Hotels in Ecuador

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Hotel Patio Andaluz

by Sarah Shuckburgh

Historic colonial house in Quito’s old town.

The Patio Andaluz was once a large family house, grand and spacious, and built round several courtyards. It is one of the oldest colonial buildings in Quito, dating from 1534 when the Inca city was first taken by the Spanish. Privately owned until 1924, the house was then used by the National Association of Public Workers. Like much of the old town of Quito, the house fell into disrepair, but it has now been refurbished, and provides a comfortable and elegant place to stay in the old quarter - nicer than staying in big hotels in the new town. Recently the mayor has clamped down on criminals and street vendors in this area, and now tourists can wander the streets quite safely.

First Impressions:
The Patio Andaluz's position is perfect, yards from the main square, Plaza Grande, and with all the churches, state buildings and galleries of the old town (a World Heritage Site) within a few minutes' walk. The friendly receptionists and waiters are elegantly dressed in a version of traditional Indian costume - floor-length skirts and capes for the girls, olive suits with red trim for the boys. The hotel has a modern, luxury feel, and facilities include a restaurant, coffee shop, tapas bar, spa with aromatherapy and massage, a gym and solarium, and a hotel shop selling local crafts and souvenirs.

The 31 rooms have been recently refurbished, and all have hair dryer, mini-bar, safe and air-conditioning and heating. Beds are huge, and bathrooms have fullsize baths.

However, the bedrooms open off the two huge glass-roofed courtyards, and have no windows that open. We found our room quite stuffy. The only light came from a closed window which looked straight on to a courtyard landing. Without the net curtain, other guests would look right in. The plumbing was noisy and the water in the bath was only lukewarm. And the central courtyard, with its stone floor, sometimes acted as an echo chamber, with the hubbub from the evening singer and the diners' conversations drifting up to the bedrooms.

Eating in, Eating out
Breakfast, served in the largest covered courtyard, was delicious, with plates of native fruit - guava, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, tree tomato, naranjilla, babaco, chirimoya, pitajaya and citron - followed by scrambled eggs. Dinner was also excellent, with Ecuadorian dishes using fresh ingredients which first came to Europe from this part of the world, such as avocado, potato, sweet potato, peppers, beans, pumpkins and squashes, coconut and lupin seeds.

Hotel Patio Andaluz
Garcia Moreno N 6-52 entre Olmedo y Mejia
Telephone: 00593 22280 830
Fax: 00593 22288 690

First published by Travel Intelligence Ltd

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