Didn´t really know what to expect going to Otavalo, got off the bus with one LP recommended place in mind, yawn. how glad i was to be greeted by a young English girl who informed me she´d just opened a hostel with her boyfriends family up in the mountains surrounding Otavalo.
This place is beautiful, it´s almost too beautiful to be a backpacker spot but perhaps because they´re just starting out and they´re young it is. The site sits on a ridge with views onto IMbabura, Otavalo town and the snow capped Cayambe on one side and a lush green valley with views on to Cotacachi on the otherside.
The place is kitted out nicely with deckchairs and hammocks and theyve got things youd never expect like tennis and table tennis courts, a cosy DVD lounge and a book exchange.
But what is best about the place is the atmosphere. The guys there really strive to make you feel welcome and part of a group of friends and they go out of their way to help you. I met some great people up there and had i had more time would have stayed even longer.
It is a ten minute drive from town but then this is the charm of the place, you genuinely feel like you are staying in the mountains and they run a shuttle service down to town a few times a day which means you never feel far away from the action.
If you want to experience living in the mountains and make your stay in Otavalo something more than just a bedroom in a busy city while you wait for the market go here.
It´s relaxing, it´s beautiful, it´s charming. Best of all, for what it is, it´s cheap. ($12 per person incl breakfast and taxes)
- In a lovely house with a nice courtyard... very cozy and lovely indeed
- I love everything in the room, the decor, the curtains, the bed... even the door. Very comfortable and safe
- Breakfast can be ordered in the dining room below
- Friendly owner with practical suggestions
- None at all
Room: US$8 (2005)
This was awful. Unbearable noise coming from outdoor speakers near the hotel, operating at bed-shaking volume, made sleep impossible. Staff says this is an ongoing, intermittent problem. I called police, and they came, but could not persuade the perpetrators to stop. Incredibly, making loud noise at 4 AM is not illegal in Otavalo. Owner said she has tried everything, including going to town leaders, but is powerless to stop her neighbor from doing this. She said neighbor will not tell her what nights this is going to take place, so she cannot warn her guests in advance. It started at about 9 or 9:30 PM and lasted until almost dawn.
I hardly ever stay in hotels or hostels in Otavalo. Mostly because I have family here but on one particular visit I didnt tell anyone that I was coming down and I stayed in the Hotel Otavalo with my cousin. This was before the dollarization and if you came with American dollars you were set! I stayed here for about 3 nights and I paid $4 per person. It also included free breakfast in the morning. It was great. On my last visit I went to check out the prices here and it has risen to $34 per night and breakfast is still included.
The Hotel is neat and clean. Nothing fancy but very comfortable. The food is good and the service is great. Its not as cheap as it was before about still not too expensive. The room we stayed in had like four beds a bathroom and served our purpose. I wouldnt mind staying here again if I had to stay in a Hotel.
They also accept visa, mastercard and diners card.
We stayed for 2 nights in November, 2005. The hotel, restaurant, grounds, staff and owners were incredible. The rooms were immaculate and spacious. The restaurant had the best food in Ecuador. On Friday night local Otavalan musicians played in the restaurant while diners ate or played games. It was magical. Margaret and Frank were so nice. They were so personable, offering maps, suggestions of things to do in and around Otavalo and Frank took us to the animal market on Saturday morning. Our daughter is 11 years old and she felt so at home there. We would return in a second to Ali Shungu. Our fondest memories of our 3 week trip are from there.
We rented a car and the hotel had secured parking for us. The hotel is on the outskirts of the town ( a few blocks from the center of town)so it was very quiet . The grounds are beautifully landscaped and we saw so many birds. The Saurday market is within walking distance of the hotel and we truly appreciated the quiet after a day at the market: noise, cars and buses honking, etc.
I would totally recommend this hostal for anyone visiting Otavalo, by far the most confortable, safe and friendly hostel in Otavalo... the rooms are clean and spacious with general and private bathrooms... the complemantry breakfast is delicious.. the management is very very helpful with any questions about the area and events, and will give you great directions to any place you may be traveling to (which to backpackers is very important to have a reliable source) ... and on top of it all, they all speak FLUENT ENGLISH AND SPANISH!
p.s. Email them a reservation request, so your guarenteed a room. Thurs-Mon are usually busy.
** HOSTAL **
Newly remodeled and recommended in all the travel guide books they offer their guests a cozy and quiet stay that is conveniently located close too the heart of Otavalos Artesian Market and the bus station!
