This hotel offers a perfect (and extremely rare) combination of lovely place to stay at, while contributing to a great social cause.
I’d be happy to stay here considering the proceeds of every stay go towards an organization called The Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation that deals with unprivileged local kids. But the great thing is that, independently of that, Ninos Hotel is truly a nice place to stay at.
The entire set up is sunny, bright, flowery and very welcoming. On the lower floor there is a patio, ideal to for a lazy afternoon reading, using the WIFI, simply relaxing or having a meal from the restaurant.
The coffee is top notch (and surprisingly that isn’t the case in many places in Peru) and the home-made bread and other baked goodies do stand out! Food is freshly cooked to order and a lot of the ingredients used come from their very own vegetable garden.
The rooms are simple, yet very pretty and cosy: there are private rooms with attached bathroom and others with shared facilities. Every room has the name of one of the kids that the foundation behind this hotel works with or a thank you board with the name of people that have helped funding this project.
The Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation
Although in Peru, this foundation was actually started by a Dutch lady called Jolanda van den Berg. Back in 90s, she had come to Cusco, same like we and many other travelers have done, to enjoy the Sacred Valley of the Incas. She got to meet several kids living in the street and decided to come back to Peru for good to do something about this situation. Not much later, she had adopted 12 kids and started a home.
Fast forward some busy years, this foundation takes care of 600 children every single day, providing hot meals, educational activities, health-care and general support.
This hotel is just one of the ways to gather money to fund these activities in a sustainable way. In fact, some of the kids that Jolanda had initially supported are now a days young adults working with the hotel itself – everyone has gotten an education and direction in life.
If you’d like to read more about the foundation, their work and perhaps get involved, you can check their website: www.stichtingninos.com
I find this truly inspirational. Many of us would like to contribute to a good social cause but the truth is that most of us think that we need to be rich to do so, or at least to start something from scratch. Jolanda came to Peru with some savings, but certainly not enough to support this kind of endeavor. Still, she managed to get started and come up with creative ways (like this and the subsequent Ninos hotels) to keep the dream going. They are doing a fantastic job and you can feel those positive vibes when you stay with them.
With or without good cause, I’d love to stay here again – considering that a stay can do good to more people than just the guests, then it’s even better!
Calle Meloc 442