There will soon be a new address for spirited travelers to experience the beauty and history of Old Town Quito, Ecuador: Casa Gangotena. Situated in a newly restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco, the three-story boutique hotel harbors 31 suites, each a showcase of eye-catching style, contemporary design, modern technologies and quintessential comforts to impress the most discerning guests. The hotel will begin welcoming travelers to the Ecuadorian capital beginning in September 2011.
Casa Gangotena resides in a choice spot on Plaza San Francisco, a cobbled square rich with history stretching back to the days of the Inca. As the Plaza grew in importance in Quito, wealthy families erected grand homes around it, the mansion acting as the residence for several presidents during the late nineteenth century. Rebuilt in 1926 following a fire, the building was designated a “heritage property” soon after the capital was nominated as UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site city in 1978. This year, Quito is the Cultural Capital of the Americas.
Casa Gangotena is a perfect base for exploring Quito as well as for short stops on the way to the wonders of the Andes, the Amazon, the Pacific Coast and the Galápagos Islands. Beautifully and eclectically appointed, the hotel’s newly restored interiors draw the eye with Art Nouveau and contemporary touches combined with original Neo-Classical architecture. Indeed, from painted tin ceilings to handsome aedicules to stucco architraving, huge efforts have been made to preserve and restore the mansion’s original details, assuring an air of history and sophistication dressed up with understated luxury.
Each of 31 suites is thoughtfully arrayed for utmost comfort beneath towering ceilings, with king-size beds occupying 13 rooms, twin beds the other 18. Glorious Andean light pours through tall windows, with views of the historic square, the inner courtyard or the Panecillo hillside, while two suites on the second floor can be interconnected to provide expansive accommodation for families and traveling dignitaries. Full luxury amenities are standard. There is also a stylish Library arrayed with well-stocked bookshelves for relaxing reading.
A broad terrace on the third floor offers the best seats in the house for everyday life in Quito. Grab a spot for magical views of the square, the bell towers and spires of Old Town, Panecillo hillside, Pichincha Volcano, and special events such as the Easter procession from the San Francisco Church. The hotel’s cozy glass-roofed patio, meanwhile, is perfect for relaxing with a patio-garden planted with orchids, flowers and ornamentals just beyond.
On the ground floor, the dining room is decorated in harmony with the rest of the property, presenting a wonderful setting for enjoying the rich and varied ingredients that Ecuador’s stunning natural diversity provides. The cuisine is a modern international take on traditional Andean and coastal ingredients, prepared with verve and passion by the hotel’s experienced kitchen staff. The wine list features hand-picked vintages, particularly from Chile and Argentina. A room service menu will also be available around the clock.
Guests desiring to explore the “navel of the world,” as Quito is translated in Quechua, will enjoy easy access to an abundance of sights and scenes around Casa Gangotena. The gilt Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesus, the City Museum, the Plaza Santo Domingo and the Presidential Palace are all within walking distance, as are streets dotted with cafés, artisan shops, historic churches and cultural centers. More modern districts with museums, parks, theaters, upscale craft shops, fine dining and exuberant nightlife are just a short drive away.
Conscious of the community of which it is a part, the hotel has outfitted Casa Gangotena with sustainable features including solar panels to lower energy use for heating water and electronic room keys. Since 2008, the hotel has also been involved in several neighborhood projects, such as the award-winning community initiative Heritage Guardians, which focuses on neighborhood integration, the value of heritage and traditions, and ‘routes’ for visitors to meet locals and experience their lives and ways.
Reservations are being accepted for Casa Gangotena, starting September 2011. For rates and more information, please contact Dominic Hamilton, Head of Communications (email@example.com) or Fernando Delgado, General Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).