Casa de Clara
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TravelPod Member ReviewsCasa de Clara Trujillo
I reserved a room at this guesthouse for 1 night on the basis of its inclusion in the Footprints 2012 South America guidebook. I sent an email to request availability and costs for rooms/tours and received a very detailed response within a day. These are my comments on my stay:
It's basically a family home. I didn't mind this, although its not really clear what you can and can't use in terms of common areas on the entrance level. I therefore went straight to my room at 6pm and didn't come out until the morning. You also have to walk past the family sleeping areas on your way up to the rooms.
There are supposed to be a mix of private and shared rooms, although the plans I saw in the entrance area showed only shared rooms. I opted for a private room at S/25 and was given one with 3 beds in it. The size for me was fine as I could put my luggage on the single bed and sleep in the bunk. But for 3 people it would have been a real squeeze as there was no space for luggage. The beds were also uncomfortable as only very thin foam mattresses.
I met a girl who had been told there were dorm beds for S/15. When she asked for one she was told there weren't any, only more expensive ones at S/20...
My room (304) also sat under the chicken coup on the roof. I didn't know this until they woke me up very early in the morning...
The shared bathroom was very damp with mould on the ceiling, and also not terribly clean. There was 24 hour hot water though.
Breakfast was very good - bread, eggs, coffee and juice. Lunch wasn't - rice, very small and dry chicken thigh and some sort of polenta with bone inside followed by a slice of mango. You can get much better food for an equivalent price elsewhere. I didn't eat dinner so can't comment.
Huacas del Sol and de la Luna/Museum: the tour felt hurried as I was pushed around the museum and given little opportunity to look at anything other than what Clara wanted. The visit to Huaca de la Luna was slightly better, although again it was whistlestop. The tours are advertised as being in English, but Clara's english is very basic therefore the information you receive is good only as a very simple introduction. Reading the boards in the museum would have been much more informative, which I could have done alone. Don't be surprised if you are asked to read some of the boards out loud in English for her!
Chan Chan was a less hurried tour as there were 3 of us on it, therefore we could dictate the pace a little more. Again, the explanations were limited and I felt I left knowing very little about the Chimu culture. I was also really disappointed to find out that they have restored large areas of it - with obvious differences between this and the real - which means you are never quite sure whether you are looking at something authentic or fake.
The email I received before confirming my reservation was very clear in terms of costs for both the tours and the accommodation. I was therefore very surprised when I came to finalise my bill and Clara tried to charge me a third more. Apparently this was because I had done one of the tours on my own (no mention of such extra cost in the email) and also because she had negotiated me a discounted entry into both sites, the difference which I therefore owed to her. She got quite angry when I challenged this, but I was luckily able to refer to the email on my iPad and finally paid the rates quoted in the email. Her daughter then explained to me that Michael (who had sent me the email on 8 Dec) had been back in England for 2 years and therefore wasn't aware that prices had increased. I think this seems too suspicious and that they were simply trying to rip me off...my advice to anyone staying here would be to clarify the costs on arrival so you are clear what they are in advance and you don't have to face a battle upon departure...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.