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After a change of family plans, our Cuenca home will now be available beginning September 1, 2014. Enjoy!
This downtown, executive loft (1 BR, 1.5 BA) is perfect for guests who need a comfortable, modern headquarters for vacationing, working productively or looking for their own real estate purchase in this world retirement capital. It would be perfect as a medium term abode for a single person or couple but we generally err on the side of short term rentals due to owner's frequent use. We share our home with adults and children over the age of 14 to assure that our facility and amenities remain in as close to pristine condition as possible. Also, to preserve quality of life for our family and friends, we have a strict no smoking policy either in the building or on the street immediately outside our common, front door. Sorry, no pets either!
For those familiar with modern residential hotel suites, it compares favorably as it is larger and offers more amenities and privacy. You'll have on the first level a kitchen featuring stone counter tops, stainless appliances including a gas stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer. Connected by open air to a dining room and living room, the first floor also features a 'Social Bathroom' (i.e. half bath). The living room has an entertainment center, including a flat screen television (i.e. with DVD and many movie discs) and delightful, custom furniture handcrafted in early 2013, in Cuenca.
The second floor contains the bedroom with queen sized bed, full bath (i.e. with shower), and a door opening to the rooftop and plaza sun tanning, viewing and reading areas. This, and easy 2nd floor access distinguish it from other units in the building.
Your address is on the coveted Simon Bolivar Street, the backbone of the central business district, but the colonial building surrounding your loft protects you from the vibrant street sounds. The windows open to the open air, inner courtyard.
Casa San Sebastian is very private, yet close to the action.
This is the address you'll give the taxi driver: Simon Bolivar 13-86 Y Estevez de Toral. Yours will be Loft #4.
P.S. Here are some private emails from recent guests that are not reflected in the 'reviews':
Lovely people, lovely town. Thank you, Dave.... ___________ Thank you, Dave, for creating a wonderful home away from home. Joanne & Del _____________ We certainly enjoyed our time in Cuenca. The condo was perfect. Good location. Spent a lot of time on the covered patio and alsl the rooftop. The condo had everything needed to be comfortable & happy. We appreciated the flashlight in the night stand drawer. Dave has anticipated every need and want.
Dave tells us we were the first to spend New Years Eve here. We recommend Joe's Secret Garden on New Years Eve. Perfect. Introduced to an Ecuadorian tradition of burning effigies.
We almost hate to mention it but we did not get rained on once. The weather was perfect! (Bring sunscreen!)
Looking forward to returning. Thanks to Maribel for her guidance and Dave for sharing his home with us. Paul & Brenda __________ T. and I just returned from a 6 hour hiking adventure in Cajas National Park. It was a great introduction to a fantastic natural treasure so close to Cuenca. We used the suggested driver, Angel and he is fantastic. I practice speaking Spanish and he patiently deciphers my attempts and answers in English.
We’ve been invited to join your neighbor, ‘A’, to watch the Paseo del Nino mañana en su casa – muy sympatica! A propósito, nos vemos allí para esto.
