Hotel Finlandia in Quito
The small B&B soon became popular with executives, professionals and on-duty business people...
The Hotel Finlandia, located in the heart of one of today’s main business districts of Quito, the historic capital of Ecuador, is a success story that shows how a combination of vision, perseverance, making good use of opportunities, good planning, a passion for service and a natural vocation for being good hosts, brought one of the city’s first and small Bed and Breakfast establishments to become a modern ten-floor Hotel building in less than 15 years.
A remarkable fact is that, in spite of having grown from the initial homely 7 rooms to the current 92 rooms, the owners in person, a lively Ecuadorian couple and their three children (now all of them young adults and all personally involved in the Hotel running), still host, manage, and conduct hands-on duties in the Hotel, bringing in a highly personalized service which maintains the charm of a homely stay with the comfort and facilities of a 21st Century Hotel.
In the 1970’s, Quito initiated a second expansion towards the north, this time occupying what then was countryside in the northern outskirts of the city, to the east of what used to be the city’s “out of town” Horse Racing Track (no longer functioning as such) and the then relatively new and monumental Olympic Stadium. Many well-to-do families, looking for tranquility and more spacious residential environs, started building nice garden-surrounded houses and small mansions, many of them with a European style, designed by a resident German architect. The Lafargue neighborhood (later recognized as “La Carolina” because of the adjoining Park’s name) was an exclusive residential district, complete with all the basic services and utilities for comfortable living. Several streets in the neighborhood were baptized with the name of European countries. Right in the corner of the streets Finlandia and Suecia (“Finland” and “Sweden”), a beautiful two-floor residence, with gardens around it, and inside the traditional family salon with an inviting chimney to sit around, was home to the German-origin Broll family. The house was ample, occupying a prime property at the very corner of the two streets. The residence had four apartments, which allowed for comfortable living of the family members.
One of the daughters of the family, Erika, married Gonzalo, a member of a traditional and distinguished Quiteño family. Years later, after Erika’s parents died, the offspring inherited the house. Sometime later, Gonzalo and Erika travel to Europe as tourists and during their journey they “discover” the concept of the “bed and breakfasts” which were beginning to bloom in the Old Continent. This is when the idea of establishing a “B&B” in a quiet and residential area of “modern Quito” begins to brew and develop in their minds. By the year 2000, the couple buys the whole of the residence and decides to adapt it to become one of Quito’s first Bed and Breakfast establishments. A first renovation is undertaken, mostly inside, in order to adapt the family house into a guest house, which is baptized simply with the name of the adjoining street: Finlandia. During the initial years, they offered seven rooms, all with private bathroom facilities and breakfast service, which rapidly began to be known as a quality trademark, along with the warm and personalized hospitality and attention of the owners.
The small B&B soon became popular with executives, professionals and on-duty business people, particularly looking for a homely place for lengthy stays. Some foreign technicians working for transnational companies even stayed for one full year and more. The owners acted as administrators, hosts, receptionists, cooks, waiters, and room cleaners and attendants.
As the area began to change very fast from the quaint residential neighborhood it used to be into a busy center of businesses, high-rise buildings, important offices, banks, commercial centers, and shopping malls, and as it was one block away from what by then had become Quito’s largest and most popular Park, La Carolina, Gonzalo and his wife had the good vision to decide to expand the property and convert it into a first-class, boutique-style Hotel. By the year 2010 and after a new and this time major structural renovation, involving the demolition of much of the original home and rising two-floors higher, The Finlandia shifts from a B&B to a fully-fledged 52-rooms Hotel. Word-of-mouth and satisfied clients sustain the good name of the establishment and it becomes a favorite of corporate and business visitors, long-stay guests and some tourists looking for something different than the larger conventional hotels. Occupation is high and this prompts the couple to start thinking of expanding the business.
With liquidity from corporate clients pre-paying long-term stays and a bank’s credit, 2013 finds the Bustamante-Broll family with one more remodeling finished, a good-looking ten-floor building and a modern 92-room Hotel. One of the couple’s sons, Juan Fernando, who had studied Hotel Management and Gastronomy in Spain, decides to incorporate to the Hotel’s offer a cozy Restaurant featuring a “designer-cuisine” style, with high touches of traditional Ecuadorian gastronomy and ingredients, cooked and presented in creative fusion ways.
Today’s building features ample and comfortable guestrooms, furnished and equipped with modern technology, facilities and amenities, Wi-Fi throughout the Hotel, fully equipped en-suite bathrooms with showers and all the comfort and amenities that these days’ travelers expect. In spite of the modernization process, Hotel Finlandia maintains the cozy and pleasant atmosphere of a family-house, with the owners personally looking after their guests and leading cheerfully the rest of the personnel. The social areas include the Reception, the Bar and Restaurant, small living rooms, and four 40-people capacity salons for meetings and events (which can be converted into two 80-people rooms or one large 160-people conference room), all fully equipped with projectors, screens, computers, tables, seats and all the requirements for efficient business meetings, conferences or social events, including the specialized catering service which these require.
With a superbly convenient location whether for business or leisure visits, about fifteen minutes by car from Quito’s famous Historic Center, plus the modern and comfortable facilities, friendly and professional staff, charming and gracious hospitality, quality services and very competitive prices, the Hotel Finlandia is nowadays a real icon of a family-owned Hotel business with high national and international reputation, above-average levels of occupancy, and a zest for maintaining the homely atmosphere in spite of its size.
The Finlandia has been the hotel of choice for television, art, music, business and politics celebrities, national and international, during their stays in Ecuador’s capital. And the owners are already planning one additional expansion to nearly double the capacity by the end of 2015.
With a success and charming family story behind it, the Finlandia Hotel is certainly a great choice for tourism or business stays in Quito.
To see more information on Hotel Finlandia, click here.