Those of you who know me well will know my fascination with history and old (i.e. historical) buildings. In fact, the itinerary and accommodations on this journey are heavily weighted towards the old, over the new. This is a growing source of annoyance to Maille, who much prefers modern architecture, and has started to ask suspiciously whether the next place we stay at will be ‘old or new?’
So when I realised we could stay at a 400 year old hotel that has been lovingly restored and converted from it’s great house/monastery origins I jumped at the chance.
Hacienda Cusin is situated high in the Ecuadorean Andes, near Otavalo, a town renowned for it’s market featuring traditional handicrafts. The area also attracts hikers with its snow-capped volcanoes and limpid lakes. We spent most of our two day stay exploring and enjoying the property itself.
In addition to sprawling gardens, including a large organic fruit and vegetable garden supplying the kitchen, Hacienda Cusin offers a home farm with a multitude of animals to pet and horses to ride. Then there is the monastery, complete with tower and secret passage. Once you are done exploring there is a games room with table tennis and billiards and we even made use of the basketball court!
Of course this all comes at a price (we paid AU$224 per night, almost the most expensive accommodation of our trip), but for us it really was a little taste of luxury. An enormous and delicious breakfast with plenty of choices was included (again in front of that roaring fire) and hot water bottles were placed in our beds while we were at dinner. I’m going to dream of Hacienda Cusin.