We´ve left Quito now but thought we´d give a shout-out to the first hostal we have stayed at, Colonial House, in the San Blas barrio of Quito.
We were welcomed by one of the volunteer staff, Pete, on our arrival, who along with the other vols was helpful & friendly. The hostal is owned & managed by an unassuming Ecudorian woman.
The hostal location provides easy walking access to the historic old town (5 to 10 minutes), the not-so-new-at-all tourist district of Mariscal (20 to 30 minutes), as well as a choice of public transport, a local market, plenty of shops and cafes, and much more.
The hostal occupies an old house reputed to be about 200 years old – like many Quito houses it shows signs of having been added to and/or adaped over time. The house is brightly painted internally, mainly wooden, with a fair bit of art on the walls and a few murals – in some ways it reminded us of a better West Berlin squat in the 1980´s. So Colonial House is 3 storeys tall with a large rear back addition. This creates space for 13 rooms all holding at least a double bed, and many several beds. In addition there are 2 communal kitchens, communal dining areas, a lounge with tv, and a chilled & shaded garden featuring two busy rabbits.
We paid $25 per night (£16.50) for a double room with bathroom. We usually had their excellent breakfast for $3.50 each – fruit salad-yoghurt-granola, juice, coffee or tea, bread/croissants with butter & jam, and scrambled eggs. In addition there was plentiful free tea, real coffee & good drinking water; decent wi-fi, 2 pc terminals and a printer, and beers to buy in a fridge.
As our first place to stay this was ideal. There was a real mix of international guests of all ages, who were all pretty friendly and sharing info. Leaving there we felt pretty set up for the next step of our trip. Cheers to Colonial House! More info/booking at http://www.colonialhousequito.com
Lastly a pat on the back for CarpeDM tours, who ran a great free walking tour of Quito, and the day tour we took to Otavalo ($25), check them out if you are in town. More info at http://www.carpedm.ca/tours