Hacienda La Danesa is a 500-hectare working farm in Ecuador with a charming 6-bedroom farmhouse belonging to the Olsen family. Come here to disconnect and recharge in a relaxed, homely environment whilst discovering the beauty of rural Ecuador…
The farm is located between the wild Pacific coast and the majestic Andes mountain range, a 90-minute drive from Guayaquil along good, scenic roads, or arrive in style with a short helicopter flight. The farm is surrounded by stunning natural scenery of thick forests, wild rivers and plantation fields.
The Good Life
Hacienda La Danesa offers an authentic experience of traditional Ecuadorian farm-life; focussing on sharing wholesome outdoors experiences, comfortable, luxury accommodation and warm, local hospitality. Staff are charming and efficient, led by the accommodating owner, Niels, who welcomes guests into his childhood home with genuine warmth, encouraging them to relax and enjoy the country life.
A Brief History
In the 18th Century, La Danesa was originally set up as a cacao farm, and the main agriculture in the region is teak, cacao, banana, sugarcane and tobacco.
With only 6 rooms, La Danesa feels very intimate, like a family home rather than a hotel – perfect for hiring out exclusively. Sleep in beautifully restored stable rooms and cottages within the farmhouse gardens. Each room is cosy, comfortable and well put together, with exposed wooden floors and white-washed brick-walls giving them a rustic-chic look. Simple, stylish interiors feature hand-carved teak furniture and headboards, soft white linens, squashy duvets under heavy woollen throws, bed-side tables fitted with reading lamps and stacks of books and magazines, and glass picture windows taking in beautiful garden views. Every room is homely, with freshly-cut flowers, bright cushions and local artwork adding warmth and colour. For families, the Family Garden Cottage sleeps two adults and two children.
A Day On The Farm
Guests are invited to visit the farm’s cocoa plantation to learn about the chocolate-making process (and tasting, of course), milk La Danesa’s beloved dairy herd of brown Swiss cows, fish for tilapia, mountain bike and even tube lazily down the river, immersed in nature. For birders, this is a great place to see colourful, rare birdlife and guests are provided with binoculars when heading out on nature trails in the nearby forests. At an additional cost, there are beautiful Pinto quarter horses to ride (highly recommended!) and a visit to a neighbouring farm, home to water buffalo, is a great experience which children particularly love. Every experience at La Danesa feels like an authentic insight into Ecuadorian country life.
The Hacienda lies within an hour’s drive of a number of fascinating sites, including the little-known Ruinas de Ingapirca, Mercado de Guamote and the Devil’s Nose train. It is incredibly easy to explore these highlights on a daytrip, returning to the hacienda in time for a delicious supper and good night’s sleep in the tranquillity of the countryside.
Time To Relax
Take a relaxing massage or aromatherapy treatment either in your room or outside in the gentle breeze. Hammocks are slung across the farmhouse veranda for peaceful siestas looking out to flower-filled gardens, trickling fountains and peacocks and horses roaming free. There’s also a small swimming pool in the garden for cooling afternoon dips.
La Danesa’s peaceful setting is perfect for those looking to simply relax in a beautiful country setting and enjoy delicious local food, much of which is grown on the farm or in the organic orchard. Tropical fruits and vegetables are harvested on the farm or sourced nearby to support local communities, the farm’s dairy herd produces delicious fresh cheese, and artisan chocolate is made from the farm’s cacao plantations. 3-course a la carte dinners are served al fresco on La Danesa’s gorgeous teak terrace, along with a good selection of wines.