Forget the ordinary and get ready for unique, plush and five-star service properties, nestled in and around Ecuador; here are eight of the most luxurious hotels for an Ecuadorian sojourn that defies comfort and elegance.
The Mashpi Lodge, the Andean Cloudforest Dubbed ‘The world’s most luxurious new jungle retreat’ by Forbes Magazine and “Ecuador’s Leading Green Hotel” at the 2015 World Travel Awards, Mashpi Lodge exceeds all 5-star expectations for those travelling for comfort as well as intimate contact with nature.
Location: Two-and-a-half-hour drive from Quito. Getting there itself is an adventure, with the long, winding road to reach the lodge being good preparation for the wonders that lie ahead.>
The setting: Nestled in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, this boutique hotel is designed in glass set within a steel framework to give guests a front-row seat to one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. A luxury cocoon amid the clouds and tumbling mountains, open the window, and the sounds of nature wash over you.
Accommodation: 22 luxurious light-filled rooms and suites distributed on three floors, all presenting floor-to-ceiling windows which interface directly with the lush cloud forest outside.
· Internationally recognized as one of Latin America’s most upscale eco-lodges;
· Deep in a cloud forest, yet with amenities on par with a high-end city hotel;
· Direct and intimate contact with one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet;
· Variety of unique and exclusive activities and facilities (aerial tram, sky bike and wellness spa, anyone?)
For more information: www.mashpilodge.com
2. The CotopaxiPungo La Finca Hotel, PasochoaAt Pasochoa Volcano’s feet, the CotopaxiPungo Hotel is dressed to impress, surrounded by and offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Cotopaxi, Antisana and Sincholagua volcanoes. Partake in the various expeditions offered by the inn, or relax and share the gourmet cuisine by a big log fire. Location: 31km from the city of Quito, at the foot of the Pasochoa Volcano.The setting: In the middle of the “Avenue of Volcanoes”, an area with eight of Ecuador’s ten highest summits.Accommodation: 20 rooms including two family suites, all equipped with a fireplace-type stove.Why: · Breathtaking view of all the volcanoes in the central Andes;·Typical Ecuadorian culinary delights of its restaurant;· The “tradition meets luxury” hacienda style of the property;·An experience combining adventure, nature, and the culture of the Andes.For more information: www.cotopaxipungo.com
3. The Sacha Lodge, AmazonBuilt in 1992, this beautiful property offers a safe refuge for a tremendous variety of plants and animals native to the Ecuadorian Amazon, and a wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience them for themselves. Amazing observation walk and towers hovering over the forest’s canopy, one of the wildlife-rich parts of the Amazon, Sacha Lodge is a birdwatcher’s mecca. It provides a base from which to appreciate the raw beauty of the rainforest and a relaxing retreat in which to enjoy the comfort and services available. Location: After a 25-minute flight from Quito to Coca, you will be driven to the Rio Napo port and then sail for about 2.5 hours. Finally, after a 20 minute walk through the rainforest, you will reach the Sacha Lodge, hidden in the middle of the Amazon tropical rainforest.The setting: The northern Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, just off the Napo River, within its own 5,000-acre private nature reserve.Accommodation: 26 semi-detached thatched bungalows built on a boardwalk.Facilities: A restaurant and bar area, a butterfly house, a birdwatching and general observation “canopy walk” that is 30 metres above the ground.Why: · Stunning lakeside location;·In the heart of the Amazon’s wilderness;· The experienced and enthusiastic personnel;· Amazing raised boardwalk and towers hovering over the forest’s canopy.For more information: www.sachalodge.com
