High Tea and Orig­i­nal Fres­coes

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Travel - By Karen Catch­pole Travel

bling for the in­te­rior which is heav­ily gold-leafed and is home to the wooden Vir­gin of Quito sculp­ture.

Dou­ble pane win­dows in the ho­tel keep out any street noise, though the muf­fled bells of the San Francisco church can still be heard pleas­antly. Rooms are out­fit­ted with ab­so­lutely ad­dic­tive beds dressed with creamy sheets. The hy­poal­ler­genic pil­lows are in the closet, which has a scented sa­chet and a full com­pli­ment of hangers. Bath­room ameni­ties are in­dul­gent and there are robes and slip­pers in his and hers sizes.

The airy, art-filled restau­rant at Casa Gan­gotena is where a vast and var­ied break­fast buf­fet (in­cluded in room rates) is served as well as all other meals. It’s tempt­ing to overdo it, thanks to a spread that in­cludes de­li­cious lo­cal cheeses, freshly baked bread and pas­tries, per­fect trop­i­cal fruit and juice plus a full menu of hot items, but save some room for high tea later in the day. Guests of Casa Gan­gotena are wel­comed to free af­ter­noon tea daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tea (or a cup of Ecuador’s ex­cel­lent cof­fee) is served with a two-tier tower of bo­ca­di­tos Qui­tano (Quito snacks) like em­panadas, along with in­ter­na­tional fa­vorites like quiche, bis­cuits with cream and jam, bite-size desserts and more. Served in a light filled atrium pos­i­tively burst­ing with ar­range­ments of roses (Ecuador is one of the world’s top rose pro­duc­ers), high tea at Casa Gan­gotena is el­e­gant and boun­ti­ful and you’ll want to linger over it.

In­dul­gence and el­e­gance aside, ser­vice is also a top pri­or­ity at Casa Gan­gotena. For ex­am­ple, staff will burn a CD of your dig­i­tal cam­era im­ages for free to clear up card space so you can take more pho­to­graphs dur­ing your stay. Casa Gan­gotena is one of the best meld­ings of a his­toric ren­o­va­tion with mod­ern touches, much like the city of Quito it­self.

To Do

Just a few blocks from the ho­tel is Casa del Alabado Mu­seum, home to ex­pertly cu­rated and dis­played Pre-columbian trea­sures in a gor­geously re­stored home built in 1671.

Take a break with a tra­di­tional hot chocolate made us­ing Ecuado­rian chocolate at an out­door ta­ble at the Tian­guiz Café on Plaza San Francisco.

Buy a hand­made Panama hat (which orig­i­nated in Ecuador) from the ven­er­ated Homero Ortega shop. You’ll need it for the sun which is ex­tremely strong on the equa­tor. Casa Gan­gotena, part of the Kiwi Col­lec­tion, was on the 2012 Conde Nast Trav­eler Hot List, on the 2012 Travel+leisure It List, was rated 92 by An­drew Harper and has re­ceived a Tripad­vi­sor Cer­tifi­cate of Ex­cel­lence since open­ing. For more in­for­ma­tion and reser­va­tions visit

This el­e­gant stair­way from the lobby of Casa Gan­gotena in Quito, Ecuador was part of a five-year ren­o­va­tion His­toric Plaza San Francisco un­folds di­rectly in front of Casa Gan­gotena

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