Thursday, October 27, 2011

In a Class of Its Own!

Omar secured reservations weeks ahead of time, at a boutique hotel in Cuenca, named Casa Ordonez. I feel compelled to define this hotel's pristine and prime attributes, as it will be lodged in my memory for eternity and yours, if your path runs through Cuenca. The Boutique Hotel is run by Alberto Ordonez and members of his family, that in turn open their arms and make you feel like a King or Queen depending upon your gender.

Instrumental in the operation are his sister Ines and his charming and gracious Mother. As I told her when I left, I lost my mother in 1977 and no one has made me feel at home as much as you did in the past week. She and the family are unusual in their fascination with customer service and go to any length to ensure your satisfied.

Alberto, Omar and Alberto's Mother
Ines works untold hours and handles situations with complete control. The week we were there they had an "Ugly American" dispute his reservation and even though they had a trail of emails stating that his needs could not be met the first night and would be addressed after the first night, he went ballistic, screaming and cussing in a fashion that was uncalled for and embarrassing. She handled this with a smile on her face and a demeanor that was totally reserved. She was amazing. I probably would have hit him in the mouth!

There are no irons or ironing boards in the rooms. When Omar asked if he could have one they asked what was in need of ironing. We both had a couple of shirts and within a matter of minutes we had them back, ironed and on hangars. When is the last time that has happened to you? Alberto got Omar and I a reservation on Saturday night at Tiesto's which is impossible for a newcomer as it is the premier restauarnt in Cuenca (later I will describe it's attributes in another blog). He has a connection for anything you can think of and is more than willing to help you with any task.

A local traditional treatment for altitude sickness is Coca Tea, drank about every 2 hours and it resolves the issues, if consumed per instruction. He helped me locate some and sure enough it helped (without any side effects, I am sure your mind is reviewing the possibilities). If you need a guide to tour the city, if you need a guide to help look at real estate, etc Alberto is there for you. He actually stopped working and drove Omar and I to several appointments and was honest and up front about specific areas in the city; where to live and where to work.

He helped me with a medical issue and kept apologizing for the speed of time it took and how much it costs. Unbelievable. I have dealt in the customer service business for years and never have I encoutered such a individual with the passion and spirit that Alberto shares daily.

In addition Edwin works the early shift and helps serve breakfast daily. He is fantastic and always has a smile on his face. I do not believe he ever sits. He sweeps all day and mops as needed. Rene works the evening shift and ensures your safety at all times during the night. They keep a padlock on the interior of the Rod Iron Gate and keeps a vigilant watch on the entry door. There were several nights Omar and I did not lock our room door and any others did the same.

Breakfast is served from 6:00 AM until 9:30 PM so there is no excuse for missing it. You have fresh squeezed juice that varies daily, fresh flavored yogurt that is hard to describe as it is more liquid in nature, but verry sweet, fresh bowl of fruit that varies daily, choice of breads with prserves and butter and finally eggs cooked your way. This is obviously accompanied by fresh brewed Ecuadorian coffee. It is amazing and very filling.

The hotel is over 100 years old and has been remodeled. It has an older Spanish look and the stairs are original and 75 years old. It has three stories and I am guessing accomodates around 20 to 25 guests. Upstairs is a wonderful library with skylight.

I would recommend that any of you that travel to Cuenca, stay at this hotel and take advantage of its hospitable family. You will be happy you made this decision.

Contact info is as follows:

Casa Ordonez
Telefono: 282-3297
Celular: 094 366-885

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