“ Av. González Suárez N27-142 / PBX (5932) 254 4600 / Quito / Ecuador / Fax: (593 2) 256 7284 / email@example.com. „
I stayed here for 4 nights prior to taking a trip to the Galapagos. This was booked through my tour operator and so I didn't really select the hotel because it came as part of a package. However, we did stay in Hotel Amazonas the night before and I have to say that this hotel was paradise compared to that!
To get to the hotel from the airport was very easy. The taxi fair which took about 20 minutes (it was late at night) cost $6 and because the hotel is a city landmark the taxi driver knew immediately where it was and we got there without any hassle.
The hotel is fairly well located, except for the fact that its at the top of a hill and given the altitude in Quito it can be fairly exhausting climbing up that hill after a day sightseeing. I have to admit that because the taxis were so cheap we did tend to opt for a cab so that we could avoid this climb at the end of the day. It also seems to be in a safe area which has a lot of restaurants and bars within walking distance, and we walked around without any problem at all. At night, as in everywhere at Quito, I would recommend that you don't walk around the area because muggings are fairly common in Quito - and this area is no exception.
To get to the Mariscal area, which is the very touristy area (Gringo Land) with lots of bars and restaurants its about 30 minutes walk - which in daylight hours is perfectly safe. Alternatively a cab would take 10 minutes and cost you about $2. To get the the historic centre, you need to take a cab - and again this will take about 10 minutes and costs about $2 - $3. There is a taxi rank right outside the hotel so its not difficult to get a cab at any time of the night or day.
The reception of the hotel is perfectly okay. Its not anything special, but its clean and efficient and plainly decorated. The rooms are also more than okay by Quito standards and although they are basic, they are clean, well maintained and perfectly adequate as a base to exploring Quito. The outside of the hotel looks very 1960's and so dated, but the upkeep seems adequate and its holding its own in the modern world.
Because of where the hotel is situated, the views from the rooms and the restaurant are fantastic and unsurpassable!
The hotel does have a casino attached to it, but to be honest after walking through we didn't feel very inspired to stay there. It was fairly quiet and not very expansive - but the facility is there if you want to use it.
There is a restaurant and bar on the top floor of the hotel which I was quite impressed by. The food was very good - particularly the lunch time buffet which I highly recommend. In the evening they have live music in the form of a pianist which helps provide a nice ambience. The food was good and the cocktails delicious - and although this was more expensive than if you ate out of the hotel, the views were breathtaking, particularly at night. The service in the restaurant was good and all of the waiters made a good effort to speak English and provide you with whatever you wanted. They were very attentive and polite and I could not fault service. The only negative thing about the restaurant was that, as with the rest of Quito, it was frequently affected by powercuts or power surges and so many of the lights constantly flickered - which could be a bit distracting!
There is a large pool in the gardens - which was heated, although it never seemed warm enough to lie out by the pool except between noon and 2pm. After that the pool area went into shadow and it was too cold. There was a poolside snack bar but this seemed rarely open. There is also a small gym which is free to use and a small jacuzzi and plunge pool.
When we left the hotel we safely stored our luggage there without any concerns - and when we came back to the hotel we actually opted to stay there another 2 nights rather than moving on to the much more expensive Marriott down the road.
There are several shops on the ground floor of the hotel - all of which are very expensive and I advise you to look elsewhere!
If you just want a base for Quito that's clean and has all the necessary amenities then I would recommend this. There are probably nicer hotels in Quito, but our extra nights at this hotel only cost us $60 which is pretty good going even by Quito standards.
I feel compelled to write about my experiences at The Hotel Quito simply because i had such a great time there and helped make some of the very special memories of Ecuador and Quito that I will always have. I will also address of few of the criticisms of the only other review on Dooyoo at the end of this review.
I went to Ecuador last summer as the first part of my Latin America trip. Naturally the journey was an absolute killer and we arrived in a bleary jet lagged state after a total of 27 hours of travelling. I had emailed ahead to ask the hotel staff if they could find a room that we could use from 8am becuase we did not want to wait around in that kind of state for four hours after such a journey. They upgraded us to a suite, free of charge. We slept like babies for about 8 hours and went upstairs to the bar for free cuba libres. The bar and restaurant over look the city and the Andes and it is amazing at night looking over the city with a drink, and even more amazing at breakfast watching the mist over the mountains and valleys. Then we went and played some poker in the casino which was also brilliant apart from being the only people not chain smoking.
