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Your Modern Rooftop Loft Home Overlooks Colonial Cuenca

Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Space 875 sq. ft.
Property type condo
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

Overlooking Colonial Cuenca This Modern Loft Is A Jewell of Centro

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.


More Details


San Blas Condo Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • condo
  • floor 2
Floor Area:
  • 875 sq. ft.
  • 3 stories
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: Noon
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Monument View ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Master bedroom bathroom
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , Main floor social bathroom
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Area downstairs is studio - style with bed-couch for 1
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • duty free shops
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • equestrian events
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rock climbing
  • tennis
See our Trip Advisor review of a nearby spa:


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(6 traveler reviews)

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Your Modern Rooftop Loft Home Overlooks Colonial Cuenca
average rating of 4.6666665 based on 6 reviews
Texas, USA

Small, Quaint Condo in Nicely Refurbished Historic Building

  • 4 of 5

Perfect spot for exploring the city of Cuenca, Ecuador! All the major sites were pretty much in walking distance, yet it was quiet in the evenings when you were ready to sleep. A good place to stay for a weekend or a week. Any longer and you might become a bit claustrophobic as all the windows look out on the courtyard and were opaqued for privacy. We stayed for two months so we really got to know the place. The listing description was pretty accurate, however the photos made it seem larger then it was in reality. We didn't mind too much because we were out and about most days!

The condo was extremely clean and well maintained with a very comfortable bed and a good shower (important in Ecuador). The owner and his staff were helpful and accommodating to our needs as to things to do, restaurants, tour guides and transportation. Make sure you read the guest comments in the condo, lots of good information in this book. Make sure you go to Mangiare across the street. This was a great Italian restaurant with a wonderful staff. Also, try out Villa Rosa on Gran Columbia. Sites to visit are the old and new cathedrals, the Panama hat factories and stores, the Cajas National Park, Cathedral in Biblian, silver in Chordeleg, Pumapungo Park and ice cream at Tutto Freddos!

We enjoyed our stay in Cuenca and were glad we found a nice, safe condo so centrally located. We would recommend this property to friends and relatives.

  • Submitted: Nov 13, 2014
  • Stayed: September 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Antioch, CA, USA

Casa San Sebastián

  • 5 of 5

This property is positioned wonderfully for a visit to Cuenca. It is about 7 blocks from the main square and a plethora of restaurants. One of the best though is directly across the intersection from the condo. The unit is one block from another, quieter square and 4 or 5 blocks to the river.

The unit itself has everything you need. The most enjoyable part for me was the shared covered patio off the bedroom, which I used as a reading and napping area, but my wife preferred being all the way upon the roof, looking over the city.

Dave was easy to deal with and spells out all the ins and outs of Cuenca in San Sebastian's handbook. Dave's property manager, Maribel, was attentive to our needs, getting us picked up from the airport and setting us up with an initial supply of groceries. She helped set up a couple side trips as well.

Locals that we met in the neighborhood were warm and welcoming.

We have no hesitation in recommending this unit if you want to experience Cuenca at its best.

  • Submitted: Jan 5, 2014
  • Stayed: December 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: To date, all of our guests have become good friends even though most of our relationships are long distance. Paul is another example of why it is such a pleasure to provide this service. We are humbled by these thoughtful comments and take them as a challenge to never stop improving! Below is another comment we received from Warren of Chicago: I stayed at Casa San Sebastián for 5 nights in Nov 2013. 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. Warren M.
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2 0
Ivins, Utah

Simply one of the best

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I spent 6 days over Christmas in this VRBO. The location is perfect, right on the parade route (Simon Bolivar) of the Pase del Nino Viajero. We like to walk and from this location could cover most the town's many sites without taxi or bus. The outside covered sun deck was a real pleasure and if a person wants more sun, the next level up gives you that and some nice city-scape views with lit steeples of the many Iglesias. It is a clean, modern and efficient unit in which everything worked. The photos reflect the real appearance, and the owner will go the extra mile to help with your questions and concerns. I would strongly recommend this property to anyone looking for quality and value in Cuenca.

  • Submitted: Jan 1, 2014
  • Stayed: December 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: While it is true that we strive to exceed our guests' expectations, this sort of review is a great honor which continues to raise the bar for us. Thank you for trusting us to make "nuestra casa su casa."
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2 0
Anchorage Alaska USA

We Fell In Love with Cuenca

  • 5 of 5

Our stay in Cuenca was wonderful. The location of Dave's condo is PERFECT. You are within a 10 minute walk to the river, Café San Saban (one of our favorite places to have breakfast), Mangiore (right across the street and a wonderful Italian restaurant) and the cultural district with beautiful churches and museums. I always felt safe on the streets and the locals are always willing to give directions and practice their English (or let you practice your Spanish). The accommodations are perfect - very clean, floors are beautiful tile and steps are a polished wood (both are priceless)! We cooked at home several nights and the kitchen is very user friendly.The outdoor sitting area was perfect for a lazy afternoon of relaxation and the roof top "sun area" has an unsurpassed view of the surrounding churches. The wireless internet is GREAT - as soon as we would start up the stairs to the front door, messages would start arriving through our cell phones. We walked an average of 7 miles a day enjoying the sites and were never bored! Make sure you take the $5 double decker bus tour from the center of town - well worth the money and allows you to get a feel for the layout of the city. We also enjoyed the museums and walk through the Inca ruins. Dave has a wonderful handbook for his guests that lists great restaurants, major attractions and sites you shouldn't miss. The most amazing part of this entire trip (we were there 12 days) is all the Americans and Canadians that befriended us. Every where we turned an American was offering directions or suggestions of things to do and see. We met more new couples in the time we were there than we meet in our hometown in a month! We will be back and certainly recommend Dave's condo!

