Casa Mojanda

Location:

Otavalo, Ecuador

Description

Casa Mojanda offers a variety of green attributes as detailed below. In order to appear on our site, a hotel must possess at least 10 green attributes, so this puts Casa Mojanda in good company. The more green features a hotel has, the higher the green leaf rating up to a maximum of seven green leaves. To get more information on Casa Mojanda and to book a room at the best Internet prices, just click on the orange Website button above! Why book direct?

Green Attributes
  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure
Read in detail what each item entails

  • Air
  • Allergies
  • Fresh Air
  • Environmental Cleaning
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Education
  • Educate Guests to "green"
  • Educate Staff to "green"
  • Participate in Green Program(s)
  • Promote "greenness" in PR
  • Donating to Charity
  • Energy
  • Alternative Energy
  • Maintenance for Conservation
  • Energy Conservation
  • Food
  • Organic Food Served
  • Eco-friendly Food Served
  • Solid Waste
  • Bulk Soap & Amenities
  • Compostable Disposables
  • Composting
  • Durable Service Items
  • Guestroom Recycling Bins
  • Hotel Recycling Bins
  • Newspaper Program
  • Recyclable Disposables
  • Supplemental
  • Additional Green Features
  • Towels and Sheets
  • Cotton Towels/Sheets
  • Sheet Program
  • Towel Program
  • Water
  • Water Conservation
  • Xeric Garden
  • Gray-Water Recycling
  • Extras
  • Conference Center/Rooms
  • Transportation
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet

Comments

Environmentally sensitive and traditional construction methods were employed in the development of the hotel. Local artisans made much of the furniture at the hotel. The owners formed the Mojanda Foundation to help the community build a clinic which not only cares for patients but also offers health education classes.

Reviews

The "green" nature of the Casa Mojanda operation is not readily visible to visitors. I saw no signs of solar power, use of rain water, anything obvious to the outside observer, except maybe the former guest's soap in the bath! (Recycling?!) They do have the notice about keeping towels from one day to the next, but that has (thankfully) become pretty standard these days. They did not change the sheets everyday, perhaps every third day, which was fine with us.

They use portable electric heaters in the rooms, the kind that are sealed off, that look like radiators on wheels. These are the only source of heat and I don't know how efficient they are. The herbs for our tea came from the garden and the meals are "no red meat" vegetarian.

It clearly once was a great property, but the owners shouldn't still describe themselves as hands-on and imply that they are on premises when they are absentee.

We had a very disappointing six-night experience at Casa Mojanda. They require advance payment by check mailed to Ecuador and I sent in our $1228 payment for six nights including breakfast and dinner (for two) two months in advance. I had enough trust to do this based on the glowing reviews on web-sites stating that this is a hands-on inn run by the owners themselves. This may have been true at one time, but owners "Diego and Betti" are no longer a couple. They have separate lives and Diego lives in Quito, almost three hours away. Betti was in Africa when we visited and staff members said that she no longer runs the hotel, leaving the operations to a manager. I do not believe that she lives full time on the grounds.

The manager left in charge has zero hotel management experience. We learned that she visited Ecuador for the first time six weeks prior to our visit. She does not speak Spanish. I could fill pages with the problems that we encountered. We were cold. We wore hats and coats to dinner and in our room. We had reserved a room with a fireplace but the wood was stored outside and was so wet that a fire could only be started one night. The manger refused to allow us to store wood in our room to dry out. The mattresses, pillows, sheets and bedding are old and worn out and not the level that you expect at a B&B or inn at this price point. The used soap bars from the prior guests were left in the bathroom for our use.

The physical grounds were obviously designed with care and thought and love that are now completely absent from the running of the property. The food is still as reported -- excellent -- and the kitchen staff, and all the Ecuadorean staff are devoted and lovely.

This can not overcome the negligence and poor judgement that the owners exhibit in leaving the property under the management of an untrained, incompetent person that they barely know. First, this manager invited us to watch DVDs of her "spiritual teacher," proselytized about her "shamanism," and prayed at dinner. She had no knowledge of the surrounding area and made several mistakes in arranging our activities that were disastrous and unsafe.

We finally wrote emails to Diego and Betti and Betti has now sent me five emails with scant apology, lots of defense of the staff, and quite nearly blaming me for the outcome of our visit. Diego's response was to credit us $150 of the $1228 we paid in advance. If you need a place to crash in order to see the Otavalo market, you may find it acceptable. But, if you want to make a holiday of exploring the northern Ecuador region, do not count on any expertise or coordinating ability from this management. If you treasure your vacation days, look elsewhere for accommodations.

Dec 2008

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