4. Arashá Tropical Forest Resort & Spa, AmazonRecognised several times by prestigious international tourism organisations as the finest resort in Ecuador, Arashá offers its guests a glimpse at the richness and tranquillity of this most fragile region combined with the finest in tropical comfort. From having a stress-relieving aromatic massage, to participating their many educational ECO-tours, to making chocolate out of cacao seeds, Arashá is an experience that appeals to all senses. Location: Less than 2.5 hours from Quito, in the middle of the Amazon.The setting: In the middle of the richest, most biodiverse “Hot Spot” on the globe.Accommodation: Deluxe bungalows with gabled thatched roofs and private balconies.Facilities: Gourmet restaurant, high-tech spa, movie theatre and outdoor pool.Why: ·Exceptional accommodation;· Personalized service;· Exquisite cuisine;· Magical setting.For more information: www.arasharesort.com
5. The Royal Palm Hotel, Galapagos IslandExclusive, spacious, and tastefully designed, the Royal Palm Hotel is the obvious choice for anyone seeking a luxurious, secluded hideaway in the Galapagos. Location: On Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, a short 20-minute drive from the port town of Puerto Ayora.The setting: A unique secluded hide-a-way, the Royal Palm is nestled in the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island, surrounded by the natural beauty of its 370-acre private estate that adjoins the Galapagos National Park. Designed and crafted to complement its natural environment, the Royal Palm is a spacious and exclusive paradise.Accommodation: 21 spacious villas and casitas, all appointed with Wi-Fi and private Jacuzzis.Why: · Unique secluded hide-away in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago;· The largest accessible lava tunnel on the island is also found on the hotel’s grounds· Beautiful views over the highlands to the sea beyond.For more information: www.royalpalmgalapagos.com
6. Finch Bay Eco Hotel, Galapagos IslandDubbed South America’s Leading Green Hotel at the 2015 WTA, the Finch Bay Eco Hotel is the perfect option for those wanting to experience Galapagos in all its glory but prefer to sleep on land. Located steps away from the beach, this environmentally friendly hotel allows for comfortable accommodation and daily excursions to the nearby islands. Location: On Santa Cruz Island at Punta Estrada, in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago.The setting: Just steps from the beach in a secluded location, across the bay from Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos Islands. Only pedestrians and bikes are allowed, perfect for the ideal Galapagos disconnect.Accommodation: 6 Ocean View Suites and 21 Premium Rooms.Why: · The only beachfront hotel in all of Puerto Ayora;·The hotel’s surroundings and pristine natural environment;·The warm service and hospitality;· Eco-friendly concept. For more information: www.finchbayhotel.com
7. The Casa Gangotena Hotel, Quito
A newly-restored historic mansion overlooking one of Quito’s most important squares, the Casa Gangotena Hotel combines contemporary design and modern technology with ultra-modern and antiques furnishings to create quintessential comforts within a stylish boutique hotel.
Location: Plaza San Francisco, one of Quito’s most important squares, right in the centre of the historic “Old Town”.The setting: Location, location, location. In the middle of it all, within walking distance of Quito’s main attractions.Accommodation: 31 rooms and suites tastefully decorated with no expense spared.Why: · Boutique hotel overlooking one of Quito’s most important squares;· Newly restored heritage building;·Combination of modern and antique;·Overall exquisite style and comfort of the hotel.For more information: www.casagangotena.com
8. Hotel Plaza Grande, Quito
Hotel Plaza Grande is a five-star luxury hotel in the historic centre of Quito. Named South America’s Leading Luxury All Suite Hotel and Ecuador’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2015, it…
Location: Next to the Carondelet Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace in Quito’s historic district, on the corner of Plaza de la Independencia.The setting: In a restored Spanish colonial mansion which once belonged to one of the earliest colonial inhabitants of Quito, Juan Diaz de Hidalgo.Accommodation: 15 lavish rooms inspired by the art nouveau style.Why: ·Elegantly furnished suites right by the main plaza;· Historic hotel housed in a colonial mansion;·Exclusive, lavish and decadent interiors throughout;·The hotel’s flagship La Belle Époque restaurant which serves French cuisine and international dishes ;For more information: www.plazagrandequito.com