Luna Runtun Adventure Spa: a Baños oasis

by Kim on September 26, 2012 · 28 comments

Luna Runtun Adventure Spa: A Baños Oasis

Brian and I just wrapped up our time living and volunteering in Baños, Ecuador. It was an overall great experience, we lived communally with the other volunteers in a two-story building that housed both volunteer boarding space and the interactive library where we worked with the children each afternoon.

But after three weeks of roommates, lumpy beds, and a bathroom that came with an affectionatly named “floor towel” which we placed over the drain each night to keep the cockroaches out, Brian and I were ready for a little bit of luxury.

Cue our stay at the most amazing hotel in Baños: Luna Runtun Adventure Spa

Beautiful Luna Runtun

Luna Runtun´s 310 acres of unspoiled Andean forest is located in the flank of the active Tungurahua Volcano (5.016m/ 16,450 feet); perched 400m/1,300 feet above Baños, the gateway to the Amazon, and surrounded by Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. The views from Luna Runtun are spectacular.

Even the winding road that leads to Luna Runtun is breathtaking. The road skirts pasts waterfalls and cliffs that drop into a rushing river below. Vulcan Tungurahua peeks her head from between the clouds.

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We arrived to Luna Runtun in the late afternoon, were received in the beautiful and colorful art gallery lobby, and then taken on a tour of the grounds before being shown to our room. The tour took us past Runtun Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Cafe del Cielo, which has the most amazing Oreo milkshake in all of Baños, and a large vegetable garden where food for the restaurant and café is grown.

The lobby also doubles as an art gallery

Our room was located on the northeastern side of the property and when we entered my mouth dropped and I heard Brian say, under his breath, a shallow “woooow.” The room was stunning: tile floors, a large stone fireplace, a clean and private bathroom, and a big, comfortable bed piled high with perfect pillows. Two rocking chairs sat in a sitting nook pointing out a picture window towards the Andes.

Our room at Luna Runtun

The man who’d shown us to our room informed us that if we’d like to burn a fire in the fireplace to simply call the front desk and they would send someone to light it for us. Brian shot me a look that said “HELL YES” and I returned it with a little smile. Then the man left and we high-fived and hopped around the room like little kids.

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There’s not a lack of things to do at Luna Runtun. There are twenty-five adventure activities and birdwatching programs to enjoy and twenty-five spa treatments at the onsite spa, as well as delicious food and drink served up at both Runtun Restaurant and Café del Cielo.

Luna Runtun spa

But the main reason that I’d been lusting after a stay at Luna Runtun was because of the four pools and jacuzzis filled with hot volcanic water. Located near the back of Luna Runtun’s property, the pools overlook all of Baños and the Andes Mountains.

Luna Runtun pools from above

Heaven is a hot tub in the mountains

Brian and I spent hours reading and relaxing in the warm pools. In the afternoon clouds rolled in and it began to rain in the distance, creating a bright rainbow visible from where we sat in the water. When the rain finally reached us we lay back and closed our eyes, letting the cold water run along our faces while our bodies remained submerged in the heated pools. It was spectacular.

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We hadn’t been pampered in a long time and we felt like we were on our honeymoon again. Indeed, Luna Runtun is the perfect honeymoon spot. A stay in one of the romantic suites with a king size bed, in-room jacuzzi, fireplace and private terrace with a view has got to be one of the best romantic getaways in all of South America.

Romantic suite at Luna Runtun

Because Luna Runtun is the perfect place to relax and recharge, there are also Yoga Suites available. The Yoga Suite is one room with two twin beds, a private bathroom and a large terrace with jacuzzi, outdoor shower, lazy chairs, and a table perfect for early morning journaling sessions while taking in the views of Llanganates National Park.

Yoga suite at Luna Runtun

Today we are packing up our backpacks and leaving this oasis of Luna Runtun and Baños behind, headed to the colonial town of Cuenca. We’re sad to go. Not only could we get used to life at Luna Runtun, but we will deeply miss the wonderful little town of Baños and all that she has given us.

The price for our room at Luna Runtun was $77 per person per night which includes dinner, breakfast and use of the fabulous pools.

