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Where to Stay in Quito
Though Quito is a very large city that sprawls north-to-south along a mountain plateau, the extreme north and south ends are dominated by residential neighborhoods and seldom explored by tourists. Most hotels, as well as most points of interest relevant to visitors, are located in the central districts of Old Town and New Town.
Old Town’s hotels are fewer in number and generally older, just like their historic surroundings. If the primary focus of your trip is exploring the city’s most significant historic sites, or if you prefer a quiet scene at night, this neighborhood is probably best for your stay.
Turn to New Town to find some of the best cheap hotel deals in Quito and virtually all of the city’s most modern accommodations. This area is less scenic but much livelier, with bustling nightlife and facilities specifically geared toward English-speaking tourists. Within New Town, the district of La Mariscal is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of hotels and hostels.
Quito Hotel Tips
Each of the two main tourism districts have a range of hotel options, but the selection in Old Town is quite a bit different from that of New Town. The cheapest accommodations in Old Town are small, independently operated inns and B&Bs, most of which have loads of character and charm. Pricier hotels in this area include five star properties that are either newer or have been extensively renovated, but all are designed with classic aesthetics in mind so as not to clash with the surrounding architecture.
In New Town, the budget lodging is dominated by hostels, some of which are student hostels with age limits. Many of these establishments have shared bathrooms and some have large rooms where groups of guests can stay together, but you can find more private hostel accommodations if you look closely. Mid-range and upscale options consist of South American and international chain hotels.
Quito Hotel Recommendations
In Old Town, the Hotel Patio Andaluz is an excellent compromise between cost and luxury. The spacious rooms feature all the modern conveniences you’d expect from an upscale hotel, but the furnishings and design are classic and regal. Charming landscaped courtyards in the center of the hotel property are beautiful places to sit or stroll outside on fair weather days.
The nearby Plaza Grande, while more expensive, is Quito’s standard-setter for luxury and sophistication. Every room is an expansive suite with carved-wood antique furniture, and most offer excellent views of the nearby Plaza de la Independencia. La Belle Epoque, one of Quito’s finest restaurants, is located on an upper floor and provides stunning tableside views of the city.
One of the largest and most well-appointed hotels in New Town is the JW Marriott Hotel, which boasts features like a huge landscaped swimming pool, a sushi bar and spa services. Suites are priced not much higher than standard rooms, so consider an upgrade when booking here.
A more affordable but notably comfortable choice is the Mansion del Angel, one of the few truly historic hotels in New Town. Interiors are nicely decorated with chandeliers and canopy beds, and the hearty complimentary daily breakfast is a superb way to begin a day of sightseeing.
Quito has an extensive public transportation system of trolleys and buses, but taxis are so cheap and plentiful that it’s often most convenient to hail a ride. Five U.S. dollars is often enough to take you between any two points in Old Town and New Town. This is a good thing, because the streets of Quito can be dangerous after dark. Make a habit of taking a taxi everywhere you go from evening through early morning, no matter how short the distance. If you can’t see an available cab from a well-lit area, ask an employee of whatever establishment you’re patronizing to call one for you.
During the day, you may want to take public transportation just for the experience. The trolley has three lines called Trole, Metrobus and Ecovia, all of which span both Old Town and New Town. Buses follow more confusing routes, so ask your hotel’s front desk staff for detailed bus number and route information before catching one. Much of Old Town and New Town’s La Mariscal neighborhood are pedestrian-friendly, but jagged sidewalks make walking in other areas difficult. Opt for a taxi when venturing beyond the most walkable areas.
The airport is located close to downtown, making a cab ride to your hotel after your flight to Quito a very affordable transportation choice. Rental cars are available, but if you plan to stay in town, you’ll likely save money overall by sticking with taxis.
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