4.5
Very Good 463 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • A central location close to the old cathedral and just one block from the main plaza
  • Stunning woodwork on the balconies framing the central courtyard and throughout the hotel
  • A choice of three restaurants — an all-Italian spot, a traditional Ecuadorian and one that plays as a glam lounge bar
  • A world away from cookie-cutter; rooms are all individually designed and vary in size and layout

What To Know

  • The city sits 8,400 feet above sea level, though altitude sickness is less common than in Quito
  • Most of the guestrooms face the central courtyard, so expect some noise from diners at Trattoria Novecento
  • There are no international flights to Cuenca, but from Quito it’s just a short, inexpensive hop by air
  • Rooms on the first floor get far less light and may get a little extra noise from the courtyard Trattoria Novecento restaurant
  • Cuenca is Ecuador’s third-largest city, surrounded by mountains on all sides

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Boutique Business City Exterior Romantic building property Town restaurant

Overview

The Review

Although Cuenca doesn’t have any major historical attractions, the way Quito does, or heavily visited natural wonders like the Galapagos, many consider this their favorite Ecuadorian city. It’s just downright charming. The old city is blossoming with culture and buzzed-about restaurants, and there are cafés dotted on every corner of the colonial center. Hotel Santa Lucia is a natural base for exploring the city’s ins and outs, as well as something of an attraction in its own right, housed, as it is, in a 150-year-old building just a block from the central plaza.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/2806/prop-88588-1336670461-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Trattoria Novecento serves an all-Italian menu in the light-filled central courtyard.”}The first upscale colonial-style hotel in Cuenca, the Santa Lucia has been in operation since 2001, when the original owners sold the property after more than a century in the same family. Today the fruits of a painstaking, sensitive renovation are on show, from the colorful public spaces to the simply dressed guestrooms.

Anchored by a traditional tile courtyard topped with skylights, the rooms are a mishmash of shapes and sizes, which demonstrates the new owner’s commitment to the original design. The decor continues the historic theme, going with gold-plated mirror frames and antique wooden furniture, but there are modern, largely hidden, comforts as well, including digital safes, minibars and plasma TVs. The bathrooms have a contemporary look, in white marble with primo bath products.

The current owners, the Vintimillas, are restaurateurs, so it’s little surprise to find two stellar restaurants at the Santa Lucia. Using the courtyard as an atmospheric dining room, Trattoria Novecento serves an all-Italian menu, plus a 300-bottle wine list, while streetside Inti is a more casual spot for classic Ecuadorian fare. There’s also Moshi Moshi, a decadent lounge bad (think purple velvet, leopard-print tiles and colorful cocktails) that’s somewhat unique in this traditional city. Stop in for the popular happy hour, then get an early night and rise in time to explore Cuenca’s UNESCO-listed historic center before the crowds arrive.

How to Get There

Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia
Antonio Borrero 8 44 Y Sucre
Cuenca, 010150 Ecuador

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 463 Reviews
Colonial gorgeous hotel
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Very good quality-price ratio; it feels like being in an early 19th century movie, the architecture is beautiful, the patio is very pleasant to linger in. The food was very good too. The details make this place unique: old fashioned furniture, paintings, candle lights, tropical plants...

Great location, luxurious feel
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This hotel is perfectly located and it looks amazing. The rooms were big and clean and the bathroom was nice.
If the restaurant in the courtyard is busy, you’ll hear the noise in your room and the breakfast service needs improvement: personnel might try to smile for once 😀. And please, just offer a buffet.

Charming hotel - good service, room and food
Reviewed 1 month ago

This is a lovely old hotel with lots of character. The staff speak very good English and quickly know you by name. My room was beautiful and much larger than I needed (one king plus 2 full sized in a loft). The bed was very comfortable (I like a soft bed). I had dinner in the hotel restaurant and it the service was good and very fast from the kitchen. I was worried I would hear too much noise since my room was next to the creaky stairs, but I never heard any noise until mid-morning. The bathroom had all modern amenities, good water pressure and plenty of hot water that did not take long to reach my room. Breakfast was included and very good -- the Eggs Benedict were as expected with a good, not-too-lemony hollandaise sauce. The only issue (which is beyond the control of the hotel) is the cross walk signal noise. My room was at the front of the hotel and the cross walk "beep" runs 24/7. If you are extremely sensitive to noise you may want to be away from the street. The location is perfect, 1 block from the central plaza and walking distance to most of the historic sites. The hotel responds very quickly to email and arranged my airport pickup and a taxi to take me to Guayaquil (Edisson is very responsive).

Much overrated
Reviewed 2 months ago

Some rooms are cold very badly decorated
The hotel is noisy, staff starts cleaning while talking from 6 am this walking up clients
We asked several times to change room but the other rooms offered were the same, even colder
The first one was at ground floor and the second right under the roof in an attic like room
Such a bad experience for this price !!

Gorgeous Ambiance, Close To The Action.
Reviewed 2 months ago

When you walk in it feels like going back in time to high class New Orleans, or Spain, or a movie set from the old west.
It is my first trip to Ecuador and I felt welcome and safe in this downtown Cuenca treasure.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, the room was spacious and clean, and the breakfast included was fresh and hot. Outside we are close to the busy square with great restaurants, an amazing ice cream shop, and nightlife with music and inexpensive drinks and snacks. I highly recommend this hotel, and the city of Cuenca.