Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is a large sprawling city which sits high in the Andes mountains at 2,800m above sea level. Built on an ancient Incan foundations, the city has one of the most beautiful and well preserved colonial centres in Latin America including vast squares, towering cathedrals and charming churches.
As the main departure point for flights out to the Galapagos Islands, this city is often used as a stopover by travellers heading to the wildlife rich archipelago. If you have time, it is worth spending more than just one night on the outskirts of the city at an airport hotel, as there is much to discover in the winding cobbled streets.
Due to the rich historical treasures of the city, the museums of Quito are filled with an impressive array of artifacts dating back hundreds of years, and visiting at least one is an essential. If browsing these collections isn’t your thing, try the seemingly endless markets which sell classic Andean items such as alpaca wool jumpers, expertly crafted leather bags and handmade musical instruments. If you’re hoping to get under the skin of the city try a cooking class, chocolate tour, a day trip to the nearby equatorial line or enjoy visiting an artisan’s house.
But where to stay whilst exploring one of Ecuador’s finest cities? Here are 3 of the finest luxury hotels available in this exiting capital;
1. Hotel Illa
The new kid on the block, literally, this outstanding boutique hotel is the perfect mix of contemporary style and traditional values.
This hotel is known as an ‘experience’ hotel, as it aims to engage all guests in the magic of Ecuador through a variety of tours, excursions and in-house activities. From visiting a local artists house and trying your hand at watercolour painting, to making chocolates and watching weavers at work, there is a long list of interesting and unique options.
Hotel Illa is located in the neighbourhood of San Marcos, at the heart of Quito’s historic center. It has been styled on an early 20th century design, and dates back to the 1700’s. Many original colonial features have been carefully restored and integrated into the modern architecture. In addition, the hotel boasts a rooftop bar, full spa, complimentary WiFi throughout, wine cellar, fine restaurant, reading room and gym.
Each floor of the hotel is inspired by a different historical period, and the rooms reflect this. All are exceptional well facilitated and elegantly decorated. Amenities include 4K TV, 400 thread count fine linens, pillow menu, heated blankets, minibar, L’Occitane toiletries, slippers, bathrobe, herbal teas, underfloor heating, blackout curtains and a turndown service.
For those keen to taste local cuisine, head chef Alejandro Chamorro works alongside pastry chef Piedad Salazar to create an impressive selection of dishes. Using locally sourced ingredients such as grains, fruits and vegetables, there is something for everyone.
For an exceptional experience in the heart of Quito, Illa is a wonderful choice.
2. Hotel Plaza Grande
With views out over Plaza de la Indepenencia, there are few hotels which can beat the location of Plaza Grande. Surrounded by some of the most iconic buildings of this huge city, it is perfect for those seeking to explore the historic delights of Quito.
Very traditional and classically styled, this hotel has been pleasing guests for over 100 years – luxury is in the veins of this legendary building. Don’t think that modern touches have been forgotten though, Plaza Grande is well equipped with a mini-spa, 2 restaurants and business suite.
With different room categories, from Plaza View to Presidential Suite, there is an option to suit every type of traveller. Regardless of room category, all feature a minimum of 35 square metres of space, private balcony, climate control, Jacuzzi bath, minibar, superior linens and cable TV.
For a relaxing visit to Ecuador’s capital, Plaza Grande is a fine choice.
3. Casa Gangotena
Spread over 3 stories, and having been recently restored, Casa Gangotena is a beautiful mansion in the heart of Quito.
With a superb location on Plaza San Francisco, this stylish hotel prides itself on providing exceptional service and a first-class experience for all guests. Within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel, there is a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars, making this ideal for those looking to see as much of the city as possible.
If you would rather stay in the comfort of Casa Gangotena, there is a fantastic restaurant run by head chef Byron Rivera. By sourcing sustainable local produce from many different regions of Ecuador, and incorporating ancestral knowledge into the cooking, the result is a fine dining experience you won’t forget. In addition, there is a perfectly landscaped garden, rooftop terrace and private room (the ‘Crimson’ room) for alternative dining options.
Rooms at Casa Gangotena are spread out over 3 floors, and all benefit from beautiful original features, art deco styling and an average of 35 square metres of space. High ceilings and long windows help add to the sense of elegance and bring in plenty of natural light. Each has a balcony, antique furniture, air conditioning, sound proofing, intelligent key-cards, complimentary WiFi, flat screen TV and luxurious linens.
For an indulgent stay in Quito, Casa Gangotena will not disappoint.
If you would like more information on visiting Ecuador, do not hesitate to GET IN TOUCH.