For some unexplainable reason, I felt drawn to Casa Gangotena. I was standing in Plaza San Francisco and saw a building in the corner. I really liked the exterior. So I took a picture of it not knowing it was a hotel. This was three years ago.
Three years have gone by and the already heavily awarded Casa Gangotena, a boutique hotel in Ecuador’s capital city, has been awarded even more awards. Not many hotels can claim to be one of the top 25 hotels in the world by TripAdvisor.
But Casa Gangotena can.
Don’t stay at the hotel just because it has a bunch of awards. There really are many more reasons to stay at
When you land in Quito’s airport, Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you still aren’t quite in Quito. The airport is located about a 45 minute drive from the historic center where Casa Gangotena is located.
Once at the hotel though, you’re within walking distance to several of Quito’s must visit landmarks including Plaza de la Independencia (where the Presidential Palace is located), Pre-Columbian Art Museum, and La Compañía (in my opinion, the most beautiful church in the entire South America… and I’ve been to a like a million churches).
I took a taxi to Casa Gangotena. It was a Sunday morning and the roads closest to the hotel were closed! So I walked just about two minutes into the square with my suitcase. I pack light so it wasn’t an issue.
Once I got to the front doors, I arrived to smiling doormen who opened the door and directed me to the reception area.
After handing my small suitcase to the doorman, I was immediately taken aback by the stark differences. Outside was noisy and somewhat chaotic, while inside was calm and super chill.
And this is what I was told they are going for.
You most likely traveled a long way and had to combat all the stress involved with travel to get to the hotel. So you want to arrive in a place that is peaceful. This is why Casa Gangotena treats guests to Agua de Frescos, a refreshing drink made with local plants upon arrival.
While waiting for my room key, I was taken for a quick tour of all the essential places like the lobby area, where the restaurant was and how to get to my room.
After the check in process was done and I had my key, I went to the lobby area.
I loved the garden feel with flowers and plants surrounding cushioned patio chairs and floral couches. Natural lighting from the roof window and white walls complemented the garden theme.
The lobby is also where afternoon tea is served. And Instagram pro tip: stand on one of the steps at the entrance of the restaurant to shoot at a top angle of the space.
I love flowers and there are plenty in the lobby. Around the hotel too, you’ll notice a common theme: roses!
Roses are the national flower of Ecuador and Casa Gangotena has them everywhere. In the reception area there are huge bouquets and on every floor in the hallways and by the elevator you can also find a display of beautiful, blooming roses.
I could opt to get to my room on the second floor by taking the elevator or the stairs. Note that Quito is over 9,000 feet above sea level. No matter how fit you are, altitude can take an affect (headaches, shortness of breath) on your body. So as enticing as the elegant staircase was, I took the elevator most of the time.
When taking the stairs, you’ll note a sign on the wall that warns you to not only watch your step, but watch your breath too!
My room was a Luxury Room (Casa Gangotena’s version of a standard room) on the second floor. It was spacious with a high ceiling and two double beds, which were comfortable to sleep in after a previous night of traveling.
Right by the window was a sitting area with two chairs and a coffee table. Like the well lit lobby, there was a good amount of light to sit on one of the chairs at any time of day to enjoy a book.
I didn’t actually get to sit there and enjoy a book… but if I lived there, I could see myself using that spot quite often.
On the coffee table was a fun touch… fruits! Not just regular fruit though.
Ever heard of a tree tomato? Or uvilla? Or naranjilla? While tasting each fruit, learn about them from a little booklet next to the plate.
Meanwhile, opening up the closet, I found it supplied with a safe, an umbrella, hangers, slippers and extra pillows.
One of the things that makes a hotel room really great for me is the workspace. Since I work online, I need that space.
At Casa Gangotena, my workspace came equipped with several electric outlets places conveniently in front and again, a nice pot of flowers!
Sometimes I feel like I can live in a bathroom. That is of course if its a marble bathroom like this one at Casa Gangotena. I loved how there were two windows allowing for lots of light, a bath tub, shower and a floor to ceiling mirror on the back of the door.
