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Reviewed 3 February 2015

I usually do not like to write long review. Making an exception for this hotel.
The following cpmplaint was sent to Gate 1 and the hotel.

We recently (1-27-15) returned from a trip in Ecuador with Gate 1. This was our fourth time travelling with Gate 1.

We had a good time and our tour manager great.

We do have a serious complaint against one of the hotel – Hacienda Manteles at Banos.

I have over 40 years of experience in hotel, food & beverage, as well as construction management background.

The lodging and meals was absolutely the worst at Hacienda Manteles.

Lodging – the hacienda was in a beautiful surrounding. However, our room (#16) was absolutely one of the worst we ever had stayed in.
And we had stayed in top end hotels like Four Seasons, Lowes, and even the Palace at Lucerne in Switzerland; at the same time had stayed in many medium or lower priced hotels too.
Therefore, not asking for too much but a clean room and a good night of sleep. This hotel offered neither.

We checked in and immediately went out to take a walk, then directly to dinner.

We returned to the room after a terrible dinner, noticed a smell in the room and had to open the window to air out the room. The room definitely not very clean and my construction background told me there was a mold issue.

That was not the worst part, after we turned off the lights in room to go to bed, and the room was brighter than before we turned off the lights.
Then I realized there was a very bright light outside the room and the vertical blinds was not working properly. I fixed the verticals and it did not help much, because one piece of blind was missing.
We felt like there was a spot light aimed at our room all night. Needless to say that we did not had a good night sleep.

We could have complained to the hotel, but we already unpacked, changed, and there was no phone in the room.

We had never stay in a hotel room where there was no black-out curtain.

Also, seems like the hotel had 17 rooms, and for this particular night, there were only 10 couples.
Therefore, the 4 rooms in that building should never been used.

Meals – again, never had such terrible meals that were included in the package.

For dinner, one of the choices was Filet Mignon, the manager even pointed out that is tenderloin.
Three of the four people at our table ordered that.
It was absolutely not Filet Mignon; it was a very tough piece of New York steak (at best). My steak was way over cooked.

For breakfast, we were given one piece of cold crepe, followed by a small serving of scrambled egg, and one hard/cold dinner roll.

Seriously wondering what was going on at this hotel.
Did the manager not know his job?
Or he did not deliver what Gate 1 (or its local agency) paid for.

Whatever the reason, we definitely feel like we were cheated and did not get what we paid for.

Room Tip: If you are assigned room #14 through #17, just drive away.
  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank TibetVisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andres H, Director Comercial at Hacienda Manteles, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. The feedback is very important for us, since it helps us improve every day.

We are very sorry to know that the food did not fulfill your expectations. We take a lot of pride for outstanding service, and food is one of the main reasons our guests complement us. We will review our menus and will talk to the team that was attending you.

We hope you come back to Ecuador and Hacienda Manteles in the near future. We will make sure that our food and service exceed your expectations.

Kind regards,

Hacienda Manteles team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2015

Ok. So before I start raving about this place I do want to admit something; the night of my arrival, when we pulled into the drive way, I wanted to give this place 0 stars if I could.

You see, the map that the hotel's website gives you isn't very clear, at all. So my boyfriend and I were lost for hours trying to find this place, which is actually located in Patate, not in Baños. It was 11 PM, we were lost on some pretty dangerous roads and I could tell there were endless cliffs by my side even though it was so dark and so foggy that we couldn't see anything in front of us. We went down to Baños and tried to call the hotel multiple times to no avail, which was really frustrating.

We decided to pay a taxi driver (specifically a pickup truck driver, you definitely need a 4X4 to get to the hotel) and he took us directly there. Honestly, we would not have found the place without that help at night.

Anyway, we got there, and Fernando had been waiting for us. He asked us if we already had dinner- which we hadn't, we had been lost for hours, and apologized that his staff had already gone home. However, after a few moments I think he was uncomfortable with the idea of his guests going to bed without food in their bellies because he invited us to the kitchen and fixed us some delicious turkey breast sandwiches, and the portions were GENEROUS.

We were guided to our room- GORGEOUS, HUGE, AMAZING, WOW. If it helps, we stayed in the new area, in the suite. So worth the price. The beds are absolutely and deliciously comfortable, the hot tub has a view of the volcano, I don't know… It was beautiful.

We stayed for three nights and didn't want to leave. We loved the food and were so happy to finally eat salad in Ecuador. Everything is home made or home grown, so the salad is grown on the property as well as the collard greens used in the soups, the spices used in the fish, the eggs and milk, the corn, the squash, the peppers…EVERYTHING. Except the jam- they leave the berries on the bushes so that birds have food. Sure, maybe the portions might seem weak if you like to pig out on vacation. But the breakfast included at least two eggs and a few veggies, cheese, and ham. You can also ask for fresh cheese and freshly baked bread if you're still hungry. I get it- they're stingy on the bacon. But try to find any place in the tropics that offers bacon for breakfast. It isn't common. They aren't stingy at all unless you're used to overeating. I actually gained 1 kilo after my stay here.

The staff was extremely friendly, and for two nights we really got to know them since we were the only guests there. The place is just overall welcoming. The dogs welcome you and sleep at your door and wait for you in the morning. The baby donkey greets you and follows you around and pushes you with its nose so that you scratch him (his name is Bob). The dogs literally guide you to the waterfall located 40 mins away walking distance…

I do NOT recommend horseback riding. The horses were mean, to say the least. We struggled with them for a while until my boyfriend's horse tried to buck him off one too many times. Needless to say, we were not charged for this activity. We didn't need to complain about it, based on our experience with the horses they simply didn't even try to charge us.

