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Termas de Papallacta
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All reviewsthermal poolshot springsgate tourspa packagebeautiful locationmud wraptroutspa areahotel gueststour groupandes mountainsheated floorsstayed longertake advantageday tripmain buildingspent one night here
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Reviewed September 5, 2010

The resort was ok. Rooms were good, the food was average. Although, they state wifi - it wasn't available for iphone. Was surprised how expensive it was to go in the thermal pools, the ones outside the rooms were good, There was a lovely walk, following the river. We thought the hotel was overpriced for what it was.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Distant_Dreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2010

this spa was one of the highlights of a 7 day trip to ecuador with a 17 year old. after a day of hiking and bus riding, the hot springs were exquisite-and the mud wrap and massage a wonderful, if a bit bizarre, experience. the rooms were lovely, staff very solicitous, and the food good. the most memorable part of this hotel was sitting in the pools at 430 am, looking up,and seeing both the southern cross and the big dipper-not many places in the world you can do that!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank gardengoddess54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2010

90 minutes from Quito by car, you are up in the mountains in an idyllic setting, in the clouds, at a magnificent thermal spa. There are hot spring-fed pools nearby each set of dwellings, another series of them open to the public, and then a series of pools available through the spa for a small fee. These include bubbles, jacuzzi jets, and running jets of hot water. The spa features all sorts of massages and mud treatments for reasonable prices. The food was very good, and nobody got sick! After a couple of days accommodating to the altitude there were beautiful hiking trails, horses were also available. Three days here would be ideal.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank skydoc2336
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2010

Termas Papallacta is a hotel, spa and thermal springs set high in the mountains above the small town of Papallacta, two hours from Quito. Many people come here for a day trip to visit the thermal hot springs, but if you stay a day or two, there is an amazing experience to be had as I discovered. I checked into Termas Papallacta and was immediately greeted by extremely friendly and helpful staff who were on hand with information and help when I needed it. You enter the hotel into a large lobby beautifully and tastefully decorated by the Ecuadorian couple who own this place and this is the theme that sticks throughout. The complex is personal, individual and there has clearly been a lot of love poured into its decor and construction. I am shown to my room after walking through a network of wooden walkways which ring landscaped thermal pools available for use by hotel guests twenty four hours a day. This is the first huge advantage of staying at the hotel as oppose to coming for the day to visit the public thermal pools.

Papallacta is 3300 metres above sea level and so some people have been known to experience forms of altitude sickness. Termas Papallacta has resident doctors available 24 hours a day to deal with any symptoms you may experience related to altitude sickness, or any other maladies for that mattter, which is reassuring. There are even physiotherapists on hand if you would like therapuetic treatments as oppose to the spa treatmetns on offer.

My room is spacious with a huge double bed as well as a single and is perpetually toasty due to the thermal heating system used in all rooms that utilises the natural warmth generated from the springs. This is so inviting at these altitudes where the temperature can be quite chilly, especially at night. After settling in, I took a hike into the surrounding hillsides, which is a gentle walk and takes approximately an hour and a half. The trail takes you through some beautiful forests, crossing rivers and streams with an interesting array of flora and fauna including some rather inquisitive llamas and the Polylepis or paper tree, which sheds bark like paper to ward of fungus, mosses and parasites. Some people take extended hiking expeditions up into the mountains using Termas Papallacta as a base and the hotel has a hiking centre where you can organise guided expeditions or even rafting trips. The centre also has good information about the plants and animals of the area and some of the residents you are likely to encounter on your journey.

After my hike, I took lunch in the restaurant located in the public thermal bath area. I enjoyed a traditional Ecuadorian potato and cheese soup followed by grilled trout which was delicious and finsihed off with a nice cup of steaming coffee and layered cream cake with passion fruit coulis. In the afternoon, I asked if I could take a tour of the complex which gave me the opportunity to see all the facilities and room types available. There are various room types with individual features and characteristics which can accomodate anything from couples to large groups. All cabins, bungalows and houses are located in small clusters with their own set of thermal pools just outside the door available for guests twenty four hours per day. I stayed in a standard room which is described above although there are superior versions available that include a private jacuzzi in the bathrooms instead of a bath. There are also bungalows that can be linked to accomodate larger groups that include a kitchen, living room and a log fire as well as the bedrooms and bathrooms. The bungalow bathrooms have a mosaic tiled bath that is beautiful. My personal favourites were the two-storey cabins with living area, log fire, kitchen and master bedroom on the ground floor and a large bedroom with four beds on the first floor including windows looking out into the surrounding hills. The ground floor bathroom in these cabins include a large sunken bath that looked very inviting. All rooms are individually decorated adding that personal touch.

