Hostal Varayoc Review

After reading reviews of some of the hostels in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Village), it sounded like most of them are of similar quality and if you wanted something better, you immediately go to the other extreme and shell out hundred of dollars.

Wanting to conserve our money for something just a little more special than one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, we pretty much closed our eyes and reserved a triple room at Hostal Varayoc, or should I say, I picked the spot (as Renée and Steph place all the blame on me for this selection, or quite frankly, anything that went wrong).

First off, they want your money up front.  Ok, I can see that.  Most people stay in Aguas Calientes so they can get off to a very early start to Macchu Pichu the next morning, and they probably had a few people leave without paying up.  And, oh yeah, there's a surcharge if you want to pay with your credit card.

Next, the staircase.  Each step is a different height so you have to watch each and every one of your steps to avoid an embarrassing fall, and at the same time, watch your head.  The ceiling is pretty low in some sections.  Judging from the rooms we saw on our way upstairs, we all agreed we were lucky to get the "penthouse" suite... LOL... as the rooms on the lower floors had open windows looking directly into the neighbouring slums. We were lucky enough to get a room above the slums, with a great view of the main plaza not too far away.

Speaking of our room, it was overdosed with perfume to probably hide the odours.  I can't stand the smell of perfume on a beautiful woman, let alone a hotel room, so when I first entered the room, I thought I was about to have a Mr. Bean moment...

The perfume smell was so strong that opening the windows didn't help at all. And just so you don't think it was just me, I don't think the girls appreciated it much either.

The beds appeared clean and were ok... there's nothing memorable about the beds so they must not have been overly comfortable or awful. Sorry folks.... No photos of the bedroom this time around.  I must have forgotten.  Our private washroom was also clean so when it comes to basic amenities, Hostal Varayoc gets a passing grade, or does it?

Now come more negatives about Hostal Varayoc:
  1. In their confirmation e-mail, they offered to pick us up from the train station upon arrival if we provided them the train details.  I provided the requested info several days in advance but there was no response and no one met us at the station.  This wasn't too surprising based on other reviews I read but it wasn't really necessary as the town is relatively small, and we eventually found the place after asking a few people. That being said, if you offer to do something, you should do it or don't even offer it all!
  2. Speaking of offers, upon checking in, the staff member, without us even asking, offered to give us a wake-up call at 4am.  We graciously accepted but there was no call or even any staff members visibly present in the hostel in the morning.
  3. She also told us that breakfast would be served starting at 4am.  If that breakfast consisted of an unopened bag of small buns on a table at the back of a room that I had to tear open in the dark, then I guess we had breakfast.
  4. And why was I opening a bag of buns in the dark?  Because there was no electricity anywhere in the hostel!  That's right, they turned off all the power!  They never offered to keep the electricity on but they never mentioned that it would be turned off either.  We woke up, got ready with our headlamps turned on, headed down the odd staircase, left our luggage in the 'secure' room, snuck some buns into our pockets, and left the hostel, all in the dark.
  5. And the secure luggage room... well, let's just say it was the breakfast room that was wide open when we left our backpacks in the back corner under a table, and slightly hidden behind some chairs. When we returned later in the day to pick them up, the staff member didn't acknowledge us entering the lobby or the secure room, or even question us or check that those were our packs.  Not the peace of mind you're looking for when you leave your belongings behind in the dark!

So, would I recommend Hostal Varayoc?  Hmm, let me think about it...  if you just want a decent bed and washroom at a perfumy hostel with a short walk to the morning bus stop and don't expect people to keep their word, then sure, go ahead and book a room, but otherwise, NO!  While I doubt any of the other places in town in that price range are any better, the service can't be much worse.

If you found this unbiased review helpful, please click on one of the interesting Google advertising links on this blog to help me out. Thanks.

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