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Historical Traveler Reviews Cafe Cultura Quito
We stayed here around Christmas before our trip to the Galapagos and enjoyed ourselves. I loved how each room had a different character, and despite the busy season, the staff were attentive and helpful with all our needs. Small personal touches to each room made it relaxing to come back after a long day. We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel and both were delicious. Plus, unwinding in front of the fireside after dinner in the reading room was great. Would recommend.
Cafe Cultura - an oasis in the city
We stayed at Cafe Cultura for 5 nights in between trips to the Galapagos, Cloud Forests and the Amazon and we loved it!
It's so different from the anonymous mainstream hotels - every room is different and I'd recommend you try as many different rooms as you can whilst you are there. It really makes you escape from the bustling world you left at home - places like this are the reason people go on holiday!
Room 10 we stayed in twice - it has a lovely conservatory and fabulous steam / power shower which is just what you need on those early morning wake ups!
Room 1 - the honeymoon suite, was lovely as well. The bathroom was simply stunning - it was larger than our ship in the Galapagos.
Room 2 was also nice - no fire place but one of our favourites. It spreads across the breadth of the building and has a large bathroom and separate sitting room.
I'd recommend you look at their website to view all the rooms before you book - it'll be a difficult decision which one to choose so book early to get the one you want.
The reservation desk are helpful - they helped us out prior to our arrival with a range of restaurant bookings, transfers and gave good advice.
The night staff were also very helpful and responsive when my husband wasn't too well.
The library is the real star of the hotel - it is a lovely retreat - you can melt into the leather sofas with a bottle of wine and watch the flames of the fires flicker in front of you whilst reading up on other travellers trips in 'the good, the bad and the ugly.'
I only wish every city in the world had a café cultura!
Great boutique hotel ambience
We stayed in Quito one night prior to our Galapagos cruise and two after it. Stayed in the very mediocre Hotel Mercure the first night, then moved to the Cafe Cultura on our return at the recommendation of other cruise passengers. Our stay was a delight. The hotel has the patina of a fine old colonial home. Our room (a "junior suite") was quite large, and very tastefully decorated. It had an interesting sunken bathtub that the wife enjoyed. The bathroom was rather dimly lit, and only a curtain separated the bathroom from the sleeping area (probably not ideal for honeymooners), but these are minor complaints. The restaurant has a somewhat limited menu but everything we had was excellent. Would definitely stay there again.
Lovely Hotel...but don;t ask for help
This hotel was a rather bustling place...especially at Christmastime. Rooms were lovely and interesting...and the food was superb, as was the staff in the dining room. My daughter caught her plane early in the morning and was confronted by the desk, as if she was trying to skip out....but this was probably understandable. What I did not understand , is why the daytime reception clerk felt she was an expert at directions. Twice she was asked for help with directions....and twice, sent us on a wild goose chase! I would have preferred her letting someone else who was more familiar with the routes in Quito help us. Also....staff are quite noisy in the lobby, both late at night and early in the morning when they arrive. Perhaps they forget people are trying to sleep!!! All in all, a nice place to stay.
Cafe Cutura. WONDERFUL!
Wonderful place. Distinctive and highly personal rooms. Good restaurant on premises and journal by guests with many fine suggestions for local cuisine such as The Fried Banana restaurant or an English style pub, both nearby. We were there during Quito Festival in early December. An exciting time in the city when all the different groups gather for parades and festivities in their native finery. There are buses that travel around day and night with bands and merry makers. You might want a room off the street for this reason. They were also able to arrange English speaking guides for us on two days. There is a nice little market close by with handicrafts and clothing. Cafe Cultura also has fire places. Some other people on this site found the rooms small but we didn't. I guess they've never been to Europe. Who spends that much time in their rooms anyway? The rooms are beautiful in Cafe Cultura.
We stayed in the Cafe Cultura at the beginning and end of our honeymoon, passing through Quito to the Galapagos and then further into Ecuador.
The hotel is quirky - if you're a fan of standardised marble bathrooms and 5* comforts it may not be for you.
Every room is different, all with hand-painted murals on the walls and a small jug of fortified wine to welcome you. The honeymoon suite sports an antique roll-top bath in a massive conservatory bathroom filled with flowers. Roses are provided so you can scatter petals to add romance!
Cosy fires are lit each evening in the wood-panelled library, where they keep informative books of other travellers' "Good, Bad and Ugly" reviews of their time in Ecuador - invaluable for ideas for trips and eating out. The food in the restaurant is very good although the menu is limited; breakfasts are excellent, served with Earl Grey tea, and there is a view of the pretty garden, with friendly peacocks often putting on their morning show!
All staff speak English and are happy to arrange tours and trips for you, as well as stowing luggage if you are away for a while.
We felt well looked after and at home at this hotel. It doesn't feel luxurious or pampering but the building is stunning and the ambience is very laid back and the staff are helpful and attentive. Quito itself is quite dangerous and intimidating but the hotel does its own airport transfers and tours with English-speaking guides.
Cafe Cultura? The lowest point of our trip around South America.
We stayed in Cafe Cultura in April 2005 as part of our 3 month trip around South America. Things started to go wrong as soon as we arrived there. First, we discovered that the taxi from the airport the hotel had booked for us cost twice as much as the quote the hotel provided to us in writing ($20 as opposed to $10). The average cost of a trip to the airport in Quito is $4. Then we were charged $10 (non-refundable) to use the hotel's safety deposit box (the process of storing and retrieving your stuff from the safety deposit box takes at least 20 minutes). By comparison, all other hotels in South America provide complimentary safety deposit boxes.