To sum it up: this place is beautifully located, it is charming, everything about it including the animals (except the horses) is welcoming, and Fernando has something that a lot of places lack; COMMON SENSE. He knows hospitality.

Room Tip: Fernando gave us a tour of the main house and the staff let us see one of the houses. They're HUGE and very spacious. I wouldn't recommend the rooms in the main house, however the suites are spectacular. I may model my future main room after this suite.
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Luisa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andres H, Director Comercial at Hacienda Manteles, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Greetings from Hacienda Manteles,

We would like to send our warmest regards, It was a real pleasure to have you with us at the Hacienda.

Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. The feedback is very important for us, since it helps us improve every day.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with our staff and food. Our staff is always delighted to provide the best service and to make your stay more comfortable.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to have you here in Ecuador and at the Hacienda Manteles in the not too distant future.

Thank you for your comment!

Kind regards,

Hacienda Manteles team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2015

After a long day of touring in the Banos area, it was nice to arrive at this hacienda and be heartily welcomed by Fernando - similar to arriving at a friend's home for the night. He treated our tour group as if we were family, telling us about the house and our rooms and dinner plans before giving us our keys and sending us on our way. Our room was in main house and at first, I was a bit disappointed, thinking the new, outer rooms might be better, but our room was comfortable, clean and cozy. We loved staying in the main building - it gave us the opportunity to study all the neat artifacts on display that have been excavated over the years during construction and remodeling, and Fernando took time to tell us about many of them. We also had the big living room to relax in and visit with other guests before and after dinner. We thought the food was excellent, especially the Swiss chard soup. In the morning we walked around the grounds, enjoying the views, playing with the donkeys and wished we were staying longer so we could do some hiking. When we vacation, we like to disconnect as much as possible so did not ask to use the Wifi. We get tired of staying in cookie cutter hotels so enjoyed this experience very much. We would go back.

Room Tip: We recommend asking for a room in the main house/building.
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank discodev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andres H, Director Comercial at Hacienda Manteles, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Greetings from Hacienda Manteles,

We would like to send our warmest regards, It was a real pleasure to have you with us at the Hacienda.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with our service and also happy to know you enjoyed the food served in our restaurant.

Our staff is always delighted to provide the best service and to make your stay more comfortable.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to have you here in Ecuador and at the Hacienda Manteles in the not too distant future.

Thank you for your comment!

We hope to hear from you soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2015

The place is worth the time and money via tour bus trip (Gate 1). The food and views were unbelievable. The owner and family that operate the establishment were friendly and made us feel at home, wifi is there, however you must ask for the password and let them know when your finished cause of the internet connection that can handle so many devices and to be fair to all other guests who want to upload a photo or two and send a quick email!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andres H, Director Comercial at Hacienda Manteles, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Greetings from Hacienda Manteles,

We would like to send our warmest regards, It was a real pleasure to have you with us at the Hacienda.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with our service and also happy to know you enjoyed the food served in our restaurant.

Our staff is always delighted to provide the best service and to make your stay more comfortable.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to have you here in Ecuador and at the Hacienda Manteles in the not too distant future.

We have improved our wifi service.

Thank you for your comment!

We hope to hear from you soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2015

We stayed here one night as part of a Gate 1 tour. Our experience was very good, but can see it's not for everyone. Most of what I'm reading in the other reviews are spot on - good and bad - but overall it was a nice visit - and I certainly wish we would have had much longer to explore the grounds while there.
The location is on an important birding trail, and the trail heading up from the house is worthwhile if you visit. I learned of this only after breakfast and got to walk up in the morning fog only a few hundred yards before having to leave - still seeing a lot of birds I'd seen no where else. If you're in Ecuador looking for wildlife and birds, you should consider this location as a base for a day or two.
The host was gregarious and a flurry of activity. This has it's good and bad points - as everything seems to funnel through him - check in, ordering drinks, purchasing gifts in his little display, getting the passcode for the wifi (more later), check out, plus guidance on photographing the active volcano - pretty much everything so you wait. Perhaps needs to delegate some of this to the staff and just be a host?
The resident dogs (including our favorite golden retriever) are fun - they wander around and sleep outside (don't trip on them if you're into watching the lava or stars late at night). And they greeted me in the morning fog when I went out looking for birds.
Food was unmemorable to me, but I was distracted by the hummingbird feeder outside the dining room window (which could really use a washing as photographs through it were problematic).
Room was rustic, and fine - cold though and needed the heater that was provided. We had a room in the main house - no real view from there.
Safety note - the floors are hardwood and they've put rugs all over which are a complete slipping hazard. A rubber gripper lining should be used - we quickly tucked the rugs in our room under the bed out of the way, but the ones in the common hallway might still get you.
The highlight was the active volcano visible from the sitting room and the grounds - amazing to watch and photograph. The owner has some fantastic photos and has the right settings to use for your own. He's very happy to show you them on his computer.
The wifi situation is a mess - but I understand why he works it the way he does - with too many users it all stops working so he limits who can use it - 10 at a time. We didn't even bother with it - too much other stuff to do.
The grounds are great, but head up the hill on the trail. In the morning it was beautiful and quiet - could hear the volcano erupting in the distance. I could have spent the whole day there if I had the choice - overall good experience.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank frozen-in-MN-US
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andres H, Director Comercial at Hacienda Manteles, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Greetings from Hacienda Manteles,

We would like to send our warmest regards, It was a real pleasure to have you with us at the Hacienda.

Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. The feedback is very important for us, since it helps us improve every day.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with our staff. Our staff is always delighted to provide the best service and to make your stay more comfortable.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to have you here in Ecuador and at the Hacienda Manteles in the not too distant future.

Thank you for your comment!

We hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,

Hacienda Manteles team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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