Casa Gangotena is situated in a newly restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco in the heart of the Old Town of Quito, Ecuador. The three-story hotel harbors 31 rooms in a showcase of eye-catching style, contemporary design, antiques, furnishings, fine dining, modern technologies and quintessential comforts. A former family home, the renovated space retains its intimate “casa” stately elegance.
The award-winning hotel invites its guests to explore and to relax, whether in the dining room, glassed-in patio, garden redolent with the perfume of native flowers, wood-paneled library or atop its panoramic third-floor terrace. Casa Gangotena enjoys an incredible location right across from central Plaza San Francisco, just a few blocks from the gold-laden Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesús, the City Museum, the Plaza Santo Domingo, the Presidential Palace, cultural centers and the bustle of Quito’s Old Town and historic quarters.
In 2019, Casa Gangotena became the first hotel in Quito to join the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association, a network which comprises the most outstanding, inspiring, and one-of-a-kind hotels and restaurants in the world. Casa Gangotena was awarded this distinction per its commitment to preserving rich and diverse cuisines; a passion for exhibiting Ecuador’s beauty; and an emphasis on creating a more humane world.
Casa Gangotena History
Casa Gangotena occupies a pivotal place in Quito’s historic heart: the southwest corner of Plaza San Francisco. Its history stretches back to the time of the Incas. According to the early Spanish chroniclers, in the 15th century the square featured several Inca temples, one of them situated at the site of the present house. The large Plaza was used for centuries as a giant open-air market or “Tianguiz” for indigenous traders from several regions.
In 1534, once the Spanish conquistadors arrived into Quito, the Incas’ northern capital, their religious orders soon set out to convert the hearts and minds of the local population. The Franciscan order occupied the whole western hillside of the ample square.
Due to the importance of Plaza San Francisco, throughout the Colonial period and the following centuries, several wealthy families built their homes around it. The mansion that occupied the hotel’s present site later became the residence of several Republican-era presidents. Unfortunately, in 1914 a calamitous fire destroyed much of the house.
The historic mansion was completely rebuilt in 1924 by its owners, the Gangotenas, one of the capital’s leading families, whose members have included important industrialists, politicians, landowners, academics and even poets. The Gangotena family owned the stately home until the mid-2000s when it was bought to convert into a world-class boutique hotel. In 1978 Quito was declared the first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Site city on the basis of its having the largest and best preserved Historic Centre in the Americas. A few years later, Casa Gangotena was included in the city’s cultural heritage inventory.
Sustainability & Community at Casa Gangotena
In 2009, the hotel, in conjunction with neighboring Casa del Alabado Museum, began its involvement in several community projects, such as the award-winning Heritage Guardians initiative, which focuses on neighborhood integration, promoting the value of heritage and traditions, and at the same time establishing ‘routes’ for visitors to meet locals and experience their daily rituals and activities.
The hotel is fitted with sustainable features that include solar panels to lower energy use for heating water and electronic room keys. Movement sensors are also employed throughout the service areas of the building. The hotel separates its waste and participates in local recycling projects.
Accommodations at Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena’s rooms, with both double and king-size beds, are arranged across all three of its floors. Due to the property’s heritage character, rooms vary in size, although they are all comfortably ample, averaging 377 square feet in area. All benefit from the mansion’s elegant tall ceilings which draw the bright Andean sunlight into their interiors.
The room decoration plays with rich carpets, towering window frames, flowing curtains and Art Deco furniture such as desks, armoires, tables and armchairs. All the rooms are air-conditioned, carpeted, non-smoking and sound-proofed, with private bathrooms (nearly all with separate bathtubs and showers), and with telephones, intelligent key-cards, in-room safe boxes, wireless internet and flat-screen TV sets with international cable channels.