The sun breaks through the clouds, saturating the pool deck of Luna Runtun with pure white light. It’s hot and getting hotter. So, Neil and I moved from the hot volcanic waters to the cold temperature infinity pool.
As a premier hotel in Banos, Luna Runtun receives mixed reviews. In general, I think the complex is a 3.5-star masquerading as a 5-star property. The grounds are mostly manicured though the chip-cracking sound of construction and renovations rips across the mountainside. The rooms look clean and spacious. But two aspects do not sit well with me: price and staff.
Room rates cost over $200. By Ecuadorian standards, this is robbery. But more specifically, for this rate Luna Runtun should afford more attentive staff—or compensate them so they will be attentive. The reception had three workers, all doing very little at the time we arrived. When we asked a question, the first staff member passed us along to her colleague who quickly sketched out the pricing at the hotel and spa. Then he passed us back to the first woman, who said she’d show us the property but ended up handing us over to another gentleman. This worker said he’d walk us to the spa. Instead, he took us to the parking lot and pointed up the hill, saying “Spa’s up there.”
So much for the VIP treatment.
From what I’ve read, Luna Runtun takes a laissez faire attitude toward many of its duties, including meals, taxi services, and room maintenance. It makes me think the term should be “lazy fare”.
All this aside, Luna Runtun is far from town and has limited meal options. Anytime you want to visit Banos, the taxi ride costs $5-6. Also, they’ll have to call a cab for you and the ride can be 10 minutes, which doesn’t seem like much until you’re starving or trying to catch a bus at the terminal.
Instead purchase the day pass. For $30 per person (an exorbitant fee, yes), Neil and I received access to their pristine pools: four cliff-hanging piscinas filled with volcanic mineral water and a jacuzzi that bubbled like a witch’s cauldron. The infinity pool is frigid but when the sun comes out, it’s a relaxing escape!
Showers are available with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap. Lockers and towels are provided. Included in the
price was a surprisingly good lunch of soup or salad, savory crepe, and the chef’s choice dessert. I’m not a crepe fan but the veggie curry crepe was good and the banana cake with chocolate and condensed milk syrup was awesome. We signed off on the bill and I spotted the total tally of our meal: $35.49.
Luna Runtun can boast one feature without contention. Its pools have the best view of Banos and its surrounding mountains. In the four pools, along the promontory ledge and in the Café de Cielo, the mountains unfold in every direction and clouds skim by at eye-level. So, although the pricing is steep and the 5-star rating questionable, Luna Runtun has the best view over Banos, Ecuador.