Opened in late 2011 in Old Town Quito, the newly restored historic mansion Casa Gangotena overlooks the Plaza San Francisco, a cobbled square rich in history dating back to the days of the Inca. Casa Gangotena is one of the grand old homes built on the southern edge of the plaza in the late 19th century, and was home to several presidents before it was rebuilt after a fire in 1926 by its last owners, the Gangotenas. It’s just feet away from the imposing, almost 500-year-old Church and Convent of San Francisco.
Now owned by Roque Sevilla, the three-story boutique hotel offers 31 large luxurious rooms with state-of-the-art technology and large marble bathrooms. Great efforts have been made to restore the original detail, such as the hand-painted tin ceilings. Its third-floor terrace is the perfect place to put your feet up and enjoy everyday life passing by. with the bell towers and spires of the Old Town as well as the Panecillo hillside serving as the backdrop. A better seat in town for the Easter procession is unthinkable.
Sevilla is renowned in these parts for his long record of involvement in local and environmental affairs. He has served as Quito’s mayor as well as being a past president of WWF Ecuador. He is also known to be humble about his efforts to help the community and the environment (which you can read about – albeit briefly – on the hotel’s website).
Since 2008, while it was still just an idea, the hotel has been involved in several neighborhood projects, such as the award-winning Heritage Guardians, which focuses on community initiatives like neighborhood integration, the value of heritage and tradition, and offers ‘routes’ for visitors to take in order to meet locals and experience their lives and ways. (The hotel can arrange this for you).