Hotel Casa Gangotena In a colonial environment Quito’s colonial era downtown boasts historic buildings, stunning monuments and awe inspiring churches, plus a hoard of traditions and tales that few people know. In this setting, Casa Gangotena opened five years ago. The building originally belonged to the aristocratic Gangotena family that has had artists, writers, poets and even one former President of Ecuador among its members. Because the family lived in this building for many decades, it was known as “Casa” (house) Gangotena. An investor group purchased it in 2006. Extensive and painstaking renovations were required to operate a hotel with modern conveniences, starting with reinforcing the building’s structure plus new plumbing and electrical wiring, but keeping the appearance, the feeling and the ambience of the historic building. An integral part of Quito’s heritage, this boutique hotel is on the corner of Bolívar and Cuenca Streets, next to San Francisco plaza. Thanks to this privileged location, a tourist activity is scheduled every evening between 6 and 7 pm. Guests are a few steps away from Casa del Alabado museum, San Francisco plaza and “Big” plaza (also known as Independence plaza). Casa Gangotena’s unique privilege is that guests can admire some of these tourist attractions from the hotel’s wonderful terrace, while enjoying drinks or a meal. In partnership with the San Roque neighborhood association, Casa Gangotena offers a guided tour to small peculiar family owned shops such as one that sells clothing for religious statues and another that is the last seller of men’s traditional hats. The tour includes San Martín mill and the very traditional San Roque flea market. INFORMATION Quito – Ecuador (Centro Histórico) Bolívar Oe6-41 y Cuenca, esquina, junto a la Plaza San Francisco Rates Starting at $420 www.casagangotena.com firstname.lastname@example.org (5939) 88000100 Check in: 14H00 Check out: 12H00 Antonino Russo, an Italian architect, designed and built the original structure. He allegedly copied a Venetian palace, a reasonable assumption given his nationality. In any case, the construction is a striking contrast to the colonial era downtown buildings and especially those near San Francisco plaza. The finishing and the decor are eclectic. Elements of different schools are mixed, with marble floors, large chandeliers, classical period furniture, wall frescoes and heavy curtains. Nevertheless, all point towards the building’s European heritage. Lighting plays a key role. Dim lighting in the lobby accentuates the sober décor. However, the central patio enjoys natural illumination from a skylight that also allows a garden with a greenhouse feel. It’s an ideal place for an afternoon cup of coffee or tea, which is included in the room rates. This revives a custom from olden times when Quito families got together at 5pm to have sweet or salty snacks with coffee or tea. Today, this is a big event for guests and visitors. Casa Gangotena is a showcase of Ecuador’s best features. Outstanding hospitality in luxury facilities blend into unique guest experiences. For example, registration takes place with guests comfortably seated while they sip “agua de frescos”, the hotel’s trademark infusion of eleven herbs and flowers. Guests enjoy top class accommodations with luxuries such as silk bed linen, L’Occitane brand bath products and a selection of fresh Andean fruit with an explanatory note for each one. The staff is focused on one objective, to provide warm personal service. Guests can call 24 hour room service. The concierge is ready to schedule tours, suggest activities and otherwise answer questions or solve problems. Guests enjoy top class accommodations with luxuries The cuisine at Casa Gangotena is inspired in Ecuadorean recipes with added local touches. Some of the main items on the menu are “locro” (potato soup) and swordfish in plantain and peanut sauce. The main restaurant is open to the public, but reservations are recommended given that the hotel’s occupancy is usually above 80%. Casa Gangotena has the privilege of showing the best of Quito to tourists from all over the world. Guests, mostly from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, have enjoyed a unique immersion into Quito’s history and culture.