Ecuador Boutique Hotels
Ecuador boutique hotels - Lodging in Andes, Amazon & Beaches

Ecuador boutique hotels - Hotel Santa Lucia in Cuenca

Santa Lucia colonial mansion

Hotel Santa Lucia a historical building in the center of Cuenca offers luxury accommodations with charm.

If you partake in nostalgic places to stay, this hotel is just the ticket. Why? Santa Lucia is a hotel unique unto itself in that it is actually one of Cuenca Ecuador's most historic antique buildings. Not only that but it´s located in the Old Town district of Cuenca which is a living museum itself.

Newly renovated with all modern conveniences, the Santa Lucia hotel is a gem in Cuenca's antique building collection and you can enjoy the elegant atmosphere of yesteryear in Ecuador with today's conveniences.

With 3 generations of experience in hotels and restaurants, the Vintimilla family of Cuenca is a noted resource in tourism of southern Ecuador. Cuenca Ecuador is rich in hotel options but none offer what Santa Lucia hotel offers in the way of elegant comfort at a reasonable price. Enjoy the flavor of Cuenca Ecuador, recently awarded with the coveted title of World Heritage.

The house where the Santa Lucia hotel is located was built by the first governor of Azuay province (where Cuenca is located), Don Manuel Vega Davila, in 1859. Azuay province is located in the Andes of southern Ecuador. The house remained in the Vega family for over a hundred years, being a peaceful witness of important episodes of the history of southern Ecuador.

The Santa Lucia hotel belongs to the same family group which owns the Villarosa restaurant (also in Cuenca) which is considered as one of the country's best continental restaurants by the main international travel guides and locals alike.

The Santa Lucia debuted as a hotel in 2002 and the city of Cuenca gave this hotel the prize: "Fray José María Vargas" for the best restoration of a historic building.

A gracious hotel located at the center of Cuenca. The Santa Lucia is located two blocks east of the Cuenca central plaza, on Borrego between Sucre and Bolivar.

Santa Lucia hotel has rescued and preserved this piece of Cuenca heritage, keeping this house as an example of the architectural style of the last part of the XIX Century Ecuador. The family decided not to remove a large tree that was growing right in the middle of the courtyard and kept within the original style achieving a sense of being in another era as you walk in.

The style is traditional and opulent with polished wood floors, luxurious fabrics and period furnishings, with the courtyard layout bringing a sense of quiet spaciousness.

Activities

Cuenca

Cuenca, Ecuador's third largest city, captivates its visitors with its astonishing beauty. Narrow cobbled streets, an abundance of old colonial buildings, interesting museums, charming plazas, and ornated balconies contribute to Cuenca's romantic flair. It is the perfect place to get the panama hat of your dreams since Cuenca is known for being the most famous trade center of this headgear. The area around Cuenca is known for its hospitable people, unique cuisine, and charming pueblos nestled between the softened folds of the Andes.

What to See in Cuenca

Carmen de la Asunción. The ornate carvings surrounding the doorway of this diminutive chapel are a good example of Spanish baroque design. The interior is typically ostentatious -- especially noteworthy is the gilded pulpit encrusted with tiny mirrors. The flower market held outside on the Plazoleta El Carmen is in full bloom every day from sunrise to sunset.

Catedral de la Inmaculada. Started in 1886 and finished more than 80 years later, the immense cathedral can hold more than 9,000 worshipers. The interior arches tower more than 100 feet high, and light that enters through the stained-glass windows casts a golden glow over the thick brick walls and Italian marble floors. The impressive pillars are Ecuadorian marble and the choir chairs are hand-carved from native wood.

El Sagrario. Also called the Old Cathedral, the lovely little church was begun in 1557, the year the city was founded. It is gleaming after a complete restoration. 

Iglesia de San Francisco. Built in the 1920s, the Church of Saint Francis is famous for its soaring steeple and intricately carved, gold-drenched main altar, which contrasts nicely with its unassuming interior.

