Saturday, July 7, 2018

Shady Hotel Business: Tambo del Inka Resort in Peru

I spent three nights at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa and this is my review:




When you go on a cruise they try to sell you stuff everywhere all the time. At least you can see what they are selling and refuse to buy it. At Tambo del Inka at the Sacred Valley in Peru, they found an interesting way (even if it's illegal) to take your money when you are not looking. It may be called "stealing".

But first the great things about this place:

Tambo del Inka is a beautiful resort in Urubamba, in the heart of Valle Sagrado. From the impressive lobby to the inside/outside pool, gardens, spa, restaurant Hawa - everything is immaculate and luxurious.





Service is top notch. Everyone I interacted with was pleasant and helpful.

Our room 330 was large and comfortable with a nice garden view, but in need for a few updates: the shower head was clogged and had low pressure, TV was old and was almost falling out of the wall and more outlets and USB ports are needed.




Now the ugly:

Planning my trip to Peru I found out about the 18% tax for hotels and services FOR PERUVIAN CITIZENS AND FOREIGNERS STAYING IN PERU FOR MORE THAN 59 DAYS.
After several emails to the hotel and to SPG (all now part of the Marriott group), I was "granted" exemption for this tax - that no tourist should have to pay anyway. But apparently, the hotel charges ALL UNINFORMED GUESTS the 18% tax claiming during the booking process that it's "SALES TAX" - hiding any explanation about the true nature of this tax. That was enough to make the scam alarm go off in my experienced traveler mind. What are they trying to do??

The day before my arrival, I got an email from Jennifer Minaya informing that any extras would be charged the 18% tax fee. Wrong, illegal and desperate to profit on traveler's ignorance. 

During my stay, I was able to dispute and remove the 18% tax that was added to two dinners we had at Hawa restaurant and a lunch at the bar, but they refused to remove the taxes from our spa bill. During check out, I signed the final itemized bill but they didn't let me take it. Edwin, Front Desk Manager, said they would email to me. I received through email a manipulated, very confusing version of the final bill, that didn't even reflected the amount I paid. I reached out to SPG and Isaac Pilares, "Guest Relations Manager" at Tambo del Inka sent me emails filled with nonsenses like: "As per Peruvian tributary law we are not allowed to discount the IVA tax". The Peruvian law states that "foreigners staying less than 59 days in Peru are exempt of the IVA tax". All the back and forth just confirmed my suspicion that there is something very fishy going on at Tambo del Inka's accounting!

As a world traveler, I NEVER encountered a hotel with such a sordid behavior. I'm shocked and appalled by Tambo del Inka deceiving policies. I made clear several times before and during my stay but it seems that I'm an exception and they are used to do this to everyone else, with no consequences.

This whole thing is a stain on a property that could come clean to its guests but instead, they try to trick you into paying for something that is illegal. I hope SPG takes action and fix this aberration!

Safe travels!


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