The all-suite Plaza Grande, standing on the plaza of the same name, is one of the centerpieces of the Old City's revival. Until Casa Gangotena opened, it was the only true five-star hotel in this part of town. The opulence here is as over the top as the heady price, with heavy drapes, ink and quill writing sets, fine linens, and down comforters. Formerly the home of one of Quito's founding fathers, and later the Hotel Majestic, Quito's premier hotel for nearly half a century, it now boasts modern upgrades like soundproofed windows and doors, 42-in. flat-screen televisions, heated bathroom floors, and Jacuzzi tubs. House restaurant La Belle Epoque features Art Nouveau-inspired décor and French fare. It's a good place to rub elbows with political insiders coming over for power lunches from the Presidential Palace. Retreat to the basement to explore El Claustro, a wine bar with one of Quito's best cellars.
- Nicholas Gill