Colonial breakfast in the tropics. This is outdoor dining under ancient fans that trace lazy arcs and coax an easy breeze in the warm, humid air. The shafts of morning sun are bright on crisp, white linen. Traveller palms sway in soft harmony with grackles, katydids and gentle clinks of silver and china. Singapore – The Raffles Hotel has an outdoor restaurant just next to the Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling. Colonized comfort, old fashioned pots of thick marmalade and slightly burnt toast stand in silver racks. Elegant setting, quiet service, Chinese waiters dressed in immaculate white. In this ancient Victorian tradition, I was a modern link in a rite this monument had offered for so many generations past.
I first stayed at the Raffles in 1971 and immediately fell in love with old hotels. Since that time, I have lived, stayed and conducted seminars around the world in such grand ladies, The Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Biltmore Bel Mido in Tampa, Repulse Bay (the old one) in Hong Kong, Green Park Inn in North Carolina to name a few. I enjoy the architectural design, the huge rooms, but mostly it is their ghosts that captivate my heart; the mysteries, events, weddings, inaugurations and festivities that have taken place in these hotels. All these joys and emotions linger. I walk around thinking, feeling and enjoying these blessings of the past. A hopeless romantic? I confess! To me the sense of history, to stand on the spots of great men, women and events gives me a thrill far greater than any new plumbing, spit and polish that a new hotel can bring. I love old hotels. This is one reason why Merri and I have started the Haciendas, Hot Springs and Health course.
We begin at the Hotel Quito, our home away from home. The picture attached shows me with our tour operator Santigo Guamany and friend having a breakfast meeting at the hotel's Techo del Mundo (roof of the world) restaurant. Gossamer clouds spin in golden webs with the rising sun and we watch this city of snow capped volcanos come awake.
The Hotel Quito is an Art Deco hotel with outstanding gardens and views that seem to go on forever in every direction. The combination of sweet Indigenous people serving you and Swiss management is great.
Then we travel to and stay at Hacienda Cusin, a 383 year old monastery that has been converted into an exquisite experience…with its charming guest quarters. Cusin's garden's are exude a soft sweetness…lanes totally covered by Angel's trumpets, paths lined in flowers and trees and of course brilliantly decked out hummingbirds. Every meal is a gourmet experience and every wall an antique collector's delight. Choose a room with electric heat if you wish, but I suggest the fireplace option where eucalyptus fed fires crack and cast dim shadows on your evening wall.
In the Cuenca area we stay on the Paute River at Hosteria Uzhupud. This is a small colonial village turned into a guest house, with bull ring, shops, all cobblestones of course. Glorious Gardens of every color are here. Orchid gardens, hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea fill the air with honey sweet scents. Indoor dining in a colonial setting and outdoor dining in courtyards emblazed with color.
We complete this journey at the Hotel Crespo, a small hotel created from a century old colonial house. A huge cedar stairway runs up the center and a wooden interior feels like a turn of the century San Francisco boarding house. The rooms have been elegantly refurbished and the gracious dining room overlooks the city.
Each of these hotels is very comfortable, but more important they are loaded with history and charm. They offer a slower, easier, more gracious pace of times past. This slowing down alone is one great way to be healthier and enjoy wealth more!
I hope to see you on this tour, but if not, consider visiting these hotels when you can.
Until next message, good global business and investing! Gary
Tour guides we use in Ecaudor: Ecuador Amazing, Santiago Guamany, in Quito email is email@example.com
Eduardo Quito in Cuenca. email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Gary Scott in Ecuador
See https://garyascott.com/courses/ for details of Gary's forthcoming courses to Ecuador.