Everyone has different criteria for choosing a honeymoon destination. Like most travelers, couples want to feel inspired. An ideal destination will activate their wanderlust and give them a chance to experience different cultures in a romantic setting surrounded by charm and beauty everywhere they look. For this reason, there is possibly no better place than the capital of Ecuador.
Visiting Quito on your honeymoon means exploring one of the first Cultural World Heritage Site ever declared so by the UNESCO. The experience can be incredibly romantic and exciting, even more so when you stay at a hotel with a rich cultural history of its own, located right in the heart of the Historic Quarter. Lucky for you, Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel is at the top of every travel authority’s list of the best hotels in Ecuador.
In this blog, we offer an overview of the reasons to plan an Ecuador honeymoon as we break down why Casa Gangotena is one of the best honeymoon hotels in the world!
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Honeymoon Hotel: A Prime Location, Central to Everything
Being one of the best hotels in Ecuador has a lot to do with location. For starters, the city of Quito is an ideal spot from which to travel to other parts of the country and, for that matter, the Andean region. Then, there is the privileged location of Casa Gangotena, centrally located in Quito’s Old Town.
Beyond Quito and Ecuador
From Quito, you can visit nearby cloud and rainforests by going just outside the city, to the northwest corner of the Metropolitan District of Quito, where the Chocó Bioregion is host to Mashpi Lodge, a luxury ecolodge that hosts an important research facility dedicated to the conservation of Mashpi Reserve and the Ecuadorian Chocó.
Ecuador’s capital also allows for easy access to the world-renowned Galapagos Islands. These “Enchanted Isles” are located in the Pacific Ocean, about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the mainland. The archipelago offers plenty of sustainable tourism experiences within the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.
Metropolitan Touring’s fleet of award-winning expedition vessels offers you a luxury cruise experience through different regions of the Galapagos with multiple guided activities at various visitor sites. For a more land-based option, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel on Santa Cruz Island combines the land exploration you might expect from an expedition hotel with the option to enjoy a sailing experience to nearby islands in the Galapagos National Park aboard the hotel’s own Sea Lion Yacht.
In Old Town Quito
Seasoned travelers know each city’s historic center has a unique flavor, but when it comes to Quito, you’re looking at the most well-preserved historic quarter in all of South America. Here, you will find several important colonial squares and plazas. The standout among them: the emblematic Plaza San Francisco.
About a 40-minute drive from Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport—and mere minutes from many of Quito’s popular points of interest—, Casa Gangotena sits along the southwest corner of the renowned San Francisco Plaza. The boutique hotel is essentially a restored mansion that once belonged to a distinguished family involved in many of Quito’s most important and historical decisions.
Quito’s Historic Center is also home to many breathtaking colonial-era churches. There are three in the hotel’s immediate vicinity: the religious complex for which the square is named; La Compañía de Jesús Church, a favorite for many locals and visitors; and the Santa Clara Monastery. Architecture and art connoisseurs would have a feast spending some time here on their honeymoon in Quito!
Speaking of which, museums also abound in this part of the city, and our hotel enjoys close proximity to several. Among them, are the Fray Pedro Gocial Franciscan Museum, within the San Francisco Church and Convent complex, and the Pre-Columbian Art Museum House of Praise.
As if all this weren’t enough to make Casa Gangotena the best honeymoon hotel, there is of course the charm of the Plaza itself, with its stunning views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.
The Wonders of Plaza San Francisco
This plaza is host to one of the largest and most popular religious visitor sites in downtown Quito, the San Francisco Church and Convent. The church offers weekly and daily mass, and the convent is still inhabited by Franciscan priests. At ground level, just below the stone steps of the entrance, you’ll find small souvenir shops along with cafés overlooking the square’s pigeon-covered cobblestones.
The sidewalk directly in front of San Francisco Church is lined with vendors of as many traditional wares as you can think of. Many of these are made by hand by artisans whose passion and talent for the craft have long been passed down from one generation to the next. There are also a few candy stores selling traditional quiteño sweets—entirely unique to the city—, as well as places to sample and purchase the finest Ecuadorian chocolate.
Along one side of the church, next to the hotel, the southern stretch of Cuenca Street is filled with places selling all the spices and herbs quiteños have used for centuries to prepare traditional dishes, infusions, and home remedies. This is also where the hotel sources many fresh ingredients for its restaurant, and what makes their Cocina Mestiza cuisine so tasty and popular.
On the opposite side of the plaza, you’ll find apparel shops, of both clothing and shoes, and even Panama hats (which, in fact, originated in Ecuador)! If all this is what you’ll find within the immediate surroundings of your hotel, imagine what you’ll discover in the rest of the Old Town, the city, and the country. Can you picture a better hotelat which to spend your honeymoon?
Casa Gangotena’s Cultural Heritage
Being central to everything of interest in Quito, the Highlands, and Ecuador is one very good reason why Casa Gangotena is the best hotel for your honeymoon. Besides location, there is nothing like staying at a place that has seen so much history and is filled with incredible art; a cultural hub in and of itself.
The Gangotena name has been prominent in Quito since the 18th century. A group of wealthy businesspeople with a keen eye for opportunity and a desire to improve the lives of quiteños, the family was mostly made up of academics, diplomats, and politicians.
