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“Lunch only not an overnight stay” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hacienda La Cienega

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Hacienda La Cienega
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Lasso Panamericana Sur Km 72, Lasso, Ecuador   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Lasso
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Lunch only not an overnight stay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We were on a your if the region so dropped into this beautiful and historically significant building for lunch. The staff were kind enough to show us around briefly before lunch. The food was ok but the service terrible. Only three tables were eating but the waiter rushed us removing the mains plates before some if the others had finished then serving dessert while mains were still being eaten. Worse, he stood beside the table waiting for the last main to be finished before quickly swapping the plate for dessert. Finally when we paid he didn't leave the table, inferring he wanted a tip. Not impressive.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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89 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Machipongo, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Our family (including our two boys ages 10 and 9) stayed at Cienega for three nights in August and had a very nice time (with one warning, see below -- book your sightseeing tours elsewhere).

The hacienda is historic and beautiful, if a little rustic in places. The rooms are large and not over decorated. There does not appear to be any central heat, but we had space heaters in our room, good blankets, a fireplace with plenty of wood, and the cool evenings felt good after being in the Amazon. There were also fires in several common rooms in the evening where we had drinks most nights. The restaurant is nice and the menu is extensive with continental classics and solid Ecuadorian specialties. There was live music one night, which the kids liked. All in all, a nice experience in a historic setting.

We traveled to Cotopaxi one day. The guide arragnged by Cienega was fine. His English was not great and he did not offer huge amounts of unsolicited information, but he was OK -- we got there and back, saw the mountain, and learned a little.

The second day we asked the lodge to arrange a guide to take us to Lake Quilotoa, a beautiful crater lake about 2 hours from Cienega. The original guide's son showed up and it was not good. His English was essentially non-existent (yes, we should speak Spanish, but do not, which Cienega staff knew). I figured we had a driver, not a guide, and let it go. We arrived at the lake and hiked down to the lake and back up. While in the crater, I asked him if the lake was deep (I looked up the word for deep, profundo, in my dictionary). His answer was "No es profundo!" (it is not deep). I later found out later it is 900 feet deep. So confirmation: he is not a guide.

But worse, while driving back to the lodge after lunch he fell asleep at the wheel on the twisty mountain road -- he just dozed off. We drifted off into a concrete ditch and he just managed to pull out before we crashed into the side of the mountain. He was apologetic, but it scared the heck out of our whole family and kind of ruined the whole day as we were all nervous wrecks on the whole drive home, fearing he would do it again.

My advice is to absolutely visit Hacienda Cienega, but if you do not have you own transportation I would recommend using an outside source for tours to the nearby volcanoes and lakes. The tours arranged by the hacienda did not give us the full experience and, in our experience, could be dangerous.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are in an annex adjacent to the main house. If you want to be in the historic roo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I did not mind that bathroom was not spanking new Holiday Inn like nor that it took a while to get the hot water (it was there), it was the musty smell in the bathroom that bugged. We were with a tour group so cannot comment on value. We chose our rooms by lottery according to when we had booked-we got a big room with a queen or king bed and a smaller bed, a lovely fireplace and interesting furnishings. It seemed cold even with a fire but was fine when snuggled under the covers. They seem to be trying to preserve the place as it was-some of that works and some does not. Grounds are nice for a walk with a good view of Cotapaxi, there is a nice Chapel and a small gift shop with well chosen items. There was internet if you huddled around the fire near the front desk-we were just checking email so that was fine. The restaurant was ok for breakfast (served not buffet but enough food) and ok for dinner which we had to pay for. We did not think it was as overpriced as another no alternative place we stayed at. The band was ok but I too would be upset if they played every night (they were kind of loud). This place is ok for 1 night with its proximity to Cotapaxi National Park and interesting in the frozen in time old hacienda look.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
354 reviews 354 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 103 cities Reviews in 103 cities
277 helpful votes 277 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

This is an ideal adjunct to a day in Cotapaxi National Park, whether for lunch, bed-and breakfast, or full board. I make the last two recommendations with much reservation, but only because we were breaking our journey to Banos for lunch alone. The property is in a beautiful situation, with well groomed gardens decked with modest sculptural ornamentation. The building is opulent for this part of the country and clearly enjoys an aristocratic and distinguished past. The public rooms are most comfortable, and I peeped into a couple of bedrooms for future reference. The were very large and beautifully appointed. I would have no hesitation in making a booking in the future. As it was, our very charming and substantial 3-course lunch was included in out tour so I cannot speak to prices and value. It is disturbing that there have been some negative reports even close to the time we were around. You will have to look into this quite carefully , but my advice is to do so with an open mind, as there are not a lot of places around that offer such an apparent level of comfort.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

I stayed here July 10th, surroundings are beautiful and the place is very nice, however the first night I found a tiny roach on my bed!!! I spoke to the manager but they didn't do anything about it. Luckily in our room there was an extra bed. Overall service is good but manager do not go out of their way to accommodate their customers. I feel that for that the rate that they charge you can find a better place. the restaurant is average and very expensive. I will never go there or recommend this place!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

