I was going to stay at Torre Dorada.  Ridiculously responsive via email, and entirely accessible via phone.  They rate a good Lonely Planet Review, and the top spot on TravelAdvisor.com’s ranking of Cusco lodgings.   But alas, I did not stay there.  Casa San Blas also rates an honorable mention in the category of email responsiveness (an indicator, I think, of lodging quality).

Much the same can be said for Rupa Wasi, in Aguas Caliente.  Unlike Torre Dorado, the grasp of the English language by hotel staff was slim.  However, a genuine helpfulness was in evidence when I requested bookings for nights for which they were full.  This?  Is rare.

Llama Path tours?  As best I could tell, they were the sort of folk you’d be comfortable entrusting four days and three nights of your existence in the Andes.  They were not only responsive, but clear in communications.  When it became apparent that I simply wouldn’t be able to make it to Peru in time for the trip, I’d hoped they’d be willing to apply some small portion of my deposit to a future trip with them.  That didn’t turn out to be the case, but I can’t begrudge it (90% of the deposit went to sunk costs).

Hotel Renew, somewhere between Waikiki and Diamond Head.  In anticipating a visit there, I discovered that my attitude toward travel in Hawaii involves a somewhat unearned bitterness towards the development that’s occurred since I moved away in the early 80s.  So when I think about going back, I don’t want to hear about $500/night rooms on Waikiki (or anything more than $40/night on the North Shore).  The pleasant surprises, then, were the rates offered by Hotel Renew for the holiday period.  $190 for an ocean view room, just left of Fort DeRussy.  Through Jan 31, at least.  Jump on it.

Backpackers Hawaii.  I’m sure that, with a bit more thought, I could explain the disconnect between my willingness to hang out in a shared-facilities hostel on the beach in Hawaii and my requiring a 5 star hotel in Madrid.  But until then, know this: the private rooms in the “village” at Backpackers Hawaii seem like the best deal in the state.

So, yeah, these are reviews of the places I thought I was going to, but never did end up in.  Turned out just fine, though.

“Kde se pivo vali, tam se dobre dari”
(apologies for mangling the language)