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Ecuador´s Leading Boutique Hotel by The World Travel Awards
Twenty seven years ago the hotel industry in the country was very different from what we see today. In fact, the only two emblematic hotels in Quito were the Hotel Colón and the Hotel Quito; while in Europe there were certain developments with very different characteristics from traditional hotels that appeared under the slogan Boutique Hotel.
This new category of Boutique Hotels consisted of establishments of less than 35 rooms with interior design of the highest quality that included unique elements, which could be acquired exclusively by the guests who stayed there, often becoming iconic objects, even sought today by collectors.
25 years ago, under the concept of Boutique Hotel, Café Cultura, the first Boutique Hotel in Ecuador, opened its doors in Quito, as a result of the creative mind of László Károlyi, a Hungarian-Ecuadorian designer-restaurateur and hotelier. Café Cultura was a market leader for almost two decades, when the international tourism industry changed substantially from what it was to an Experiential Search.
In the last 15 years different hotels started operations, all of them determined to adjust to the Boutique Hotel trend, some of great quality and all competing to be the best. The first to appear were the excellent Hotel Patio Andaluz, followed by the beautiful Hotel Plaza Grande, the impeccable Hotel Casa Gangotena, and subsequently newer establishments, most of which are located in the historic center of Quito. More recently, the magnificent Hotel del Parque started operations in the Historical Park of Samborondón.
Today, travellers seek very high standards of quality that include good practices of sustainability, fundamental bases of the tourism industry of today, and also pursue international certifications that endorse these practices. As a result, several international awards for quality have been generated, such as the World Travel Awards, considered as the Oscars in the tourism industry.
This competition, like the Oscars, consists of nominations for different categories. Once accepted by the international governing body, they are presented to the public at a global level, so that people who have stayed there, operators of tourism that send passengers to these hotels, and other registered entities such as tourism commissions and official promotion agencies, enter their vote online. The establishment that has greater acceptance in the industry is the winner.
Boutique Hotel Café Cultura was always on the sidelines of these competitions, never participated in them; but during the past 10 years its founder quietly worked on a wonderful project, which the world knows today as Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor, and that with just one year of operation was nominated to the World Travel Awards in two categories: Ecuador’ s Leading Heritage Hotel and Ecuador’s Leading Boutique Hotel.
In the very important category ‘Boutique Hotel’, Hotel Casa Gangotena, Hotel del Parque, Hotel Patio Andaluz, Hotel Plaza Grande, Hotel Mansion del Angel, La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa were also nominated. To everyone’s surprise, and to the rejoicing of the team behind Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor, this young and beautiful establishment became Ecuador’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018.
The world wonders what is special about this ancestral home, located at the intersection of Jorge Washington and Ulpiano Páez streets in the city of Quito. These are some of its virtues.
The house won the Ornament Architecture Award of the city of Quito in 1933.
Legend states that the original owner cut an olive tree forest in Uruguay, embarque the wood in Montevideo, and went across the Magallan strait all the way to Guayaquil by ship. And continue across the Andes by mule to Quito, where with the precious wood comicion the window’s frames for The Manor; where for many decades The Haut Société congregated to decide the country’s destiny. Today the mesmerizing Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor operates at this magical location.
In 2015, Quito Turismo conducts an open competition, which is won by Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor, thanks to the “green” wing of rooms at the hotel; that exceeds the requirements of self-sustainability, privileging urban agriculture, floating gardens and total energy saving.
The artistic concept of the hotel, is that, “you live inside a Botticelli”, since of the frescoes made by the excellent Cuenca painter Fausto Merchán, considered among the 16 best painters of the country, used such magical realism that the elements in the paintings seem to come out and use the spaces freely. Every area holds various collections of art, antiques, books and aged furniture that definitely transport guests to a different level of existence.
The house is surrounded by a mature garden that seems to have been here for hundreds of years, but as László says, he transplanted 14 palms of more than 10 meters high to generate this impressive garden and beat time, because as he says, “nobody lives to see palm trees grow.” He converses in a relaxed mood as he places a meat loin in the wood-fired oven to be baked on low fire, to be served during dinner to illustrious visitors from different parts of the world.
We have repeatedly heard that this Boutique Hotel holds the most comfortable beds of any Hotel. We asked László. He answered that through collaboration with the recently inaugurated Simmons Mattress Factory in Guayaquil, a very special mattress whose name is Exclusive Dreams Mattress was designed, which is already a standard in the Exclusive Hotels and Haciendas of Ecuador, a group that he founded, and that no resources have been spared in other elements used in each bed of the hotel, generating such a cozy atmosphere that guests, not wanting to get up, even lose their connecting flights.