Thanks for checking in! You have set the bar very high for future VRBP hosts! Haha
Feliz Navidad to you in Anchorage~ ___ We did so much in Cuenca and your apartment was just ideal for us. Here’s a rundown: • Hiked Cajas (6 hours) • Visited the Banco Centro Museo, the agricultural plantings and Pumapungo Ruins • Went to Christmas Mass at Catedral Nueva • Ran the river 4X – twice going one direction; twice going the other • Swam in the Jefferson Coliseo Olympic Pool • Took a public bus south to Girón and hiked to the upper falls • Hired Angel to take us to Ingapirca and Biblian ( he was terrific – especially helping me converse in Spanish. Love that guy!) • Went to the Feria Mercado • Visited the Sombrero de Paja Toquilla Museo (I read the Panama Hat Trail before moving here) • Ate at Tiestos and the Italian restaurant near Casa San Sebastian • Watched 9 hours of El Passé del Nino Viejo from Ashleigh’s balcony. • Walked the river after dark on Christmas Eve with all the lights glowing on the river. • Spent 3.5 hours listening to jazz/Latin ballads and eating great pizza at the Jazz Society Show at La Vina
With any luck, we’ll be booking a stay there again! Feliz Año Nuevo. T. & T. O. _____________ What a great Handbook. We don't arrive until 2:50 on TAME on the 31st, so the check in time will be perfect. We depart at 7:40 am on Feb. 7th. I will make arrangements with Maribel for transportation to and from the airport. Thanks again. R. ____________ Wonderful. Thanks, Dave. We’re getting excited for the trip. Thanks for all your guidance! J.V. __________ Dave, Wow thank you both very much!! I cannot say how great it is to have your help! I was up so late last night that I had to sleep a little this afternoon but I will make a reservation right away! I really look forward to meeting you Maribel! We are getting in at night to Cuenca on the 11th at 9:15 PM. Please send a taxi to meet us (don't know how long luggage takes to unload). Carrying a sign for Bologna. We'd really appreciate it! I want to attend as many free and not free concerts as I can so if you know where I can find dates & venues, please let me know. Can't wait to see your city! Thank you! L.B. _______ The apartment is located in a well-restored colonial facade not at all far from the center, offering easy walking to restaurants and attractions. A great part of its value (it is pricey for Cuenca) lies in the location and in the fact that the apartment windows, like nearly those of all the owned and rented apartments in the building, face a central courtyard rather than the street. When you enter the apartment, you forget immediately how noisy Cuenca is and how much diesel fumes fill the narrow streets of Cuenca. Very quiet inside, with just occasional sounds from neighbors. There is a downside to this courtyard architecture -- you have no views other than the landing across the courtyard and for privacy all the windows are covered in a translucent material so forget the idea of vistas, and the reduction in natural light makes the apartment feel smallish. The bi-level apartment does offer easy access (the building's best access) from the upstairs bedroom to 2 terraces to help compensate, one covered -- a relaxing place to have a coffee or drink -- and above that the other with very pleasant views of the surroundings. The kitchen area is very well equipped and easy to use, with adequate counter space, good appliances and sufficient storage for limited stays. The listed laundry machine comes with a suggestion not to use it. Furnishings are middling in quality but not unattractive in design. There is no good space to work if you want wired internet, though wifi allows you to use the kitchen table and a chair. The apartment doesn't get much sun during the day, so it felt quite cool to us most of the time. Of course, Cuenca is a cool climate and you are unlikely to find central heating or cooling, thermopane windows, or insulted walls anywhere in the city. There is a small portable area heater that produces modest warmth to an area. We enjoyed our stay there and would use it again happily for short stays. For longer stays, it would be possible to find better value. Management -- both the owner and local property management -- is responsive and helpful in every way. Robert (Review from another website.) ______________ We stayed at Casa San Sebastián and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The location could not be beat! The building itself, in the heart of Centro, is close to everything. It is a totally renovated colonial with all the modern conveniences. The furnishings and appliances in the unit were great. There are two outside decks that allow you to relax and enjoy the views of the city. The one bedroom unit is perfect for one person or a couple. Maribel, the property manager, was very helpful arranging anything that I needed. I highly recommend this place and I will stay there on my next visit to beautiful Cuenca. W.M. (Review from another website.) _____________ Hey Dave! Everything is going great. Thank you very much. The loft is very nice. The weather has been good and I'm just enjoying the city. There's something about Cuenca that gives me such a sense of peace. -W. M. ___________
