In this spirit, the historic hotel overlooking Plaza de San Francisco in the heart of Old Town has debuted “Casa Gangotena Quito Experiences,” a daily sequence of special and exclusive themed activities offered complementary to guests on specific days of the week. Each entry is conceived and planned as a new vision of Ecuadorian culture, the heritage of the first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site city, and the hotel itself.
As distinctive as the days of the week, Casa Gangotena Quito Experiences are available daily from 6pm to around 7pm. Each experience is bilingual Spanish/English and available free of charge to hotel guests:
• Mondays are sweet indeed with exquisite “chocolate tastings” offering a superb opportunity to learn the secrets and experience the delights on one of Ecuador’s most renowned products: fine aroma cacao, considered among the best in the world.
• Tuesdays reveal the magic of the pre-Hispanic culture of Ecuador with demonstrations of “limpias” body and spirit cleansing rituals, by Rosa Lagla, one of the most notable practitioners in Quito’s historic center.
• Wednesdays soar with “San Francisco from Above,” a unique occasion tracing the history of the San Francisco Plaza and its vast monastery. Gather on the Panoramic Terrace of Casa Gangotena amid spectacular vistas of the mountains surrounding Quito, the domes of the historic city center, and the iconic monumental square for a fascinating look at more than four centuries of history.
• Thursdays take guests to “El Alabado After Hours,” an hour-long immersion in a specific feature of nearby El Alabado Museum. Housed in a restored patrimonial house just a half block from Casa Gangotena, the museum holds one of the best archaeological collections in Ecuador. Guests wishing to go deeper with a complete visit to the museum can acquire a courtesy ticket from the hotel.
• Head out on Fridays to discover “From Plaza Grande to Plaza San Francisco,” a 45-minute guided walking tour past some of the most celebrated iconic buildings of the historic center of Quito. Led by a local guide, the tour starts at Independence Square (“Plaza Grande”) and finishes across the street from the hotel at the Plaza San Francisco. Metropolitan Touring, the operator of Casa Gangotena, created the tour.
• Stay in on Saturdays – at least for a while – to discover the “History of Casa Gangotena,” a fascinating retelling of the origins, heritage and former occupants of the great mansion. Hotel staff that really know their way around narrate the tour examines architecture, the water reservoir and family emblems, proceeding from the lobby and the pretty back courtyard to a photographic presentation in the reading room.
• Relax and refresh on Sundays with “Agua de Frecos,” a 30-minute presentation of the herbs and flowers used to the hotel’s signature refreshment – a rosy-purple-hued treat for the palate prepared in house.
To enjoy a Casa Gangotena Quito Experience, guests need only sign up at reception and meet in the lobby.
Rates at Casa Gangotena from $420, including accommodation per night per room, breakfast and afternoon Quiteño coffee. Not included are taxes (22% service and value added tax). For reservations, contact Casa Gangotena at email@example.com or visit www.casagangotena.com