Hotel Casa Gangotena
This high-end boutique hotel is so stately that it's second only to the great San Francisco monastery on one of Latin America's most beautiful plazas. Hotel Casa Gangotena has a gorgeous neoclassic property that boasts magnificent views of the square and beyond from the rooftop bar, exclusively open to overnight guests. Rooms have baroque-inspired contemporary touches, fine views of the old town, and large, elegant marble baths. The hotel has daily activities that deeply embed guests into the traditions of the neighborhood, as well as complimentary tickets to the Casa del Alabado archaeology museum across Calle Cuenca.
Tucked away in San Marcos, one of the old town's most quiet and coveted corners, Illa Experience fuses a stately old home with a modern renovation that links Republican details in the decorations, varying from floor to floor, with contemporary comforts. A ground-floor reflecting pool establishes an oasis of calm away from the bustle of the city. By attracting the fabled local restaurant Nuema to its premises, it provides guests with one of the capital's best sybaritic experiences, while the rooftop bar allows views of central Quito landmarks invisible from other angles.
Casona de la Ronda
Originally built as "Las Corralas" in 1738, Casona de la Ronda occupies a three-story mansion on Quito's legendary oldest street, La Ronda, that meanders down from the main squares of the old town. Spanish colonial times permeate the rooms, with locally hand-carved furniture, including wooden headboards and floors that maintain the original spirit, surrounding a rustic, colonnaded interior court under a protective glass ceiling. A cozy top-floor library lounge offers views of Panecillo Hill.
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Hotel Castillo Vista del Ángel
Perched like a condor's nest on a centrally located hill, the aptly named Angel's View Castle stands out even in a city of amazing vistas, appearing to soar over the old town. The Republican-era four-story building is a steep climb from the central plazas and churches. Some rooms have courtyard views only. Meals from the rooftop restaurant include sweeping views of the three snow-capped volcanoes visible from Quito: Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Antisana, usually best visible in the morning hours.
This traditional residential home surprises with details and quality well above that of your average hostel. Generations of handmade Año Viejomasks decorate Casa Helbling within quick walking distance of vibrant La Mariscal. After a day's exploring, swap stories and information with the correspondents and visiting academics that favor this hostel while sitting at the giant palm tree or in front of the cozy fireplace, lit every evening. Double windows that keep out the street noise and high-quality mattresses guarantee you a restful night.
Hotel Casa Aliso
Feel at home in an oasis of calm amid La Floresta at Casa Aliso, a charming mid-century villa turned boutique hotel. It's comfortably close to the cluster of upmarket restaurants along Av. Isabel la Católica and the quirky watering holes of its vicinity, as well as a quick drive to almost all that's worth visiting in Quito. The conservatively furnished property exudes the tranquil atmosphere of upper-middle-class Andean life before Ecuador became a major oil producer in the 1970s. Conveniently for Europeans, rooms also have 220V plugs.
Hotel Stubel Suites
Another superb yet different set of views characterizes the modern Stubel Suites, perched above the historic neighborhood of Guápulo. Strategically located near the posh González Súarez area and bohemian hotspot La Floresta, guests can admire a fabulous view of the Baroque Guápulo monastery and walk down all the way to the 17th-century colonial jewel along the route taken by Conquistador Francisco de Orellana, on his way to accidentally "discover" the Amazon River.
Le Parc Hotel
Posh, modern, and in the middle of Av. República de El Salvador's business district in north-central Quito, Le Parc is the complete contrast to the colonial Spanish look prevalent elsewhere. The 30-room boutique hotel features a modern design and comprehensive spa service. It's also just a few steps from numerous hip restaurants and Quito's quasi-central park, La Carolina. Reserving well in advance can mean a big discount.
Amazingly close to the center of the city yet high above, nestled in the foothills of the Pichincha volcano that overlooks Quito, Rumiloma offers visitors a chance to sample Ecuador's hacienda life just minutes away from today's central business district. The rural getaway features rustic architecture in light ochre and blue tones dominated by stone, brick, and timber decorated with antique furniture. Take in the views of the city and even suburban valleys far below from the gardens and terraces while watching the llamas graze placidly, or opt for a strenuous hike to the summit of the active volcano.