Welcome to Ecuador. Never-much before have I seen a level of hospitality, thoughtfulness, in every place, except for the American-run hotel we stayed in once. People here are kind, helpful, and wonderful. The whole trip, I was constantly thinking of the differences in my experience with the hospitality of the ecuadorians I met to the americans I’ve encountered in my country and it’s almost not even fair. It made me feel a little sad about the hospitality at general hotels/motels/etc in my own country and the way they have regressed to a base commercial vegetative state.
For example, the Hostería (equivalent to a “hotel” in english) I stayed in, in Banos, when we arrived, our host Rigoberto greeted us in the parking lot, took us inside the main great room, and checked us in. His wife brought us some delicious tea and he told us that since we were they only ones staying that night, we would be upgraded to the “honeymoon” suite. (this is ironic now, but sweet at the time). We were originally going to stay in the tree house. They had such delicious food there, we didn’t even go out to eat, we just ate the dinners there. One night, Rigoberto had given everyone leave to attend a church event and he stayed behind to watch the Hostería. He made us dinner himself and it was just as delicious.
Breakfast was complimentary and I was so used to the sparse and chemical-ridden packaged and frozen american continental breakfast, I was almost shocked to see what he gave us. A basket full of fresh warm bread, handmade that morning; fresh queso, from the farm (he has a farm too); fresh scrambled eggs from the chickens on the property; hot coffee, warmed milk, sugar, fresh fruit juice (this changed daily but was always delicious); fresh sliced fruit from the patio. I mean, seriously?!?! This was complimentary?!?! This was just for us, it wasn’t sitting around under a warmer, they made it when came into the lobby in the mornings and said hi.
The photos below are a few I took at the Hostería. If you want to stay there, it’s a beautiful place away from the touristic chaos down in the town of Banos. This is a ten minute drive up the mountain. It’s surrounded by beautiful farms, mountains, and clouds. Here’s the link to the place for ya!