Where you can you find a heavy dose of rustic, old-world elegance with a shining view of a snow-capped volcano, complete with practically perfect weather all year round?
Believe it or not, in northern Ecuador, just a couple of hours out of Quito. The place? Hosteria La Cienega. This charming antique hacienda turned hotel and restaurant has been in the same family since the seventeenth century.
Also near Cotapaxi National Park and within driving distance to the Saquisili market, this hotel and restaurant makes a wonderful retreat from the city for quiet relaxation. Offering casual breakfasts al fresco as well as more formal indoor seating with a full menu, the atmosphere was (in this writer’s humble opinion) exquisite. Glitzy? No. Understatedly elegant? Absolutely.
After exploring the interior courtyard’s formal garden and on-sight chapel built into the hacienda itself, we sat down to enjoy grilled fish and steak with rounds of spirit-infused consume, homemade bread and house wine.
Needing to walk off lunch and delighted that the establishment’s management encouraged full facility exploration, we strolled the grounds and explored various suites and communal sitting rooms.
We feel comfortable recommending this hotel and restaurant to those people interested in paying from $12 – $20 USD per plate and $60 – $180 USD per night for accommodation.
This article was submitted to the February 3, 2010 edition of Wanderlust and Lipstick’s Wanderfood Wednesday.