The hotel is inextricably linked with the lives of its neighbors. It’s a permanent companion to its nearby residents, who cherish this Italianate palazzo rebuilt in the 1920s like few buildings in the Historic Center. It has witnessed the passing of the city’s great, good and humble: generations of the Plaza San Francisco market’s vendors; friars who crossed the square thousands of times in their lives; musicians who performed their songs on the square; and legendary Quito characters who vanished into the city’s fog at night… all have walked by this heritage building down the ages, a building that today honors its neighborhood in the form of one of Latin America’s most celebrated and unique boutique hotels.
Just like any good neighbor, Casa Gangotena does not forget its family. It sources as many of the ingredients as possible for its feted restaurant from the local San Roque market or from the neighborhood stores. It encourages all of its guests to walk and explore the neighborhood, meet the vendedores and yerbatera healers, discover local products and then be stunned by the beautiful pre-Columbian art at Museo del Alabado. For Francisco Dousdebés, Product Manager of Casa Gangotena, it’s key for the hotel to support and be part of the life of its neighborhood. “If we don’t care for our traditions, they’ll disappear.”
Casa Gangotena ranks among Quito’s most regal buildings. And, like any royal worth her salt, she is a gracious host and keeper of the city’s heritage, both tangible and intangible.
To deepen this connection, Casa Gangotena offers special activities for guests, designed to bring them closer to the life of the barrio. A highlight is visiting the Pedro Gocial Museum at the San Francisco Monastery at the end of the day. The church’s cloisters and bell-towers are opened exclusively for hotel guests, Franciscan friars acting as guides. They climb up to the choir and then to bell towers, to enjoy the beautiful views as dusk falls. Touring this place at Quito’s “magic hour” is a true privilege, a singular way to connect visitors with the Historic Center.
Casa Gangotena’s guests can also enjoy a craft beer tasting event with Cerveza Santa Ana inside the San Francisco complex — a fitting venue, since it was here that the first European beer was brewed in the country (and perhaps the continent) back in the 1540s. Another stimulating activity for guests allows them to learn about one of Ecuador’s greatest riches: chocolate. With the help and knowledge of the hotel’s chef, guests discover all there is to know about cacao, its fruit and tasty pulp, sample different bars made with different percentages of cacao, and begin to understand their aromas and flavors. To top it off, there’s a delicious cup of Quito-style hot chocolate, with fresh cheese.
An exclusive home open to all
Casa Gangotena affectionately opens its doors to all visitors, local or foreign. You don’t have to be a guest. You can savor the delicious food in the restaurant or taste special Quiteño snacks during the “Café Quiteño”, a local take on ‘high tea’ that would traditionally have been enjoyed at home. You can also experience among the most spell-binding views in the city — accompanied by fine wines and tasty tapas — from the hotel’s third-floor Terrace Bar.
While Casa Gangotena is the ideal place for foreigners to experience the essence of the city, it is also a heritage icon that all Quiteños can enjoy to the fullest.
Every Sunday, the hotel serves a fantastic brunch (from 11am to 3pm), a buffet to enjoy as a family, with every international and Ecuadorian favorite you could imagine: from ceviche and tigrillo to eggs Benedict and beyond… Or you could simply walk inside and ask about the building’s history, admire its quaint nooks, beautiful décor and explore this special niche that so enriches Quito’s heritage.
Bolívar Oe6-41 y Cuenca, Plaza San Francisco.
(+593 2) 400-80000