Situated in a newly-restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco, the three-story Casa Gangotena harbours 31 rooms, a showcase of eye-catching style, contemporary design, antiques, fine furnishings, modern technologies and quintessential comforts.
Beautifully- and eclectically-appointed, the 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-panelled library, or else atop its panoramic third-floor terrace.
Beyond its doors, the world heritage wonders of Quito, as well the vastly-different and diverse worlds of Ecuador itself, await. Sophisticated and eclectic, historic yet contemporary, at Casa Gangotena style, passion and service blend seamlessly and delightfully.
Casa Gangotena History Casa Gangotena occupies a pivotal place in Quito’s historic heart, at the 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 Inca temples, one of them on the site of the present house.
As soon as the Spanish arrived in the Incas’ northern capital in 1534, the religious orders soon set about converting the hearts and minds of the local population. Thus the Franciscan order occupied the whole western hillside of the vast square, which had for centuries been used as a giant Indian open-air market, or “Tianguez”, for traders from every region.
Due to the importance of the Plaza San Francisco in the following centuries, various wealthy families built their homes around it. This mansion on the hotel’s present site later became the residence of several Republican-era presidents. But in 1914, disaster struck and the house suffered a calamitous fire.
It was completely rebuilt in 1926 by its owners, the Gangotenas, one of the capital’s leading families, whose members included important industrialists, politicians, landowners, academics and even poets. In 1978 Quito was declared the first UNESCO World Heritage Site city, considered the largest and best preserved historic centre in the Americas, and a few years later, Casa Gangotena was included in the city’s cultural heritage inventory.
Exploring Quito – The First City Named a World Heritage Site Nestled deep within the valley of towering Andean volcanoes, at 2,800m (around 10,000 feet) above sea level, Quito’s spectacular old town extends over 320 hectares – the largest historic centre in the Americas. Host to 40 churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries with their respective cloisters, 17 plazas, 12 chapter rooms and refectories, 12 museums and countless courtyards, Quito’s historical heritage is only equalled by the energy and vibrancy of its thousands of residents.
Quito is truly an asset to the history of America: the great majority of its buildings have withstood the trials of nature and the tribulations of Man. The city’s diverse cultures have generated a treasure trove of artistic, cultural and historic wealth, safe-guarded down the centuries to the present. UNESCO recognised this fact in November 1978 when it declared Quito the first World Heritage Site. The declaration states: “Quito forms a harmonious ensemble sui generis, where the actions of man and of nature are brought together to create a work unique and transcendent of its kind.”
Twenty-five years on, Quito’s authorities celebrated its World Heritage nomination by transforming the Old Town, reclaiming its elegant public spaces, its grandeur and its legacy. New museums have been inaugurated, cultural centres opened up, mansions restored, hotels, restaurants and cafés launched, safety improved, traffic regulated.
The capital’s heart beats with renewed vigour, cultural life and pride, as citizens and visitors alike enjoy its unique attractions. The jewel in Ecuador’s crown today shines brighter than ever before.
Neighborhood: Quitos old town Nearest Airport: Mariscal Sucre (UIO) 22 mi/35 km
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101 Cooper Street 263 | Santa Cruz, CA
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