We arrived here at the end of a long day, expecting the same warm (in both senses of the word) welcome that we had received the day before at Hacienda Cusin. But this place had the feel of a baronial mediaeval fortress - thick stone walls, long dark passages, oversized cold rooms. We were shown to our bedroom by two older male staff members (who would not leave until we gave them tips). Our room was huge with three beds - and, thank goodness, a fireplace and space heater. The fire, however, took at least an hour to get started through the efforts of one of the bellhops, a maid and finally, my travel mate and me. On the way to the dining room, we planned to have a drink in the bar - but found an uninviting overlit room, television blaring and smoke billowing from a lone occupant's cigarette. In the dining room, we seated ourselves as near as possible to the fireplace, but the fire was merely embers and added neither warmth nor ambience to the dark and almost vacant room. Dinner started with a very good pumpkin soup and then went downhill from there - overcooked and tasteless grilled trout, along with overcooked vegetables. The next morning, after quite a good breakfast (how can you go wrong) - in another cold dining area, we arranged to go riding. This experience was in direct contrast to our beautiful ride the day before through pastureland and mountains at Hacienda Cusin. Here the horses were badly equiped and the ride took place along garbage-strewn, paved roads with lots of traffic.
Although La Cienega has some interesting history as well as attractive gardens and a lovely chapel, as a hotel it needs to up the ante on warmth, ambience, food and attention to detail. It is probably best suited to large groups who can create their own ambience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the oldest colonial properties in Ecuador, this 300 year old hacienda is located in the skirts of Cotopaxi, it's made of volcanic stone walls of two meters of thickness. Turned into a hotel in 1982, when it opened its doors to offer the visitor the poetry of a time and the nature of the zone, La Cienega is an unforgettable memory of The Andes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Cienega Hotel Cotopaxi Province
- La Cienega Cotopaxi
- Hacienda La Cienega Ecuador/Lasso, Cotopaxi