Hacienda La DanesaGuayaquil, Ecuador
Located just over an hour to the east of Guayaquil, Hacienda La Danesa is run by the third generation of the Olsen family, who farm it as a ranch / 500 hectare cacao plantation. A few years ago Niels Olsen and his family opened up a small boutique hotel on the farm which has been expanded to offer 6 beautifully designed and spacious guest rooms, set in lush green gardens. At the centre of the garden is a charming lounge area, restaurant and bar, where you will meet other guests and the owners.
Being at the centre of an organic farm, the cuisine is based on the concept of ‘From farm to fork’ where the ingredients are sourced from the farm and the surrounding area and reflect seasonal availability. But the activity which marks out Hacienda La Danesa for particular interest is it’s cacao plantation which produces the Cacao de Arriba used for making some of the best chocolate in Ecuador, and indeed the world, as described in The Economist 1843 magazine.
A wide range of relaxing and fun activities are available from horseback riding, tubing on the river, mountain biking and hands on chocolate production on the cacao plantation. Special additional activities such as Ecuadorean cooking classes and hiking can also be arranged. And families can get involved in the daily working of the farm. Journalist Paul Richardson adds La Danesa to one of his 5-star farm stays in his Financial Times article.
This is a wonderful place for spending two nights before heading off to the Galapagos Islands or back up to Quito. Certainly, we can vouch that Hacienda La Danesa has a very special atmosphere which we and our guests can recall long after our stay there.