It should come as no surprise that the Unesco World Heritage site of Quito, Ecuador, has some of the best-preserved colonial buildings in South America. Hoteliers have turned these beautiful properties into unique places to stay, ranging from stylish budget-friendly options to brilliant boutiques. Here are the best hotels in Quito, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Looking for the full package? You can now travel with Culture Trip to Ecuador and have all your accommodation and activities taken care of. Our Local Insider will lead you through the historic town of Quito, through incredible volcanic landscapes with emerald-green crater lakes, and up into the mountains where thermal hot springs await.
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Budget travellers will love the Masaya Quito in the Old Town, a cheap hostel in Quito is housed in a striking colonial-style building. As well as private rooms the size of small flats with wonderfully high ceilings, there are bunks available in four-, six- or eight-bed dorms, each of which has a privacy curtain, reading light and charging socket. Meet other backpackers over discounted mojitos during happy hour or during the daily activities, starting with yoga on Mondays and culminating with a movie screening on Sundays. Plaza San Francisco, one of the central spaces in old Quito, is a five-minute walk away.
Individually themed rooms and suites are named after paintings at Casa Joaquin, a friendly boutique hotel in Quito just a few metres from Plaza Foch in La Mariscal. The selection of tours and day trips on offer at reception is impressive: the Mindo bird sanctuary (40km/25mi north of Quito); the Quilotoa Lake (170km/106mi southwest); and Cotopaxi, one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world (80km/50mi south). Closer to home is a colourful artisan market and the National Museum of Ecuador, both of which are within walking distance.
The Ikala occupies three historic properties in La Mariscal, a neighborhood popular with backpackers thanks to a lively bar scene. Rooms at this Quito hotel range from standards to individually themed suites, with furniture and wall art inspired by the history of Ecuador. Common spaces comprise the basement Cava Bar – an intimate drinking den in a former wine cellar – and a restaurant where cooking revolves around fresh, local produce. Plaza Foch, the central hub of La Mariscal, is a seven-minute walk away.
For longer stays, check out Old Town Quito, a collection of one- and two-bed apartments in a traditional townhouse. Decorated with reclaimed furniture painted by the owner and retro artefacts found at flea markets, this budget hotel in Quito has attractive original features such as bare brick walls, hardwood floors and sturdy wooden beams. You’re self-catered, but not alone: a daily breakfast is served in-room and you receive a welcome pack of wine, fruit and cupboard essentials. The apartments are in the historic barrio of San Blas, opposite the disused bullring.
Classy Carlota occupies an early 1900s townhouse in central Quito. Contemporary furnishings and bold murals contrast with unchanged aspects such as exposed brickwork, wooden shutters and chunky vaulted ceilings. Each room is individually themed around a species of native bird, and nightly charges include a complimentary breakfast and a transfer to or from the airport. Eat at restaurant Bistro, where Ecuadorian classics are seen through a modern lens, and drink signature gin-based cocktails on the roof terrace – try the cilantro and chilli version for a real treat.
There are sweeping views of the mountain-encircled capital from pretty much every spot in the Vista del Angel, but be warned – you have to earn them with a steep climb up to the property. Perks once you’ve done so include a gloriously secluded terrace with sun beds, a sauna and a jacuzzi (massages are also available for an additional fee). A good-quality breakfast is included in the nightly fee and the three-course lunch and dinner menu is changed every day. It’s just over a 10-minute walk from the reception to the finest church in Quito, the 16th-century Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús.
In the central yet quiet neighborhood of La Loma, practically at the feet of the Virgen del Panecillo, is Mama Cuchara, one of Quito’s best luxury hotels. It’s a great choice for foodies, as restaurant La Plaza focuses on the cuisine of a different region of Ecuador each day. In keeping with the features of the colonial, Unesco-protected building, the rooms feature warm colors, hardwood floors and ornate, carved-wood headboards, with windows opening to the most historic quarters in Quito. Upon arrival, you’re handed a complimentary welcome drink to enjoy on the rooftop terrace.
This award-winning luxury hotel in Quito is found in the historic neighbourhood of San Marcos, five minutes’ walk from plazas San Francisco, Santo Domingo and Grande. Occupying a graceful townhouse dating from the early 18th century, it has 10 rooms split over three floors, each of which takes inspiration from one of three epochs of modern Quito – Colonial, Republican, contemporary – and offers views either of boisterous Junín street below or the statue on Panecillo Hill. Get stuck into Quito street culture via activities from the Illa Moments programme – ask at reception for details.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
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