Being asked to pay for a room before I see always makes me suspicious - however because this place was recommened in all the major guides, I presumed this was just a quirk of the owner. However, I was wrong. In Casa Naranja, the owner probably has to demand payment in order to stop her guests fleeing from the place when they see the dismal rooms. When I saw our room, I knew I'd made a mistake, but thought I'd try and make the best of it as I was only here for one night and didn't fancy arguying with the owner to try and get my money back.
Our room was dark and dingy, with very little natural light, rather like a prison cell. The walls were scuffed and dirty and there was no door between the bathroom and the bedroom - so if you're a honeymooning couple, be prepared to learn a lot about each others' toilet habits. Not only that, the main door to the room is practically hanging off its hinges and the owner gives you a padlock to lock it - although I don't think it's much use - one small push and this rotten old piece of wood would probably collapse on the floor. And just to reassure you, from here things went downhill. There was a smell of mildew in the room which increased dramatically once we closed the door. We then spent the evening coughing and sneezing, no doubt because millions of dustmites were eager to take refuge in the relative comfort of our respiratory systems to escape this miserable room. And then the bedside lamp had a broken bulb in it and I nearly cut myself when I tried to remove it. Not that there was any point - all the other bulbs in the room had been removed, apart from one grim low-wattage effort hanging from the ceiling, so I couldn't replace it. There's no TV, so if it's a rainy night in Cuenca (And it rains regularly in the evening), you're going to have to make your own entertainment. Either that or you go and sit in a restuarant until the staff throw you out.
In the morning we noticed there was no soap in the bathroom - not that this mattered, because the final insult came when we tried to shower and despite being reassured by the owner that with a few minor twists and turns we would have the best shower in Ecuador, the only thing that came out of the grubby old pipes was cold water - apart from one very brief scalding blast of hot water that sent me screaming from the bathroom. I then spent the next 20 minutes, naked and wet, trying and failing to get some hot water - I don't think a plumber could have fared any better. In the spirit of most reviews I shall list the pros and cons.
The cons - See above.
The pros - Er...I didn't see any cockroaches.
I would like to have given this place one star, but I suppose that should be reserved for the kind of place you find livestock in your room or a mouse's nest in your bed or a corpse in the bathroom. So I've given it two and I'm going to write to all the guides and ask them to revisit this place and give it the recomendation it deserves...don't go here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The casa naranja is a friendly, arty colonial house located in the heart of Cuenca and is 300m from the main plaza.We have private rooms surrounded by two attractive and quaint indoor patios surrounded by interior balconies in a quiet and beautiful two-storey house.The lodging features full kitchen facilities, very comfortable mattresses, hot water 24 hours a day, luggage safe and motorcycle and bicycle storage.Discounts are available for longer stays.Each room is individually designed and decorated, with appealing blends of traditional furnishing so that your stay will be very comfortable. We offer clean and tidy rooms when new guests arrive.For environmental reasons, we prefer not to change sheets and clean rooms on a daily basis. However, rooms can be cleaned and sheets changed on a daily basis should you wish for free upon request.Admission schedule is weekdays: 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. Please Specify arrival time to waiting for youWeekends and holidays please specify arrival time (between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm) ... more less
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