When we were looking for places to stay in Cusco, I reached out to La Bo’M Hostel as it was rated #2 on TripAdvisor with nothing but glowing reviews. The price was right and the location was perfect but unfortunately there was no rooms available on the dates that we needed. When we checked into Pisko & Soul, we noticed that La Bo’M was across the street.
Since Pisko & Soul’s luggage storage would have meant our bags would be sitting in the common area for 5 days, we decided to switch it up. We walked across the street and were happy that La Bo’M not only had availability, but it was less expensive. We booked 2 nights – one night after our tour through the Amazon Jungle and one night after we return from Machu Picchu. They told us it was no problem to leave our bags in their locked storage room for both of our trips.
Our First Stay at La Bo’M Hostel
All of the rooms at the hostel are named after different native people in Peru. Ours was the Moche room which was fun for us since we had seen the Moche ruins when we were in Trujillo.
When we opened the door I was a little bit bummed. The room was small, damp and cold, not what I envisioned for the #2 rated hostel in Cusco. There was a little nook which was great for storing our bags and a few shelves above the bed which allowed us to spread out a little bit.
The bed was quite comfortable and there were a number of blankets available that we could add to the bed to make it warmer. We both slept really well. I’m sure partially since we were exhausted from getting very little sleep on the night bus the day before.
Not only was the bathroom tiny, but it also wasn’t as clean as other bathrooms that we have had on our travels so far. There was hair on the bathroom floor as well as the sink drain, something that should have been cleaned before we were given the room. There was also some mold growing in the bathroom, not something that we like to see. I’m sure the reason that there was mold is because there is no ventilation in the bathroom so all of the moisture from the shower has nowhere to go.
Since we had just come from the jungle where we only had cold water showers and spent the night on a bus, I was dreaming of a nice, long, hot shower. I was happy when I saw a suicide shower since the water is heated on demand and you don’t have to fear running out of hot water.
I turned on the water and waited for it to warm up. I kept waiting and waiting but the water was not the slightest bit hot. Since I was in my towel, I had Andy run to the front desk to see if there was a trick for getting the water to heat up. The front desk was very helpful and tried to help us but there was some issue with a pump which did not allow any hot water to come to our room. They told us to try again at 4pm.
It was then that Andy noticed one of the guys on our jungle trek was eating lunch at the creperie. They chatted and after hearing about our shower debacle, we were invited to his hotel to take a shower.
After dinner, we talked to the front desk who assured us that the shower would have hot water by the morning. In the morning I tried again but still no hot water. Luckily, there were communal showers with hot water that we were able to use.
Our Second Stay at La Bo’M Hostel
When we walked into the room, we knew immediately that it was going to be a better experience for us. Not only did the room look cleaner, it also smelled much better.
We were exhausted as we had been up since 3:40am hiking Machu Picchu so we knew that we would sleep well. We both slept extremely well as both the bed and pillows seemed to be a bit more comfortable than our previous room.
The worst part of the room was the bathroom. It was dated and had some mold on the walls as well as a skylight that was cracked and taped together.
We had shower issues yet again, this time the water either being really cold or scalding hot. The annoying part about the water was that the shower was too small to fully move out of the stream of water or move the shower head. This made for a very uncomfortable and quick shower.
The breakfast was really delicious and quite a bit different from the standard breakfast fare. We had a choice of crepe flavors – lemon and sugar, butter and sugar, marmalade or cheese. We both picked the lemon sugar flavor which was amazing.
In addition to the crepe, we also received a fruit juice and fresh baked roll with butter and strawberry jam. The juice had banana in it which made it undrinkable for me, everyone else seemed to enjoy it.
On our second stay, we had to catch an 8am bus so we weren’t around during their breakfast hours. I was bummed out since it was a really good breakfast, something that is hard to find at hostels in South America. To my surprise, when we checked out there was a brown bag breakfast for us to take on the bus. We each had a crepe, roll with butter, juice box and banana. It was perfect since we didn’t have to scramble to find something to eat and best of all, it was free.
I honestly believe that the reason that the hostel has such high reviews is because of the staff. They are absolutely amazing and will do anything to make your stay more enjoyable. From working on our water issue, calling a taxi so we could catch our bus and storing our luggage 3 separate times, they seemed happy to do it all.
Most of the staff is French and because of that, there were a number of French customers. Whenever we spent time in the common areas, it felt like we were in France, not Peru.
I had my fingers crossed for fast wifi. We were bummed out that not only did the wifi not work in our first room, but in the common areas where it did work, it was extremely slow. We had a lot of pictures that we had hoped to load to our Google drive but that was not able to happen.
On our second stay, the internet was much faster and worked in our room. I believe that it worked in our room because we were much closer to the common area. I’m still not quite sure why the speed changed for us, perhaps during our fist stay someone was using the bulk of the available bandwidth which was making it slower for everyone.
There were always quite a few people hanging out in the common areas. While I thought it was just to be social, I think it is because the rooms are small and the wifi doesn’t work well outside of the common areas.
There was both an outdoor common area as well as an indoor common area. Since the weather in Cusco is relatively cold, we always opted for the warmer, indoor common area. There was always hot water and tea available which was a great way to warm up.
I was super excited when I saw that there was a wood burning fireplace in the common area. I sat down in the chair next to the fire in the evening and enjoyed the heat. I love the smell, sound and looks of a wood fire so I was really happy.
After our initial stay, we were surprised that the reviews were so great. The staff was amazing, breakfast was delicious and the common areas great, but the bathrooms were well below what we expected.
To make up for our shower issues, the hostel took 40 sols or $12 off of our bill. That was a really great gesture and very helpful for us as everything in Cusco was quite expensive.
If the hostel renovated the bathrooms and added more wifi routers so the internet worked in all of the rooms, I honestly think it would be an unbelievable place to stay.