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“OK but the property grounds are the only highlight”

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Hacienda Abraspungo
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Riobamba
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Here is the thing with the Abrascpungo: This is an example of an owner that knows he has the only really nice hacienda in the entire area. He also realizes that Riobamba is conveniently located about halfway between Quito and Cuenca. It is therefore the most logical spot for those en route to either Cuenca or the Devil's Nose Railway. There is no other reason to stay here more than one night. And he takes full advantage of it which is why the property is virtually always full even when it seems empty. Sadly, many people only see this beautiful piece of property in the darkness. Try to arrive by 4PM since you probably be departing early and take advantage of an hour or two of serenity, especially if the sun is out and you can see the volcano in the background.

We've noticed that almost all the reviews seem to be those heading south from Quito or on their way to nearby attractions which there really aren't any except the Devil's Nose Train or perhaps Banos and the surrounding cloud forest area (worth seeing BTW). We offer a perspective from south to north. Having completed both an Amazon trip and a Galapagos cruise, we were seeking to explore Ecuador by private guide for about 5 days. As potential expatriates we decided to explore Cuenca for a few days to see what all the hubbub is about regarding its status as "the number one retirement haven in the world" several years running by International Living. (that is a separate review). Rather than fly back to Quito, our company booked us on a drive north from Cuenca back to Quito that would feature a trip on the Devil's Nose Train, thus the Abraspungo is the best choice for evening lodging. The drive through the Andes Region is absolutely beautiful with various opportunities for spectacular scenery photos, some very interesting indigenous folks living in towns that look unchanged since the Inca days and perhaps a chance to see llamas.

It's about a two hour drive from the beautiful town of Alusei to Riobamba. When you finally arrive in the Riobamba area, the world shifts from serene rural tranquility to developing world construction hell. About 50% of this entire city is under construction. There are stretches where it appears a bomb was dropped on the area and what is left is the dusty charred remains. Unlike organized American construction, Ecuadorian construction sites are dusty, can stay untended for weeks or months and have virtually no barriers, road signs or anything else that might warn you to slow down, close the window or avoid the endless potholes created by the worksite. This went on for about 5 miles. We finally approached the hub of the city that is actually built. Compared to Cuenca or Quito, it has absolutely zero appeal. The traffic circles are chaotic; there are very poor looking indigenous and stray dogs running all through the main streets and the outdoor market looked more like Afghanistan than Ecuador to us. Since our guide has a high degree of pride in everything Ecuadorian, he insisted we stop at the main square which consisted of a not very photogenic old church, dozens of pigeons and some beggars. After the beauty of the Andes region, the eyesore of Riobamba came as an unwelcome surprise

After getting the un-scenic tour, you pull into a dirt driveway and enter a welcome oasis of beauty. The grounds are large and spacious with beautiful gardens, numerous flowers, and a small farm with chickens and some goats. Birds are everywhere. There is a reading room with a pool table near the lobby and a small bar near the restaurant. As you walk to your room you will pass a local vendor selling typical Ecuadorian artifacts and clothing. There are heat lamps which is good because at 12,000 feet, it can get cold at night. Apparently all the rooms are different. Ours had a wonderfully relaxing hammock on a porch with table and chairs for relaxing. The room itself was large but very poorly designd: the shower has absolutely no door and no place to hang any towels. The water pressure is average and there are virtually no amenities to speak of. Our room was set up like a suite with a living room that had a couch and two chairs. The bedroom is small and had virtually nowhere to store anything. The lack of space meant keeping the suitcases on the couch in the living room but for a short stay I guess this is no big deal.

Regarding the restaurant: Perhaps we had an off night since others have described it as better. They told us that a table had already been reserved for us at any hour we chose but when we got there they had no clue and spent 15 minutes trying to find anyone that could translate our names into Spanish./ Once finally seated, the menu is very large and sounded promising, featuring meat, seafood and chicken dishes of every type including large appetizers and an extensive wine list. We ordered an seafood appetizer platter that arrived cold. The taquito like egg rolls with crab meat tasted like a microwave Hot Pocket from the local Super Maxi and the breading on all the seafood was stale and flavorless. The main dishes were not much better and the staff obviously can't keep up with the always full restaurant. I ate about three bites of my also cold seafood dish that taste like it was made entirely from canned sauces. Sadly, the food is extremely overpriced for Ecuador and you can either pay it or go to bed hungry since the property is nowhere near anything. In 16 days, this was the ONLY meal in all of Ecuador that I would say was terrible. And the food in Ecuador is fresh, inexpensive and flavorful.

