Restored Boutique Hotels Open In South American Historic Districts
PHOTO: Hotel Carlota offers proximity to Quito’s historic district. (Photo by Brian Major)
Two historic South American cities are welcoming new boutique hotels in historic districts. The 12-room Carlota Hotel opened July 12 in Quito, Ecuador, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the world’s best-preserved colonial districts. Meanwhile Casa Wirth, a five-bedroom inn located in colonial-era mansion, opened this month in Salto, Uruguay, whose history dates back to the 18th century.
The Carlota Hotel is located in a renovated home built in 1905. Quito Tourism Board officials describe the property as the first “urban-design” hotel in Quito’s historic district, the first LEED-certified hotel in Ecuador and the first LEED-certified hotel at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
WATCH: Mark Murphy Tours Quito
The hotel’s 12 rooms are each individually decorated and feature amenities including L’Occitane branded bath products. The renovated property also features a bistro offering fresh local delicacies from local chefs, plus a rooftop lounge that overlooks the city’s historic landmarks and heritage sites and serves gin drinks and tapas. An on-site “urban garden” produces herbs and fruits used in the hotel’s kitchen.
The property is within close proximity of Quito’s historic landmarks including Plaza Grande, La Mariscal, and the La Ronda district. Quito’s 130 historic buildings include ornate and art-filled 16th and 17th-century basilicas, churches and palaces, connected by winding cobblestone streets leading to broad open plazas.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Carlota.
Quito’s location 9,350 feet above sea level also places the city within range of spectacular natural attractions including Cotopaxi National Park, which offers an up-close view of the region’s volcanoes plus hiking, horseback riding and mountain bike excursions.
Based in a colonial-era mansion on a 12,000 square foot estate in the 250 year-old historic district of Salto, the restored Casa Wirth property retains its original colonial style. The plush, refurbished rooms feature patios and sun terraces with fully equipped kitchens plus dining and living rooms with fireplaces. All rooms also feature individually designed bathrooms and amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi.
READ MORE: Dispatch: On the ground in Quito, Ecuador
The hotel’s staff prepares breakfast and special meals including traditional Uruguayan asado barbecues in the 6,000 square-foot garden. Guests can enjoy strolls along Avenida Uruguay, pick fruit from trees in the property’s garden or relax in armchairs in front of the mansion’s open fireplace.
Visitors can also arrange horseback riding, hiking and bird-watching tours at Estancia Don Pipo a 2,470-acre ranch located 30 minutes from the hotel in Uruguay’s gaucho country. Cultural attractions include the Museo de Bellas Artes and Salto’s colonial plazas and cobblestone streets.
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