In the heart of Cuenca’s lovely and UNESCO- listed old colonial quarter, with rooms opening off a central covered courtyard, and a curving sweeping staircase, the hotel exudes old world ostentation which is almost, but not quite, over the top. The republic-style architectural design of the outside is matched by the classic elegance of the interior, with stained-glass windows, crystal chandeliers and a new, glass- covered conservatory bringing light streaming into the heart of the building from the walled garden beyond.
Rooms are lavishly furnished in period style, with huge comfortable beds, and wall hangings, covers and fabric sourced from top Ecuadorian designers. The central hall - all carved statues, tropical plants and private alcoves with leather sofas - leads out into a garden heady with the scent of jasmine. The friendly staff are discreet and prompt, and will give insider tips on where to go and what to see in this exciting city.
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Sipping a freshly made tropical fruit smoothie for breakfast in the garden as humming birds flit from flower to flower.
No gym on site though there’s plenty of walking to be had visiting the UNESCO–listed colonial centre, one of the most beautiful – and safe - in South America.