Hotel del Parque
Wake up to the sounds of parrots and spider monkeys calling each other from the treetops. A world where palm leaves and exotic flowers sway gently in the breeze of the Daule River. Yes, even in the cosmopolitan and somewhat hectic port city of Guayaquil, we offer a tropical oasis captured in time.
The beautiful building of Hotel del Parque (Relais & Châteaux) is a monument from the past of Guayaquil and exudes grandeur and history. Formerly called Hospício Corazón de Jesús, the property was built in 1891 by Guayaquil’s oldest charity in a location in the centre of the metropolis. It was the first hospice in the city. The founders, Manuel Galecio and his wife Jesús Pereira, stated that the hospice should only accommodate homeless, elderly and disabled people, both men and women.
In the 1980’s, on the verge of demolition, the property was bought by the Central Bank of Ecuador. Brick by brick they moved the building to its current location in Parque Histórico. There it was placed next to three other monumental buildings and carefully restored. Four years ago, the Hotel del Parque team took over the renovation and lovingly transformed it into the luxurious hotel it is today. Designer Julio Vinueza was inspired by the architecture of the republican era in his creation of the refined interiors.
I slept two nights in this hotel in preparation for an expedition cruise to the Galápagos Islands and I couldn’t have wished for a nicer location in Guayaquil. Upon arrival at the hotel, you are immediately embraced by the peace and charm of this unique place. The reception is personal and very hospitable. A lovely gift awaits you when you enter the room. These are all spacious and offer all the comfort you would expect and more. My sleep was simply divine in a bed with the finest linen. From the hotel you can walk to the restaurant next door, which offers a captivating view over the river. I enjoyed a delicious meal in the cool evening breeze. The breakfast, served in the courtyard, is absolutely sublime and the service was once again with a big smile. Lovingly they gave me the explanation how to best combine the ingredients of the buffet into the most delicious ceviche (yes, also for breakfast!). This is truly one of those hotels where you automatically start wandering a bit slower to take in the surroundings. The perfect base before flying to the Galápagos or a rest at the end of your journey, before the flight leaves to go home.
Location: Parque Histórico
The Parque Histórico is located on a small peninsula opposite Guayaquil on the other side of the water. This park beautifully recreates what Guayaquil looked like during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hotel del Parque is located in the middle of this park. You can see the rich architectural style of the beautiful wooden houses and their soft wood tones that were used to keep houses cool during warm weather conditions. In addition to the architecture, attention is also paid to the city’s main activities during those days, including the production of chocolate from the abundant cocoa produced in the surrounding countryside and the production of tobacco. The park includes pretty gardens, a farm and a craft centre.
The historic park also features a very nicely landscaped 4-acre zoo for endangered animals, with over 50 species of unique birds, mammals and reptiles in an environment that mimics their natural habitats.Back to overview