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Picoaga Hotel

Listed under Inspire Me in Cusco, Peru.

  • Photo of Picoaga Hotel
  • Photo of Picoaga Hotel
Photo of Picoaga Hotel
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Because Cuzco is the gateway to the best-known attractions of Peru, including but not limited to Machu Picchu, tourists who come here often wind up using their hotel as a hub. They arrive, spend a day or so to acclimatize, go off to sightsee, return, go off to do sports (hiking, rafting, canyoning, horseback riding), and return again before catching their flight to elsewhere in Peru. So the hotel they choose is more than a place to sleep; it is a home away from home, a storage point for excess luggage, a reference point for messages, a meeting point for friends.

With these needs in mind, as well as the desire not to overspend on lodgings, I chose the Picoaga as my hotel in Cuzco. The 17th century mansion was originally the home of the Marquis of Picoaga, and retains the Spanish-style courtyard, graceful archways, flower-punctuated atrium, and tiled pavement of its origins. It is only a few steps from Plaza de Armas, the main square of town, where you find all the restaurants, bars, stores, and night spots, yet bedrooms in the colonial wing are quiet and comfortable. You quickly appreciate the hotel’s firm mattresses and double pillows, as the 3,400 metre altitude has a way of pinning you to your bed for your first day or so. All 72 rooms (some in the modern section) have en-suite bathrooms with shower/baths, very handy when you need to wash clothes after days of camping. Breakfast is included, and it is a bountiful buffet, including fresh fruits, Peruvian as well as international dishes, and eggs and omelettes cooked to individual order. Internet is not especially fast or reliable, but IS free, and situated in the richly-decorated lower level of the hotel, near the bar.

The staff is personable and professional. When you first arrive, you are offered a cup of cocoa tea during registration. Porters, waiters and desk clerks don’t thrust out their hand out for every service they perform, but they do offer you a smile. That is as invigorating as the tea when you return after out-of-town excursions. Rates range from $160-250, but vary by season and typology of room. (That is less than half the price of Cuzco’s most famous hotel, the Monasterio, which has admittedly more bells and whistles, but no more picturesque a setting or convenient a location). Unless you are booking in peak season, you or your travel agent can often negotiate a better deal.Picoaga Calle Santa Teresa 344, Cuzco

Written by  Claudia Flisi.

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