Our flight school Icaro Flight Academy organized a fly-in in Ibarra as has become tradition for the last couple of years. This year the fly-in was to take place throughout the entire weekend for which we needed a hotel to stay in.
La Estelita was chosen due to the amount of people who formed part of this event (14).
The hotel offers a spectacular and breathtaking view of Ibarra and its surroundings. This view is especially beautiful during the morning when the sun illuminates the entire city and you won’t have a “backlit” view. From here you can see the Imbabura volcano, Ibarra, and Yaharcocha Lake, not to mention the surrounding valleys, lakes, and volcanoes which make the Imbabura province so beautiful.
This is a place where you can spend your honeymoon or a peaceful weekend as it is silent and the only noise you hear is the wind, or the birds. You can enjoy a nice walk through its gardens and surrounding forest. La Estelita is a bit distant from Ibarra (a 20 minute drive), and is far up in the mountain, so this place will guarantee a peaceful stay.
To get here you will definitely need a car, preferably an SUV as the road which leads to this hotel is partly paved, partly a stone road, and from one point on, a dirt road. If it is raining, or if the road is wet, going up this road will become an ordeal. We had to push our friend’s Peugeot 206 through one part, as there was a lot of mud and the car got stuck. Also, you will need a car because the prices the cab drivers charge to go up there is absurd (if not insulting).
However, once you are up there the effort you made going up will be compensated. The hotel is big and spacious, not too crowded, and to get from one place to the other is an experience. The front desk, main lounge and restaurant for example are in one building, and the rooms are yards away at another level of the mountain. You have quite a distance to walk from the front desk to the rooms, which is nice if you don’t have a lot of luggage or if it isn’t raining.
Even though the hotel is fairly new it conserves a rustic style similar to those of the Spanish colonial haciendas, typical of the Andean highlands but with new and modern materials. The hotel definitely spells out “Ecuadorian Highlands” that when you see it which subliminally gives you an idea of coziness and comfort. Though the edifications are big, it is not obtrusive and blends in with the landscape.
The rooms are huge and very cozy. They can accommodate a great number of people and the rooms are divided in different parts. If you are not a light traveler the space in the rooms is generous for your luggage. The rooms are also blessed with the view of the city. Rooms are not connected per se, but on the second floor you have some sort of lounge or mini lobby, which connects some rooms.
The only terrible thing about the rooms is that they lack outlets which would come in handy to charge your cell phone and camera batteries. For the price and age of the hotel, one would expect something this basic. Another thing that would help the rooms be perfect would be a thicker curtain to avoid the sunlight hitting your eyes come morning.
The bathrooms are spacious, comfortable, and clean which go with the type of room you are paying for. The bathroom is well designed so you won’t have water spilling on the floor. The amenities are generous and you have plenty of towels. Hot water takes some time to reach you, but once it does it will be a nice contrast to the highland cold. A fan to extract the fog could be useful too.
Service was excellent considering we arrived late at night, and that we were noisy and a bit cranky from the trip up to the hotel. At morning service was a bit slow for breakfast, but were waited with a smile and good attitude. In general we all felt great at the hotel.
The hotel has a beautiful swimming pool on a ledge that overlooks the city. This definitely gives the hotel great atmosphere and character. The hotel also has numerous gardens, places to sit down and read, and a small lake on the lower part with ducks. Private parking and the fact that the hotel gets locked down at night gives you peace of mind.
In general this is a great place to stay at if you are in Ibarra and want to get away. If your visit to the region is more aimed for tourism and sightseeing perhaps a different place less remote would be more ideal, but if you are a local seeking peace, comfort, relaxation, and want to get away from your work and the city this is the place to be.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
4 weeks ago
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We highly value your review. We have come a long way since 2011 (sorry for this response to have taken so long), and since it has been almost 3 years, we have learned a lot. As you said, we were a new hotel, without experience, but that has changed.
As of the taxis from the city, we have come to terms with a company, which charges only $5 from the city to us. We are also working really hard on transforming the dirt road into a paved road. That should be complete by 2014.
We will be taking serious consideration on the bathroom fogging issues, as well as the curtains. The reason our windows and curtains are designed that way, its because we don't want our guest to miss our on the beautiful morning light La Estelita has to offer.
Rest assure that next time you visit us, you will encounter the same friendly faces, with an improved service and a better road.
Thank You for your review, and we hope to see you again soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC