Published on October 14th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Oro Verde Cuenca — Modern Hotel, Historic Ecuador
As part of my recent visit to Ecuador during the tourism conference called TravelMart Latin America, I was among a group of journalists invited to stay at the Oro Verde, an upscale hotel in the city of Cuenca (don’t miss the photo gallery that accompanies my Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cuenca). Here are my impressions of the hotel.
THE STYLE: The city of Cuenca may be known for the historic architecture that graces its downtown, but the Oro Verde is a decidedly modern construction from the 20th Century. The hotel is in the midst of an ongoing renovation that’s bringing an updated, contemporary style to the property — for now, the guest rooms reflect this attractive new style; the public areas have more traditional decor, but are slated for renovation. Hospitality is definitely a calling card here; after a late-night flight from Quito (read my LAN Airlines flight review here), it was wonderful to be greeted at the reception desk with a comforting glass of canelazo, a warm alcoholic beverage made from aguardiente, sugar and water boiled with cinnamon. (If cocktails are your thing, by the way, check out LatinFlyer’s new recipe book, Mexican Cocktails: Libations & Inspiration from Top Hotels Bars & Restaurants Around Mexico — prices start at just $2.99 for the eBook!)
THE GUEST ROOMS: I stayed in room 314, one of the renovated accommodations, which has fresh, modern style with dark wood furnishings, lovely wood floors and attractive lighting. The room had a safe deposit box, mini-fridge and minibar, large flat-screen TV mounted on the wall, a large work desk and clock radio. The king-size bed was especially comfortable, with a total of five large pillows and two throw pillows (the more pillows the better, in my book). The bathroom featured a walk-in shower with glass divider and a large showerhead, and amenities from Verbena & Romero. WiFi is free but seemed to be much stronger in the public areas than in my guest room.
HOTEL FEATURES: The hotel has a full-service restaurant that serves generous portions, as well as a bar, heated outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center with Turkish bath and massage room. Like the Hilton Colon, where I stayed in the city of Quito during this Ecuador trip, the Oro Verde is focused heavily on serving the needs of business travelers, with meeting space to accommodate up to 500 people. If you’re looking for a more nature-oriented experience in Ecuador, consider a smaller property like the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, which I also visited on this trip.
BEST FOR: Business travelers as well as vacationers looking for a full-service, chain-style hotel in Cuenca in one of the city’s newer neighborhoods, a few minutes by car or taxi from the historic center.
MORE ECUADOR TRAVEL TIPS & INSPIRATION:
• PHOTOS: Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cuenca, Ecuador
• HOTEL REVIEW: Hilton Colon Quito — Luxury & Location
• HOTEL REVIEW: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge
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