** RESTAURANT **
Thier full-service restaurant offers a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes made from only the finest and freshest ingredients. They also have a choice of fine wines and drinks available in the bar. An outdoor patio, next to the garden, is also open for our dining pleasure. Their prices are very reasonable and for a group of 10 or more people there is NO CHARGE for the tour guide. They also prepare a traditional Ecuadorian “Cuy” dish as our specialty!
** CAMPGROUND **
Located just 1km. outside of town, on the road to the Mojanda Lakes. They offer us campers a safe and secure site on the grounds of the old “La Joya” hacienda. A newly constructed rustic pavilion provides : shower / bathrooms ; kitchen and eating area; storage closet and hammocks . Along with a recreation area and a group fire-pit and of course a fantastic view of Otavalo and the surrounding mountains! With a lighted parking area and easy access to the center of town, it’s perfect for the “overland” camper.
This hotel was great! It was just down the street from the big market, accessible to the rest of the town (okay, the town isn't that big, but still...), beautiful grounds, and local entertainment. From what I remember, it was the only hotel I stayed at in all of Ecuador and the Galapagos that had without some form of mild electrocution.
From what I remember of the owners, Frank and Margaret, they were quite nice and friendly. As they've been there for many years they can recommend some good day outings.
Unfortuantely, I was somewhat ill during my trip so I missed some of the fun. So I missed the local band as they played some awesome traditional music. I kind of caught it from my room as I faded in and out of a medicinal sleep. I don't remember what kind of cold medicine that was, but wow!
The place was decorated in the kind of eclectic artifacts from around South America that made me want to see the rest of the land.
This place has tiny rooms, but it has character. It is completely contained within a courtyard on the corner of a city block. It is the kind of place that you find hammocks hanging all over, green grass, and lots of simple charm.
But it is definately not luxurious. If what you want is a well located cheap hostel that is safe, clean, and run by friendly staff, this is your choice. If you are going to spend most of your time in Otavalo in your room, this isn't the place to be.
The hotel is very nice and the hotel rooms and restaurant are also very nice. However, if you are deciding to stay here because of the shuttle service from Quito, be warned! In January 2005, the shuttle (for under $20 each way) was not really 'available' either TO Otavalo or FROM Otavalo (to/from Quito). I was told that there were not enough people (there is a minimum before they will 'go.') However, there were actually PLENTY of people -- but parties of 1 or 2 are encouraged to get a private taxi (for $40 RT). So, if you can 'create' your own 'shuttle gang' you can book the shuttle, but not if you're on your own looking to 'join in.' Of course, you can take a very inexpensive (and perhaps wild) bus ride OR make a stink and get them to help you book a SUPERTAXI for $8 each way (which is somewhere between a bus ride and a private taxi experience...)
Good food. Nice clean rooms. Average price for the area. Very close to the markets!!!!
The patio is well-managed with nice chairs and hammocks for those who are so inclined. There is also a large table and a firepit. I sure place to meet up with other budget travelers/backpackers/students. Very relaxing and clean atmosphere.
Really cute little hostel! You will not have a private bath, but the shared baths are small and clean and you will have complete privacy (+ there's hot water!). Make sure you get there before the gates close at night...once you have checked in that will not be an issue anymore.
The breakfast is included in the price ($7/person for a double room). It is close to the craft market, and it is convinient to leave early to go to the animal market and then come back a couple of hours later to eat breakfast (the breakfast will fill you up...we are talking eggs and pancakes, and not just continental breakfast). Coming back for breakfast will also be an excellent opportunity to relive yourself of the things you bought during the morning!
This is the hotel we stayed at near Otavalo. Dinner was served in the courtyard area . There was also a live band .
A great place to stay.
A very friendly Dutch lady who is running the hotel and who is helping to improve the life quality of the local indians, and she also gets financial help from people in Holland to do this.
The "feels like home' - atmosphere.
This is a small cosy hotel. The rooms were clean; there was bathroom / toilet in the room.
It was kind of normal that we needed to shower in a shifty system, as it was not possible to take a shower with 20 persons at the same time, the boiler could not provide enough hot water. But that was no problem at all.
There were extra blankets for the cold nights.
At night it was a bit noisy because of playing / fighting / barking herd of dogs in the neighbourhood of the hotel. Throwing a stone in the bushes near the dogs, just helped for 10 minutes, they did come back.
Cosy rooms, super cosy restaurant.
The hotel was run by a Dutch lady (Mieke), which was very friendly (and her Ecuadorian husband Fabian). After a few drinks she already gave me a nickname, she called me Prince Filip (same as our Belgian Prince)
Good location, Otavalo was reachable on foot, just follow the railway tracks (in the right direction) and you arrive in the centre or of Otavalo (45 minutes to the city centre)
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