stay in Aguas Calientes
We had a very pleasant 1 night stay at Rupa Wasi in mid-March and we would definitely stay there again, although I can see where it may not be as appealing to others. This is a very simple wooden place with a unique rustic charm that might not be appreciated by more demanding travelers. However, there’s not much to choose from in Aguas Calientes, especially if you want to keep the price at a reasonably over-priced level (as opposed to an exorbitantly over-priced level), and this is one of the few places in town that is not an absolute eyesore, inside or out. From a design perspective, they have taken care to try to blend the lodge into its unique setting, rather than simply dump another pile of concrete blocks wherever they can get away with it and call it a hotel.
The staff was friendly, and service and personal attention were very good. We reserved directly with them by telephone and had no problems with the reservation. We were met at the rail station and escorted to the hotel, which is a good thing because it would have been fairly tricky to find on our own. Something for physically restricted travelers to bear in mind is that the lodge is at the top of a long, steep set of stairs - as the guy that escorted us from the station joked, “good practice for the trip up to Machu Picchu”. Fortunately, we had only a couple of small packs, having left our luggage in Cusco.
We stayed in a spacious room with a balcony looking directly onto Putucusi mountain, a good view (the Machu Picchu site straddles a high ridge on the opposite side of Putucusi, so it is hidden from view from Aguas Calientes). The room and bath were clean, although my wife hated that the bathtub/shower was colored black – “fungus camouflage” as she put it. The bed was comfortable and there was ample hot water. Only a couple of ridiculously minor complaints regarding the room, especially considering that we were there for a 1 night stay: there is no place to hang or store your clothes, so we wound up just spreading stuff out on the extra bed, which we also had to use as a couch since there was no other place to sit inside (no chairs).
While we were there the Urubamba river was absolutely raging and the sound was thunderous at its banks. Fortunately, Rupa Wasi is bit removed from the river, so with windows closed for the cool night it sounded somewhat like an air conditioner humming in the background. However, at some point during the night we were awakened by the incessant barking of a dog that went on long enough that I expected that someone would shoot it. Fortunately for the dog, some yelling and shooing by an unarmed neighbor was sufficient to either quiet him or get him to move to another hotel.
We did not eat at the restaurant (we saw no one eat there during our stay), other than the somewhat meager included breakfast, but they do have an ambitious and interesting menu. They were in the process of building a larger, upgraded kitchen during our stay.
Do Not Trust The Rupa Wasi, You May Not Have A Hotel When You Get There!
I had a reservation two months prior. I confirmed it two times, by mail and by telephone. I have their e-mails confirming my reservation. When I got there, they said that I HAD CANCELLED MY RESERVATION BY PHONE. I was forced to look for whatever I could find at that time. Not only they cancelled my reseration, but they had the audacity of sustaining that I had cancelled it.
most of what I'm going to say here is really not Rupa Wasi's fault, but nonetheless, I'd never stay here again
we had 2 rooms, two of my friends paid an extra $20 ($70 for the room) to have a balcony, my room was directly downstairs for $50
when we arrived after 91 steps it started raining immediately, my room was damp humid and I had to constantly burn incense to get rid of the smell (the hotel incense kept on dying coz they've been sitting in high humidity for so long), & this is despite the dehumidifyer in my room (a little machine that sucks out the humidity in the room)
my friends' room had an even worse smell
my bed felt so moist and unclean that I bought a poncho to sleep on (coz the 1st night without the poncho, the dampness of the bed made it very uncomfortable to sleep in, despite that I actually slept with all my clothes on --including my patagonia jacket!)
I don't know how often the rooms are cleaned but because everything was constantly wet, it all felt very dirty
this basically was the most expensive $50 hotel I've ever stayed in in my life (ie value for money -- not really)
what were really good
1) the cheerful & helpful receptionist Tatiana, gave us lots of tips & we liked her a lot
2) proximity to their plaza de armas & the bus to MP
I live in a super humid & hot city myself, so while I'd like to blame the smell and etc here on the weather, I think the weather can only be blamed partially.
I stayed there for one night with my wife, We tried to get another hotel but all was booked. I would say that the Rupa Wasi is not for everyone. It is best geared to the backpackers crowd.
For one, you need to climb 71 steps to get there. and if you get the lower rooms be prepared for a strong mildew smell.
We complained and the manager tried hard to accommodate us by putting
in a dehumidifier and a heater in the room- it helped.
Breakfast was tasty but meager- one cup of yogurt and 2 slices of bread with a cup of coffee. Not the lavish buffet we got accustomed to. (You can pay up for a full breakfast).
Shower was good, but you need to be among the first to use it to get enough hot water. Also there was an uncovered outlet in the bathroom-At 240 volts- it's not a light matter.
Felt like a slum
The location is convenient to the Main Square in Aguas Calientes if you don't mind climbing a few stairs. (Its worth it for the view from your room). Unfortunately we felt that the room smelled bad and construction was unfinished (for example bathroom left as unpainted concrete blocks). We felt like the place was damp and dirty, like staying in a slum house. Was told the wood construction holds in the humidity.
About what we expected
There seems to be a lot of mixed reviews on this hotel, but we thought it was just fine for us. We stayed in an upper floor double suite, room #3. It looked over the city with a little balcony outside. We only stayed one night and hardly spent any time in the room except to sleep. There are lots of windows, and hardly any of them have shades... so it was a little awkward at night with the lights on, and I imagine it would be difficult to sleep in much in the morning. We got up early for the sunrise at Machu Picchu so we didn't mind. The beds were firm and were just fine for us. We took showers at night and had lots of hot water. The stairs are not a big deal at all - if you have trouble with those stairs, just wait until you get to Machu Picchu! The location was good, not too far from the plaza and bus stop for Machu Picchu.
We ate dinner in their restaurant - it was surprisingly good! Very nice gourmet-like presentation. The breakfast was very small, and we paid extra for a bag lunch to take to MP. It had a veggie sandwich on focaccia bread, juice, banana, passion fruit, and a muffin. It was just okay, but handy to have a long for lunch at MP.
Overall this hotel was about what we expected. We knew that Aguas Calientes was overpriced and unless you stay at the high-end places, you're not going to get a very luxurious hotel. It worked out just fine for us and I would recommend it to other.
I thought this place needed dehumidifiers running at all times. I would not stay there again. My husband and I had one of the suites and it really smelled bad and had mold around the tub. Our adult children had the cheaper rooms which seemed better as they recieved more sunlight. Also 88 steps and you can not really see any thing even though they allude to the fact that you can.
Our Own Treehouse Hideaway!
We stayed in Room #3 which had a great balcony with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as well as some views of the center of Aguas Calientes. The staff at the hotel were very helpful with some really good suggestions regarding things to do in the area as well as our for our trip to Machu Picchu. We liked that the hotel was a couple of blocks from the center of town, it made for a much needed break from all the distractions of town. Yes, the room did smell slightly like mildew, but I think its pretty hard to avoid in tropical, humid locations - my hotel room at the Peninsula in Bangkok had a similar smell, it has nothing to do with the quality of the hotel. When booking ask for the highest room available with a balcony and I think you will enjoy your stay - I can personally recommend #3.