When traveling internationally Bernadine and I like to stay at boutique hotels. In prep for our recent trip to Machu Picchu, we perused TripAdvisor - our preferred source for travel info - for places to stay in Cusco.
We were struck by the reviews of Hotel Torre Dorada. The ratings were overwhelmingly 'excellent' with almost all the others 'very good'. People raved about the service. So we booked it.
And what a hotel. Martin, who greeted us at the airport and then checked us in, was a fountain of useful information. The rooms were beautifully and comfortably decorated. A selection of teas, and regularly refreshed hot water, was made available on each floor throughout the day. We anticipated the tasty omelets, fresh fruits, pastries and cheeses each morning. The breakfast staff could only be described as joyful. Monika, at the front desk, was exceptionally helpful. A shuttle service was available around-the-clock with 10 minutes notice.
Finally, we had the good fortune to meet Peggy, the engaging and spirited proprietor of Hotel Torre Dorada. I asked her how she was able to provide such consistently first-rate service.
"Hard work! I ask my staff to imagine how it would feel if they were in another country, another culture. How would they want to be treated? What would make them feel comforted? Well taken care of?"
Then she looked down at my tea cup, stopped, and said, "Oh no." She immediately went to make a phone call. Two minutes later a woman arrived, the head of housekeeping.
"Look, this cup has a small chip in the rim. We can't have that for our guests."
The woman noted it, nodded in approval, and went to replace my tea.
"As I was saying, hard work! Every detail has to be just right."
And that's why, if you should ever travel to Cusco, you must stay at the Hotel Torre Dorada.