Hacienda Piman: An oasis of peace and sophistication

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Hacienda Piman: An oasis of peace and sophistication

Hacienda Piman is redolent with history in every detail. The former colonial and Republic country manor has been lovingly-restored by its family owners over many years.

The hacienda’s lands date back to 1680, making it one of the oldest in the country. Today, the house is a reflection of its historic character: some constructions date back to its foundation, while others, such as the chapel and library, to the 19th century, while the Brazilian species of trees in the gardens and the painted eaves to the mid-twentieth.

The current owners, the family of Guillermo Zaldumbide – who also run Sacha Lodge in the Amazon and the boutique hotel Casa Aliso in Quito – have given the hacienda a new lease of life as an Andean retreat for those looking to escape to one of Ecuador’s most captivating regions.

The location is picture-postcard: the lands occupy a valley with its own micro-climate, dry, steep and imposing hills cup it to the north and west, a river rambles through the property, and its palms and centenarian trees provide an oasis of calm and flitting birdlife.

The Zaldumbides decided to combine the old and the new for their project. The result is a superbly-tasteful marriage of the traditional and the modern. The main house has seven rooms, all decorated simply and artfully with white-washed walls and antiques, combining the facilities of modern bathrooms and the sensibilities of a by-gone age.

Beyond, amid a grove of towering trees, five cottages are arrayed across a steep incline, each one with a pair of independent suites, all with wooden balconies, tall ceilings, handsome beds and furniture: elegant yet rustic. At the other end of the property, a dinky heated swimming pool with an adobe-brick sitting area makes the perfect place to while away some time – Julio Zaldumbide could have penned another poem or six sitting at this spot…

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of Hacienda Piman is the new construction for the hotel’s restaurant and social areas. Here, architect Igor Muñoz has created a warm-hued world of brick, wood and glass which blends beautifully with the surrounding woods and flower beds – he even moulded the structure around a couple of trees. The brick walls are designed unevenly, lending them a rough grace which complements the hacienda’s rustic feel. A veranda at one end includes comfy sofas beneath a tangle of bougainvillea and creepers.

The hacienda seeks to highlight the culinary heritage of the Ecuadorian Andes, serving an array of home-style dishes, drawing on the country’s staggering variety of ingredients. Favourites include soups – dozens of them, with quinoa, with amaranth, with potato, with morocho corn, spinach, chard, broccoli… — as well as typical pork- or trout-based dishes from the Andes. Vegetarian options are, of course, available.

From Piman, the less-visited but no-less-fascinating sights of Northern Ecuador open up. There’s the wonderful train ride from Ibarra down to Salinas, the wilds of the haunting El Ángel Reserve, the towns and culture of the Afro-Ecuadorian dominated Chota region, the wood-carvers of San Antonio, the thermal springs of Chachimbiru… The hacienda also offers horseback riding along stunning and challenging trails on every cardinal point.

Hacienda Piman, where simple pleasures meet the finer things in life.

HACIENDA PIMÁN

www.haciendapiman.com

A 9 km del punto de control de la Aduana de Ibarra / 9 km from the Ibarra Customs checpoint, vía Ibarra – Tulcán

+(593 6) 304-6852

+(593 6) 304 6853

+(593 6) 304 6854

+(593 2) 250-9115

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