The next morning, although breakfast is included, we stuck to toast and a bit of fruit, also subpar by Ecuadorian standards. With a 7:30 AM departure deadline looming, we had asked the front desk to send someone for our bags since the walk was very long and we had 16 days of clothing. After 15 minutes, we gave up and walked the bags back half way until someone finally came running and attempted to relieve us. There are no phones and the power went off in our building for no apparent reason at 5:30 PM although it did come back on in about 10 minutes.
To sum it up, the owner clearly knows there is no other place worth staying in Riobamba and he has virtually locked up all the tour bus business 365 days a year so I would assume he will not strive to make the service or food the same level as a 5 star hotel. But the grounds are beautiful and can be peaceful after a long day in transit. My suggestion would be if you are on a private tour or by yourself, arrive in the late afternoon and try to enjoy the peacefulness of the property. But don't expect anything more other than an average bed to sleep in.

Room Tip: you will not have a choice because they are always full
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rodi2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 - 168 of 386 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

We stayed 3 nights in this delightful retreat outside of Riobamba. It was a very pleasant stay: beautiful setting amidst expansive gardens in very nice rooms. The tastefully restored buildings included fireplaces, art, old and new photography and comfortable sitting and reading areas. Excellent restaurant and very friendly, helpful staff. We relied only on public transportation (including taxis) to get to the hacienda and to sighsee in the area. Riobamba turned out to be an interesting and very pleasant city to walk in and explore. Abraspungo is definitely worth staying at more than one night.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

We stayed in the Ilinizas room which was deluxe, very spacious and had a large bathroom with a jacuzzi. No heating but plenty of warm bedding. Riobamba is often cold and rainy and doesn't have much to see. Main reason to stay there is because it's the halfway point between Quito and Cuenca and it's a couple hours' drive to where you take the Devil's Nose train. I was surprised that the hotel is not more eco-friendly since most lodging in Ecuador is going in that direction.

Room Tip: The Ilinizas room was very nice but you might request a room with a fireplace.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank LisaAnn61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Stayed here for 3 nights in August and it was very comfortable and nice and relaxing. Rooms were nice although in my room there was no heating or cooling. In friends room they had a fireplace. So I was pretty cold in mine.

Restaurant was nice and food was good although not a lot of variety for breakfast.

Had reasonable wifi - not as good in rooms but wifi in public areas worked better.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank PabloInkosi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Like most people, we stayed here just the one night en route to the Devil's Nose Train Ride. There had been a mix up with our booking (not the hotel's fault - but the tour operator's) but the very nice man on reception found us a room at the last minute once the tour operator agreed we could stay here after all. We arrived shattered after dark so barely had time to appreciate the lovely, large room we were put in. The rooms are arranged in little blocks with small shared sitting rooms and open fires. Bathroom was huge as well.

Food in the restaurant was very nice and breakfast was good also. The next morning we had a chance to actually see where we were staying and it was very pretty - shame we couldn't have stsyed longer. All the staff were friendly and helpful and it was well worth us pushing to stay here rather than at the Andaluza which was the alternative.

Room Tip: Santa Cruz room is huge with large picture windows.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OxonBadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

Stayed one night here, not enough really. Very pretty place, great rooms with own fireplace. Fantastic restaurant too. Very nice place to stay before doing the Devilsnose train....Shame they dont let you sit on top of the train anymore...Someone had a nasty accident, they lost their head you could say...ouch! Made great cocktails in the bar too....try a caipirinha....they are good!!!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jan497
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

Based on a one-night stay, we found this a relaxing stop on a hectic schedule.

The hacienda sits within a walled compound with pleasant gardens. It's outside of town.

The staff was very friendly, the room was large and we had a good dinner in their restaurant.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tlc69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda Abraspungo

Address: Km. 3 1/2 Via Riobamba - Guano, Riobamba 060150, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Chimborazo Province > Riobamba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Riobamba
Price Range: $128 - $151 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hacienda Abraspungo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The wonderful Hacienda Abraspungo is located at 2,754 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is named after a glacial valley which is situated between the Chimborazo Volcano and Carihuairazo, in the exact centre of Ecuador.Hacienda Abraspungo, with its comfortable, charming and high level installations offers a personalized service in the ideal spot to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Andes. The architectural style found here offers the best of traditional colonial design often used in the ancestral mansions and haciendas of Ecuador. The Hacienda is adorned with old photographs and illustrations of Andean landscapes, which today constitutes as a testimony to eras gone by. The antiques on display in the social areas give a colonial flavour as well as a feel for the pre-Colombian cultures of the region. The visitor can truly appreciate the richness of the natural resources offered by the Chimborazo Province and Ecuador in general. Each room takes its name from one of the mountains of Ecuador. That mountain is shown in the photographs displayed within the interior design in the room. The owner’s commitment is to create a working environment which allows sustainable growth, enhancing positive image and generating an overall feeling of trust between the working force, the clients, and the community, aiming to become a point of reference within the tourist industry of Ecuador and the city of Riobamba. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Abraspungo Hotel Riobamba

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