We stayed here while exploring the Cayumbe area between Quito and Otavalo in July 2007. Guachala is the oldest Spanish hacienda in Ecuador with an illustrious list of presidents and dignitaries as past owners and guests. Built around 1580 it is a grand old plantation style estate with ecclectic rooms and Andean decor.
We enjoyed walking the grounds and discovered a large recreation room containing a pool table, computers, conversation areas and library with Time magazines dating to the 1960s. Inside the chapel is an extensive photographic history of the hacienda and the area-- fascinating!
They didn't have a regular matrimonial (double) room available/ready. Even though we showed up without notice or reservations, they gave us room "M" with over 1000 sq feet and 4 beds for the same rate. The fireplace in the center of the room was stocked with eucalyptus kindling and a large basket of firewood. Making a fire was romantic and using it to stay warm was reminiscent of the hacienda's more glorious days.
Unfortunately, this magnificent place has seen its better days... paint is peeling, windows cracked and ceilings are falling down. I believe the current proprietors have done alot to make it this inhabitable with charming rooms. But, I think it would cost a fortune to restore its grandeur.
I recommend staying here for the historical significance and the serenity, just don't expect any posh. Also, the dinner and breakfast we had here was wonderful and reasonably priced.
Just after leaving the hacienda heading north toward Otavalo, stop at Quitsato-- the official middle of the world (yep, another one). We heard a wonderful presentation by Christobal of Hacienda Guachala which is hosting a group of geologists and archeologists studying the phenomenal ruins atop the adjoining mountain.
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- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Guachala Hotel Quito