Hotel Casa Gangotena: Holy Week from the Gallery

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Hotel Casa Gangotena: Holy Week from the Gallery

Is there a better way to imbue one’s spirit with Quito’s heritage Historic Center than actually sleeping in it? And the best version of it! Casa Gangotena is, as one happy customer put it, “Ritz-Carlton-style service with Ecuadorian warmth”.

Less than a stone’s throw from Convento San Francisco, Quito’s signature religious temple and complex (the largest in the Americas), Casa Gangotena is the quintessence of luxury blended with authenticity.

The hotel has received nothing but rave reviews since it opened its doors in 2012. The former family mansion, which occupies a grand position on the corner of calles Cuenca and Bolívar, was transformed into Ecuador’s most exclusive hotel address after a labor-of-love restoration process. The efforts of the owners have paid off handsomely, with the reviewers on Trip Advisor ranking it as the sixth-best hotel in the world in 2014, as well as the best hotel in Ecuador and the best hotel in South America. It’s quite simply the story of making something difficult look astonishingly easy.

The hotel’s interior décor is sumptuous, beginning with its stately, high-ceilinged lobby. Although much of the mansion has an art deco feel, the ground floor’s newly refurbished areas have a distinctly English beauty, the glass-covered courtyard – a Home Counties gazebo straight out of Country Life – brimming with comfortable sofas, reading lamps, magazines, plants, palms and orchids, followed by a traditional gentleman’s club, wood-panelled bar (be sure to ask for a Cedrón (lemon verbena) Spritzer or the Negroni Gangotena (aged in oak barrels)), and the alluring restaurant, with its curtain-swathed tall windows and light, airy feel. Here, the hotel’s head chef, Andrés Dávila, and his team, serve as culinary ambassadors for their country, conjuring Ecuadorian ingredients with flare, passion and invention. The gastronomic experience at Casa Gangotena is a feast to behold, particularly when paired with some of the finest vintages in Quito on the wine list.

As with so many things in life, though, it’s the details and the warmth of the people that remain with many guests long after they’ve stayed. Whether it’s the delicacies served by smiling waiters at the ‘high tea’ Café Quiteño included in the room rate in the afternoon, the umbrellas the staff appear with at the first sight of rain, the concierge’s keenness to help with any request, big or small, the turn-down delicacies in one’s room, or even the original revitalizing welcome drink, the cumulative effect has guests yearning to stay ‘just another night’…

So is there a better place to witness the extravaganza of Quito’s world-famous Easter Week? These are, quite simply, the best seats in the house: overlooking Quito’s most emblematic square, where the Good Friday Procession ‘Jesus del Gran Poder’ begins and ends. The entire liturgical program takes place on the spectacular stone esplanade that faces the temple, including the dramatic Reading of the Sentence, where a mass of thousands cry and lament the Passion of Christ. You couldn’t be closer (and more comfortable) to the events, as the glorious wooden images of the Lord on his road to Calvary and the Virgin (Our Lady of Sorrows), pass right by the door of Casa Gangotena. And of course, you can’t miss the delectable Holy Week staple, fanesca… on of Quito’s finest.

HOTEL CASA GANGOTENA

www.casagangotena.com

Bolivar Oe6-41 y Cuenca, Quito – Ecuador

(+593-2) 382-8300

To view the gallery, please click over the image.

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