on September 2, 2010
We cannot credit ourselves with finding this hotel as it was sorted for us by Audley Travel who customised this holiday for us. This is a 34 roomed hotel which has recently been voted as a three star hotel and it’s more than adequate for a discerning traveller to the area. Our room had two decent sized beds, flat screen TV, and more than adequate space to relax in. There were no comfortable chairs, but to be honest we were out most of the time and when in our room the bed was the best place to relax on. Our two double beds were comfortable and this felt essential as we were both struggling a little with the impact of the high altitude. Indeed after a brief walk around the town we decided to play it safe and eat in the hotel restaurant (not something that I would normally choose to do). The small restaurant on the ground floor was slightly below pavement level and I have to say that there was a fair amount of noise from the outside. This was emphasised that the town was celebrating (or perhaps not) the results of a big local election by the time we were eating the revelries were in full swing. That apart the attitude and attentiveness of the staff was spot on and we were not kept waiting for a single moment.The menu isn’t the most extensive, but as we’d read that we should eat a light meal until we were acclimatised, we happily opted for chicken. Other choices were beef, trout or a variety of pasta dishes. By sheer coincidence we all chose a different soup (we were all a bit cold following our long journey) and I opted for cream of spinach whilst the rest went for Tomato, Asparagus and Pumpkin. They all looked superb with full steaming bowls and plenty of croutons. The spinach soup was a vibrant green and although I suspected it must have had some additional colourings the taste of the Spinach came strongly through. Although the advice is that you don’t take on alcohol my friend and I decided that a bottle of the local brew wouldn’t do us too much damage and it made a tasty accompaniment to the breaded chicken. The main course was nicely presented with a "tower" of chips and nicely cooked vegetables. There weren’t loads of vegetables but it was sufficient for our needs on this occasion! At the end of the meal the bill came to just over 200 sols (about £10 a head) and we all felt that this was good value. After the meal it was time to test out those beds for real! Within minutes I’d slipped into "the land of nod" and 8 hours later woke up refreshed and ready to go. What better sight, from our bed, than the rooftop of Cuzco, and the surrounding hills silhouetted against the sun as it tries to force its way through the clouds.Now it’s time to try breakfast! Breakfast is in the same place as we ate last night and somewhat predictably is laid out in buffet style. The ever attentive staff are there to serve us with our first glass of fruit juice. I tried papaya, a thick liquid, which was unusually tasty and much better than the orange that I tried later on. There was plenty of food to go at and I was soon tucking into a bowl (albeit somewhat small) of mixed cereal. I won’t go in to detail because most of it I’d never heard of before, but it was inoffensive and good enough to eat again tomorrow. After cereal it was time to try the cooked food - scrambled egg, bacon and a smoked sausage. Unfortunately this was not as hot as I would have liked it and although I’m hoping that it will be more freshly cooked tomorrow. To round off my breakfast I go for croissants and jams made from local fruits. The waiter did tell me a couple of times what it was but I "didn’t quite get it" so I’ll content myself by saying that I did enjoy the greeny-yellowy jam. The Hotel Ruinas doesn’t have the best frontage in the world but it has an impressive and neat foyer with smiling and welcoming reception staff. Certainly we mustn’t overlook the wide range of awards that it’s received since opening in 1998 including many international awards for quality service. They claim that they pay attention for every detail and are proud of the hotel’s peaceful atmosphere and their efforts to ensure a personalized service for all their guests. I actually don’t think they’re far wrong.
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