Despite primarily being the playground of adventure-loving backpackers, Baños does have a number of chic boutique and spa hotels which cater for an older and more sophisticated clientele. Most come to bathe in the famous medicinal mineral water of the region’s many hot springs, some of which have been incorporated into upmarket spa hotels. Here are Culture Trip’s picks for the fanciest spa and boutique digs in the area.
Those after a little pampering within walking distance of the center should check into the Sangay Spa Hotel, a four-star haunt right on the edge of town. With modern décor inside an elegant colonial-style building, Sangay is mostly popular for its luxurious massage services. Located right across the road from the Cascadas del Virgin, ask for a waterfall view room to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of cascading water.
Just west of town lies the charming Casa Giralda, an opulent resort containing European-style bungalows with pointy roofs and polished wood interiors. The largest cabins can comfortably sleep up to 10 people and include self-catering facilities, making them ideal for groups. Centered around a leafy courtyard with twin swimming pools and a waterslide, it’s a great family-friendly option just a short distance from the center.
Nestled between dramatic mountains east of town lies one of Baños’ most exclusive resorts. This elegant stone-brick manor is set in an expansive manicured garden and just oozes sophistication, not least for its cozy traditional interior décor. Onsite facilities include a large indoor swimming pool and an idyllic outdoor piano.
This stylish 12-room boutique occupies an enviable country lot just outside the city. In fact, a number of waterfalls of the famous Ruta de Cascadas are located within the property, the closest being just a 15-minute walk away. Rest and relaxation are the name of the game here, with the most popular onsite facilities being the outdoor pool, health club, and spa.
Situated just a few blocks from Baños’ main park is the bright and cheerful La Floresta Hotel. This 31-room offering has a modern design which centers around a lush garden patio complete with several hammocks for maximum relaxation. Inside, each room is tastefully decorated with colorful indigenous artwork.
For a quirky place to stay, look no further than Hosteria Jardines de Chamana. As Baños’ most creative hotel, expect to see plenty of antique furniture and stained-glass windows in this whimsical offering, not to mention a delightful Japanese garden that features several varieties of cacti. Onsite spa facilities and a social games room just add to the appeal.
With just 10 rooms, La Villa del Peñón Inn & Spa is one of the region’s smaller boutiques. Better yet, this contemporary and comfortable budget option to the east of town channels water from a natural spring, meaning guests can bathe in the region’s medicinal mineral water away from the tourist crowds.