The room was very plush and was what you would expect from a five star hotel . However there are two sections and it is worth making sure you are in the newer section because on our return visit in between journeys we stayed in one of the older more spartan rooms which felt very 1 or 2 star. The Hotel facilities where great we used the outdoor pool, and the spa facilities, which you must try because they put a lot of local natural herbs in the steam room and it really clears you. The gardens around the pool are very sweet and a lot of the rooms on the ground floor have sliding pation doors that allow you to walk out onto them.
The restaurant was also great if a little expensive if you are budgeting. Make sure to have the breakfast though, that costs extra but is extremely worth it (and make sure to learn some basic spanish terms, people look very silly gesturing and miming egg). Another great thing about this hotel is that it is in an area where you don't feel as though someone is going to mug/rob/kill you which is quite rare for Quito (ask any taxi driver) and there is a fantastic little bar and grill just opposite that you can go to in the evenings. The hotel has its own taxi rank with the hotel's name on the side, the doormen wave them other for you, most journeys are about $2. All the cabbies are pleasant and will drive to surrounding towns for pretty much the same cost as going in a tour or they will take you around the city.
The other review complains about the location of this hotel, but I would much rather stay in this pleasant part of the city which has by far the best views in town (apart from the teleferico of course!).
The last point I would like to make is that all the staff I dealt with where always pleasant and helpful and in some cases went out of their way to welcome us. I left my jacket in one room and got it back from the staff when I went back, but I think it is important to understand that Ecuador is a third world country and many of the small possessions that we buy and might cost us half a weeks wage are worth a small fortune in their local economy. It is easy to take a moral high ground when your life is comfortable enough not to feel any kind of need to steal. The staff are going to be very poor in hotel in Ecaudor so blame yourself if you leave expensive items lying aroud and they go missing, don't tempt people.
Oh yeah, one last thing; cheap as chips! We payed only about $60 USD per room per night. And whilst it may not be as plush as the Hilton or some of the boutique hotels in town I think all round you are going to have a good stay.
When we stayed
I stayed at the Hotel Quito in October 2004 so this opinion is based on an experience nearly two years ago. Since that time I believe they have opened a Casino but quite honestly that wouldnt attract me any more than my past experience. My husband and I were part of a tour group doing a 3 weeks trip around of Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos and we stayed at the Hotel Quito twice - one night before and two nights after the Galapagos leg of our journey.
Checking various websites you should be able to get a room for between $50 and $100. Our rooms were part of our tour so I dont know how much was paid.
Traumas getting there
Getting to Quito had been an ordeal and wed been through a bit of a hairy time in the Peruvian rain forest. Our flight out of Porto Maldonado, a one-horse gold-mining town, had been cancelled due to rain (its a rain forest, youd think theyd be used to it) and wed been stranded in the only scummy hotel in a bandit town that had any rooms. They only had rooms because the hotel was closed for decorating and renovations. Imagine a hotel full of pissed off Japanese and Brits going crazy with the sound of drilling and banging and getting very stressed about how long it would take to get out. Then when the airline was bullied into putting on a rescue flight we flew to Lima in the wee small hours to spend a couple of hours in a hotel before flying on to Quito. As you can imagine, by the time we got to Quito we were all bit jaded and fed up.
The bus transfer from the airport took about 30 minutes. The first thing that will hit you on arriving in Quito is the altitude. We thought wed be acclimatised because wed been at similar altitude in our first week in Peru but the time in the rainforest had knocked that out of us. Take everything slowly or youll pay for it later with nausea, sleep problems and sickness.
Where is it?
To tell the truth, Im not too sure. Its not really in the middle of anything much a business and shop district, the sort of place that countries have their embassies. Theres nothing particularly notable on the door step. Its about 10 minutes by cab from the more funky backpacker district and 20-30 (depending on traffic) from historic old Quito. The hotel is on top of a hill with great views and you shouldnt have any problems walking around the hotel area during the day maybe not such a good idea (anywhere in Quito) after dark. There is a small craft market just down the hill from the hotel looking into the valley. You can buy knitted clothes, paintings and other curios. Taxis are not expensive although you should check the price before you agree to go anywhere so it isnt too important where you are in Quito.
When we arrived at the Hotel Quito we were very surprised. After staying in an eco-lodge (compost toilets and lots of bugs) and a flea-pit zero star hotel this seemed like a bit of a treat. The hotel is described as being Art Deco in style I think thats rather a generous assessment. Architecturally its high 1960s with a bit of a soviet block look to it. However the lobby is stunning.
