Last weekend we did a short trip to the Cotopaxi National Park to get to know a new, beautiful hacienda: “Hacienda Santa Ana”, a property that belonged to the Jesuits in the 16th century. From the town of Machachi we had to drive up a bumpy, stony road passing by small indigenous villages. During the drive we enjoy a great view on the surrounding landscapes: the protection forest Pasochoa, the mountains Sincholagua and Rumiñahui and last but not least the Cotopaxi volcano are not far away from the hacienda.
When we arrived at “Santa Ana”, Miguel Aguirre, the hacienda´s general manager, welcomed us to show us around and told us about the history of the old building. His family originally bought the hacienda to spend their weekends there, but when they learnt about the incredible history of “Santa Ana” they decided to remodel it and open it to the public as an exclusive hotel, but conserving the essential spirit of the place. In the surrounding there are several other haciendas, but what makes “Santa Ana” so special is that it is not only a very cozy hotel with a perfect level of service and a privileged location – the history makes the difference:
The Jesuits build the place which originally included an area of 60.000 hectares. In the course of time they build a house and a church, mainly out of brick. They called this place “Santa Ana del Pedregal”, which is now the name of the hacienda which was built by the employees of the Jesuits, who were responsible for taking care of the property. Religious people consider the place to be a sanctuary due to the strong spirituality that was dominant here in the past.
After the expulsion of the Jesuits by King Charles III, all the properties of the Jesuits were given to the heroes of independence, who later on sold some of the to richer families.
Miguel tells us that nowadays the past of the hacienda is reflected in each part of the hacienda which is decorated with antique elements – ambient music, the cozy atmosphere in the social areas close to the chimney with a great view through the panoramic window : everything invites to relax…not only physically, but also spiritually We enjoy a hot canelazo and some delicious empanadas made of Morocho and Yuca, before we continue to visit the rooms of “Hacienda Santa Ana”.
Each of the 6 rooms has a different design and was remodeled in a luxurious way, but at the same time the original style was kept. Duvets, heatings in each room and hot-water-bottles keep the hotel guests warm during the cold nights in the highlands.
We absolutely loved the huge gardens with the two lamas “Juan & Juana”, which you can feed with carrots – highland idyll Soon there is going to be a SPA with a heated pool…this will make it simply perfect! “Santa Ana” is a great starting point for biking, trekking or horse riding tours in the surrounding and the Cotopaxi is just a stone´s throw away…a great mixture of history, comfort & adventure. We would have loved to stay longer