Ecuador

Oh Ecuador – you are a beautiful place with some great ways of enjoying a proper soak. In this article I will talk about two spas that I was able to take advantage of in my very short time in Ecuador. One in Quito and one about an hour away from Quito.

I should first say that it was a pretty bumpy ride coming into the Quito airport. My understanding is that is one of the highest aiports in the world and the mountain winds make a a real challenge for pilots. But I did eventually make it. And promptly went to the Swiss Hotel!

10624724_10152903803118839_4243761062628874587_n

If you get the chance this is a great place to stay – roses on the pillows, slippers, chocolates… and the spa!

10846274_10152903803038839_936004122053318194_n

Not only is there an indoor/outdoor pool, but there is a great dry sauna, a steam room and a hydrotherapy walk! It was such a pleasure to be in this hotel while I was there on business because it too the guess work out of finding a spa at night. I took full advantage of this lovely retreat.

1513690_10152903802513839_6017989995248698494_n

The hydrotherapy walk could probably use some re-working to make it a little more accessible, but I love the fact that they thought about it. The dry sauna and steam room are in the individual gender change rooms. But both were sufficiently hot.

The entire experience at Swiss Hotel in Quito was unlike any hotel I had ever had before. It was a whole nother level of service and comfort! This hotel and spa was so great that I imagine it will appear in my ‘hotel spas’ page as well. The stay might get a little pricey, but I promise it is worth the indulgence. Just look at those roses!

10402719_10152903802863839_1673086757118437223_n

If you are in Quito for work, make sure you set aside 1.5 days enjoy Papallacta. Okay it took me a little while to learn how to say this, but I’m pretty sure that any way you choose to get there (whether by taxi, rental car, bus, hitch hiking etc.), you need to learn the name. It’s: pa-pa-yack-ta. Such an amazing place I don’t even know where to start.

10409238_10152903805693839_671949783862622704_n

The drive up, and up, and up, is about an hour away from Quito. It seems that at one point you just get onto a road that ends in a misty mountain valley, at the end of which is our gem!

10846405_10152903807533839_1894178610104497318_n

Hot springs, hot srpings and more hot springs. And there are so many ways to enjoy them, which is why I’m going to lay out the options here.

10408543_10152903839818839_8999779426881980262_n

Coming up the hill on the left side is the entance to the public baths. There are about 15 different pools to choose from. The two previous photos are from this area, which really has all kind of nooks and cranies to enjoy.

10846448_10152903808528839_4579626954939852287_n

This includes falling soaker pools for 2 terraced up a hill, to shallow hot pools with rocky pillows…

to secluded 10 person soakers, with an optional cold stream dip…

10172804_10152903835758839_2504149059418199549_n

… to a steamer grotto, showers… a cafeteria… bubbly pools, kiddy pools

10339730_10152903835193839_4283091548638163971_n

10153649_10152903835843839_6910316736997411120_n

… no matter what your style, preference and even how many people are there, you are bound to find the perfect space at the public pools and be able to enjoy an entire day just soakin’ away.

10857846_10152903835523839_5152390090276464855_n

I would say that the only thing missing was some indoor rest areas. Sure there is the restuarant and the store, but out of the water can get a little chilly.

The second choice is the private spa…

1620887_10152903807563839_1817198154103624252_n

Offering treatments, like massages and facials, this is a great option for folks who want the full ride.

10500546_10152903843663839_1968013830424045877_n

This part is, of course, more theraputic. you can see it in the pool designs. But it is not necessarily better. There are less pools to choose from, but more variety in terms of their function. They had a really nice pebble stone walk for foot therapy, pressure falls and very hot soakers.

10846260_10152903843208839_4353649405256957890_n

I can’t remember if you can get into this part without booking a service. I think not, because I ended up booking 20 minutes in the steam grotto, which ended up be far, far better than the sad one in the public part.

10850167_10152903842923839_804084012316189546_n

The rest facilities were also a great bonus.

541578_10152903847598839_6309855106472611614_n

A third choice is to keep soaking into the late night and just stay over at the hotel. This, of course, was my choice.

10523165_10152903805808839_2130775878155926000_n

I can’t even begin to say what a treat this is for the spa-lover. I would get a little chilled in the room, hop up and walk out my door, into the bliss.

10479731_10152903839988839_5050896702216868531_n

Connected cabins surround a maze of hot springs that flow eternally throughout the night, in the morning, after dinner, before dinner, before breakfast… whenever you want. It’s just great to crawl into bed after warming up.

10599631_10152903837558839_5819258504733049583_n

The food was good and the atmosphere cozy.

10420388_10152903804833839_3335811106240467507_n

As I recall it was affordable – just over $100/night. But entirely worth it. You could probably at least spend two or three nights there without feeling bored. There are nice hiking trails around guided or solo. Bring a book and drink lots of water because this is a proper hot spring.

10374863_10152903837398839_2920622038364503097_n-1

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s