A detail from Illa Experience Hotel in Quito
Courtesy of Illa Experience Hotel

Illa Experience Hotel

Quito, Ecuador

So perfectly preserved is the historic city center of Quito, with its indigenous adobe walls alongside colonial Spanish architecture, that it was among the first two cities declared a World Heritage Site in 1978. A microcosm of that rich history can be found at the boutique hotel Illa (“Sacred light” in Quechua), which opened last December. The mansion dates to the 18th century and has been carefully restored, with each of the three floors representing an era in Ecuador’s history. “We added our own families’ deepest traditions,” says co-owner Marcel Perkins, noting that his wife’s grandmother’s gift with textiles is evident in the hand-woven rugs and embroidered linens. The “experience” in the hotel’s name refers to the eight activities offered to guests, including water­color painting with a local artist and Ecuadorian chocolate tasting. Staffers “share our families’ way of living so [guests] can feel as Quiteños during their stay,” says Perkins. —Kaitlin Menza

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