This is a place of calmness and unhurriedness. Hacienda Cusin, a 17th century country estate located in northern Ecuador, brings you back in time to over 400 years ago.
Here you will walk on cobblestone walkways, sleep in rooms with a fireplace and hot water bottles in your bed and feel like you are one of the colonial estate owners in the valleys of the Andes Mountains. The main house has a dining room with a fireplace in the middle. Antique ponchos, Ecuadorian antique side tables, a reproduction 17th century painting and among the many other original and reproduction paintings and artifacts is a painting by an unknown painter.
It shows Judith holding the head of Holofernes or maybe it is Herod’s wife holding John the Baptist’s head. All meals are served in this room. During the night, at dinnertime, a candle stand is placed on each dining table. The server lights the candle every time before taking orders.
Salon Bolivar is located just outside the dining room. It is a cozy place to sit by the fireplace with a glass of wine and meet and chat with fellow travelers. If you are dissatisfied and if the owner is in town, you probably can spend some time talking through things with him at Salon Bolivar. We observed one couple who was clearly dissatisfied the moment they arrived. Workers are well mannered especially our driver, Angel who has been with the Hacienda for 23 years and Pedro the waiter who has worked for 30 years.
But none can compare with 18th century Santa Barbarita and a 1571 Flemish tapestry showing the battle of Lepanto. Or the old worn-out white chairs, benches and weird leatherback chairs found upstairs.
The Hacienda Cusin, 40 rooms, sits between volcanoes and mountains, about two hours from Quito. The cobblestone walkways through the gardens include many surprises like a playground for kids, basketball court, ponds, cottages and an exclusive suite located just below a lookout platform.
A blue gate in the garden leads to El Monasterio de Cusin. More guest rooms are located in the monastery. The wall near the conference room is decorated with weird figures and scenes. One particular scene is The Last Supper where guinea pig was served just like in Arequipa Peru. This spiritual place is in fact a little creepy.
The monastery has a parapet where you can view the volcanic mountains of Cotacachi and Imbabura. Down below are guestrooms, conference rooms and a bar. Yes, a bar in the monastery.
Hacienda Cusin’s stable (establos) is across the street from El Monasterio. There are eight horses, chicken and ducks.
The most beautiful part of the Hacienda is the Central Patio Cottage. It is the original residence of the first owner of the hacienda. It is the oldest part of the hacienda. It has several rooms, a library and a garden with the oldest cedro tree.
We stayed for two nights at Hacienda Cusin. On the first night, we were at room number 3 in the main house with a small balcony and window overlooking the Mojanda mountain range. It is a bright and airy room with a bathroom with natural light.
The second night at room number 11, a room with four twin beds, one fireplace and access to the garden. This is actually a two in one room, very close to the guardhouse and street outside. You can hear cars passing by. There is not much natural light. One great advantage is the fireplace and spaciousness of this room.
Room number 18 is one of the best rooms in the hacienda with three twin beds, one fireplace and garden view.
Breakfast is included with the room rates. This is how breakfast looked like while we were there. The menu is the same for both days.
A set menu of starter, main course and dessert is $22 per person.
Overall Hacienda Cusin is immaculately maintained. Tea is complimentary all day at the hacienda. I guess it is because the owner is British. The Hacienda is suitable for families with kids or just anyone who wants to get away from the city to a quiet retreat in the country.
Location: 8003 San Pablo del Lago, Imbabura, Ecuador