Thanks for posting your review of the trip on the website. I am glad that you enjoyed the trip, but am sorry that you felt that the hotels were not of an acceptable standard. We do not advertise any star ratings for the hotels on the majority of our trips, and so I believe that the information you were given by your travel agent may have been incorrect in this respect.
The Essential Peru trip is our best-value Peru holiday, and it would not be possible for us to use 3-star hotels throughout and still maintain the price at under £2000. Unfortunately hotel prices in Peru are quite high and so changing the grade of the hotels would significantly increase the price of the trip. You have mentioned that they are hostels, but the hotel naming system in Peru dictates that if a property has less than 50 rooms then legally it has to be called a "hostal" rather than a "hotel" - this is no reflection on the quality of the property.
On this trip, we use similar hotels to those used on the majority of our Peruvian trips, and while there may occasionally be problems with water supply (due to the relatively poor infrastructure in Peru, which is still a developing country) we do not consider them to be unsafe or of a poor standard. Our staff members regularly travel to Peru and provide feedback on the properties used on our trips, and our local partner also monitors the hotels closely in order to ensure that our trip requirements are met, but you should be aware that not all hotels in Peru are of the same standard as you may be used to in North America or Western Europe.I have of course passed on your comments to the local agents so that the tour leaders on future departures can continue to check the hotels and highlight any problems with rooms so that this can be followed up with the hotel owners.
Once again, I'd like to thank you for your feedback on the trip - all comments we receive are extremely useful in helping us to continually improve our trips and deliver the best holiday experience possible. I hope that you do travel with us again, but I would certainly suggest asking your travel agent as many questions as possible about the nature of the trip before you travel to ensure that your holiday meets your requirements since we do use varied levels of accommodation on our trips.
Tim Fearn (trip manager)