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Where to Stay in Cuenca
Cuenca is a mid-sized South American city located in the highlands of Ecuador. The city is famous for its city center, which features many buildings that date back from the early Spanish colonial period. Here, within this vibrant downtown district, visitors can find a variety of accommodations. Both mid-range and high-end hotels occupy historic, centuries-old buildings, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in this historic city. Budget travelers can compare room rates at the handful of hostels that provide easy access to many of the city's top attractions. Those in search of luxury can book reservations at the several boutique hotels in downtown Cuenca. If you want to wake up to beautiful vistas of the surrounding majestic mountains, make sure to ask for a room on one of the upper floors. There are also a few hotels located just outside of the city center. These establishments often are cheaper than their downtown counterparts.
Cuenca Hotel Tips
Cuenca is located 8,200 feet above sea level. For those not used to such high altitudes, you should take the first day or so of your trip to adjust. To help with your transition, do not overexert yourself and do not drink too much alcohol, which can cause dehydration. Additionally, some upscale hotels may offer oxygen upon request, which can help diminish the likelihood of altitude sickness.
July and August are Cuenca's hottest months. It's not uncommon for temperatures to hit triple digits during this season. If you're planning your trip for this summer season, make sure your hotel is climate controlled in advance. Locals tend to take their vacations during this season, so you can expect to face thinner crowds. However, some local shops and restaurants may be closed due to the vacation season.
If you want to find the best flights deals to Cuenca and hotel rates, consider scheduling your trip for the winter months. Temperatures during this period are cool, usually settling around the 50s. Plus, as an incentive to visitors, many hotels and tourist-based businesses lower their prices.
Cuenca Hotel Recommendations
For an exclusive boutique accommodation in the heart of downtown Cuenca, consider making reservations at the Mansion Alcazar. The hotel provides easy access to museums, markets and the city's famous churches. The hotel features a jasmine garden where guests can sip on cocktails while enjoying the warm Cuenca night. Guestrooms feature elegant furnishings and are adorned with antiques and fresh flowers. The hotel also features a tea and coffee room and a reading room. Guests can dine at the Casa Alonso. Located adjacent to the hotel garden, this gourmet restaurant serves a morning American-style breakfast buffet everyday.
With its richly decorated interiors, the Santa Lucia is one of the classiest hotels in Cuenca. Located downtown just a couple blocks from the famous cathedrals, this boutique hotel dates back to 1859 when it served as the governor's mansion. Today, it has been newly renovated to provide guests with all the modern conveniences of home. Standard rooms are cozy and include a full bed, free bottled water and plasma televisions. Larger double and triple rooms are also available. A free breakfast buffet is served each morning, and guests are greeted upon check-in with a complimentary cocktail. The hotel is also home to several restaurants, including Trattoria. Located in the hotel's central courtyard, this gourmet Italian restaurant is stocked with more than 300 varieties of wine.
Or stay on the north side of downtown at the El Dorado Hotel. This boutique hotel was designed with business travelers in mind. The facility features high-speed Internet access, multi-purpose meeting rooms and a 24-hour business center. State-of-the-art event spaces are available and can fit up to 250 guests. Rooms are equipped with marbled bathrooms and showers with massage shower heads. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a complimentary welcome cocktail. There is also a spa and fitness center. As for dining, guests can eat at the hotel's Fogo Bar & Grill. In addition to the gourmet American-style cuisine, the restaurant provides stunning views of the city and surrounding landscape.
Streets in Cuenca are narrow, a typical feature of colonial towns. This makes transport via car difficult, especially within Cuenca's bustling city center. Fortunately, it's easy to explore the historic downtown district on foot, especially since most hotels are located within blocks from the city's majestic cathedrals and museums. If you wish to travel outside downtown, you can call or hail a cab. There is also a citywide bus system that provides transportation throughout Cuenca. If you are planning on visiting one of Cuenca's neighboring villages, you can frequently find shuttle service from a local tour company.
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