Concierge.com's insider take:
This former waterfront mansion of a tobacco tycoon, built at the turn of last century, has been fully restored to its Ecuadorian Republic–era glory and transformed into a charming 15-room hotel. None of its gilded, opulent rooms are alike: Expect antique furnishings like a brass canopy bed, crystal chandeliers, a fireplace, and Queen Anne–style desks. If the rooms evoke a bit of the Versace Mansion Casa Casuarina, that may be due to the fact that the building was designed by an Italian architect who infused his home country's aesthetic with Ecuadorian architectural styles. Gratis breakfast is served daily in a glass-encased patio where afternoon tea is also offered. Pre-dinner cocktails are available every evening at the rooftop lounge looking out over the adjacent Alameda Park. The only downside to staying at the Mansion is that, true to its period, there are no elevators; be prepared to huff it up at least a couple of flights of stairs.—Cathay Che
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