Quito is not the highest capital in the world — La Paz takes that prize — but Ecuador’s capital does have a more important claim to fame for visitors. Its historic colonial center is the largest in the Americas, and it was the first place on the planet designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1978.
When setting aside a day of enjoyment in Quito, it’s important to time it right. Monday is the worst: Most museums and restaurants are closed. Sunday is best: Most of the city streets in the historic center are closed off for pedestrians. The main avenue going from here through the more modern Mariscal district is as well, with bicyclists taking the place of cars. If you want to explore on two wheels yourself, rent a bike from one of the pop-up stands and join along. Take it easy, though: You are 9,350 feet above sea level.
Most of the city’s business chain hotels are in the newer part of town, as are many of the top restaurants, but for history and interesting architecture, the best bet is to head for the center and start walking. Plaza de la Independencia is the heart of it all, so this is a good starting point. The presidential palace is here, as is the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Nearby Plaza San Francisco is more open and dramatic, with its namesake church, completed in 1580, flanking a large rectangle cobbled in stone. A block away is the city’s most attractive museum, Casa del Alabado. Focused solely on Pre-Columbian art, the collection of stone carving and pottery is arranged by theme, with some items dating back as far as 4,000 years. The collection is beautifully presented in a 17th-century mansion.
The best restaurant in the area for lunch is at Casa Gangotena, the city’s newest luxury hotel, where Ecuadoran classics get an upgrade under the mastery of one of Ecuador’s finest chefs.
In the afternoon, visit the nearby free Museum of Colonial Art to see religious works from the 16th to 19th centuries, then step inside the stunning La Compañía de Jesus church to see how these works appear in a gilded Spanish colonial church. This is one of the grandest in the Americas, with nearly every surface a work of art and miles of gold leaf covering intricate altars and cornices.
Wander a few blocks to the narrow pedestrian-only La Ronda Street to see artisan shops and have dinner by candlelight in a historic building. Or grab a taxi back to Mariscal for a less rustic setting, dining at one of Quito’s excellent modern restaurants such as Zazu or La Gloria.
After it all, you’ll realize you’ve had to pass on much of what this highland city near the equator offers. The rest will be waiting next time you venture nearly two miles into the sky.
Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Recently, NoMo SoHo and its ownership, real estate and investment firm Sapir Corp Ltd., launched a curated NFT program, making NoMo SoHO the first hotel in the United States to offer guests an innovative way to book stays using blockchain technology.
From Aug. 9 to 17, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, will vibrate to the sound of the world’s favorite Elvis Presley tunes as Elvis Week 2022 gets underway. This year’s event will be a fun-filled mashup of tributes, concerts, special events and celebrity appearances, including actress Barbara Eden, who starred with Elvis in the 1960 film Flaming Star and became a household name for her lead role in the long-running television series I Dream of Jeannie.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
What happens when three of the six French nationals residing in San Antonio get together? If they happen to be from a long line of proud French gourmands from three different regions of the country, they take what they know and make it something proudly Texan, while still adhering to their separate and collective culinary roots. That’s exactly what happened as a result of those three — Executive Chef Laurent Réa of Strasbourg, Philippe Placé of Chartres, and Jérôme Sérot of Lyon — meeting 20 years ago.
With a network of more than 450 independent luxury advisors, Travel Edge, the North American leader in luxury travel, released a report on its findings for travel trends in 2022. No doubt the pandemic can be blamed as the main culprit behind many of these changing trends in travel, with travelers attempting to regain moments lost over the last two years.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Nobu Barbuda is underway in the Caribbean, the newest installation to the Nobu Hospitality portfolio. The Nobu restaurant, all conceived by actor Robert DeNiro, debuted in 2021, and Nobu Barbuda’s first beach club opened this year.