Hacienda Cusin, San Pablo del Lago
Tel: 593 6 2918 013
Tel: 800 670 6984
Concierge.com's insider take:
Tucked into the Andean foothills amid a riot of bougainvillea and walnut trees, Hacienda Cusin is a rambling 16th-century estate that attracts Nobel Prize winners (scientist Murray Gell-Mann), actors (Meg Ryan), and pink tourists just back from the Galápagos. Owner Nick Millhouse, a chatty Brit, has worked since 1990 to convert the "fine ruin" into the current complex of stately dining halls, Spanish-style courtyards, and 42 guest rooms. Cozy taverns and creaky reading rooms are stuffed with objets d'art: Bolivian tapestries, afghan rugs, pre-Columbian pottery, and kooky murals. Guest rooms are simple, with folk art, writing desks, and handwoven blankets; instead of televisions, there are big windows that let in the light. Restless types can ride horses or mountain bike through fields cut by farmers whose descendants fought off the Incas. The Otavalo market, one of the best on the continent for indigenous wares, is just a 15-minute drive away.