Casa El Eden, Quito, Ecuador

Casa El Eden is a fairly new boutique hotel situated right in the middle of the famous historic centre of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It is described by the owners as a bed and breakfast, and is, in fact, the only boutique bed and breakfast in the historic centre.

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It has six very large double rooms over three floors around a central atrium with a glass roof, thus flooding the whole are with light. On each floor there are little snug areas where guests can chat or read, or just spend some quite time absorbing the wonderful atmosphere which the house exudes.

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The house itself was built in 1925, and the walls and ceilings were painted at that time by artists from the famous Quito school. These, where possible, have been magnificently restored and preserved. In fact, the whole house retains many, if not most, of the original features, and where this has not been possible, the renovation has been wonderfully sympathetic. This is particularly true of the bedrooms where there has been no chopping up of the rooms in order that an en suite bathroom may be added; rather, an alcove or other suitable space has been found and the shower and/or bath and wash hand basin placed there with an opaque glass screen to ensure privacy. Thus the rooms retain their original magnificent proportions.

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Each of the bedrooms is differently, but subtly, different, and each has a different name. I stayed in Pitahaya, a room on the top floor looking out onto the street below. There was no issue with either unwanted night noise or early morning light, because the window shutters ensured each were kept out. The bed was gloriously comfortable with soft smooth sheets and duvet cover. The bedding and towels, all white or cream, are of the highest quality, as are the toiletries supplied in the en suite bathroom.

Breakfast is supplied, and is taken at a communal table in a room on the ground floor. Fresh fruit, as well as fresh fruit juices, are in plentiful supply, as is hot flavoursome Ecuadorian coffee. Eggs and fresh bread are also served.

Casa El Eden is a family run hotel, and Mario and Blanca are wonderful hosts. Nothing is too much trouble, and they go out of their way to ensure their guests are happy.

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Quito is a marvellous place to visit, and if you do, don’t stay anywhere other than Casa El Eden. It cannot be bettered.

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