Family Hotel Review: The Garden House Hotel, Cusco, Peru
For the best hospitality in Cusco, come to this friendly B&B run by two lovely sisters on the outskirts of town.
Best For: The beginning or end of your Peruvian adventure; kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Victoria Westmacott
Why You’ll Love It
The Garden House is possibly the friendliest B&B that you’ll ever come across. Run by sisters Doris and Ceci, nothing is too much trouble and you’ll quickly find yourself warmly welcomed into their home. After 10 days of hotel living, we really appreciated the chance to sit around a kitchen table with a cup of tea and just chat.
This is a great place to start or end your trip. If Cusco is at the beginning of your itinerary, it’s important that you do nothing at all for a day in order to acclimatise, and the Garden House is an ideal place to do this – particularly if you have kids as there is the garden for them to enjoy. What’s more, the sisters are walking encyclopaedias of things to do and see in Cusco and around. They can arrange day trips, affordable taxis around town and further afield and offer lots of insider tips.
There are a few things that might put some families off, one of which is the location. Once-upon-a-time the Garden House was a true rural escape from the busy Cusco streets. In recent years, however, much of the once pretty countryside has been replaced by construction sites and new developments. It’s a 20-minute ride into the centre so this is not the place to stay if you want to walk out of your hotel straight to the city’s sights. The Garden House operates on a B&B basis, so breakfast only. There are no restaurants nearby but takeaways are available. Doris and Ceci can advise you.
Some people on Tripadvisor said that they thought the Garden House was overpriced compared to central Cusco hotels. What I don’t think they appreciated, however, is that you pay the same price for two rooms at this property (inter-connecting rooms) as you do for one room in town. For us, travelling with two young children, this was fantastic – particularly given that I struggled to find hotels in the city centre that would allow more than one extra bed in the room.
In short, this is a wonderful place to stay if you’re looking for friendly local hospitality. It’s not glitzy, it’s not glamorous but the hospitality is some of the best I have ever come across. I would definitely go back.
Why The Kids Will Love It
From the moment that we arrived at the Garden House my children didn’t draw breath. We sat around the kitchen table with Ceci and her daughter and my two kids simply talked at them for hours sharing their travel tales of llamas and Machu Picchu and more. Both Ceci and Hazel were incredible with the children and my kids quickly fell in love with them.
What’s more, upon arriving Ceci and Doris presented my two kids with a little toy each and Ceci unearthed some children’s books from her library for them to read. It’s personal touches such as these that you simply do not find in big chain hotels.
Although the location won’t suit every family, we loved having a garden for the kids to run around in. It’s very rare to find a green space such as this one in Cusco and for energetic kids such as mine, the grounds were heaven to explore (there are also a couple of swings at the back).
This really is a proper home and our stay was a definite highlight for my children.
There are just four bedrooms here and all are inter-connecting. For example, a double room connects with a twin room and these two rooms share a bathroom. If you only need one room then Doris and Ceci will transform the second room into a living room for you. The rooms are spacious and cosy. Ours was warm yellow with wooden floorboards, a Queen size bed (and twin beds in the adjoining room), blackout curtains, a TV, hairdryer and heaters.
Best Rooms For Families: All four rooms are the same and all are good for families. The maximum occupancy per room (inter-connecting) is two adults and three children. A baby cot is available subject to availability.
The Garden House operates on a B&B basis so offers breakfast only.
Breakfast is served in the dining room and consists of eggs, fruit, toast, cereal, delicious fresh fruit juices (a combination of strawberry, papaya and orange when we stayed) tea and coffee. Breakfast is served from 7am – 10am but timings are completely flexible based upon guest’s needs. A highchair is available.
Lunch & Dinner: The nearest restaurants are a 20-minute taxi ride away, which may not be ideal if you’re travelling with younger children. Takeaway options are available, however, including a very good one from Greens. Pizza, chicken and chips and other more fast food options are also available.
Activities for the family Enjoy the garden, head into Cusco, explore the Sacred Valley (approximately one-hour away) and visit Machu Picchu. Doris and Ceci can organise pretty much anything and can also recommend very good walking tours.
Babysitting, common rooms, heating, inter-connecting rooms, laundry, WiFi.
If booked online rates are as follows:
Standard Single: US $145
Standard Double: US $145
2 Bedroom Suite (3 people): US $195
2 Bedroom Suite (4 people): US $239
2 Bedroom Suite (5 people): US $279
Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
Peak season for this region is May to October (the dry season or ‘winter’ in the Southern Hemisphere), with the greatest number of visitors in July and August. During this season the days are usually clear and sunny with chilly nights, especially at high altitudes. The days surrounding the Christmas and Easter holidays are also busy.
The rainy season (‘summer’) runs from November through March (January and February are usually the wettest months). This period sees dramatic price drops and less crowds but flooding and landslides are common.
Location & Travel:
The Garden House is located outside of Cusco’s city centre between the San Sebastian and San Jeronimo districts. It is 5km (approx. 15 mins taxi) to the airport of Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) – the same distance as hotels in town are from the airport. The airport sits right inbetween Cusco’s centre and the Garden House.
It is 9km (approx. 20-25 mins) to La Plaza de Armas (main square) in the centre of Cusco.
It’s 17km to Poroy (approx. 45 minutes), the train station that connects with Machu Picchu.
Take a video tour of the Garden House, Cusco, Peru
Contact The Hotel
For more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
1) If you have any special requests (e.g. a birthday, family reunion) let Ceci and Doris know in advance as they can pretty much pull anything out of a hat.
2) If this is your first port of call in Peru it’s crucial to take it easy and factor in plenty of down time. Altitude sickness is no joke!
3) Remember there are no restaurants nearby so you should either eat out when in town or plan for a delivery (the sisters have a number of takeaway menus at hand).
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