It could’ve been better with a little extra counter space…
…but I liked how the outlet was in a convenient location so you could plug in the hair dryer easily. For Americans, you can even charge your iPhones or devices without the need of a power converter!
While traveling, it’s great to explore and find new things but when it comes to bath products, familiarity is nice to have. Casa Gangotena provides products from L’Occitane’s verbena collection, a scent which I’m familiar with.
When I came to my room at the end of the day, I found the curtains drawn, slippers by the bedside and my favorite little detail… the TV was on to a channel playing classical music!
I also found some sweet treats by the bedside too.
The Luxury Room is also equipped with a flat screen TV (with cable), phone and air conditioning and heating.
So this was the actual view from my room.
I guess it was cool to see the garden lobby from above… but the hotel also offers other amazing views!
I checked out the third floor terrace where you can see Plaza San Francisco, the mountains and the sky (which I think looks its most beautiful in Ecuador, seriously).
You can also see La Compañía‘s green domes to the right, Basílica del Voto Nacional (an unfinished cathedral) straight ahead and even El Panecillo (Quito’s iconic hill with the La Virgen de Quito angel looking statue) behind.
Bring some sun glasses and or a hat during the day time! The sun is intense in the Andes.
Around The Hotel
Casa Gangotena’s Restaurante Cedrón should be considered a destination in itself. I enjoy Ecuadorian food. Before staying at Casa Gangotena, I’d already been in Ecuador two times for a total of three and a half months. Seco de pollo, platanos, caldo de gallina, cuy, trucha, you name it, I’ve probably had it.
Cedrón serves Ecuadorian food and executive chef Andres Davila does an amazing job giving a unique spin on the usual Ecuadorian food I’ve had.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the food…
Empanadas (de viento and platano verde), queso fresco… yummm…
The highlight: llama spring rolls!
Fig cheesecake, with actual cheese, not like mascarpone or cream cheese you’d usually find in a cheesecake.
I highly recommend this restaurant. Even if you choose not to stay at Casa Gangotena, definitely pop in to enjoy some of Chef Andres Davila’s food.
The bar is a narrow space overlooking the gardens. There’s a few chairs and small tables by the windows and a couple bar stools by the bar counter. I checked out the place in the evening and found some guests relaxing and chatting with a drink in hand.
I also found this place as the meeting spot for a special activity…
Every evening, Casa Gangotena offers guests a Quiteño Experience which I highly recommend taking a part of. Each day there’s a different activity which teaches guests local traditions and culture. On the day I was there, I learned to make Agua de Frescos, the drink that is given to guests upon arrival!
Ecuadorians are generally friendly people. At Casa Gangotena, staff seem to genuinely care about you and want to make you feel welcomed.
Afternoon tea is served at the hotel and is complimentary for hotel guests! Read the full review of afternoon tea at Casa Gangotena here.
During my two year around the world trip, eight months were spent in South America. As a whole continent, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I rarely had issues with WiFi. I could get it at any restaurant, cafe and of course, hotel.
Casa Gangotena is no different. They have a great WiFi network that can be accessed throughout the hotel, including your room which is included as part of your stay (just ask for the password).
Social Media Aspect
Casa Gangotena is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They post news and updates about the hotel in both Spanish and English. You’ll also find retweets and shares of their guests’ content in the mix. Check out and follow their Twitter account here.
Yes, Casa Gangotena has won many awards. And yes, it’s been one of the top hotels on TripAdvisor. But don’t choose to stay at the hotel just because of that.
I love luxury hotels. And Casa Gangotena fits into that category. But it’s even more lovable because it’s not just a luxury hotel. Throughout this review, I hope you could see that Casa Gangotena really puts an emphasis into local. From the flowers, to the fruits, to the food and cultural events, this hotel is a must for a full local luxury experience.
Room Rate: Luxury Room $450 USD per night (please check here for various room types and rates)
Bolivar Oe6-41 y Cuenca
Note: Thank you Casa Gangotena for hosting me for a night. As always, all views and opinions are my own.