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Café Cultura, Quito

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
513 Calle Robles
Tel: 593 2 2224 271's insider take:

Local architect-designer László Károlyi's beautifully restored mansion on the edge of the historic city center is certainly not the most hotel-y hotel in the capital (those would be the JW Marriott and the Swissôtel). For instance, there's no cable TV or AC in the 26 rooms (though there is a communal television in the lobby). It is, however, Quito's hippest lodging, a sanctuary of warm lighting, bemuraled walls (by the same artist who adorned Hacienda San Agustin), and theatrical Art Nouveau–ish detail, with a fantastic restaurant to boot. The rooms range from a tiny sunlit box with cavorting bulls painted on the walls to a generous corner honeymoon suite with a curtained king bed, fireplace, balcony, and claw-foot tub. (Go for the latter: It's a mere $20 or so more.) The hotel's rusty-ocher palette, candlelight, wood paneling, eccentric if well-intentioned service, and perfunctory attempt at soundproofing make the entire place feel like a fabulous stage set for some avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.