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Otavalo
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Reviewed April 21, 2016

From the moment you enter the gates of this 400 year old hacienda you will know you have arrived at a very special place. The pathways, garden borders, and carefully planned vistas combine to make this a truly magical setting. If you have visited great gardens such as Sissinghurst or Great Dixter you will feel at home here .If you haven’t , save the airfare and come here. To walk in the gardens with the sun shining and the sound of birds singing is something that you must experience. We stayed in the former dining room of the original house. The room had 20 foot ceilings with ornate plaster moldings, an enormous and very comfortable bed, French doors leading to a patio with fountains, and a couch and sitting area. Next door was a public sitting room with coffee and tea available, a library with a wide range of reading material and the most incredible view of a 200 year old cedar surrounded by paths and gardens. It was like having your own hacienda. The gardens, beautiful buildings, artwork, music and attention to detail, all make for the perfect setting. Drinks are served in the drawing room just outside the dining room which is furnished with period furniture including a large tapestry on the wall. Fireplaces are everywhere and sitting by the fire with a glass of wine before dinner is just perfect. The food was the best we had in Ecuador, fresh from the garden and perfectly seasoned by a capable chef. I read a review complaining about the amount of food at breakfast. I cannot imagine what they are talking about, as you get 2 courses, one a very large bowl of fresh fruit and muesli or cereal and the other eggs and bacon or ham or pancakes. This is served with fresh rolls and homemade jam. But as beautiful as the Hacienda Cusin is, what makes the place exceptional are the people. Their warmth and hospitality is not something that can be taught in hotel management school. From Daniela at the front desk who is so helpful and always smiling, to our waiter and waitress, who served us with great care, to our driver who warned us to be careful with our bags and made sure we got on the correct bus, we were well taken care of. If you are lucky the owner, Nick, may be there. He is an amazing host, great conversationalist and his love of Ecuador and his hacienda is evident. This is old world graciousness at its best, and we felt very fortunate to have found it. I recommend staying at least 3 nights to get the full enjoyment of this setting. We stayed 2 and did not get to do all we would want. There are lovely walks nearby, horseback riding from their own stables, and visits to nearby towns and lakes. There are rabbits, dogs and llamas at the stable and though the stablemaster spoke limited English and we speak no Spanish he was very happy to tell us that the baby llama was just 3 weeks old. Staying here is a privilege and one that you should not pass up. The hard part is leaving.

Room tip: Each room is unique. Cannot imagine a bad location.
Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank dellswick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2016

Thank you for taking such time to write this sensitive, understanding, detailed, instructive and flattering ('gardens such as Sissinghurst or Great Dixter!') review. REMARKABLE, to say the least!

From an inspired La Familia de Hacienda Cusin, thank you!

Regresa PRONTO!

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Reviewed April 10, 2016

We stayed 2 nights in Hacienda Cusin, and it is indeed a remarkable place with very good service. The staff are very capable, and while overall the place was fine, some minor issues made the stay less enjoyable:
a) The rooms in the monastery are fine, but they are at least a 5-7 minute walk from the main place, and feels very secluded if you are the only ones staying there.
b) DVD: the website mentions over 300 DVD library. When you ask, these are at a cost of USD 3/movie. Not a huge deal (and I think you get popcorn with that :-)) but considering the rates, and the info on the site, having this as an extra was not very professional.
c) Horseriding: once more, the website says 13 USD per person per hour. That in itself is quite steep for Ecuador, but the real price quoted was USD 18/p/h (I guess the tax on top?). Once more, the feeling that extra income was being sought after by the management, and in contradiction to the website
d) Finally: breakfast. This is served by the waiter, and you get to pick from a menu. Overall not bad, but be ready to receive only 2 small pancakes, and if you want more (as children usually do), be ready to pay USD 3,50 for another 2 (small, i insist). Once more, not exactly what you would expect from this type of accommodation, especially combined to dark looks received when juice (a bit more than the small carafe provided) or bacon (yes, we would like more than one silde) was asked for.

Overall: the place is impressive, the staff generally friendly and capable, and the fire in the room is great, but there is this nagging feeling that if the management is very keen to squeeze extra dollars out of you, and that slightly spoils the stay.

Room tip: Definitely avoid the monastery, except if you are keen to walk back and forth for your dinner and breakfast.
Date of stay: March 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank dar_resident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2016

Cusin is always grateful for reviews from its very guests, of whom very few post reviews. Comments can provide perspective, discussion for staff meetings, cause to make change and, frequently, inspiration for a devoted staff.

