High Tea and Original Frescoes
Inside Casa Gangotena, The Best Hotel in Ecuador
Guests checking into Casa Gangotena in Quito, Ecuador are welcomed with a glass of jugo de vida, the juice of life. It’s made with 20 different herbs and even after an international flight and the rigors of landing in a city at more than 9,000 feet, the juice is refreshing enough to bring you back to life.
Opened in 2011, the hotel is the result of a five-year renovation which transformed the Art Nouveau and Art Deco home of the Gangotena family into the best hotel in Ecuador, full of original details including pressed tin ceilings, frescoes in some rooms and a jaw- dropping marble spiral staircase.
The 31 rooms at Casa Gangotena (20 luxury rooms, eight plaza view rooms, two junior suites and one full suite) follow three color schemes– turquoise, red and blue and brown– and average 377 square feet (35 square meters) in size. Rooms 102 and 212 have original restored frescoes. Plaza view rooms are also coveted for their views of the picturesque and storied Plaza San Francisco on which the hotel sits.
Legend has it that an indigenous man named Cantuña sold his soul to the devil (then ingeniously cheated him out of it) in order to get the large and elaborate stone niches built beneath the San Francisco church that anchors the plaza. As Quito grew, the San Francisco plaza became the site of a crowded and sketchy marketplace before being rejuvenated as part of an overall reclamation of Quito’s historic center which resulted in the area being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Travel Tip: The San Francisco church is only open to visitors during early morning mass on Tuesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. And you definitely want to get a look inside this amazing church. Completed by the Spanish in 1680 after more than 150 years of construction, the San Francisco church saves all its