Yet perhaps the most notable of them was Alfredo Gangotena, an early 20th-century poet who wrote in Spanish and French. His work is of the most nationally and internationally recognized among Ecuadorian writers.
With a love for the arts and high-end tastes, the Gangotenas held many artistic soirees in their day and decorated their home with large oil paintings and lavish European furnishings. A few suites in the hotel still retain restored frescoes on the walls, and the original stonework across the main entrance depicts the Gangotena family crest.
Staying in a restored colonial mansion that keeps its spirit alive will make your honeymoon in Quito truly one of a kind. You can read more about this grand house and the notable family that inhabited it in this blog.
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A Curated Experience
At Casa Gangotena, we aim to make guests’ experiences a blend of historical grandeur and modern comfort. Staying at the hotel and exploring its neighborhood allows you to step back in time and still witness modernity unfold around you. Most importantly, we strive to make each guest feel at home.
The renovation of the Gangotena family home into the luxe boutique hotel it is today was intended to bring back to life its former glory in every detail the brothers Russo (notable architects of the time) imprinted into the building’s French-and Italian-inspired Art Deco-style interiors when they reconstructed it after a fire in 1914. It also took into consideration all the necessities a modern guest would require of a premium hotel.
Spaciousness is a given in any mansion, but the open design and domed ceilings, with some spaces featuring the original ornate tin ceiling tiles, give it a very particular feel as you make your way around the hotel’s interior spaces. Sound-proof windows, elegant blackout curtains, and heavy wooden doors provide quiet and privacy.
The mixture of styles—neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and contemporary—brought together in the Italian designers’ reconstruction from the last century, and the present-day renovation that took place not too long ago bestowed the hotel with many delightful spaces that just fit like a glove for a Quito honeymoon.
There is the stunning Crimson Room, the orchid-filled Patio, the refreshing Rooftop Terrace (with a fantastic 270° view of the Historic Center), the bright Restaurant, the timelessly elegant Bar, and the lush Garden with the original stone fountain at its center. It is no wonder Casa Gangotena is a genuine, world-class Relais & Châteaux-endorsed hotel experience!
Don’t let the opulence of our ornate façade and elegant interiors fool you: we focus on warm interactions with our guests. While we certainly expect you to understand a little about the house’s aristocratic past, it is the welcoming character of the former residence we most aim to preserve, through an unrelenting dedication to quality service.
Casa is Spanish for house, and our endeavor is to have our house be your home throughout your stay with us. From our staff’s cheerful disposition to the deep connection to our community, we keep it like family inside the hotel. Casa Gangotena is undoubtedly an emblem of quiteño hospitality.
Our attentive concierge is always ready to arrange for anything you may want to do, see, and taste; just about everything can be arranged as you like it. Come relax in the utmost comfort; enjoy premium service, facilities, and accommodations; and delight in exquisite food as you live an idyllic honeymoon in Quito.
Experience Quito Like a Local
Part of Casa Gangotena’s mission is to preserve the spirit of Ecuadorian tradition, which is evident in every aspect of staying at the hotel. From the restoration of the original design of the house and signature quiteño hospitality to our restaurant’s gastronomy, where our Cocina Mestiza shows its respect for national cuisine by highlighting Ecuadorian ingredients, flavors, and techniques.
When you stay at our house, we want you to know our people and their way of life. Lifestyle in San Francisco Plaza flows differently than how it does outside of the Historic Quarter. Slightly offbeat compared to the urban ambiance of modern Quito, this neighborhood continues to live in the ancestral traditions of the Old Town.
We can arrange private tours, though we’ve customized a selection of the most immersive experiences just for our guests, completely free of charge and private, outside of the tourist schedule.
There’s an activity in store for Casa Gangotena guests each day of the week. Each one is focused on providing as much insight about Ecuadorian and quiteño culture as possible.
- On Mondays, we cook ceviche with our chef, seafood- or vegetarian-style, as we learn the story behind the Ecuadorian version of this ultra-popular dish.
- On Tuesdays and Saturdays, we explore the mansion as our host tells the story of the Gangotena family and how Metropolitan Touring made their home into a quintessential boutique hotel.
- On Wednesdays and Sundays, we learn the history of Old Town Quito from the vantage point of our rooftop terrace, as we admire the mountainous horizon of the city’s location on the Equator and the colonial skyline of the Historic Center.
- On Thursdays, we taste quiteño hot chocolate while learning about this globally popular concoction and its origins in Ecuador while tasting some of the finest chocolate from the Amazon and the Coast.
- Oh Fridays, we stroll along the streets of Old Town Quito at dusk, listening to the city’s legends told by our host, on our way to Plaza Grande (Independence Square) and back.
With everything Quito and Casa Gangotena have to offer, why not make them the hosts of your wedding? Choosing Casa Gangotena as the venue for a destination wedding in Quito will not only make for memorable nuptials but also the perfect opening for an Ecuador honeymoon.
Find out everything you can host inside our hotel!
As a favorite event venue among locals (with our very own event planner), our hotel has all you need to host your destination wedding! Our team can even arrange for anything you may require outside of our offered services. After all, as one of the best honeymoon hotels, we can certainly host your wedding and make it the best. Find all the details in this blog!