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Reviewed December 26, 2016

My family was absolutely blown away by Hacienda Cusin. When you step onto the property, you immediately feel transported into 16th century Ecuador (with all of the necessities of modern day, of course!). The decoration is superb -- turquoises, reds, and beautiful murals line the walls of the Hacienda. The property itself is spectacular-- there are stunning gardens and a horse stable. We came with a family of four, and the property kept us busy during the day.

We had a lovely conversation with the owner, who took over the monastery in the 80s and has completely transformed it into the stunning hacienda. The service at the hotel exceeded all expectations. They have special touches such as putting a hot water bottle in each bed every night to keep it warm. There is also a library (including a special movie watching area where the hotel staff brings popcorn) and a game room.

I cannot wait to return!

Room tip: Rooms are large and perfect for families
Date of stay: December 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Ben K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haciendacusin, Public Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2017

WHAT a wonderful, gratifying and understanding review of your visit for La Familia de Cusin to receive! It is so good that you had the time, and curiosity, to explore such a complex place. GRACIAS! Regresa pronto!

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Reviewed December 7, 2016

Stayed for two nights in September. Restored but rustic rooms are charming. Excellent food. Llamas, horseback riding, ping pong table, movies and lots of fun things to do. Excellent service. Pretty exclusive clientele--we met the US and Canadian ambassadors who were having tea by a roaring fire in the common area! They were wonderful!!

Room tip: Private cottages with gardens are available! Excellent restored rooms with fireplaces that are lit each night by staff.
Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank mmuller7753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casamolina, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2016

What a pleasure to read your review! Thank you so much for enjoying and appreciating the many aspects of Cusin, and for taking the time to do so. You gave such joy to the hardworking staff. Regresa pronto!

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Reviewed November 18, 2016

I spent four nights at Cusin and was totally enthralled by its antique charm. The Hacienda has been painstakingly restored and is decorated with beautiful Andean textiles and artwork. The food is some of the best I sampled in six weeks of travelling through Ecuador and the gardens are a delight. There are plenty of activities to choose from but I particularly enjoyed the horse riding through stunning valleys. However, it is the people which really make this beautiful Hacienda special - the staff are charming and nothing is too much trouble, and I hope that the owner and I started a friendship which will continue for many years. This really is THE place to stay North of Quito - you will not want to leave.

Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Isabel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casamolina, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2016


Thank you for SUCH an appreciative, helpful and understanding review of your stay with La Familia de Cusin. The Cusin complex takes time to digest and you certainly did so.

If there was a tripadvisor hotel guest review for the staff to compose, they would have awarded you 5 stars. The owner, an art, Andean textiles and gardening aficionado, who reflects your wish, would have canonized you. Regresa pronto, and for many years!

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Reviewed October 23, 2016

Beautifully done gardens with wonderful common areas to spend time by the fire. Meals were fine, though definitely not the best we had in Ecuador. Friendly service on our quick overnight during a 3-day horse trek (with Ride Andes - see separate review for more on our awesome experience)!

Room tip: Room 10 is an adorable free standing cottage with wood stove located in the wonderful garden
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NellDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casamolina, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2016

Thank you for taking such time to write such an appreciative review. Horseback riding is one of the finest ways to explore such a remarkable countryside, particularly with Ride Andes.

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Reviewed October 18, 2016

I have just returned from a16-day stay at Hacienda Cusin and can't say enough in praise of the professionalism, kindness and generosity of the large staff. I have never experienced such excellent service, or such nice people. With typical Ecuadorian warmth and hospitality, every member of the staff, from gardener, housekeeper, and waiter to the office and reception desk staff, greeted me every day with cheerful friendliness and provided consistently excellent service and fabulous food, a great deal of which is harvested from their extensive organic gardens.

You can read about the history of the hacienda and grounds, for 400 years until the last century a part of one family's large estate, on the website, but the photos don't do justice to the beauty of the gardens or the surrounding area. I woke the first morning to see llamas tethered to banana trees outside my window, the grass "mowers," and to find white calla lilies, foxgloves, orchids, giant succulents, forget-me-nots, bouganvillea, fuchsia (need I go on) growing just outside my door and lining the cobblestone walks which wind through the grounds. The beauty and the quiet make it seem as much a retreat as a hotel.

Cusin is on the outskirts of a small community, San Pablo de Laguna, and a short cab ride from Otavalo, a bustling town of about 50,000 which hosts the largest indigenous market in the world every Saturday when indigenous artisans from villages all around converge on the town and set up their stalls in the Plaza de los Ponchos and for many blocks in all directions. Of course, you have to visit that if you come here! The crafts alone are worth traveling here to see, and if you have a few days, the staff at Cusin will also help you find your way to surrounding artisan villages and towns. Don't miss San Antonio de Ibarra, especially Senor Petosi's gallery on the plaza, and Cotacachi, the leather capital of Ecuador.

