This is the view from our room. Lovely, isn’t it. I’ve fallen in love with Hotel Ninos, a gorgeous oasis of peace and tranquility in Cuzco’s busy city centre. Full of art, music and delicious home made food, I could easily while away the days on one of the many sun lounges listening to Nina Simone and sipping freshly squeezed orange juice. On top of the great service and reasonable prices, all profits of the hotel go towards funding a very worthwhile cause – helping the homeless children of Cuzco.
The hotel was set up by Dutch ex-patriot Jolanda van den Berg in 1998, two years after she arrived in Cuzco on a one-way ticket. After holidaying in Peru 6 months before, she had been overwhelmed by the number of homeless children she’d seen begging on the street and decided to return to do something about it. Renting a modest apartment in town, it wasn’t long before she had offered twelve boys the opportunity of living in her house. And this is how it all began.
Wanting to become less dependant on donations to look after her growing ´family´, she started The Ninos Hotel. This would provide a steady income and the funds to help more disadvantaged children. Within a couple of years, she opened two more Ninos hotels and two children-only restaurants. The profits from the hotels now pay to support over 600 children – providing them with 3 meals a day, 6 days a week as well as medical and dental care.
Not bad for a woman who arrived here all on her own with a dream of making a difference. Makes the view from our room seem all the more special.