  • Submitted: Nov 15, 2013
  • Stayed: October 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5 0

Captivating Cuenca

  • 5 of 5

my wife and i finished up a 3 week trip to ecuador with a 4 night stay at dave's beautiful condo in the heart of cuenca's historic district....after having only 4 days of sun in our 2 weeks on the coast it was somewhat ironic that we had sun everyday in cuenca (albeit with a few showers thrown in to justify the spring-like weather that we had heard about)......maribel the property agent could not have been more helpful.....prior to our arrival we received an e-mail outlining things about the condo as well as how to get around and other very useful information.....on arrival she met us at the condo and then gave us a quick tour in her car before dropping us at the local grocery store (i should mention that by prior arrangement she had partially stocked the pantry and refrigerator)......the condo is immaculate and situated and a beautifully restored historic building.....everything is very modern.....but the best part is the pair of rooftop decks.....fantastic views of the city and complete privacy.....everything is within walking distance....taxis are $2-3 per trip.....the most we spent was $5 for a drive to banos.....a highly recommended day trip.....dave's condo comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED....our only regret was not having more visit will be a minimun of a week probably 2.....thanks again dave and maribel for sharing your condo and city with us....david & coca

  • Submitted: Jul 15, 2013
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so grateful that David took the time to summarize his stay both here and in our leather bound, Casa San Sebastian Guest Book. Our first guest, Nancy, made a number of suggestions for improvement to us privately and we were able to accomplish virtually every one of those -- and then some -- before David's arrival. She 'passed it forward' and David benefitted. My wife and I just finished our latest visit and added significantly to the inventory of amenities following David's visit. Our goal is to continue providing the best possible Cuenca experience that our guests could expect. Thanks again, Nancy and David, for your public and private comments and for the helpful notes/tips you left future visitors in our Casa San Sebastian Guest Book. Godspeed all, and, welcome to Cuenca! Dave
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7 0
Vernon BC Canada

Cuenca home base

  • 4 of 5

We spent 2 weeks exploring the beautiful historic city of Cuenca, while staying in this condo. Dave's place has everything you need in a "home away from home". I could walk to everything in the historic central area or take a taxi or bus. Dave was a very helpful welcoming host who did everything he could to ensure we had a great visit. He promptly answered any questions and solved any problems we encountered. He arranged to have some groceries stocked to tide us over until we could go shopping.

Our favourite restaurant was Mangiare, right across the street from the condo - very friendly staff and great food with an Italian slant. We enjoyed all the many restaurants we tried, from local fare to Spanish, Argentinian and Italian. I loved all the open markets for the local crafts, flowers and of course the local food many different fresh fruits and vegetables!

Taking tours of the old historic churches, monasteries and hospitals was fascinating. Be sure to visit the museum of The Ministario de Cultura del Ecuador, including the archeological site and gardens behind it.

Thank you Dave for all your help!

  • Submitted: May 21, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Nancy: My family and I are deeply honored to read your unsolicited comments. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! While we knew as we purchased it that Casa San Sebastian was unique in many ways, we also know that renting one's home requires empathy for guests and dedication to customer service. We will strive to always deserve comments similar to yours from future guests. In such a way, we hope to 'pass forward' your good and helpful spirit. I would also note that as our first guests, you and your husband were patient with us as we developed and sought to polish procedures. Thank you for your helpful suggestions, all of which have been or are being implemented. Godspeed always y que le vaya bien! Dave
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10 0

Property Manager

Dave Harbour
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 18, 2018

About Dave Harbour

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.

Dave Harbour purchased this condo in 2012

Why Dave Harbour chose San Blas

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.'

What makes this condo unique

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.


Nearest Airport
5 Kilometres
Mariscal Lamar International Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.01 Kilometres
Mangiare Bene, Hotel Alcazar
Nearest Golf
16 Kilometres
Cuenca Tenis y Golf Club
Nearest Train
158 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
0.1 Kilometres
Hotel Alcazar, Mangiare Bene
Nearest Beach
335 Kilometres
Car: not necessary

Within walking distance, or a $2-3 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

-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 and NO mosquitos), the a morning walk to the market or store or ATM to obtain a little cash, then a late 3 course 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. Dave


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Tax Rate 12.0%

For longer term renters, housekeeping service may be provided upon request at a fee of $20.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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