Experts choose the best hotels in Quito
These are the best hotels in Quito in 2019 according to professional reviewers.
It’s been a long way to the top for Quito, but today one of South America’s most historically undervalued cities is finally basking in its moment in the sun. A decade and a half after Quito’s colonial center began a massive revival project, the city is today arguably the most rewarding capital on the continent for tourists. Quito’s quirky, creative personality is as warm as a woolen poncho, and as vibrant as Andean textiles.
The new face of Ecuador has likewise come with a new crop of accommodation options. Nowadays, you won’t have much trouble finding accommodation in any price bracket, though a few established names continue to dominate the upper end of the market.
Over 30 hotels in Quito received our 2019 Experts' Choice Award. Here are five of our top picks.
Over the decades, Casa Gangotena has housed some of Ecuador’s most prolific denizens, including serving for a stint as the home for the first family. Today, this stately Art Deco mansion is easily the most stridently Ecuadorian of all our top picks. On arrival, guests are treated to a traditional Andean herbal concoction that supposedly eases altitude sickness and travel weariness. Rooms tend to be breezy affairs, with mellow tones and wide windows for taking in Quito’s colonial center. Make sure to take advantage of the generously-portioned complimentary afternoon tea, not to mention the cocktails at the on-site restaurant. They’re easily some of the best in town. Try to opt for one of the upper rooms though, as the street below can be a little noisy during peak hour.
If there’s one luxury hotel in Quito that can hold a candle to Casa Gangotena’s rich sense of place, then Hotel Plaza Grande might just be it. Constructed as the home of 16th Century aristocrat Juan Díaz de Hidalgo, this opulent mansion was renovated into a hotel in 2007. This was back during the early days of colonial Quito’s revival, and for years Hotel Plaza Grande was practically the only top tier hotel in the city. Nowadays, competition is tougher, but Hotel Plaza Grande remains a touchstone for diplomats and business leaders passing through Quito. There really isn’t any secret to this hotel’s enduring appeal; it’s just incredible service, rooms dripping with historical charm and some of the best views of the colonial center. Add in those sound-proof windows for keeping out noise pollution from the street, and you’ll feel as pampered as a colonial aristocrat – and did we mention the rooms come with ink and quill writing sets?
While both Casa Gangotena and Hotel Plaza Grande are both located in the colonial center, Swissotel is a bit of an outsider in the city’s northern commercial district. Don’t let that put you off though; the hotel is just a few minutes by foot from the hipster enclave of Guapulo, with its trendy bars and jaw-dropping views of the valley below. Further north you’ve got the upmarket Carolina Park, while to the west party-goers are just a few minutes from the nightlife hub of La Foch. Swissotel’s modern rooms come with access to an extensive array of additional amenities, such as the two pools, tennis court, hydromassage tub and even an Alpine-style spa. Sure, Swissotel is aimed squarely at business-class travelers, but you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Quito with this level of convenience and luxury.
Is it a cafe, is it a hotel, or is it Cafe Cultura? Despite the slightly misleading name, Cafe Cultura is indeed a boutique hotel, making it the only accommodation option of this class to receive our Expert’s Choice award this year. Originally another aristocratic abode, most Quiteños know the building as the French Embassy’s former cultural center. Nowadays, Cafe Cultura makes use of the space to bake up some of Quito’s best bread, while offering homey accommodation. Roaring fires, cozy guestrooms and a complimentary afternoon tea all make it quite the challenge to escape falling hopelessly in love with this adorable place.
More of a resort than a hotel, the JW Marriott is a beast to behold. Located around 5 kilometers from the colonial center, this massive, pyramidal structure houses five restaurants, a heated pool with waterfalls and Jacuzzi, a hammam, fitness center and pretty much everything else you can imaginably cram into a hotel. Most rooms have clear views of the volcano, Pichincha, thanks to floor to ceiling walls. Recent renovations have also brought tasteful hardwood floors and sound-proof windows. Alas, JW Marriott doesn’t have the best location, though it’s within walking distance of the business and entertainment district of La Mariscal. Overall though, this is a good pick for families, especially given how much there is here for children.