I stayed at the Alston Inn Hotel in March 2007. I booked a single room through their website and they answered promptly. On their website, the cost of a single room is quoted at $17 inclusive of all taxes. When they responded, they asked if I was going to pay in cash. I answered “yes,” and they responded with a per night cost of $15 inclusive of all taxes. The Alston Inn Hotel takes credit cards. I believe I got the lower rate since I was paying cash.
When comparing cost of hotels and hostals in Ecuador, it’s important to read the small print. Hotels and hostals are required to collect a 12% tax. Some hotels/hostals add an additional 10% service charge. A 22% tax added to the rate can make the bargain that you thought you had an expensive stay. If the hotel/hostal’s website doesn’t mention the 12% tax, you can be certain that you’ll be charged the 12% tax and possibly an additional 10% service charge.
With Alston Inn Hotel, their website states that tax is included with the quoted rate. When I arrived, they billed me $13.40 + 12% tax = $15. This was a real bargain. They gave me room #37 which was small (about the same size as the single rooms on the ground floor at Hostal Posada del Maple). The next morning, they moved me to room #21 on the ground floor which was much, much bigger. It could have been used as a double occupancy room.
Unique Quality: The room had a desk, a full size bed, private bath, color tv (no cable), and a telephone. The bed mattress was firm and the room was clean.
One reviewer mentioned that there was no hot water. I encountered that problem, but only once. I called the front desk to complain and they already knew that there was no hot water. They said the hot water would be available in a few minutes. I believe water is heated by propane so if the tank runs empty, they have to switch it so there’s always a gap when deliver of hot water will be interrupted. Again, I only encountered this once so it wasn’t a big problem for me. You also have to remember that on the faucet H = cold (helado) and C = hot (caliente).
Another reviewer complained of a smoky lobby. When I read that, I thought the reviewer meant tobacco smoking. This isn’t the case. They have a wood burning fireplace in the lobby which they sometime fire up in the evening. The fireplace wasn’t a problem for me.
Although this is cheaper and much better than most Quito hostals, you don’t find too many backpackers staying here. Most of the guests appear to be Ecuadorian couples / families.
They don’t offer a free breakfast with their rate. Personally, I’ve found the “free” breakfast offerred by most budget hostals to be a joke. You can find a number of restaurants that offer an American-style breakfast, i.e., coffee, fruit juice, two-eggs, bacon/ham/sausage, and bread for less than $2.50. My favorite breakfast restaurant is the Cafe Al Paso at the corner of Juan Pinto and Amazonas. I thought the Magic Bean is way over priced so I avoided it like the plague.
The Alston Inn Hotel has been around for awhile so it does show its age, but while I was there, they were always re-painting rooms so there is an effort to upkeep the place. I’ve stayed at more expensive hostals in Quito and the Alston Inn Hotel is much, much better. It’s not the Hilton or the Marriott, but it is a good, clean budget hotel. I’d stay there again so it gets my recommendation.
Directions: La Mariscal
Av. Orellana 1172 y Amazonas, Quito
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de el Salvador, Quito
12 de Octubre Ave. and Cordero 444 St, Quito
Avenida Amazonas 110 y Patria, Quito
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Address: Juan Leon Mera N23-41 y Veintimilla, Quito, Ecuador