I stayed at the Casa Gangotena in December 2017 and January 2018 during a 2-week family trip to Ecuador. Casa Gangotena is a beautiful property in the heart of Quito’s historic district, it is located in the southwest corner of Plaza San Francisco. The entire city of Quito is designated a UNESCO World Heritage and it has the least altered historic center in Latin America, the hotel is conveniently located there in that historic center.
A testament to its name, Casa Gangotena balances hominess, intimacy and sophistication all at once. The energy at the hotel is very positive and comforting and it espouses a feeling of comfort in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Quito. The hotel sports beautiful Art Nouveau and Art Deco elements dating from its original construction in the mid-1920’s which have been restored to their original glory. The hotel is an architectural marvel and is adorned with fine antiques, chandeliers, artwork and elegant beige Egyptian marble.
I stayed in two different room types at the hotel on the two separate occasions I was in Quito. On my first visit in December 2017, I stayed for 2 nights in the Junior Suite which used to be the ‘tea room’ of the Gangotena family. It is situated on the first floor and overlooks the garden and Panecillo hillside, the room is almost 50 m2 (520 ft2). The room was spacious and luxurious, I shared the room with my brother and his wife and slept on an extra bed which was very comfortable.
On my second visit in January 2018, I stayed in the Plaza View Room which was smaller in size at 32 m2 (222 ft2). The room has a similar bathroom to the suite but almost half its size however it did overlook Plaza San Francisco which was an incredible experience! Since the windows are large, it was amazing to sit by the window and watch the medley of activity happening in the plaza. In addition, it offered some great views and photography opportunities for photophiles. My favorite aspect of the rooms was the spacious bathroom and incredible shower – great nozzle pressure and spa-like experience!
Other than the architecture and the homey feeling of the hotel, one of the other highlights at the hotel is the Ecuadorean cuisine. Be sure to enjoy high tea in the patio and savor pastries, sandwiches, tea and coffee after a long day of sightseeing and tours around the city. The lobby area is gorgeous and adorned with flowers and orchids.
I ate breakfast and dinner on several occasions at the hotel. I enjoyed the breakfast buffet and fresh omelets and fruits more than the dinner service. With that said, do book dinner at the hotel on one of your evenings in Quito and be sure to order the ceviche, chicken entrée and the Quiteno Locro and avoid the beef tenderloin (I was not a big fan but that’s probably because I live NYC and became a “steak snob”!). You can dine in the bar, in the main restaurant area or the patio. I enjoyed our table at the bar area it the patio area in the evening was a bit on the cold side (for December/January weather).
In general, the hospitality and service at the hotel were impeccable. The staff is friendly, speaks English and is attentive to detail. I highly recommend staying at Casa Gangotena, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in Quito (if not the most!) and offers an authentic experience in the heart of the historic center. The hotel’s hominess, Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture, its old-world charm as well as the fantastic views from the Plaza View rooms make it a hotel not to be missed.