It should come as no surprise that the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quito, Ecuador maintains some of the best preserved colonial buildings in South America. Many of these beautiful edifices have become gorgeous hotels, providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural history of this capital city. These are some of the best options in and around the heart of the historic district.
Boutique Hotel Casa El Éden
With only six double rooms, reservations are a must at this historic residence located just down the road from the Teatro Sucre in the Historic District of Quito. Built during colonial times, modern restorations of this residence have retained classic elements like hand-hewn wooden beams and ornately-carved balusters along the stairway.
Hotel Boutique Portal de Cantuña
The carefully restored Hotel Boutique Portal de Cantuña was originally built in 1863 very close to the Plaza San Francisco, the heart of the Historic District. The Sanchez Family has retained a Baroque-style decor with heavily carved pillars ornamented with gold leaf and furniture to reflect the era. The grounds include an interior courtyard with well-manicured gardens.
La Casona de la Ronda
La Casona de la Ronda, a home with colonial ties, retains its original interior courtyard with rooms on the upper levels. The beds are modern while other furniture and adornments reflect the long history of this establishment. Located in the La Ronda neighborhood, this historic home is ideally situated to explore the cobblestone streets of historic Quito by day and enjoy the restaurants and bars along the Calle La Ronda by night.
La Casona de la Ronda, Calle Morales OE1- 160, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-228-7501
Perhaps the most renowned hotel in Historic Quito, the neoclassic Casa Gangotena stands out on the Plaza San Francisco. This former mansion turned boutique hotel has spacious rooms with large windows overlooking the plaza or the indoor courtyard, is gracefully decorated in Art Deco style and exudes luxury.
Casa Gangotena, Simon Bolivar, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-400-8000
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Steps away from the Iglesia Santo Domingo, a church with exquisitely painted murals on its interior walls, the Hotel San Francisco is ideally located for exploration of Historic Quito. The current residence was built in 1698, replacing a colonial-era building that collapsed in an earthquake. The walls are one-meter wide adobe filled with straw and the current restoration retains many of the key elements that make this building historically significant, like the Virgen de Quito fresco on the second level.
Casa San Marcos
The Casa San Marcos lies at the heart of the quaint San Marcos neighborhood, a hidden treasure of this UNESCO World Heritage City. The residence retains many of its colonial roots including a hand-carved ceiling built out of exotic hardwoods from the Amazon Basin without using a single nail.
Casa San Marcos, Juan Pío Montúfar, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-228-1811
Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor
A relatively new edition to the boutique hotel scene in Quito, the Boutique Hotel Cultura Manor has a long history in the Mariscal neighborhood. The current owners spent four years renovating the 1933 historic building formerly used as a gathering place for the movers and shakers of Quito. A mix of English tradition peppered with contemporary touches, the ambiance in this hotel is luxuriously stylish.
The Yellow House
The Yellow House was built in the heyday of the 1940s, a period of rapid growth for downtown Quito. Located in the heart of the Mariscal District, the hotel provides a quiet oasis to the boisterous streets outside. The staff speaks Spanish, English and German.
The Yellow House, E5- y, Juan León Mera, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-223-4735
San Jorge de Quito
Located in the outskirts of Quito on the way to the small community of Nono, the San Jorge EcoLodge is a beautiful 18th century Spanish Hacienda with ample gardens, a small bullfighting ring and traditionally decorated rooms. The lodge is well-known to bird-watchers who arrive to see hummingbirds flock to the outdoor feeders or to hike the local trails.
San Jorge EcoLodge, Cotocollao Nono Rd, Km 4, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-224-7549
The Hotel Quito
While the Hotel Quito was built in more modern times, it holds a place in the heart of many a Quiteño. The Hotel Quito has a long history hosting quinciñeras and birthday teas for the Quito elite while their Sunday brunch attracts a loyal following. Views from the dining room take in an expansive panorama of the surrounding Andes including a picturesque church tucked into the mountain slopes at Guapalo and the stately Pichincha Volcano to the west.