Consistently rated one of Ecuador’s top small hotels before it closed early in the Covid pandemic, Mansión Alcázar reopened its doors Thursday. The hotel, located in the historic district on Calle Simon Bolivar, will be operated by Cuenca’s Sociedad Gourmet group, which includes Hotel Santa Lucia and the Negroni, Rosee and Café del Museo restaurants.
According to Sociedad Gourmet director Cornelio Vintimilla, the hotel will focus at first on the upscale Ecuadorian market, particularly tourists from the Guayaquil area who have made Cuenca a top destination during the pandemic. “The historic district has seen a large increase of Guayaquileño visitors since the pandemic made it difficult for them to travel outside of the country,” he says. “Although the health crisis has been very hard on hotels and restaurants in general, the influx of visitors from the coast has been a bright spot.”
Ultimately, Vintimilla adds, Mansión Alcázar will resume marketing to the international tourist market to which it catered before the pandemic. “We expect to attract a few foreign travelers but understand that the market is currently limited because of the health crisis. By reopening now, however, we will be in position to serve that market when pandemic is over.”
Among the plans Sociedad Gourmet has for the hotel is the renovation of guest rooms, gardens and meeting facilities as well as to open a restaurant featuring French cuisine. Vintimilla says there also plans to upgrade and promote the hotel’s spa, gym and hydromassage services.
The Mansión Alcázar occupies a historic house built in the 1880s by the Chacón family and later purchased by Ecuador President Luis Cordero. The house was renovated beginning in 1998 and opened as a hotel in 2001 by Cuenca’s Vasquez family, which owns the property.