Museo de Arte Moderno. The Museum of Modern Art, housed in a restored convent, features interesting exhibitions of works by local artists. Its permanent collection consists mainly of dark, bleak paintings by unknown colonial masters.

Museo del Banco Central. This museum in the concrete-and-glass Central Bank building houses a collection of archaeological treasures in addition to exhibits of colonial and postcolonial art. On the river behind the museum is a small archaeological site where some Inca ruins are being excavated.

Museo de las Conceptas. One of Cuenca's leading citizens in the colonial era, Doña Ordóñez, donated her spacious home to the Catholic Church, whereupon it became the cloistered convent of the Order of the Immaculate Conception. Four centuries later, part of this well-preserved edifice houses the Museum of the Conception, which contains an impressive collection of religious art from the 16th to 19th century.

Parque Abdón Calderón. Surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, Cuenca's central square is one of the loveliest in South America. Manicured trees tower over men discussing politics, grandmothers walking arm-in-arm, and children running to and fro. The park is dominated by the pale rose Catedral de la Inmaculada towering over its western edge.

Plaza de San Francisco. The noisy plaza is filled with vendors hawking a variety of bric-a-brac. Under the northern colonnade, merchants sell more enticing wares -- colorful skirts, hand-knit sweaters, and intricate hangings.

Turi Hill. For a fantastic view of Cuenca by night or day, head up the mountain to the tiny village of Turi. Stroll along Turi's main street past the mural-covered church and you'll soon find yourself in rolling hills where stucco farmhouses punctuate cornfields and potato patches. Up here there's also a workshop of a well-known artist, where you'll see his ceramics and paintings.

Straw hats. Cuenca is one of the main producers of the mistakenly called "Panama Hat". Here master artisans weave straw into the most wonderfull headpieces. You can visit the Homero Ortega hat factory and learn the full history behind these hats that truly should be called "Ecuador Hats". You can purchase a fine hat at one of many city shops.

Outside of Cuenca:

Ingapirca. Only a two-hour drive away, is known as the most famous Inca site in Ecuador. You can easily visit it on a day-trip and be back in Cuenca by late afternoon.

Parque Nacional Cajas. Lies 30km west of Cuenca and is definitely a personal tip for all nature-lovers. You will be captivated by the beautiful lakes and - anglers listen - trout fishing is permitted. If you are interested in hiking and camping there, bring warm clothes with you since the weather can be harsh at times. Bird watchers will have the time of their lives since the national park is known to house many species, such as toucnas, conebills, or humming birds.

Gualaceo & Chordeleg. Lies about 25km from Cuenca. Gualaceo is a nice valley where the local specialty is Ikat weavings. In Chordeleg, especially souvenier-aholics will get their money's worth this little town that is famous for its silver and gold jewelry.

Facilities

Rooms:

A delightfully restored 22-room boutique hotel set in a old colonial mansion. each well furnished and generously sized, offer great comfort. Room amenities include mini bar, digital safebox, DDI Phone, cable television, private bathroom with hot water.

An American breakfast is included with all room reservations.

The 22 rooms surround a central patio, which is now the setting for the Trattoria, one of two Santa Lucia eateries.

Services:

  • All Credit Cards Accepted
  • Restaurant: The restaurant is very good -- the food style is Italian-Ecuadorean. The restaurant doubles as a cafe of sorts for breakfast and lunch and an elegant restaurant for dinner. Seabass in marinara sauce with assorted seafood; chicken in a lemon-herb sauce; and a number of risottos and gnocchis are some of the choices.
  • Bar
  • Breakfast Included
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Facilities - Free
  • 24-Hour Reception
  • Safe in Reception or Rooms
  • Lounge
  • Luggage Storage
  • Linens Included
  • 24-Hour Hot Water
  • Gift Shop
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Wake-Up Call

Facilities include a Spanish central patio, tea room and a cafe with Ecuadorian and international cuisine.

Main Offices Address: Av. Gral. Rumiñahui , San Rafael                                                                                                           Quito - Ecuador