Quito, Ecuador's capital, lies on a broad plateau beneath the Andes Mountains. The city consists of two distinct zones with drastically different features. The Old Town brims with colonial buildings and cobbled plazas, while the New Town boasts modern skyscrapers and electric trolleys. A wide range of hotel accommodations exist in the both parts of the city as well as the outlying areas, offering travelers a diverse array of options to select from.
New Town Hotels
The bustling New Town zone is home to most of Quito's upscale accommodations, according to Fodor's Travel Guide. Fodor's lists the Mansión del Angel as one of the most luxurious hotels here, noting its lavish ambiance and classic architecture dating back to the 1930s. Fodor's also mentions the Nü House Hotel for its chic wood exterior and whirlpool tubs in each room. In addition, Frommer's Travel Guide recommends New Town's Holiday Inn Express for business travelers and the Posada del Maple for backpackers.
Old Town Hotels
Once maligned by crime, Quito's Old Town has stabilized over the years to provide quality hotels and improved security for visitors. Frommer's Travel Guide recommends the Villa Colonna, an old colonial mansion that has been converted into a bed & breakfast. Similarly, the El Relicario del Carmen hotel offers lodging in a restored townhouse that was originally built in 1705. Other decent options here include La Posada Colonial next the Plaza de la Independencia and the Radisson Royal Quito in the neighborhood of La Floresta.
Local Eco Lodges
The San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Biological Reserve sits just 20 minutes from Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport in the foothills outside of town. This mountain lodge occupies a former Jesuit monastery that was later transformed into a farm before becoming a hotel. The establishment includes comfortable amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool and a sauna facility. Lodge staff orchestrate recreational activities like bird-watching and horseback riding. Frommer's Travel Guide also recommends another local eco lodge called the Hacienda Rumiloma. This colonial-era hacienda combines rustic designs such as exposed beam ceilings with luxurious guest services, and it's only 10 minutes from downtown Quito.
A number of intriguing attractions lie within an hour or two of Quito. For instance, there's La Mitad del Mundo, which is a small village complex 22 miles north of the city where a monument towers in recognition of explorer Charles-Marie de la Condamine's 1736 mission to calculate the precise equatorial line. Frommer's suggests that backpackers passing through here stay at the Pululahua Hostal. Situated inside a circular crater on the extinct Pululahua Volcano, this hostel provides basic accommodations and convenient access to La Mitad del Mundo. Travelers also flock to the Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve, another regional attraction roughly two hours outside of Quito. This lush nature area has several eco lodges with scenic accommodations and naturalist guides. Frommer's recommends the El Monte Eco-Lodge for its location on the banks of the Mindo River and the Casa Divina Eco-Lodge for its zip-line tree canopy tour.
- drapeau de l'Ã©quateur image by Charly from Fotolia.com