Last month we made 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 of 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 arrive at “Santa Ana,” Miguel Aguirre, the hacienda´s general manager, welcomes us to show us around and tell us about the history of the old building, His family originally bought the hacienda to spend their weekends there, but when they learned 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 initially included an area of 60.000 hectares. Over 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 intense 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 them to wealthier 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 common areas close to the chimney with a great view through the panoramic window. Everything invites us 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 six rooms has a different design and was remodeled luxuriously, 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 mountains.
We loved the vast 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 surroundings, and the Cotopaxi is just a stone´s throw away…a great mixture of history, comfort & adventure. We would have loved to stay longer 🙂