Renee recommends you:
Meet Quito’s new Anahi Boutique Hotel
Quito, #Ecuador has a wide variety of things on offer. Sandy beaches, snowy mountains, city sights, and pumping nightlife all contribute to the #unique vibe of this place. When you visit, make a point to stay at the new Anahi Boutique Hotel, where you can find yourself surrounded by #relaxation.
The new Anahi Boutique Hotel in Ecuador’s Quito is a unique find.
It’s set in a quiet residential neighborhood of the new town, in the area known as La Mariscal, which is the trendy, funky and hip part of the new town, Quito. La Mariscal is where most of the nightlife is, including some of Quito’s finest restaurants and shopping, whether it’s for clothing or artisan, crafts or antiques.
The setting is quiet and manned 24/7 by a guard who greets you regardless of what time of day you arrive or leave. The two main things that I really loved about the hotel after ‘sitting’ on my experience for several days.
Anahi Boutique Hotel
Quito City Tour by bus
Guided Tour in Cotopaxi
1. The uniqueness of the rooms; although each one is uniquely different – from modern to hip to funky to old, they all have ‘clean lines’ and are designed with simplicity in mind.
from modern to hip to funky to old, they all have ‘clean lines’
2. The staff, so much so that a high praise call out goes to Wilson Andrade, Edison Alvear and Gabriel Izurieta. I stayed long enough that all three were on shift while I was there. Wilson has studied in the states, so his English was not only impeccable, but his accent was flawless. If it weren’t for Wilson, I may never have discovered the colorful buildings around La Ronda in the old town, nor would I have had the view of the city by night from Cielo Quiteno Restaurant at the top of the hill.
Edison marked up maps for me, recommended shops and walks. Poor Gabriel was on the night shift the evening before I left Quito. Because of the weight limit per bag, he came up with a scale and he himself stood on the scale, bag in hand while we did the calculations. Calculations are key. Take note: have them on have when you check in just in case your airline decides to overcharge you. He also ordered my take-out, translated cough medicine in Spanish and called me cabs. BTW, I took Wilson’s father’s cab to the airport (also named Wilson), which Wilson organized a couple of days before my departure. Does it sound like family yet? It felt like it, yet it's a hip, modern upscale hotel that has a hot tub, steam room (not working when I was there) and a reading and “internet” room where you can print from their machine or your own. As for the rooms, they all have unique names.
I was tempted to try out the Colonial Room since it not only had a very cool sewing machine like my grandmother used, but a bathtub with clawed feet as well – just seemed so out of place in South America, that I wanted to take a bath in it just because. But, I opted not to because I have experienced so much Colonial in my life that it was time for something a little edgier.
The Metal Fusion room wasn’t for me – a little too masculine with its slate gray and black colors. Note: no rugs on the wooden floors either. I could see my New York male friends being into it though – clean lines and no frills. Again, something I might be able to find in New York, like I could find my Colonial Room in New England.
Here’s one you probably wouldn’t find in too many places, least of not with these details. Below is the colorful, fresh and energizing Amazonas room.
The hotel rooms fit the style and philosophy of their environment: modern and stylish yet distinctively Ecuadorian at the same time, all with a theme.
Another room is called the Andes room, i.e., the Red Room. I nearly stayed in it because the bed is king sized and it’s cozier than most, largely because there’s a massive thick throw rug and the room is smaller. Tempting, but still not the one. I wanted to see them all and managed to see all but three that were occupied.
I spent some time in this colorful creation while they were fixing my shower. They refer to it as Vitro Fusion, which is spacious, with clean, crisp lines, eclectic artwork, bedspreads, a throw rug and light fixtures. The feeling is modern, edgy and the look and feel can be described as Asia meets South America in the 2000s.
The bathroom is one of the larger ones although the shower is smaller since its within a regular sized tub. That said, they make up for it with two large his and her sinks, both of which are well designed and I’ll add, “funky.”
Then there’s a very classic suite if you really want the space.
Below is the Bamboo Room.
I immediately thought of my Australian pals who would love the energy in this two bedroom room with a view of the city.
Now for my favorite, which they say is a hard room to sell. A friend of mine who now works in Quito refers to it as the “hippie room,” although Anahi calls it the Pop Room. A little Marilyn Monroe meets Betty Boop in a Disney-like but elegant playroom. Purple, pink and soft accents engulf the room giving it so feminine energy that I can see why it may not be the perfect match for a couple on a romantic getaway.
