Hacienda La DanesaGuayaquil, Ecuador
For the time being Hacienda la Danesa has just two bedrooms arranged as private suites with their own entrance from the gardens, but the family owners have plans to significantly expand the hotel to make the most of the wonderful surroundings and activities on offer.
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. It is now possible to visit the hacienda by travelling on a special narrow gauge train to see the production and sample the final product, as recently described in The Economist 1843 magazine.
A wide range of relaxing and fun activities are available from horseback riding, through the farm, 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 in the cloud forest can also be arranged. And families can get involved in the daily working of the farm. The fun of staying on a farm in Ecuador also featured in a recent article in The Week magazine.
This is a wonderful place for spending two nights before heading off to the Galapagos Islands or back up to Quito. Journalist Paul Richardson adds La Danesa to one of his 5-star farm stays in his Financial Times article