Quito’s colonial quarter is less than an hour’s drive ($20-30 in taxi) from its new out-of-town airport, so it makes sense to drop by, even if you only have a morning or afternoon to spare. Most visitors will spend a night in Quito before flying onwards to the Galapagos, Amazon, Pacific coast or another Andes attraction — and there’s no better ambiance than the cobbled streets and treasured architecture of the historic center.
Most Quito’s colonial hotels are based in original buildings, or are faithful reconstructions (Quito has endured powerful earthquakes) feature impressive open central courtyards, as was the tradition for wealthy Spanish settlers. This style is perfect for a series of guest rooms on multiple levels around a source of natural light, and for a restaurant bordered by large stone pillars and upper-level balconies. But just as valuable are views of the vicinity.
A house built on the ruins of Quito’s 1698 earthquake is now a unique hotel within easy walking distance of all Historic Quarter highlights. Comfortable rooms and suites, some with fireplaces, occupy floors around an attractive courtyard. Below the ground, an arched subterranean tunnel was originally an Inquisition jail, but today provides the restaurant with a memorable ambiance. An original 1747 fresco painting graces the stairway.
An attractive 20th-century hotel in the Historic Quarter, facing a large square and impressive colonial church. The top floor restaurant’s large windows boast wide views of illuminated buildings by night and Panecillo hill by day. A variety of modern, bright and comfortable rooms (or suites with balconies) are powered & heated by eco-friendly rooftop solar. Attentive service and generous buffet breakfasts make this a popular mid-range option.
Constructed in the 16th century, this distinguished colonial property in the heart of the Historic Quarter features a magnificent vaulted restaurant atrium, with arches over a succession of stone pillars. The diverse rooms feature air-con, fine woodwork, and classical elegance. A top floor solarium lounge complements multi-level balcony seating and a smaller atrium with a variety of plants, above a cozy, candlelit bar set within the original stone walls.
A unique colonial renovation on the edge of the Historic Quarter, well-placed for views of Panecillo hill. The six rooms are cozy and comfortable with character, balconies, and a variety of layouts. A grand skylit lounge full of antiques, paintings, and carved art, just a stone’s throw from several museums, ensures guests emerge in history. The charming restaurant is on a covered roof terrace, heated by a stove.