Despite the rather strange name, I was rather looking forward to staying at Gringo Bill’s in Aguas Calientes, also known as Pueblo Machu Picchu (Machu Picchu Town). I imagined to be something of a tourist institution I guess, run by a crazy old American dude called Bill with a constantly packed bar of drunk foreigners living it up like crazy. Ummm. Nope.
But I should add, I was not there in season as it were, and things were not at their busiest in Aguas Calientes which has a lot of restaurants and hotels for all budgets.
I had my ticket to Machu Picchu already booked, my train tickets already booked and so it seemed logical to prebook my accommodation as well. I didn’t realise it when I turned up there but I hadn’t prepaid, not sure what website it was but I usually use hotels.com as you can earn free nights’ accommodation.
It was $US75 (ish) a night which I think was slightly cheaper than if you just rock up. It’s on the side of the hill, and although not too much climbing is required to reach the lobby, climbing to the room in altitude was enough to make unfit Andy puff a bit.
The set-up is interesting shall we say, on a hill, with the reception a little tricky to find. Rows of rooms to the side and then up the hill. A pool, not in use when I was there, a restaurant, only open for breakfast. There seemed to be a fair range of things for breakfast which was included in the price, but I don’t remember being keen on much. Cereal, toast, maybe a croissant.
The room was spacious, with a TV, large Queensize bed, a desk, it was quite nice without being amazing. I was comfortable for sure. The bathroom wasn’t as clean as it might be, and was very serviceable and a decent size. The shower was big, not bathtub (could have got one in if they wanted). The hot water to my room wasn’t turned on when I got there and I only found out when I had my first shower and was freezing and had to get dressed again to get someone to fix it. Wasn’t turned on from a tap outside somewhere.
I got back from Machu Picchu to see workmen running a power cable from the power point in my room through a window to power some machine being used to clean the pool. I wasn’t very impressed by that for a number of reasons obviously. The open window was one, but with so many rooms not being used I couldn’t understand why it had to be run from my room. Or why there were external power points there was clearly enough reason for them.
It was really a very quiet place, the location was good close to the town square – like 30 metres away. There was a little pulse in the square’s restaurants at night but not much. The wi-fi was out on the day I arrived for the entire town! Wifi signal in my room was very poor and nowhere in town had a decent speed when it was up and running. So – I didn’t get all my stuff uploaded whilst there.
Having said all that it was comfortable. And I was happy there. And the staff were friendly and I slept well. The water was very hot too once it was going and I really enjoyed my shower. So, Gringo Bill’s is a place with its pluses and minuses.
Value for Money: 3/5
Total: 18.5/25 (74/100)
Thanks for reading! May the Journey Never End!