By:Haiting Tan

plaza-1Minutes away from UNESCO’S first World Heritage Site city, Casa Gangotena stands on the corner of Plaza San Francisco, a public square in the historic center of Quito, Ecuador. Built on the ruins of the Inca temples, the 31-suite hotel exudes an aura of sophistication and luxury. Previously home to several Republican-era presidents, the hotel maintains the house’s original architectural while featuring a mix of art nouveau with contemporary design. Glancing out from the elegant tinted windows of the hotel, guests can admire the views of the Panecillo hillside and the plaza.


Housed in a historic mansion, the striking décor mixes old and new with classical architecture and antiques mixed with contemporary design and sumptuous furnishings that feel like you are in a wealthy friend’s villa. While the facade is vintage, the hotel is quipped with luxurious amenities that you would expect to find at any high-end hotel. Nestled in the heartlands of a historic landmark, the hotel is an ideal location from which to soak in the rich culture and stunning architecture of the city. The hotel offers daily tours from 6pm to 7pm. On Mondays, guests will learn the secrets of Ecuador’s renowned product, aroma cacao. While on Fridays, guests can explore the city under the guidance of the tour guide. For 45 minutes, guests will tour some of the most celebrated iconic buildings of Quito and learn the story behind these monuments.


To experience the city like a local, guests can sign up for day tours organized by Metropolitan Touring. Co-designed with a grassroots NGO organization, local resident guides will offer insights into living in the largest and best-restored historical center in the Americas. To soothe tired legs after a day of intensive touring, the hotel offers an Andean energy-equilibrium restoration treatment which uses herbs, flowers and natural essences to improve blood circulation. The treatment, administer by a local expert healer, is reasonably priced at $40.


After the tour, guests can enjoy local Ecuadorian dishes prepared by Chef Andrés Dávila, Casa Gangotena’s Executive Chef. With flavors that vary from the Highlands all the way to the Pacific Coast, Davila’s original recipes are inspired by memories of his childhood. Utilizing the freshest ingredients, Davila has managed to elevate Ecuador’s local cuisine to an alchemy of ingredients, textures, aromas and flavors. With Quito named “Southern America’s Leading Destination 2014,” and Casa Gangotena ranked as the top 25 hotels in the world for the second year in a row, the two go hand in hand to ensure an unforgettable trip to this historic city.





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