We came to the Hacienda after reading Lonely Planet's review - it has to be said that the review is now slightly outdated as our stay was OK but not the amazing experience we were expecting.
There is no denying the building is full of charm and character but it is in need of some tlc. We assumed we'd been upgraded as we were put in a huge lovely suite (room 7) - when I thanked the manager she said it wasn't an upgrade and we would be paying the full price. I refused as we had asked for a regular double and she agreed to let us stay in the room for the standard price - so if you find yourself in a room that feels too good for the price, then double check before you unpack!
The waiting staff were lovely and the food was great but a bit overpriced by Ecuadorian standards.
For a hotel that claims to have wifi, the wifi is virtually non existent - if you roam the corridors for long enough you find a signal but it comes and goes. The staff all claim there is wifi everywhere but this is definitely not the case and something that could easily be rectified if they'd put some money into more routers.
They organised a driver to take us to Cotopaxi which was fantastic but there didn't appear to be any activities at all which could be done straight from the Hacienda.
All in all - fine for a night and a trip to Cotopaxi but it didn't live up to expectations set by Lonely Planet and other tripadvisor reviews.

Room Tip: Number 7 is double the price but the biggest suite I've ever seen!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We were disappointed with this hotel. It feels as if it is resting on its laurels - providing poor service at inflated prices - while guests continue to come because of the good reviews it has picked up in the past.

Some specifics.

First, the location is not great. It is within ear shot of a 6 lane motorway built in the last year. And while the hotel building itself is grand and beautiful (if somewhat tatty) it is set in the poor suburbs of lasso - think litter, stray dogs, concrete etc, which really diminishes the pleasure of the approach to the hotel and means that once you've arrived unless you are comfortable shoo-ing away packs of dogs you are unlikely to stroll outside the hotel's (not extensive) grounds... When we arrived we were asked whether we had a car and later on I understood why. Even if you do brave the stray dogs there is no restaurant other than the hotel's own (as to which - see below) within walking distance, and you can't reach the national park or any sights without a car. Despite their claims to activities on their website, when we asked about these on arrival the hotel offered us only two - a driver to take us to the national park ($70) or to the quilotoa lake ($80 and 2.5hrs away on unpaved roads). There are no activities in the hotel - no games room, dvds to borrow, internet room etc (you can get wifi, but only in the corridors). Because of the altitude it is also more likely than not to be cold. The result of all this is that the guests seem to spend their time standing around shivering in the corridors looking slightly lost.

The above wouldn't perhaps have been so bad if the hotel was beautiful and the service fantastic. We know this is a matter of taste, but for us it wasn't. We've stayed in far cheaper hotels in Ecuador with more extensive, colourful gardens (eg Hosteria Pantavi in Iburra province), the room we had was extremely tired, with 70s looking bath fittings and the last guests' hairs still in the bathroom, and the staff were slightly stuffy. Certainly not the usual Ecuadorian warmth and friendliness. They are dressed in old fashioned waistcosts etc but it feels very much form over substance - like the manager believes that because she has an old building if she puts her staff in posh uniforms she needn't do anything else to make her hotel a classy outfit. Oh, and she also clearly believed she needn't spend any money on hearing the place either. It really is very cold.

Finally, the restaurant. What a disappointment. The worst of it was that they play terrible piped music but also invite in the same local band to play exactly the same playlist of panpiped versions of Beatles songs each night - and then offer to sell CDs - to their trapped audience of tourists. I didn't mind the band the first night (although the hotel might have bothered to have turned off the piped music on the sound system while the band were playing) but when they came and played the exact same songs the next night my patience ran out. And just to be warned the prices are ridiculous. Well, why wouldn't they be? The guests have no where else they can go. I wouldn't normally order wine in Ecuador perhaps but the prices at La Cienega made me think it might be OK wine. I paid $9 for a very small glass of the foulest boxed red I think I have ever tasted. The breakfasts are nothing special, despite what they say it's not a full American. Just eggs.

The best thing we have to say about this hotel is that when we asked to check out a night early they didn't make a fuss.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hacienda La Cienega

Address: Lasso Panamericana Sur Km 72, Lasso, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Cotopaxi Province > Lasso
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Lasso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hacienda La Cienega 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colonial property of oldest and majestic of Ecuador, belonged to Marquis de Maenza from Century XVII and his descendents who resided between their walls. Located in the skirts of Cotopaxi with its volcanic stone walls of two meters of thickness. Turned into a beautiful hotel from 1982, when it opened its doors to offer to the visitor, the poetry of a time, the nature of the zone, turns La Cienega an unforgettable memory of The Andes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Cienega Hotel Cotopaxi Province
La Cienega Cotopaxi
Hacienda La Cienega Ecuador/Lasso, Cotopaxi

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