5 luxury picks in Ecuador

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Despite its small size, Ecuador packs in more amazing experiences than you would expect from a country about the size of Nevada. Ecuadorians like to boast that you can have breakfast in the Amazon, lunch in the Highlands, and dinner in the Coast. This South American gem also boasts some prime luxury locations that will make your experience even more unforgettable.

Napo Wildlife Center

The Amazon rainforest is probably not the first place you associate with 5-star accommodations and amenities, but the Napo Wildlife Center offers just that. A plane, boat, and canoe ride will take you to a beautiful black water lagoon nestled in the middle of one of the most biodiverse places on earth, Yasuni National Park. After you take in the natural wonders, you will be in awe of the large suites and cabins, the gourmet food, and world-class service. The rooms are all thatched in the traditional Kichwa style, but inside you will find all the modern creature comforts, from biodegradable boutique toiletries to plush king-sized mattresses and even a Jacuzzi in the suites. Napo Wildlife Center proves that you can find luxury even in the most remote locations.

Casa Gangotena

Now, off to the Highlands. The capital city of Quito is a living museum with its colonial churches and Republican period houses. It’s the beating heart of the city, home to tradition, history, and culture. In the midst of all this beauty, Casa Gangotena really stands out. Its prime location on Plaza de San Francisco (named after the largest church in the center) makes it an excellent departure spot for a walking tour. But inside, which is what makes this hotel one-of-a-kind. The original structure dates back to colonial times, and it was refurbished in the 1920’s with Art Deco detailing. However, there is nothing old-fashioned about the ample rooms and inviting social areas. The hotel is decorated with an understated elegance that lets you be transported back in time while enjoying all the modern comfort and amenities. Casa Gangotena also boasts a 5-star restaurant, serving the best of international and traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with a modern twist. Casa Gangotena is the perfect mix of history, tradition, and luxury.

Hotel del Parque

Your next stop is in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s heart of commerce. Hotel del Parque is the perfect destination for those looking for an unforgettable experience. This small jewel of a boutique hotel is located on the grounds of the city’s Botanical Gardens and on the banks of the Daule river, so you know you’re in a unique place even before you set foot inside the actual hotel. This historic building was lovingly restored due to its importance to the city’s heritage. Once you step into the bright and ample rooms, your eyes are immediately drawn to the accents of tropical-inspired colors in an otherwise minimalist space. Service is second to none, and the hotel staff are absolute professionals whose one mission is to make your stay perfect. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in Casa Julian, the hotel restaurant located in another colonial-era home ‘across the street’ from the main building. Delight your palate with the flavors of locally grown ingredients and inspired by the customs and traditions of Ecuador’s coastal region.

Las Tanusas

Two hours up north from Guayaquil, in the beautiful beach of Puerto Cayo you will find a unique place to stay: Las Tanusas hotel. This jewel that meets with the Pacific Ocean, features a group of private villas around the main hotel, spa, sauna, pool and a unique restaurant “Boca Valdivia”, this restaurant uses the ancestral knowledge of the pre-Hispanic cultures that once inhabited the land 12,000 years ago to create a unique culinary experience.  Besides its privileged location and unique cuisine this hotel offers a group of curated activities that have been designed to connect with nature. During your stay you can pick between different activities such as surfing with a private instructor, take artisanal fishing lessons, taking a diving or snorkeling tour, go horseback riding along the shore or go on a bird watching tour. Whether you are looking for a vacation away from the city or an adventure in a different place, Las Tanusas will make your stay memorable.

Galapagos Safari Camp

Last, but certainly not least, the “Enchanted Islands.” A unique concept in the archipelago: Safari style adventures in a quiet place, completely close with nature. The Galapagos Safari Camp brings new meaning to luxury in the Galapagos Islands. Its discreet luxury design features ample social areas and its accommodations are welcoming. From its tented camp with luxury tents to family suites, all of your needs will be anticipated by their dedicated staff allowing for truly personalized service to each one of the guests, ensuring that your every need is met to perfection.

Carlos Beate is the Commercial Manager at Andando Tours. Andando Tours offers exclusive traveling experiences, specializing in sailing around the Galapagos Islands and overland along the magnificent Avenue of Volcanoes on the Ecuadorian Andes.

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Comments (4)

  1. Sally Wilson says:

    That last photo is one of the classic travel shots. When you see that picture of that lady sat at that table, looking out over the view, with presumably a delicious local meal on the table, you just can’t help thinking that could be me. There’s room for more at that table.

  2. Jack says:

    How good would it be to send a postcard from Ecuador saying that you’d had breakfast in the Amazon, lunch in the Highlands and dinner on the coast?

    That’s amazing diversity for one small country.

  3. Liz says:

    Hotel del Parque would suit me just fine. Wherever I go I try to drop into the local Botanical Gardens, usually you can get a quick history of the region just by strolling round the gardens. If there’s a guide you can learn about past crops, the indigenous people’s beliefs about herbal remedies and see what trees and plants colonial invaders introduced. A Hotel in the middle of the gardens is brilliant.

  4. Nina Hobson says:

    What a beautiful place! One question – do you think it is family friendly? My kids are young but that doesn’t stop us from travelling to luxury places.
    I’m more interested in general safety, health etc.
    Would love to hear your thoughts.

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