THE BACKGROUND: The 275-room luxury hotel is part of Swissôtel’s chain of luxury hotels across the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. The hotel sits among a mix of 1970s skyscrapers, colonial church spires and cobbled streets adorned with long-stemmed roses. Listen out for the strains of enchanting Andean pan-flute music.
WHERE IS IT? Just 15 minutes from Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, in ‘New Town’, where unchecked development is dwarfed by the snow-capped Cotopaxi and Pinchincha Volcanoes. The hotel is close to Quito’s main tourist attraction, the colonial ‘Old Town’. The Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site has a dazzling array of churches, monasteries and convents.
THE ROOM: I had an executive suite, on the ninth floor. Features include large picture windows that look onto Quito, a city framed by the Andes mountains. The spacious suite had a guest reception area, lounge-dining room with guest bathroom and a minibar and coffee station. The main en-suite bedroom featured a king-size bed with 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens. There was a mini-office with large desk and internet, fax and phone facilities. All rooms operate on an environmentally-friendly energy saving key-card system. The VIP Executive Level offers an exclusive breakfast, an open bar, valet and secretarial services.
RESTAURANT & BARS: There's something to suit all palates: French fine dining at La Point, the Prime Rib Steak House and a Japanese restaurant, Tanoshii. Les Alpes offers Swiss cuisine and the Time Out Sports Bar & Grill serves up informal American food. Ecuadorian breakfast, lunch or high tea is served from the buffet in Café Quito. The Bar Le Point serves up classic cocktails and live music.
THE FACILITIES: The Amrita Spa, named for the mystic nectar of the Sanskrit Gods, is a tranquil sanctuary. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, fitness centre, squash, and tennis courts, art galleries and bespoke shops.
HIGHLIGHT: I won't forget the ‘statement’ rose arrangements that festoon the public areas – or the complimentary airport transfers.
RECOMMEND TO: All clients.
THE COST: The Swiss Executive suite starts at $440 a night for a midweek booking in March 2010. See the website for a range of specials.
THE DETAILS: Av 12 de Octubre, 1820 Luis Cordero, New Town, Quito - Ecuador; Tel: +593 / 2 256 7600
The Swissôtel Quito runs like a finely-tuned Swiss timepiece. A highly comfortable hotel that provides the perfect base for exploring South America’s largest historic city, or as an overnight before a Galapagos cruise.
Contributer, Selling Long Haul