Saturday, July 7, 2007

Evaluating Hotel & Apartment Options
in Quito, Ecuador

Image Source:

Update: For the review of our stay at this apartment, check out this post.

When trying to decide where in Quito we should stay during our upcoming vacation, the first choice we had to make was between New Town, or Northern Quito, which is more modern and commercial, or Old Town, a section of the city that retains the Colonial Spanish architecture and vibe.

New Town by far seems to have the most options. Based upon guide book reviews [the Moon Handbooks guide seems pretty good, as does this one from Insight Guides, but note that Amazon right now doesn't seem to have the 2006 edition that I was able to get in person at Borders] as well as reviews on sites like Trip Advisor, I narrowed down the consideration set to these:

* Hotel Cafe Cultura - In particular, rooms 9, 10 and 17 looked pretty good. These folks were quick in bouncing back to my inquiry about availability and if other plans didn't come together, I think we would have been happy to stay here.

* Antinea Apart Hotel - This place looked like a real candidate, but unfortunately they never answered my emails asking about availability. Looks like they have both hotel rooms and apartments for rent. Their site has a lot of information, but it isn't organized as well as it could be to clearly match pictures with rooms/apartment options, etc. Maybe you will have better luck than I did and they will answer your emails to better explain their options.

* Hostal de la Rabida - Seemed like a nice place, but some reviews noted that the rooms might be a little small, and without many pictures to actually see the rooms, I couldn't commit to this place.

The Old Town options appear to mainly be hostels or other really low key places at the $10 per person per night kind of rate, like Secret Garden, which, according to the Moon guide, has a policy of "3 in a bed - that's fine with us" ... alrighty then. Perhaps an option for a different vacation during a long-gone phase of life for me, but not this time around.

But I didn't want to give up on Old Town, as one of my big regrets from our trip to Barcelona was that we didn't stay in the Barrio Gotico. We stayed in a perfectly decent hotel that was conveniently located, but that still haunts me as a missed opportunity.

A little bit of searching for apartment rentals in Quito led me to the site, which is where I found this place [also pictured above], which is in Old Town. It looks phenomenal, and at ~$40/night, it's tough to beat. The hotels above have rooms anywhere from $75 - $125/night. And few if any of those include your own kitchen, patio, DirecTV, etc. We'll see once we're on the ground if it's everything it appears to be, but for now we're pretty fired up about it.


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