I'm trying to separate the beauty of Otavalo and the Andes mountains from our wonderful experience at La Posada del Quinde so this review will not just gush on endlessly. However, that's difficult. Posada del Quinde is simply a Jewel in the Andes.
We arrived late at night and were checked in and ushered to our cozy quarters promptly. Awakening in the morning was just thrilling, as we had no clue when we arrived about the surrounding volcanoes that dominate the scenery. The hotel is a two-story design with wings emanating from the center. There is a lovely large patio off the dining room, surrounded by flowers and hummingbirds, but the morning mountain air might be a bit brisk for a meal there.
The hotel is stunning, not in a glitzy downtown Manhattan way, of course, but in the simplicity and functionality. The rooms are on the Spartan side, but that's much appreciated. They are spacious enough, meticulously clean, comfortable and decorated with the local woven fabrics for which Otavalo is renowned. Yes, showers and wi-fi were wonderful. You can sit on the balcony in front of your room and just enjoy the views and fresh mountain air. It's spring all year when you're on the Equator and 8,500 feet up..
The delicious breakfasts were served in a comfortably large and sunny room by traditional-clad women. Menu choices were varied enough for our disparate tastes. An ala carte breakfast menu is also available.
The evenings get very cool in the mountains and guests are welcome to lounge in oversize furniture by the large and well tended fireplace while they browse the magazines and travel books. Maggie, who claims to be new at the hotel business but has the maturity and demeanor of a very relaxed and seasoned pro, could not have been a better host. She is very knowledgeable about the area and offerings. The hotel is located midway between (and walking distance to) the Saturday morning Animal Market and the World Famous Craft Market. You probably won't buy much at the animal market unless you have room for an alpaca in your luggage, but it is a truly local scene worth visiting. Never before had I seen people walking a pig on a leash down the street. So that's how This Little Piggie Went to Market!
The craft market is South America's largest indigenous market. The woven goods are not to be missed. Bring empty luggage to haul away your treasures! Maggie laid out an itinerary that let us take advantage of both markets, as well as advice on the Raptor Sanctuary, hiking, local restaurants and additional sights. Even when she seemed to be heading somewhere with purpose and determination, there was nothing more important that stopping to talk with us about our visit. We felt 300% at home and not at all like a number.
The hotel's restaurant, Pachamama Cafe, was much better quality than the other places we tried locally, even though we are fans of local food when we travel. Food is fresh, well prepared, combining traditional Ecuadorean dishes with the refinements of California cuisine.
You cannot go wrong booking here. In my humble opinion, you can skip Quito and visit just Otavalo, Cuenca and the Galapagos for the vacation of a lifetime. And many thanks to Maggie for making our stay so comfortable and memorable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Posada del Quinde is an ecologically- and socially-minded hotel that strives to make all of its guests feel at home. All of our spacious, heated guest rooms and suites have tile floors, folk decor, and bathrooms boasting steaming hot showers day and night. Additionally, there is free WiFi. The rooms and suites overlook the garden and patio, where guests can enjoy a good book or snap pictures of hummingbirds. For families and groups, the suites sleep 4-6 people and offer roomy living and dining areas, as well as balconies overlooking Otavalo. Our native Ecuadorian staff are incredibly helpful and will ensure that you have a pleasant stay. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Posada Del Quinde Hotel Otavalo
- Ali Shungu Hotel
- Ali Shungu Otavalo