Great stuff Dave! D. & I have commented among ourselves (& to others) how GREAT & accommodating you have been for us. We really appreciate your helpfulness. I have printed your Guest Handbook & will be bringing it with me. We’re excited. Would love to have the opportunity to meet you one day. You’re AWESOME! Thanks again! J.V. ________________________________________Hi Dave...thank you for the email....we have been in touch with maribel, are spending the night in Guayaquil and going to Cuenca in the morning.....everyone we have spoken with raved about the city.....we are very much looking forward to spending our last week there, especially in your fantastic loft....thanks again....will email upon our return....d. & c. _____________________________________
We do not permit smoking in the apartment or anywhere in the outdoor common areas. Going outside on the sidewalk to smoke is also discouraged. With all due respect and impathy as a former smoker we must insist that smokers choose other accommodations even if their best intention is to not smoke on the premises....moreless
Pets Not Allowed
1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2, Beds for 2
Bedroom 1: 1 queen
Area downstairs is studio - style with bed-couch for 1...moreless
Casa San Sebastian is located in the center of the Central Business District. Your hideaway is a short walk to monuments, numerous restaurants, banks, stores, government and legal services....moreless
Casa San Sebastian is a colonial structure. It features modern, remodeled apartments at the center of the city which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site....moreless
From this unique loft, you can exit your bedroom, then sit and read, eat or drink on an open air plaza and rooftop overlooking the city and surrounding mountains. Every day is sunbathing weather....moreless
Sports & Adventure Activities
Seating for 4 people
Not needed in this climate, but small heater is available on request....moreless
Navidad Special Rate Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2014 8 night min stay
New Year Special Jan 1 - Mar 31, 2015 7 night min stay
Cuenca Autumn Special Apr 1 - Jun 30, 2015 8 night min stay
Annual Special Jul 1 - Sep 1, 2015 12 night min stay
My Standard Rate 7 night min stay
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
Additional information about rental rates
Refundable Damage Deposit$200
For longer term renters, housekeeping service may be provided upon request at a fee of $20.
Policy available by contacting manager when booking.
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Within walking distance, or a $2 cab ride almost anywhere in town, one can
-witness numerous parades and public celebrations
-tour centuries old cathedrals and churches
-visit museums, the zoo, orchid farms
-enjoy the hot springs for less than $1/day
-sample the most delightful, healthy, inexpensive food on the planet
-enjoy walking the streets of a happy, historical area in perfect weather almost every day of the year
Then, with a little more expense (taxi @ about $10/hour), drive to national parks, or even down to the tropical jungle areas or to the beaches, or the valley of longevity at Vilcabamba just several hours away).
What I prize most is the freedom: getting up and having a half papaya the size of a football with fresh lime, working on my computer with screenless windows open (Hardly any insects this high up), the a morning walk to the market or store or ATM to obtain a little cash, then a late lunch for $2-4 that is actually enough that I don't need more than a dinner snack. I love to smell the bread and pastry aromas wafting from the many small storefronts, to stop for a 1 liter glass of fresh squeezed pineapple, guava, or papaya in route anywhere. Then, sometimes, one can go out to the movie or soccer game, or to listen to a free concert at the performing arts center by the Cuenca Symphony. Delightful.
Year Purchased: 2012
About: Dave and Nancy Harbour live in Anchorage, Alaska. Nancy is President of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and Dave is a retired Commissioner, Regulatory Commission of Alaska, an energy consultant, professional photographer and writer.
Why Cuenca: Dave says, 'Having stayed in wonderful locations all over the world, I picked this particular one because of its convenient location, its privacy in the midst of a city, the fact that it is in a colonial building with executive conveniences. And to be able to go onto the rooftop at dusk or in the afternoon to enjoy the sun or a tropical evening breeze--surrounded by the majestic Andes--is a spectacular blessing which I hope to share with you.'
The Unique Benefits at this Condo: Harbour believes the unique benefits include:
-Modern loft in colonial building with direct, private access to an outdoor sitting room and rooftop sun plaza overlooking the city. All of the above, in addition to:
-Cuenca central city location
-Walking distances to tourist attractions, markets, medical services, governmental offices, banking, river walking, etc.
-Exceptionally quiet and private location just steps from all the activity the city has to offer.
-Wonderful sleeping weather (high 40s-60s) and wonderful daytime weather (60s to 70s); pleasant even during the 'rainy' season when weather is still mild and comfortable.