As you walk in the hotel looks incredibly grand. In the centre of the lobby theres a large table with a fantastic flower displays several feet wide filled with beautiful fragrant roses. Heres a bit of trivia for you Ecuador is one of the worlds major exporters of flowers (and frozen prawns!). The lobby has dozens of sofas and arm chairs and is two storeys high with a mezzanine swooping around. The main draw is the window an enormous floor to ceiling view out over the valley beneath with snow capped mountains behind.
Apparently the hotel was built as a convention resort for an Inter-American Convention. It was probably very impressive and state of the art when it opened. Sadly now its just a bit sad and jaded. Over the decades it has passed through the hands of various hotel groups including Intercontinental and is currently part of Compass Hotels. Its quite a landmark in the city and is best known for the views. However, that doesnt mean its a great hotel.
As part of a group we sipped our cold welcome drinks whilst looking out of the windows. We filled in some registration forms and were handed our keys. My husband began his regular battle to get our valuables into the safe deposit box and several of the group tried unsuccessfully to get some money exchanged.
We trekked off to our room - the corridors were plush with deep carpets and the rooms had a complex double door system to keep the corridor noise to a minimum a little pointless with a busy road outside and a location under the flight path to the airport but its the thought that counts.
After the opulent lobby it was a bit of a surprise to find that the rooms were reminiscent of a 1980s Travellodge adequate but entirely forgettable. We were on the road side of the hotel both times we stayed so we had a view over some unexciting gardens. Others in the party had hillside rooms with views of the mountains and the pool. The rooms were large with two beds, a desk, a TV, cupboards and everything youd expect but nothing that you wouldnt. Our ground floor rooms had doors that opened onto the garden not that it was the kind of garden youd want to sit out on unless you like watching the traffic.
The bathrooms had plenty of hot water (which was our main priority) but were otherwise unmemorable bath, shower, loo, sink. What did you expect? International cable TV was available but we didnt use it as was in room internet access. Not something we tried but Ive seen reviews suggesting that it was very expensive. Some of our group used the business centre to access the internet but we found it easier and cheaper to use the backpacker internet cafes in the touristy district.
The Bar and Restaurants
Included in the deal was a 'welcome' cocktail up in the penthouse bar with spectacular views over the city. We went up for our free Cuba Libres (as far as I can make out thats just Rum and Coke, but please feel free to correct me). Prices were not cheap but were fair for a hotel of this standard and I really recommend visitors use the bar for the views. Next to the bar is the Techo del Mundo restaurant which offers international cuisine of a good standard at not-too-frightening prices.
In addition to the penthouse bar and restaurant, you can get drinks and snacks at the poolside and theres another bar called the Havana Cigar Club not being a smoker, I cant tell you anything about that.
During our first visit, we left very early before breakfast service started. However, the hotel did a good job of laying on a small buffet service in the mezzanine of the lobby which did the job. On our return, we had the full breakfast up on the top floor which had a very wide choice of food and was of very good quality.
Theres a very nice outdoor pool which we didnt use because it was raining and because doing anything very active at that altitude isnt wise until youve got used to the thin air. Theres also a gym same logic would apply. The hotel has lots of meeting rooms and convention facilities which wont interest you as a tourist.
OK, now onto the trouble!
We spent one night in the Hotel Quito and then packed up all our excess belongings and put them into storage. We were about to fly to Galapagos and the airlines are really strict about weight limits - and the small boat we were using to tour the islands had very restricted space. We left one bag - locked up - in the store. On getting to Galapagos I gave my poor husband a real ear-bashing for stupidly forgetting to pack the binoculars - two pairs. I also sulked at myself for the stupidity of forgetting to bring my trainers. On returning to the hotel we found that the binoculars weren't in the bag we had left and neither were my trainers.
We are pretty nice folk and we hate to get hotel staff into trouble so when we realised that the lost items must have gone astray before we left the hotel (the bags were locked during the flight so the items must have disappeared during our first hotel stay) we reported the items to the front desk and asked them to check lost property. We didnt accuse anyone but we returned to the reception several times repeatedly asking them to check the lost property.
At the airport when we were leaving, we discovered that another member of our party had also lost a pair of trainers as well as an expensive pair of prescription bi-focal glasses. In fact, the poor chap had spent a week in Galapagos unable to see anything very clearly. On the first visit, he'd been in the room adjacent to ours and it seemed that he had also been the victim of some wandering fingers. We both reported the incident to the tour company on return but with no joy.
We always put our valuables in hotel safe-deposit boxes but nothing would have prepared us for the idea that our shoes and binoculars needed to be locked up as well.
I wouldn't say don't stay at the Hotel Quito - but I would advise you not to unpack your suitcase and if you have a lockable case, leave everything that could tempt a thief, inside your case.