Hotels are often a necessary element of traveling, but ever so often I stumble upon one that could also easily be home.
Tucked into the Ecuadorian countryside just out side of famed market town Otavalo, Hacienda Cusin is just such a place. On this past trip to Ecuador, my friend Katie and I had the luxury of staying there for the night.
An impeccably, yet rustically, restored 17th century estate, the Hacienda is welcoming from the first moment of arrival. Swathed in a lush, colorful landscape the Hacienda harkens back to a time of old, decorated in traditional Andean crafts and antiques. The staff takes care to show guests around and get them acquainted with the grounds which also include horse stables, a garden and a monastery.
Hacienda Cusin is in itself charming down to the final furnishings. The public spaces and private rooms are decorated to feel like home- the main lounge itself a big family room with plenty of couches and fireplaces for guests to curl up to. However, it is the attention to service detail that sets Hacienda apart from other establishments in Ecuador and beyond. Returning to the room after dinner, Katie and I found our fire place lit and the heater turned on. After climbing into bed we found yet another wonderful surprise- a hot water bottle had been tucked unto the blanket to make sure we were kept warm throughout the night.
While Quito is a great, lively and vivacious place to visit, sometimes on vacation you just need an escape. Otavalo and the surrounding towns are the perfect departure and Hacienda Cusin is the ultimate in relaxing destinations.
Hacienda Cusin, San Pablo del lago, calle Chiriboga s/n, Otavalo 100450, Ecuador, +593 6 291 8013, $90-120 per night
How to get here:
From Quito, catch a direct bus to Otavalo from Terminal Carcelen, located in the north of the city. The approximately 2 hour ride will cost you $2 and drop you off at Otavalo’s small bus station. From there take a $5 taxi to Hacienda Cusin. Alternately, you can also ask your driver to drop you off at the fork between the Pan American Highway and Gonzalez Suarez once you are close. The driver will most likely oblige and the taxi ride to the Hacienda from there should only cost about another $2 and save you about 20 mins.