After this came a collection of inflated charges: $5 per hour to use the hotel's internet (against $0.70 just around the corner), $80 transfer to a sister hotel in Otavalo in a dirty old car (as compared with $40 if arranged through a taxi company in a clean new vehicle), $20 for laundry without ironing (this would have cost us $3 had we arranged it directly with the laundry service).
Even though none of this seems partucularly outrageous, the mere thought of being ripped off was enough to make us feel stupid and spoil out stay. On top of this, the hotel staff acted as if we were stupid tourists whom it was their sacred duty to relieve of any available cash. When we asked to confirm our flights out of Quito (our Spanish was not sufficient for this) the hotel receptionist told us she would have to charge us for making the call.
Why did we pay those inflated prices?
Probably because we did not feel comfortable in Quito. Even Lima was safer, friendlier and more welcoming than Quito.
Other comments? The hotel is extremely noisy, there are no TVs in the rooms, the facilities are non-existent (forget about things like the gym, sauna or pool). In short, not worth your money!
A Home Away From Home But Upgrade Room
We stayed at Cafe Cultura on three separate occasions in the past month and found it a great home away from home as we explored Ecuador. The hotel is beautifully decorated with warm murals covering all walls and a beautiful lounge/lobby area with a fine restaurant in a desirable location of Quito. The staff is fluent in English. Breakfasts were substantial with freshly brewed coffee which is rare in Ecuador though one morning the staff was harried, service was poor as was the food though that was an aberation. Guests can check luggage with the hotel as they explore other areas of Ecaudor and there is high speed internet access. We booked the standard rate rooms which varied greatly. Two of the three rooms we stayed in were somewhat uncomfortable in terms of furnishings though the third room was great. I would highly recommend upgrading to the junior suites which cost about $20 more per night but were significantly larger and more comfortably furnished.
All in all a very pleasant experience and we would gladly stay here again.
Small but clean rooms lack storage space; good restaurant
Stayed at the hotel 4 times (a total of 7 nights) in December 2004.
The rooms are quite small and lack storage space. (Only 1 of our 4 rooms had a chest of drawers; only 2 out of the 4 rooms had an armoir to hang clothes) Rooms very clean and bed was comfortable.
Service was excellent. (e.g., They would arrange for an all day taxi with english speaking driver; they did laundry promptly; they would give you continental breakfast really early if you needed to leave early.)
Food at restaurant was excellent and inexpensive. Atmosphere of restaurant was delightful.
Highlight of our trip!
We visited Cafe Cultura for 2 nights in December 2003. If we could have, we would have stayed longer! After 10 days diving in Galapagos, we felt as though we were being welcomed into the home of a good friend. There is nothing "hotely" about this place. The warmth of the decor and atmosphere and and the graciousness with which we were welcomed made us feel like we were family. Though we had some trouble with noise the first night, the staff quickly and efficiently moved our things to another room. Our ceiling leaked during a sudden rainshower the second night and yet we wouldn't even consider staying at another hotel in Quito when we return! That says a lot!!! The restaurant is outstanding! We loved reading by the fireplaces at night, all of the fresh flowers, the paintings and library. Having travelled all over the world, we've yet to find a better place in this price range and catagory. We couldn't recommend Cafe Culture more highly!
TripAdvisor Reviews Cafe Cultura Quito
Travel Blogs from Quito
... We spent the whole day in the old town area where most of the attractions are. These included a few different plazas, parliament buildings, churches and cathedrals. The most impressive for us was Iglesias de San Francisco which is the oldest church in Quito and the inside is decorated in gold. It's pretty mesmerizing and impressive to walk around inside. There was a service going on while we were there. We walked down to a narrow old street that's called Calle de La Ronda ...
... geeks who might be reading, baroque was a really fancy, over-the-top style of decorating that was popular during the 1600s and 1700s in Europe, particularly Italy and Spain. You might call it blinged out church design! Lots of really ornate carvings coated in layers of gold. Some of the elements were pure solid gold.
I wandered down the street where people tried to sell me many things -- roses, scarves, outfits for my dog...
We spent the night on the bus and got to medellin in the early hours of the morning. We caught a metro to problado where our hotel was and a taxi to tamarind I b&b. luckily our room was empty so we could check In early! Our host was Natalia a New York native who now lives in colombia. She was awesome! We Alden a billion questions and she answered them all and even told us that there was nothing to see at our next destination...so after ...
... tourist, they also got the calculations wrong, as the true equator passes a few hundred meters from there. We didn't go there, and I don't think we missed much. After the walk in the old town we went to the bus station, which is so far from the center that it feels like the station of another city; we took the first available bus to pass the equator and go back to the northern hemisphere in the direction of Otavalo, our last stop in Ecuador halfway between here and the border with ...
... that led to the waterfall pool. However, I felt more at home climbing those giant rocks than slipping through the mud. The waterfall was beautiful, and we snapped some pictures and stripped to our bathing suits to swim. The water was chilly at first, but definitely welcome. We climbed around the mouth of the waterfall for awhile, but we didn't go too high because the water wasn't deep enough to support the jump back down, sadly. After our swim, we had a snack of some fruit ...