Ikala: Finding Refuge in Quito’s New Town


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In the heart of Quito’s modern city,  Ikala Quito Hotel invites us to revel in the concept behind the name. From the Aymara, Anahí Torres, the hotel’s manager, tells us ikala means ‘refuge’: “in the heart of a cosmopolitan city, just a block from Calle Isabel la Catolica (the city’s undeniable gastro-hub), where thousands of students enjoy the neighborhood, you walk in and… just listen,” she says… She’s right. Silence and absolute peace. A bird tweets from a tree? I hear it clearly from where I’m sitting, in one Ikala’s many memorable lounging spotss, enjoying a delicious Ikala Blue, one of the hotel’s signature cocktails.

Its promise of a relaxing stay seamlessly combining elegance, comfort, personalized service, is guaranteed. Just look at this delicious, refreshing cocktail that I’m enjoying in this beautiful space. A gem in the center of the city, steeped in rich Ecuadorian culture and contemporary design, Ikala offers a sanctuary from the busy city streets, making it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers seeking an exceptional experience in Quito.

Elegant ambiance and architectural beauty

From the moment you step into Ikala, you are enveloped in an ambiance of refined sophistication. The hotel’s architecture merges modern design elements with the charm of Quito’s colonial history. Beautiful stone walls, amazing sculptures, and gorgeous colonial-style woodwork on many of the doors. The result is a visually stunning property that, on the outside, pays homage to the city’s heritage while, on the inside, offers a luxurious and contemporary atmosphere.

Ikala boasts 44 well-appointed rooms in the hotel’s three sections: the original early-republican rooms, a middle section with modern-style rooms, and the stunning suites, each thoughtfully designed by a local artist, inspired by different thematic items: totora plants from Lago San Pablo, bamboo from Manabí. One room pays homage to the traditional Andean hacienda home, while another offers a modern, artistic retreat crafted by the talented glass artist Alexandra Moshenek, who lives in the neighborhood.

The attention to detail is evident, with plush bedding, modern bathrooms, and ample work and relaxation areas, flat-screen TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Everything is set for a wonderful stay.

Great service and excellent food

One of the defining characteristics of Ikala Quito Hotel is its unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service. The staff is not only professional, genuinely welcoming, and attentive to every guest’s needs, but also part of the family. Most have been employed by Ikala since its inception…  They are experts in their matter, but also have a special affection for their “home”.

Anahí even tells me that some of the staff’s children saw the hotel grow and evolve and now, after becoming professional, they have returned to work here. Whether it’s arranging transportation, offering local recommendations, or accommodating special requests, the team at Ikala goes above and beyond to ensure every guest feels like an extension of the Ikala family.

The menu of the restaurant showcases a fusion of Ecuadorian and international flavors, with a particular emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Dishes are crafted with precision and creativity, resulting in delicious experiences that leave a lasting impression. The house hamburger highlights Quito’s reputation for having among the greatest variety of avocadoes in the world; the empanada platter takes us to Ecuador’s many different regions; the excellent Churrasco is a classic dish of the Andes, prepared with much love.

Exploring Quito’s modern flair

Located in the heart of not only one, but two of Quito’s most exciting neighborhoods —La Mariscal and La Floresta— Ikala Quito Hotel provides the perfect base for exploring Quito’s cultural treasures.

The hotel’s central location allows guests to easily walk to iconic sites of both of these neighborhoods, perhaps visit the ancestral arts museum Mindalae; catch a movie at Ocho y Medio, a wonderful arthouse cinema; participate in dance classes or watch performances and art exhibits at NOA, try some of Quito’s most delicious donuts at Skulls and grab a coffee at Gracia Coffee. Two excellent restaurants also offer variety to your stay, with Chakra (for “conscious” dining) and Marcando el Camino, Ikala’s next-door neighbor, excellent food with a fabulous menu and delicious house-made sourdough bread baked daily.

For those seeking relaxation and breathtaking views, Ikala’s rooftop terrace is an absolute gem. This serene corner of the city offers a respite providing an ideal spot to unwind with an Ikala Blue cocktail or simply soak in the stunning panoramic views of Quito and its spectacular Pichincha volcano. The terrace is also a perfect setting for special occasions or private gatherings.

A memorable stay at Hotel Ikala

Hotel Ikala is an oasis in the heart of Quito that sets a new standard for elegance, comfort, and personalized service. Its seamless blend of contemporary design and historical charm, impeccable accommodations, exceptional dining experiences, and commitment to sustainability make it a standout choice for travelers seeking a truly memorable stay in Ecuador’s capital.

Whether you’re exploring Quito’s rich cultural heritage, savoring exquisite cuisine, or simply basking in the rooftop views, Ikala Quito Hotel offers an enchanting retreat that leaves a lasting impression. If you’re looking for a family hotel that goes above and beyond to create an exceptional guest experience, Ikala is undoubtedly a top choice in Quito.

Text: Ilán Greenfield
Photos: Carlos Puga

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