As with all things via internet, hotels and restaurants, worldwide, the local Government charges taxes. Ecuadorian law imposes 12% VAT and 10% Service Tax, stated throughout Cusin's website, in guest room information, its restaurants' and bars' menus and in your invoice. Not charging such taxes is a criminal offense.

a) I'm glad that your room was 'fine' but your walk from dramatic architecture through extensive gardens was inconvenient. To many, seclusion in this hectic world is privilege.
b) Yes, the charge per video/DVD film is not a huge deal.
c) Horseriding with a guide rates are below average Ecuador rates. Taxes are as you suggest. The Ecuadorian Government understandably seeks the extra income.
d) As per website, DINING page, breakfast is a complimentary 3-course meal, served by waiters. Not bad!
I'm so glad that you found Cusin impressive but disappointed that you blame Cusin management for Government Taxes. Regresa pronto!

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Reviewed April 7, 2016

My daughter's wedding party stayed here. Ecuadorians, Americans, Irish and others. We had meals, hikes, shopping trips, beers, local dancers, flowers, flowers, and flowers. The temperatures in daytime, about 70 and at night about 55. They light a fire in your room overnight which is all you need and wonderful. No TV in the rooms. No phones. WiFi at the gift house, but not in the rooms. You get to see how noisy and distracted our lives have become. And you get to concentrate on friends, family and a wonderful bit of the Universe.

Room tip: All rooms have garden views.
Date of stay: May 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2016

How good of you to take the time to write such a generous and informative review!
I am so glad that you enjoyed your family and the wedding without distraction! Regresa pronto!

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Reviewed April 3, 2016

I don't know where to start a description of this wonderful place. Waking up to llamas outside the window in a grass covered courtyard was the first suggestion of how magical our stay at Hacienda Cusin would be.

The hacienda itself is gorgeous, with exquisite old gardens to meander through. The moss covered stones and tiles, the pools and fountains, and the flowers, grasses, and vegetable gardens all create a beautiful series of gardens to explore. As we were traveling with 3 kids all of whom play squash, we loved the fact that there was a court on the property and racquets in the office.

The service was exceptional from Valeria and Daniela in the front office, to the restaurant servers, to the hacienda's Quiteno driver for 25 years, Angel. As just one example, I had left a backpack at the Inti Nan museum outside Quito on the way to the hacienda, and Daniela from the office went far beyond the call of duty to help me retrieve it. She not only called the museum to arrange for it to be delivered to me upon my return to Quito, but also followed up after I had already left the hacienda and arrived in Quito. When it wasn't delivered as planned, Daniela contacted the person who had it to ensure its delivery the next morning, on a holiday, before I left the region.

The staff and the setting worked together to create a perfect setting to explore the region.

Date of stay: March 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LarkspurNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2016

WHAT a remarkable, detailed and generous review for La Familia de Cusin to receive! Your mention of the staff by name is particularly appreciated. Come back soon!

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Reviewed April 3, 2016

Although I loved the posted pictures on the Hacienda Cusin website, they didn't do the hotel justice. The grounds are lush, with many beautiful spaces to explore, from the vegetable garden used to supplement the restaurant to the densely-shaded richly planted private paths that surround the grounds. Although the Otavalo countryside is beautiful, the hotel itself presented a similar number of opportunities for memorable pics. The site is adorned with beautiful artwork from both local and distant Latin artists (walls, floors, and décor and furniture). Otavalo enjoys cool temperatures; the hotel kept their fireplaces burning and placed toasty hot-water bottles in our bed to warm our spots. The restaurant is good and enjoyable for a cozy night on-site and serves a nice breakfast too. Some of the decor seemed a bit worn, and the bathrooms were basic but adequate. The secluded location is tranquil, but you will need a cab to get into town if you don't drive your own car. In the Otavalo area we enjoyed a hike around a volcanic lake, the classic Otavalo market, and the nearby leather town (Cotapachi?) where we bought some delightful items at very reasonable prices (leather jacket, purse, weekend bags, etc.). Several rose plantations offer tours as an alternative trip. The Cusin fits the locale perfectly and served as the perfect base from which to explore the area. The setting is so relaxing you'll want stay just a bit longer.

Room tip: We stayed in the main house and found that the wifi worked in our room despite the lobby only billing.
Date of stay: March 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ScantTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2016

What a fine first sentence! Thank you. Your warm comments, observations, advice and good sense of the complex are much appreciated.

In addition to a taxi ride to Otavalo is the regular local bus service, which can be met at the end of Cusin's entrance road, toward San Pablo pueblo, about 30 minutes to Otavalo, 5c one way.

Please return and fulfill your wish to stay bit longer!

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