Casa Gangotena is a colonial mansion in Quito’s historical center that consistently rates as one of the top hotels in the city. The location on the corner of the Plaza San Francisco is in the center of all that colonial Quito offers visitors. My stay at Casa Gangotena coincided with the time I was traveling solo with the kids during our three-week Ecuador family vacation, and I especially appreciated the warm welcome that families receive in decidedly elegant surroundings.
When deciding where to stay in Quito, the first decision to make is whether to stay in the historical center, where the hotels and surroundings are filled with history but there are no pools or gyms in sight; or in the new town, where modern chain hotels are the norm. For a short visit, I always vote for the historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where cobblestone streets lead visitors to colonial churches and treasures.
Casa Gangotena is the type of hotel that a parent walks into and wonders if it will be OK with kids. The elegant mansion has beautiful interiors, winding staircases and vases filled with flowers throughout. It turns out to be very welcoming to families and, though upscale, it’s not fussy. The atmosphere allows the parents to be grown-ups in elegant surroundings with a place for the kids too.
The light-filled indoor atrium feels like a living room and is often filled with families relaxing at the end of the day. Afternoon tea is included in the room rates, and the front desk is happy to provide playing cards and board games to entertain the kids while everyone enjoys a spot of tea and small bites.
The outdoor patio is a slice of nature, and one can only imagine how former residents enjoyed the peacefulness in the middle of the city.
Thirty-one rooms and suites are spread over three floors with views of El Panecillo (the Virgin of Quito monument), Plaza San Francisco and the entire colonial center and beyond. Rooms are comfortable, and bathrooms are spacious with separate tubs and showers.
Casa Gangotena’s restaurant, though upscale, is perfectly accommodating for families, and the wait staff assures that kids will find something they like on the menu. Tip: For picky eaters, locro de papa (potato soup) is a traditional dish, which kids find easy to eat.
The cozy bar area is the place to be with no kids in tow. It’s the perfect spot for a drink with a spouse, but with kids, the atrium is a better bet.
Not only is the location of Casa Gangotena convenient for sightseeing in Quito with kids, but the hotel itself has a fabulous third-floor outdoor patio with high tables that provide views of the city and plaza. Have a drink here at sunset or watch the swirling white clouds that so often line the sky during the day.
Rates for a family of four begin at $420 and include a full buffet breakfast and afternoon tea.
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Editor’s Note: Quito Tourism provided a media package to experience the city. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Kristi Marcelle.
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