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“Best place for relaxing holidays”

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Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge
Ranked #5 of 28 Otavalo B&B and Inns
Québec
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best place for relaxing holidays”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This was our 2nd stay at this lodge.
We had booked 1 week to enjoy a quiet location at the end of a long journey in Ecuador. We have not been disappointed, nothing had changed. Frank the owner gave us a warm welcome .
Here we die not hungry, portions are big and fresh food in the region.
Despite the lack of electricity we have never had cold, José Maria had constantly put the wood in the wood stove that made it very comfortable chalet although I am asthmatic, I understand so not a previous opinion because this type of stove gives off no smoke unlike open fires encountered often in Ecuador.
Lodge was clean every day.
The place is ideal to gravitate in the region but under-served by public transport, so Frank can lead you to Otavalo. Agencies also organize excursions to Cuicocha and Mojanda. Relax on the balcony of his cabin with a decor also based mountains after a long hike that is the dream.
Host in a cozy cottage located in a valley in the middle of a community at 3000 meters is also extraordinary.
We rented a small 4 x 4 we have therefore not had difficulty climbing the short path that leads to the lodge but this may put off people who are not use to off road driving .
No doubt these people will prefer to leave their car a little further down from the lodge or come by taxi.
We hope to go back to Ali Shungu Top Lodge because it is one of fiew places that you want to go back again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sherblanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alishungu, Owner at Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Thank you, folks, for your kind words! We truly enjoyed your company and admire the energy and enthusiasm you both showed for the Otavalo area! We think you meant to write that “Despite the lack of electric heat, we were never cold…….”, etc. Thank you, again, for your thoughts and many happy travels to you both.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Santiago, Chile
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

A singularly high quality and uniquely positive experience. Ali Shungu gets five stars only because there is no higher score to award it! The lodge sits on a beautiful property above Otavalo in a remarkably tranquil setting. The "cabins" are large, stand-alone high quality homes, very well designed, thoughtfully decorated, and well maintained. Frank is the most hospitable and attentive innkeeper in the world. He arranged our transportation to and from Quito, met us at the Saturday market when we arrived to orient us, and provided us expert advice on a day-hike the following day, arranging the round-trip transportation there as well. The breakfasts and dinners were all sensational. The service - with fires in the cabins in the mornings and evenings, horseback riding, a nice walking trail, and superb attention to every detail - was world class. Peaceful, relaxing, beautiful. The stay at Ali Shungu made the trip to Otavalo worth it, in and of itself, though you should try to plan your stay around the Saturday animal and craft markets as well. Truly extraordinary!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Renee T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My son and I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Frank and Margaret last month while traveling in Ecuador. My son came to them a bit ill and found a perfect place to rest. He was able to sleep and eat wonderfully healthy food fresh from the local farmers. He recovered quickly and Frank generously took us to the markets. Our hosts where a perfect combination of available while giving us our privacy. I found rare gifts in their gift shop to bring to all my family. I would recommend Ali Shungu to anyone. The guesthouses are unbelievably beautiful and spacious. Everything was so clean and the view spectacular! We felt very comfortable and left feeling well rested and well cared for!

Lisa A

Room Tip: All of the guesthouses have beautiful views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuenca, Ecuador
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 20, 2012

My wife and just spent a wonderful week at the Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge, where it can best be described as "paradise". It was one of the most quiet places we have ever stayed anywhere. And the independent houses which we stayed in, were extremely clean and comfortable. Plus, Frank and Margaret, along with their staff went out of their way to make us feel welcomed and well taken care of. And the views from the mountaintop are amazing. We found ourselves sitting for hours, just looking at the views through the big picture windows. Most relaxing and restorative. It is definitely the best place to stay in Otovalo, and perhaps Ecuador. You will not regret choosing Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Fabulous. Wonderful place to end your Ecuador trip in total relaxation and great food. Frank, the owner, took us to the vegetable market to experience first hand bartering and the kindness of the people of the region.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

I would highly recommended the Ali Shungu - 'good heart' Mountain Lodge, the entire experience was perfect. The house I stayed in was ideal for all my needs, and kept warm at all times by the log fire. Jose Maria was aware that I wake at 6am every morning and was ready and waiting to light the fire as I started the day with my cup of tea. The food every morning and evening was absolutely superb, and plentiful, some of the best dishes I had tasted during my whole trip to Ecuador.
I loved my house, its views were ever-changing and spectacular, whether it was watching the sun rise or watching the mists covering the mountains in the evening.
The hosts Frank and Margaritta were very helpful and caring, with wonderful warm, friendly personalities. Even after leaving the Lodge, Margaritta drove me into Otavalo and showed me all the best places to visit, helping me around the famous Plaza De Ponchos, and introducing me to many of the locals. Which was absoutley amazing. As hosts I could not of wished for anyone better. Frank is a wonderful source of knowledge,and his discussions of the history of the land, and the history of the people who lived on this land, made my stay even more magical than I could have imagained. I spent my 4 days on the mountain, meditating and painting. I did not even want to leave to visit Otavalo, and instead changed my plans and spent my 4 days enjoying the space. I also enjoyed a fantastic horse-ride with Jose Maria around the mountain, riding through the local villages.
I spent another 2 weeks in the Otavalo area, it is an amazing place, surrounded by the volcanos and mountains, and lakes,with so many activites and excurisions, all the local people I met were very friendly and approachable.
I would highly recommend the Ali-Shunghu Lodge, it ticks all the boxes!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kuychi87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whidbey Island
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We can't say enough wonderful things about this property! Frank and Margaret were friendly, helpful, generous, and extremely informative. We spent two glorious weeks at the Ali Shungu while visiting a local shaman, Don Joaquin Pineda. When not with him, we were writing books, and we can't possibly imagine a more perfect place to stay, free on interruptions and with a sublime view. The decor is gorgeous, the casitas beyond spacious, the meals healthy and plentiful (we saved enough from dinner for lunch every day). Jose Maria was a primo fire builder and horseback riding guide. Fabian, recommended by Don Francisco (Frank), couldn't hav been more gracious as a taxi driver, and even spent half a day with us hiking around Lake Cuicocha. Margaret's handicrafts are phenomenal. Frank and Margaret are legendary in this community for their work with the Quecha people over the past 30+ years. The head-on view of Mount Imbabura and the walks on the property and into Otavalo were amazing. I have no doubt we will return when we next visit Don Joaquin!

Room Tip: You can't go wrong with any of the casitas.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank judythr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge

Property: Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge
Address: Imbabura, Otavalo 100450, Ecuador (Formerly Rancho Ali Shungu)
Location: Ecuador > Imbabura Province > Otavalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Otavalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Travelers enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Andean Mountains and Culture in our warm and spacious guesthouses, surrounded by 40 acres of private gardens and forests ...all just a few minutes from the world famous markets of Otavalo. ... more   less 

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