After waking up at 5am to catch my 6:50am flight into Cusco, one can imagine a bit of disorientation but once I figured out how to get into Cusco downtown, change my train ticket in the PeruRail office, buy tickets for Machu Picchu at the Ministerio de Cultura and get a taxi to take me to Urubamba, checking into Tambo del Inka was a breeze.
The check-in process was exactly what I expected from a Luxury Collection hotel, my bags were taken and I headed straight to the Gold/Platinum check in desk. I was greeted by the day manager and offered cups of Coca tea from the Coca tea station in the lobby (If you’re going to Machu Picchu, you will absolutely need this tea … it really made a difference in the speed of my acclimatisation. The lobby area is inviting and definitely gives the high end resort feel … if you’ve ever been to the Westin Napa, then you’ll have a very good idea of the layout. The staff is incredibly friendly, well trained and respectful.
Overall, it was an excellent check in, that set the right tone. They didn’t have an upgrade as the hotel was sold out, I think the only way, it could have been improved was if they offered a single malt scotch and a chocolate 😛 So the main bullet points
- Checked me into my room, painlessly without a question
- Recognized my “Plat” status immediately – I was disappointed by this though, since I was looking forward to it.
- Offered the Coca tea
- Apologized 25 times for no immediate upgrade but then offered enhanced breakfast.
As for the room, I was checked into 248. This was their standard room, which wasn’t very standard ….
The bathroom was similar to the open concept bathroom I had at the W in Bali. While I loved the bathroom in Bali, I feel that for a Luxury Collection hotel, I expected something better. This being said – it was spacious, had “his & her” sinks and upgraded toiletries.
Finally, I have to give a shout out for more great customer service. I needed a couple hotels booked in Agua Calientes and in Cusco, they were very responsive. They offered me maps of Urubamba for my walkaround and for Agua Calientes. Every request I had was met on the spot or got the right level of follow up. I even met the chef, when I didn’t like something about the THIRD portion of Ceviche I ate for lunch – the food is awesome, but I asked for a super spicy Fish Ceviche … and it wasn’t – which warranted a visit from the chef! The staff at this property really excel and go above and beyond. Every single one of them. Very impressive.
As for prices and the restaurant … my advice is not to look at the prices listed and also to eat all the ceviche you can possibly get at the restaurant.
Finally, if you’re in town because of a place called Machu Picchu, then you’ll be even extra pleased that the Urubamba train station is located on the property itself (personally, I think that the train station being on hotel property is ridiculous, but I didn’t build the hotel). I don’t think there is another way that this hotel could be even more convenient for your trip up to Machu Picchu. The train station is a 4 min walk from your room, and the hotel bellman will gladly take your bags for you.
|High Speed Wired/Wireless Internet Access||Paid Wi-Fi access, but complimentary Wi-Fi for Plats.|
|Concierge||The concierge services were great, especially as I hadn’t put any serious thought into this trip – like ZERO planning and everything was still great!|
|Parking/Valet||Valet is available … I didn’t drive, hence I didn’t use it.|
|Dining||There are two restaurants on site.|
|Pool||There are one outdoor pool and jacuzzi and they are heated|
|Gym||The gym is serviceable with some weight and machines. It can’t possibly get much use, since everything is all shiny and new|
|Business Center||Fully decked out business center for those without laptops, iPads or technology. How those people live today, I’ll never know.|
This is a fantastic resort hotel and but personally rates a regular 9 for me, which is definitely what I expect from a Luxury Collection hotel.
|Staff attitude, conduct and support||Customer service was fantastic. If only service in North America, could have service levels like Starwood properties in Asia and Latin America|
|Hotel Cleanliness||Exceeded expectations.|
|Location||Great location as a jump off point to Machu Picchu. It even has a train station attached to the complex. You couldn’t possibly get a better location than that.|
|Would I return?||I would definitely return to the hotel.|
||This is a resort prestige hotel and one of the best in Peru. As such, I did see young families with grandparents roaming around.|
|Good for business travellers?
||While this is a resort, I did see a business gathering – it explained the hotel being completely sold out. This would be an excellent reward for outstanding executives.|
|Value for price paid?
||Let’s not mistake things here … this is an expensive hotel. There are more expensive hotels in Peru, but you know what you’re getting here. I would put this at a strong recommend.|