Before dinner I set off for the spa which is a destination in itself. The spa includes thermal pools and jacuzzis just outside of the spa suites where you can relax before and after treatments. There is also a relaxation room with loungers and incense where you can do the same. There are turkish baths, steam rooms, individual jacuzzis and hydro-massage suites in the spa. You must book to use the facilities and no two groups will be mixed in any one facility and so the steam of sauna will be exclusively for you or your group. At the weekends and peak times i.e. evenings, it is advisable to book treatments ahead to avoid disappointment. After changing into my robe I lounged in the relaxation room with a fresh juice before being called for treatment number one, the Andean mud wrap. The staff here are incredibly professional and I am informed that they endure extensive training from doctors that hail from Germany, Argentina and France. I am led into a suite and smothered in warm mud before being clingfilmed and covered in warm towels. I then receive a wonderous facial massage before having mud smeared on my face, which is optional, and left to relax for ten minutes or so. When the mud washes off, your skin feels fantastic and I felt rejuventated. It was time for my massage. The masseuse is careful to ask if I have any problem areas or particular preferences and after I tell her that I would like a strong massage that will help with tension in my shoulders and neck from hours on the computer she sets to work. One hour and fifteen minutes later, she was determined to get rid of a knot in my shoulder, I was completely relaxed and feeling fantastic. I have had many a massage on my travels, but this was up there with the very best.

I took dinner in the hotel restaurant called Sunfo, which takes its name from the plant grown locally that helps with altitude sickness. Dinner was equisite. I devoured a king prawn crepe which oozed a creamy garlic and white wine sauce. This was accompanied by a palm heart, lettuce and onion salad with a dreamy dressing that complemented the crepe beautifully. For dessert, I tasted the fried ice-cream in an orange sauce and I washed all this down with a glass of the house red, a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. The prices are extremely reasonable and the quality rivalled most high end western retaurants I’ve visited.

After dinner I went back to my room and relaxed in the thermal pools outside of the door whilst watching the silhouette of the mountains in the diastance by moonlight. It was a scene of tranquility. After a fantastic night’s sleep, I took breakfast in Sunfo and enjoyed light fluffy pancakes in maple syrup and a good strong coffee before heading to the public thermal pools. These pools are set on two levels with the hotter pools at the top. The very top pool is next to the river and you can relax whilst watching it flow through the hills by your side. Check out is not until 1pm so you have ample time to enjoy the springs before heading off to your next destination. The public baths have locker facilities, towel hire, a snack shop that sells food and batteries, film etc and they provide baskets for your clothes. There are also showers and changing rooms.

I left Termas Papallacta feeling relaxed and very happy, it is the perfect place to unwind whilst taking in the stunning scenery of the Ecuadorian highlands. If you’re in Ecuador treat yourself here, you certainly won’t regret it. It beats Quito by a mile and is a good place to stop en route to the jungle in Tena or Banyos.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank B129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

During my different journeys through Ecuador over many years I stayed a couple of times at "Termas de Papallacta".
Public area:
There are public hot pools where it can be crowded during weekends, because of day visitors coming from Quito. If you want to visit only the hot springs by a day and not staying at the hotel I recommend you a visit from Monday to Friday. The entrance fee is 6 US$ for the day visit and includes the free use of their different, nature style pools. The on side restaurant is a bit expansive and the value is not very good. But you can bring your own food into the site.

Hotel:
They offer different type of accomodation. The standard room mainly comes with private bath, a matrimonial and a bunk bed. Also they offer rooms with yacuzi for a bit more, but by my experience, it is not worth it as you´ll find more beautiful hot springs just outside your door. If you travel in a bigger group or family I´ll recommend you to rent one of their cabins, sleeping up to six (one room with a matrimonial bed and one room for 4) with your own fire place, kitchen and living room. They have free mineral water for drinking inside the rooms too. The main point to the rooms and cabins are the hot termal pools just outside the rooms and cabins settled in beautiful gardens with butterflies and humming birds. You can use them also during the night and it´s very romantic. If you a very lucky you can even see the snow covered top of the "Antisana" volcano.
The only downside for the hotel is the price, every visit it had gone up. I remember my first stay, seven years ago and had to pay 36 US$ for the standard room. At my last visit in november 2009 it was already a 120 US$ for the same room and no extra services were added. No meals are included in the price and the restaurant is expansive for ecuadorian standards.
Still, it is a unique hotel in Ecuador and all I hope is that they won´t raise the prices anymore as it is already a little overpriced by now.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank viajerolatino96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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