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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Reach New Heights in Quito

With its 500-year-old plazas, growing New Andean food scene, picturesque cloud forests, and snowcapped mountains, Ecuador's high-altitude capital is a worthy destination for culture-seekers and adventurers alike.


1. Where to Stay

Casa Gangotena offers luxurious accommodations right on the iconic Plaza San Francisco.  

Find a comfortable atmosphere at Café Cultura (from $109), where claw-footed tubs, wall murals, and even a fully grown tree in one room make up the unique décor. Originally the home of one of Quito's oldest families and later the French Cultural Centre, this 26-room hotel also houses a restaurant that attracts locals with its fresh-baked breads and native fruits at breakfast, and English tea service every afternoon.

Get a feel for modern Ecuador at the Le Parc Hotel (from $172), a contemporary glass tower near Parque La Carolina, the city’s largest green space. The 30 cushy guest rooms feature down duvets and Philippe Starck faucets, and there's also an on-site L’Occitane spa and a rooftop bar with spectacular views of the city.

Live like nobility while staying at Casa Gangotena (from $375), a restored Art Deco mansion that opened as a hotel in 2011. Formerly the home of Republican-era presidents and a prominent family, the mansion now offers the most luxurious accommodations in town, with 31 oversize rooms and suites boasting original details, like decorative tin ceilings and painted murals alongside updates like specialized textiles from Osborne & Little.

Published on Mar 1, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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