“ Address: Isla Esteves s/n / Lake Titicaca Puno / Peru „
Libertador Lake Titicaca
We stayed at the Libertador hotel in Puno, Lake Titicaca which was built in the shape of a liner snuggled into a hillside on Esteves Island on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. It is the only five-star hotel in the region, and all rooms have a view of Lake Titicaca. The views which were stunning and we watched both sunset and sunrise from the lobby area of the hotel which has floor to ceiling windows so that the views are not spoilt at all.
Having said the hotel is 5 star is a bit misleading, it is possibly the best in the area and certainly the position is wonderful but the hotel is showing signs of its age in many ways. The lobby is quite spacious but quite ordinary. There was a large urn with coca tea and this was available at all times, however there were not many cups so if you arrived just after a huge party of German tourists as we did, then there were no cups for us.
There were two lifts but each one worked independently so you had to press two buttons and wait for a while as it was rather slow. They were also quite small lifts so at busy times you could have to wait a while. There were stairs and the hotel had not very many floors so this was an option if the lift was too slow.
We had a standard room which was quite basic with one double bed but some had two singles. Some rooms were connected but as we did not need two inter-connecting rooms this was not of interest to us. They did offer some are no-smoking rooms which we requested and the room did not smell of cigarettes which was good. The bathroom had a bath with a shower over it and the usual basin and toilet, nothing special but clean and functional with shampoo and soap provided. We found the bed quite comfortable and there were enough pillows, the sheets were freshly ironed and white and everything was clean but not luxurious.
I cannot comment on the internet access as we were only there overnight, we arrived in the evening quite late and left after a very early trip to the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca so there was no time for interneting here.
When we arrived after our long train journey across the Andes from Cusco to Juliaco we just beat the German group who got off the train in Puno, lucky as we managed to check in about 40 minutes before them and get the cups of coca tea!! Check in was quick and painless and we went off to our rooms to freshen up before our evening meal. A currency exchange service is available at the cash register in the Reception area 24 hours a day and the exchange rate seemed quite reasonable.
The evening meal was a buffet which offered a wide choice of food. There were salads and fish (local Lake Titicaca fish) presented in a variety of ways in a cold section. There were two different soups, one fish as I recall. After the cold dishes you could choose from about a dozen hot dishes including rice and potatoes and again a couple of Lake Fish options. There were then a number of desert selections including cakes and fresh fruit. The meal was good but I wouldn't say it was amazing but it is difficult to make a buffet look very different. The food was all quite tasty and they had made an effort to produce some local fish dishes which I thought was a good sign.
The waiting staff smiled a lot and were quick at removing used plates and helping if you had trouble serving yourself - I managed to spill soup on my hand as I served mine and they rushed over to help me out ( very embarrassing). The drinks were very reasonably priced but as we were still at a high altitude we were off alcohol so didn't sample much. In the hotel brochure it states that the Libertador Hotel Puno is famous for the creation of novo Andean dishes that merge traditional Andean ingredients with the international cuisine. Perhaps if we had chosen from the a la carte menu this would have been more obvious but they did make an effort to produce local dishes in the buffet which I felt was a good sign.
As we were getting up a 4.30am the next morning and had been on the train for 12 hours that day we decided to have an early night and were in bed by 10pm. We both slept well, exhausted by the days travel and the stimulating company of a couple of grumpy Germans who sat opposite us on the train and didn't seem to like anything or anywhere in South America.
Up early the next day. Dressed in every warm item of clothing I had brought with me, we met in the lobby to walk down to the hotel jetty to take the boat out for our visit to the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca. The boat had two levels and we decided to sit on top to enjoy the view - on the way out to the islands this was COLD but on the way back the sun was coming through and I took two layers of clothes off. I won't describe the islands as I have another review on those.
On our return from the trip we walked back up to the hotel - quite a walk up which we noticed more because of the high altitude - to enjoy our breakfast.
Breakfast was in the same restaurant as the buffet the night before. This was also a buffet which offered, fruit juices, fresh fruit, cereals, breads and Danish pastries. There were also hot things such as eggs, fried and scrambled, bacon, tomatoes grilled and potatoes fried. It was a good selection and certainly enough to keep us going but it was not as extensive as some of the hotels and the display was okay not special. Having said that, as we had been up for a couple of hours by now we were quite hungry and we both managed to find enough to keep us happy and prepared for another long day across Lake Titicaca and into Bolivia.
The hotel does have three conference rooms with a capacity of up to 250 persons, as well as audiovisual equipment is used for Puno's best events, conferences and banquets. Needless to say we did not investigate these facilities in the short time we were there.
In short this hotel has one of the best sites for a hotel that you could choose and has been built to take advantage of the spectacular views over the lake. It is officially 5 star but that is mainly due to a lack of competition in the area. In a large city like La Paz or Santiago it would not reach these dizzy heights. Having said that it was efficient, clean, the food was good and the rooms served the purpose so I cannot complain about anything with relation to our one night stay. I do not think could not choose a better place to enjoy Lake Titicaca in Peru.
5 star hotel located on Esteves Island on the shores of Lake Titicaca.