Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hats Off to Rumi Punku

This is the first time I've been moved to write an entire blog post about a hotel, but the staff of the Hotel Rumi Punku, in Cusco, Peru deserve it.  As I told the manager when I was checking out, I've probably stayed in hundreds of hotels all around the world, and the staff at the Rumi Punku was definitely the friendliest, most helpful and most professional of any.

The good vibes started with the warm welcome I and several other guests got when we were picked up at the airport.  When we got to the hotel we settled into the pleasant lounge area, were served coca leaf tea to help us adjust to the altitude, and did our paperwork.  We were then given an overview of the city and the hotel's services.

The location of the Rumi Punku couldn't be better.  It's on a relatively quiet but centrally located street close enough to the Plaza de Armas while still giving one enough of a respite from the tourist heart of the city.  The street, Choquechaca, has several good restaurants, and is close to Plaza San Blas, with more dining choices.  Just down the block is a cute little no-cover music club/bar.

Rooms are clean and simple, with comfortable beds, cable TV, free WiFi, 24-hour hot water and good heat (necessary for those cold mountain nights).  My room cost me $70 US a night, including breakfast, and they were able to charge my credit card in dollars, avoiding foreign exchange fees.  They can store your luggage if you take a hiatus elsewhere in the region, as I did, and don't want to lug all your stuff.

When I wanted to confirm a dinner reservation in Lima, they made the call for me and wouldn't accept any money for the call.  When a tour company screwed up on my pickup for a tour of nearby attractions, the manager called a cab and accompanied me to meet up with the tour at the first stop.  Granted the tour company was the one the hotel does business with, but I suspect some hoteliers would have called the cab and left me to my own devices with instructions.

Everybody at the hotel spoke impeccable English and their sunny disposition was infectious, though, truth be told, the latter could probably be said about most Cusqueños.  While I'm wary of making generalizations about national character, there's no denying that Peruvians, from my experience, are among the gentlest, most honest and most hospitable people I've met in my travels.

If you're considering a visit to Cusco, I heartily recommend a stay at the Hotel Rumi Punku (339 Choquechaca). 


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