Plazoleta Limacpampa Chico 473, Cusco, Peru
Update May 2013 - With the ever-increasing competition in high-end hotels in Peru, Casa Andina Private Collection has slid further down the rankings in Cusco, so we have removed it from our list. We are keeping this review posted for any who are interested in staying, but it is not a luxury hotel on par with the others linked from our hotels in Peru page.
Casa Andina is hard to miss in Peru: the company has five hotels in Cusco alone. They are also active in the high end of the market, however, adding a series of "private collection" hotels that aim to give the established players some competition. While the Cusco version near the Inca Temple of the Sun still has an obvious chain hotel whiff about it, there are a lot of things going right. It is a welcome addition to a popular city where your first choice could be sold out during high season.
The entrance is welcoming, with a large stone patio and fountain giving it some breathing room back from the street. The main building is a house from the 1800s, complete with a typical courtyard and fountain inside. Sitting areas combine comfortable wicker chairs with carved wood chests and coffee tables. Past reception is a pocket bar and lounge area with much of the original architecture intact. Sofas, chairs, and a fireplace create an atmosphere suitable for lingering.
The restaurant here is a visual highlight and even if you dine elsewhere for some meals, the included breakfast buffet spread is served here. The rooms have retained their original layouts, so you could be dining in one of four intimate spaces, surrounded by oil paintings, candles, white tablecloths, beamed ceilings, and walls with exposed stone accents. Andean highlands cuisine is the focus, but plenty of less adventurous international dishes rotate throughout the year.
The 72 guest rooms just expanded to 94, with this new addition also housing a small spa area. The architects have done a good job at making the old blend with the new, leaving space for courtyards and featuring plenty of stone work.
The prime rooms are the five suites in the original historic house. These have heavy beamed ceilings (but painted white), a full living room, and lots of room to spread out. Unfortunately, they have the same furniture you find in most other rooms throughout the Casa Andina chain, ordered in bulk apparently, plus the same engineered plastic-feeling vanity just as you find in the standards. The nine suites in the newer section have a few upgrades, such as minibars, electronic safes, and larger flat-screen TVs. All the suites come with separate shower stalls and the Imperial Suite has two balconies.
The standard rooms feature two doubles or a king bed, blue Berber carpet, two chairs, good reading lights, and comfortable beds. Wireless Internet access is free, plus electric teapots, flat TVs, and robes are in all rooms. The baths are simple affairs though, with combo tubs, hair dryers, and basic toiletries. One key option available in all but the cheapest rooms though that something previously only otherwise available in the Monasterio: oxygen pumped into your room if you are suffering badly from the altitude.
While the Casa Andina Private Collection in Cusco doesn't get the service or the design details right as often as the polished Orient-Express and Inkaterra hotels do, the rates are much easier to stomach and overall this is an attractive choice in a wonderful city.
Web Address: www.casa-andina.com
Total Number of Rooms: 94
Published rates: Published rates: $199 to $345 BB including tax
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.
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