Even though its pinkness could be a drawback, the upside is that it is funky, cool, hip and so unique that you likely won’t find it somewhere else, so why not try it out?
it is funky, cool, hip and so unique that you likely won’t find it somewhere else
And by the way, it’s incredibly cozy, thanks to the colors, the accents, the trimmings, and the fine touches that the designer nailed all the way throughout. It’s certainly not a style I’d incorporate into my home, but what a fun experience on a trip to Ecuador.
Loved this funky neon green shoe that they placed along side two martini glasses, which sadly I drank diet coke from on my last night.
They tout eco-friendly features, such as a magnetic card door system.
They tout eco-friendly features, such as a magnetic card door system
On a side note, and not unique to Anahi, but I find the magnetic key holders frustrating. It’s a little too complex – while in theory, you should be able to just pop your key in the slot and everything works, it doesn’t always work flawlessly, just like a Windows 7 boot up doesn’t always work flawlessly. Wherever there’s technology built in, there’s room for error. I understand the eco-value, but a simple on and off switch that’s easy to figure out still gets my vote. The shower in my room had a little too much technology as well. The pressure seemed to play havoc with mine on the second day, so I had to move rooms because it stopped working. Problem is, I had fallen in love with the coziness of my room, so ended up showering in the Cocoa room and moving back.
Two other pet peeves: No heat! Because of the eco-friendly features they have in place, there is no heat in any of the rooms. Suggestion: more throw rugs in the rooms. The hard wood is gorgeous but adding a few appropriately designed rugs in the rooms that don’t have any could warm up the temperature as well as the ambience. They did bring up an electric heater and an extra duvet when I dialed zero and said the word "frio" and then "brrrrrr" (understandable in any language??) Secondly, they charge 10% if you use a credit card. Nowhere in Ecuador have I been given a surcharge for using a credit card, particularly for a hotel of this calibre. Of course most travelers who stay in a hotel like Anahi are going to use a credit card and if they don’t know about it in advance, it’s not a fun surprise when you’re getting ready to check out.
Suggestion: nuke the extra surcharge. It leaves a bad taste and people remember an experience where they suddenly have a wopping fee they weren’t expecting. If you stay for a week, you could be nailed with nearly $100 more for simply using your credit card. Uncool to say the least.
Back to modern and hip: they have free Wi-Fi in all the rooms AND it actually works. (Meaning, it never went down once, which is a rarity even in 5-star American hotels.) I was amused to discover that in an eco-friendly hotel that they tout a 32″ Plasma TV with more than 21 international TV channels. Hmmmm, I’m in Ecuador in an old, charming city oozing with night life and great food. Why on earth? Yet, locals might want to tune in and business execs who have been to Quito dozens of times may want to watch a movie from one of their very comfortable beds. Many of the rooms have views as well and nearly all of them are spacious with the exception of a few (including the one next to Reception, which I wouldn’t recommend unless they’re completely full up and you don’t have a choice). The other odd, but nice, thing (if you’re tired) is that they have an extensive take-out menu, which includes a number of fast food and chain restaurants in and around Quito. Not unlike the master menu of restaurant owners they have in some cities in the states, you can choose your restaurant, place an order and 50-60 minutes later, your food arrives plus a 10% surcharge for the delivery. Given how inexpensive Ecuador’s fast food and small eateries are, it doesn’t end up being a bargain, but if you don’t feel like walking or cabbing it, it’s a nice alternative. Overall, I’d give this a thumbs up and a ‘must try,’ realizing that the hotel is relatively new so they’re still ironing out some of the small details, i.e., couldn’t get time in the hot tub since they don’t have an official sign up sheet yet. A family had booked it for the entire evening which meant that no other guest could use it. It’s cold until you book it, then they warm it up for the time slot you have allocated.
Rooms to try: if you’re going for uniqueness, try the Amazonas and Pop rooms and the Totora and the Mimbre are both a little more ‘earthy’ if you want to go a little more subdued. If you love clear crisp lines, then go with the slate or the ‘glass’ rooms.
For light airy colors try the Bamboo Room (a little chiller than some of the others because it doesn't have rugs). For a touch of that old fashioned big poster bed feel, go for the Colonial, which has the deep tub and its own balcony.