The Best Boutique Hotels in Cuenca, Ecuador

Make sure you visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cuenca, one of the most impressive architectural attractions in Ecuador
Make sure you visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cuenca, one of the most impressive architectural attractions in Ecuador | © Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Writer

In Ecuador, around 8,202ft – 2,500m – above sea level, the Unesco-listed city of Cuenca has a wonderful colonial old town rich in history, architecture and culture. Pay a visit to the central plaza Parque Calderón, the 1557-built Iglesia del Sagrario and blue-domed Catedral Nueva. Then embrace more of the heritage by staying in one of these characterful boutique hotels in Cuenca, all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Santa Lucia House – Forum Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

The tiled-floor lobby with seating, flowers and plants at the Santa Lucia House – Forum Hotel
Courtesy of Santa Lucia House – Forum Hotel / Expedia
In the center of the old town, this colonial property has been tastefully restored with traditional tiles, contemporary decor and amenities. Twelve attractive and cozy rooms adorn the interior courtyard, and there’s a wooden balcony on the first floor. Junior suites have four-poster beds.

2. Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia

Hotel

A charming guest room with graphic wallpaper and dark wood furnishings at the Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia
Courtesy of Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia / Expedia
This colonial home in the heart of the old town was given a makeover and has re-emerged as the Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia. Rooms with high ceilings overlooking the courtyard are well-appointed, with wooden headboards and patterned wallpaper. Communal spaces, such as the living room, are considerably grander. Take breakfast in the leafy courtyard before heading out to explore the picturesque old town, then dine in-house on a feast of South American staples such as ceviche (cured raw fish) and tiradito (raw fish).

3. Hotel Victoria

Boutique Hotel

A wood-clad guest room with a pop of turquoise at the Hotel Victoria
Courtesy of Hotel Victoria / Expedia

Just a short walk from the old town, this boutique hotel in Cuenca offers an eclectic mix of brick, dark-wood walls, storied staircases and sparkling chandeliers. Rooms are well-appointed, with wood paneling on the walls and luxurious draped fabrics; suites include spacious balconies with city views. Make a reservation at in-house restaurant El Jardín to dine on fresh, local ingredients.

4. Selina Cuenca

Boutique Hotel

A stylish room with blue walls, rich textiles all around and a textured ceiling at Selina Cuenca
Courtesy of Selina Cuenca / Expedia

With views of Río Tomebamba and a five-minute walk from Parque Calderón, Selina Cuenca is known for cool co-working spaces and stylish conversions. There are rooms to suit all budgets, from 10-person dorms to family-size suites – all bright throughout, with vibrant splashes of color from rugs and alpaca blankets. Shared spaces include a wellness room, a cinema, a library and a communal kitchen.

5. Hotel Boutique Los Balcones

Boutique Hotel

An elegant guest room in shades of gold and with a Juliet balcony at Hotel Boutique Los Balcones
Courtesy of Hotel Boutique Los Balcones / Expedia

In the heart of the old town and a short walk from Parque Calderón, Los Balcones is a carefully restored colonial home dating to the 18th century. Suites are grand and spacious with traditional decor and a balcony overlooking the interior courtyard. Breakfast is a tasty buffet. The restaurant serves Ecuadorian dishes such as ceviche.

6. Hotel Carvallo

Boutique Hotel

A interior space with paintings on easels, potted plants and a staircase at Hotel Carvallo
Courtesy of Hotel Carvallo / Expedia

In the old town, Hotel Carvallo is filled with original features, such as carved wooden ceilings, that pay homage to the century-long history of the building. Rooms are well maintained and airy with stylish draped beds, antique rugs and freshly cut flowers. Go for the swish suites to up the period drama.

7. Pepe’s House Cuenca Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A large one-bed guest room heavy on the wood at Pepe’s House Cuenca Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Pepe’s House Cuenca Boutique Hotel / Expedia

In the center of the old town, a short walk from the main square and Plaza de San Sebastián, Pepe’s House is a charming heritage house with original features such as wooden floorboards and doors. Rooms are cozy and well-appointed. Breakfast includes home-produced jam and bread, and complimentary organic coffee is available all day long.

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