Our accommodations were graciously provided by Luna Runtun Adventure Spa but all views expressed here are my own.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

D.J. - The World of Deej September 26, 2012 at 7:26 am

As a bit of a hotel junkie, this would be heaven. Of course, that view from the hot tub might actually be heaven:)

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Oh man, if you are a hotel junkie you have GOT to stay here. It was really out of this world.

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Carmel September 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

Melting…
I sure am glad I booked a massage this weekend before I read this.

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Haha… yes, a massage does make everything better :)

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Tracy September 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

Change of plans, I am no longer going to travel the world, I’m just going to stay at this spa for a year. Heaven.

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Sounds like a good idea! You could stay at this place for a year no problem! You did see that they have the best oreo milkshakes in the world, didn’t you???

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Rhonda September 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

WOW…when can I go??!!!

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Stay when you come to Ecuador!

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Gillian @OneGiantStep September 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

What a treat!! It’s beautiful!

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

We haven’t been spoiled like that in years. It was definitely a treat!

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Sarah Somewhere September 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

“Woow” indeed Brian!! Glad you guys got some pampering after your cockroaches and ‘floor towels’ experience!! Definitely heavenly!

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Yep, the “floor towel” experience just makes our stay at Luna Runtun that much sweeter :)

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) September 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Ah yes, staying in dorms and communal spaces as a married couple certainly has its own set of challenges! Tony & I have been doing our best to balance economical dorms with private rooms during our trip thus far: the longest we stayed in a dorm was 9 days in Hong Kong (and that still cost us $50!) and by the end the bloom was definitely off the rose.

Right now we’re staying at youth hostel up in the rice terraces of Guanxi province in Southern China. It was a hell of a hike, but I’m so glad we splurged for the private room (um, and at $18/night, it’s not like it really broke the budget) because the views are spectacular. When we walked in, both of us just started laughing somewhat hysterically that this was all ours. Tony says it’s the best place we’ve ever stayed, so yeah, those communal rooms definitely make more luxurious places all the sweeter!

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Oh, I both love and hate that you know all about this. We are certainly walking the same path at the same time!

Your hostel at the moment sounds amazing… and good on you for splurging for the private room. I love what you say about laughing somewhat hysterically- that’s exactly what we were like when we walked into our room.

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Jessica September 27, 2012 at 6:12 am

Holy Cow! As if the Andes weren’t enough of a draw, that lap of luxury is the ultimate lure.
Thanks for giving all of us more to dream about.

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

You should add it to your list Jessica! The Andes are AMAZING and having a view of them from your fancy, beautiful room is every more amazing :)

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Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

That pool looks like reason enough to book a ticket! Gorgeous.

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

That’s what I said!!!

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Jodi Henderson September 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’m always on the lookout for places to visit and, even though South America isn’t really on my list, it might get there after reading about your adventures. And this place in particular seems pretty enticing. Bookmarking for future reference… :)

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

You know what? South America wasn’t on our list in the beginning either but I am SO GLAD that we are here. I love it here and am already planning our next trip around the world (I want to stay in SA for at least a year). If you come I really think you’ll be happy you did.

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Patti September 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Ya gotta love the pampered life! The views from the pools are stunning! Well-earned!

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Kim September 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I know, I could get used to that pampered lifestyle!!

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Jeremy R. Last September 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

That place looks amazing, i really like the fireplace in the room… and the views too!

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Kim September 28, 2012 at 6:27 am

Yeah, it was pretty unbelievable!!

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Bridgid Gallagher September 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

Ooh – that looks amazing! The views alone are great, but getting to hang out in a hot tob while checking out the Andes? That sounds perfect!

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Kim September 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm

It was HEAVEN! Next time I want to go and stay for a week!

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Alonna Scott September 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

How did I not know about this place when I visited Banos?!

How much does it cost? I can’t find any prices on their website. The hostel I stayed at in Banos was $7.50 per night… so I’m really curious how much more a luxury hotel room costs.

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Kim October 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

Alonna, it is high on the hill above Banos (near the cross). It is pretty pricey to say. We stayed in exchange for a review on the blog but I think the cost is $77/pp… not exactly backpacker prices but a nice treat.

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