|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.
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
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