Hotel Review: Mansion Santa Isabella, Riobamba, Ecuador
Traveling to Riobamba in Ecuador and don't know where to stay? We share our review of Mansion Santa Isabella Hotel, a perfect accommodation while in the city.
As long-term travelers, most of the time we travel on a budget. It doesn't mean we always choose the cheapest accommodation in the city, but we usually look for a compromise between price, a certain level of cleanliness and security.
But from time to time, it is nice to spend a night or two in a place where we don't need to worry to look under a bed or in a place where it looks creepy already at the front desk because sometimes photos on hotel's websites can be misleading and don't show the actual state of the hotel.
When we arrived in Riobamba, a closest big city to Volcan Chimborazo, the highest mountain of Ecuador and also thanks to the nearby equator the closest point to the sun from the center of the Earth, after three months on the road, we decided that for once we deserve a comfortable hotel where we could take a break, where we can relax a bit, catch up with our blog posts and plan our next travels.
We knew that we want to stay in Riobamba for four nights and the most important criterium for us was to be close to the city center, not that far from bus station and also to be near to the agency Julio Verne Travel with whom we wanted to do a biking tour near Chimborazo.
After a thorough research, we chose for our stay in Riobamba, a four-star hotel Mansion Santa Isabella. You can find our honest review here.
The hotel is well located near the city center, close to restaurants, bars, train station, artisan markets, and travel agencies who can help you arrange a trip to Chimborazo National Park. It took us about ten minutes to get everywhere we needed on foot, so we did not need to spend anything extra to get around the city.
You can find Mansion Santa Isabella in a side street, so the noise from cars is limited and in the rooms in the backyard practically nonexistent.
The hotel is situated in a beautifully restored building from Spanish colonial times with an indoor fountain. You cannot overlook the house as it has a yellow facade and colorful mosaic.
From the outside, you wouldn't guess that inside is not one, but two courtyards. When you enter, there is a front desk and a restaurant on a left side (where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and on the right side a meeting space for hosting conferences or celebrations.
The hotel has two similar parts. One part is above the entrance hall, and reception, the other one goes further into the courtyard. All rooms have an entrance to a lovely patio, so the first impression when you arrive is warm and welcoming.
There are 25 rooms in the hotel, a well-balanced number so the hotel is not too big and crowded, but you also don't have a feeling you are there alone. Also, we prefer uniqueness over uniformity, and it is what we found in Mansion Santa Isabell because every room and even the bathroom has its own individual characteristic.
Right after we entered the hotel's lobby, we knew we would enjoy our time here. Dimly-lit entrance hall and most importantly silence and stillness. That was our first impression and exactly what we needed. If you are looking for a party hotel, this won't be probably your choice number one, but if you are seeking for rest and tranquil sleep in a pretty environment, Mansion Santa Isabella is the hotel for you. And we believe that later in the evening, you'll find a company in the lobby or in the restaurant if you wish.
The Mansion Santa Isabella offers rooms for single travelers as well as for larger parties up to four people, definitely a family friendly hotel. All rooms have a window (not a standard in Ecuador) and are spacious (definitely larger than usual), so it creates a clean and light look. Our bathroom was actually of the size of rooms we usually stay in during our travels. Cream colored walls, dark wood furnishing, and rustically decorated bedspreads create the unmistakable cozy atmosphere.
The equipment in the room is standard and effective - comfortable bed, night tables, lamps, working desk, chair, wardrobe, and TV. Sometimes we found hard when traveling in Ecuador and overall South America to find a hotel with a good working desk and a comfortable chair where we could work without ruining our back, so we were happy having this feature. We probably don't have to mention that linen and towels were spotlessly clean. Some of the rooms have a small balcony or jacuzzi - if this is what you are looking for, ask at the front desk.
In the bathroom, you'll find a hairdryer and toiletries. Those are special as the hotel support indigenous communities in Amazon by buying their handmade, organically produced products - soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. We not only loved the lemongrass and aloe vera aroma but also the idea of helping those communities. You can buy those products in the hotel's lobby as well.
When traveling around South America for a while, we don't take for granted that advertised hot shower always actually mean hot water - another small thing we appreciated in Mansion Santa Isabella.
Wifi in the hotel works just fine. If your criterium is to have a strong connection, ask for a room above the front desk where the signal is a bit better than in the rest of the hotel.
Free parking is also available for those traveling by car.
BREAKFAST & RESTAURANT
The room comes with a complimentary American buffet style breakfast. You will find here everything you might want, from fresh coffee, pastries, eggs, cheese, ham to sweet treats.
Restaurant for breakfast also serves for lunch or dinner. In case you would like to enjoy your drink before going to bed in a more atmospheric area, you can visit the hotel's bar in a cellar fittingly called Cave.
Since we arrived, we felt welcomed and were greeted warmly by the staff. Check in was efficient, and we were even offered assistance with luggage to our room which we politely denied as Martin needs to work out.
Employees are helpful, speak Spanish and good English and are knowledgeable about Riobamba and things to do in the city. Also, if you want to join some tour, they will gladly help you with a reservation.
As the building was built in colonial times, Mansion Santa Isabella is decorated in a traditional manner with plenty of small cute details you can notice in your room, but also in common areas.
Prices fluctuate throughout the year and season. The cheapest double room starts at $70 per night with breakfast, but if you are lucky, and there is a promo, you can secure the room even cheaper.
Check prices and availability for Hotel Santa Isabella.
This post was written in collaboration with hotel Mansion Santa Isabella. As always, all opinions are our own.