But the landscape alone is also worth coming for. If you have only a short time, be sure to take one or some of the walks described in the handout you get from Cusin when you arrive. Just go out of the main wooden gate and turn left down the cobblestone road and within a few minutes find yourself walking through a pastoral Andean valley like a Cezanne landscape. You will probably pass a shepherd or cowherd and their flocks. And of course, for about $10/hour, you can pay a taxi driver (let the desk arrange) to take you up to the other-worldly, mystical, high-altitude lakes Lagunas de Mojanda--and wait for you while you hike and return. In March when I first went, many of the shrubs and plants along the path/dirt road were blooming. This month when I went, there were few blooms but the rainy season was just starting. Our driver, Holger, said he had seen condors above the lake about eight times in the last year. But don't expect to find many people. Both times I went there was only one other taxi waiting for the other two people who were hiking there that day,

Cuicocha is another high altitude lake, nearer to Cotacachi, which is a bit more civilized--part of a national park--with a spectacular path high above the lake and vistas in all directions. But also a nice restaurant with good food hidden in one corner. Again, the staff will arrange a driver for you for about $10/ hour to take you there and wait while you hike and/or eat.

When you read "rainy season," or look at the weather forecast, don't misunderstand and think if it says 100%!chance of rain that it's going to rain all day. NO! It will probably rain or drizzle, but usually for only an hour or two, or maybe you will wake to a glorious day and find that it rained in the night. The "real" rainy season I was told is April and May, when it actually rains for hours or days. But since the temperature is the same all year round, the only change of season comes with the rains which turn the mountain sides all shades of green and makes the flowers bloom--as if there were not enough already! I want to return when the azaleas are in bloom--they are everywhere.

With a discount for a longer stay, I paid about $78/night, before taxes, for a large suite with fireplace and good-sized bathroom. The rate includes an enormous breakfast of your choice--including incredible Ecuadorian coffee or herbal teas from the garden, homemade breads and preserves, and if you ask, plates full of fried plantain, yucca, or green banana--along with the full breakfast of eggs or pancakes and large pitchers of freshly squeezed exotic juices. If you have stayed during the day to spend some peaceful hours reading in the gardens or watching hummingbirds, the lunch menu always has some delicious soup--and a selection of standard sandwiches on homemade bread--each for about $7. The dinner menu generally has a choice of three entrees. You may select one for about $15 or, for $30, get the full dinner menu including wine, soup, salad, entree, and dessert. If you decide to go into Otavalo for lunch, most busy restaurants (a little hard to see because the main seating areas are usually not visible from the sidewalk) a big lunch with soup, drink, and full plate of meat and vegetables runs from about $3-9. My favorite in Otavalo was Restaurant Daniels--$3 for huge delicious meal--go right on a street crossing Calle Sucre three blocks up (toward big church and main plaza) from Plaza de los Ponchos.

Did I mention that every night someone tucks a large, terry-covered hot water bottle beneath your sheets and makes a roaring fire in your fireplace? The temperature, which hovers around 65-72F all year round thanks to the high altitude location almost on the Equator, can dip into the 50s at night. There are three incredibly comfortable communal sitting areas with fireplaces and wifi where you can sink into the large chairs and read your paper online while toasting in front of the large fireplace. (In one, the cozy bar, you can also order a drink or coffee.) One day we found the American ambassador to Ecuador chatting with a couple he had brought to the hacienda. We asked a staff person how he knew about Hacienda Cusin and he said, "Oh, everybody in Ecuador knows about it!"

I was told this trip, my second, by a native of San Antonio de Ibarra (the famous wood-carving artisan village 40 minutes drive north ) that Ecuadorians vacation in Imbabura Province because it is viewed as the country's most beautiful. That wasn't hard to believe! If you are a lover of flowers, or plants, or birds, especially hummingbirds, or food, or gardens, or textiles, or handcrafts, or mountains and magnificent landscapes, you will be richly rewarded and find, as we did, that every day will bring another breathtaking experience-- or discovery of another hidden delight or marvel. The staff at Cusin will help you connect with drivers or direct you to places of interest nearby. And you will return to this little paradise late in the day, and climb the steep outside steps of the hacienda's adjacent monasterio and watch the glorious sunset from above the treetops-- looking out in all directions across the circle of majestic peaks surrounding you: the sacred Mt. Imbabura, Cotacachi wreathed in cloud, Fuja Fuja, Cusin and Cayambe.

Room tip: There is at least one great family suite with adjoining room for children.
Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank 50aray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casamolina, Guest Relations Manager at Hacienda Cusin, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2016

Thank you, thank you for such a remarkable, detailed, personal and sincere review. All the staff are thrilled and energized by the memories of your stay and your opinion of it. How can you not return?

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