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The Secret Garden Quito

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Hostelz.com's Review
The Secret Garden has a reputation as the best hostel in Quito -- after you’ve paid a visit, you just might agree. It’s owned by an Ecuadorian-Australian couple and staffed by backpacker volunteers, and an on-site travel agency offers some of the best advice around for journeys throughout Ecuador.

The Location

The Secret Garden is located in Quito’s Old Town, in sector San Blas. It’s on a quiet street but within easy reach of the main attractions of Old Town, and the New Town is walking distance (if you’re keen) or a short cab ride away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms are somewhat cramped, and small windows mean that they can get stuffy when the door is closed at night. But the bunk beds are comfortable, and with an individual reading light by each one, you’re less likely to be rudely awoken in the middle of the night by the overhead light being switched on. There are secure lockboxes for each person in the dorm room (bring your own lock) to store your valuables, but the floorspace gets a bit crowded when the dorms are full and big backpacks cover its surface. You have the option of a private room for a higher cost.

Bathrooms are mostly shared, with a few private rooms having ensuites. They are clean and well-kept, but hot water for the showers is a bit sporadic -- patience is the key.

Common Spaces

The Secret Garden’s fifth floor outdoor terrace is one of the best hangout areas around, offering a panoramic views of Quito. Breakfast and dinner are available here for an extra charge (there is no kitchen, so self-catering isn’t an option). At night, staff will often build a fire to take the chill out of the air, and cheap drinks flow freely at the bar till 11 p.m. or so.

Internet access is provided for a small charge at three computer stations, and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel. There is a book exchange with novels and guidebooks to trade. It’s a very social hostel and meeting other travelers is a snap. Whether you just want someone to hang out with and have a beer, or to swap best travel tips with like-minded backpackers, you’re sure to find the right people here. An on-site travel agency is friendly, helpful, and very efficient.

Summary

The Secret Garden definitely provides value for money, and is one of the friendliest and best-run hostels around.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
July 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is The Secret Garden Quito rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
84%
82%
85%
88%
90%
82%
Hostels.com  
82%
70%
85%
90%
90%
90%
HostelBookers  
79%
80%
78%
84%
82%
85%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
82%
77%
83%
87%
87%
86%
The Secret Garden Quito Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Stunning View! This hostel will welcome you to Quito in the best way. Cheap, clean, friendly. People hang out and eat on the rooftop terrace, which has the most stunning view of Old Town Quito and the mountains. The location is great for striking out to Old Town, La Ronda, Teleferico, and anywhere else via the bus lines. There is a travel agency downstairs, which is very helpful, and the WiFi is fast (but it reaches only to the rooftop, not to the rooms). Highly recommend.  , age 19, United States ()
5  Great location, safe place, lots of activities, and day trips leave the hostel. Definitely stay for dinner Wednesday nights to hear Solar perform their music and to hear the charrango.  ()
5  This was my first experience of Hostelling in South America and now two months later it spoiled me. A great place. The staff were like friends from the start. Met great people. The food was fab and the beers on the terrace in the evenings are the highlight of everyone's day. A must stay place.  ()
4  I stayed here for a week. It's a fun place and very social. I met some really good people. The staff were all pretty friendly, and all English-speaking volunteers, who knew a lot about Ecuador. The (Australian) owner was very friendly too. The view from the roof terrace is great. The dorm beds had lockers and reading lights, which I always like. And the location is good -- by a Trole (trolley bus) stop and on the edge of the old town. So why don't I give it my fifth star? While I was there, the hot water situation was unreliable in some of the showers. They were repairing some pump or other. You could always find a hot shower if you wanted, simply by going downstairs, but still it perhaps shouldn't have taken a week or more to fix.  ()
2  I really don't understand why this hostel is getting such rave reviews. Yes, it's clean and there are nice views from the bar, but...The bar is very expensive compared to the rest of Quito and the bar (terrace) is the ONLY social spot in the whole backpackers. This forces you pretty much to spend money in the bar when you just want a chat and to meet people, which is what backpackers do! A TV room would help solve this solution. Staff are so-so. They are all volunteers so they range from someone who's been in Quito for three months (and knows a little about Ecuador) and staff that have been in Ecuador for three days (and know nothing about Ecuador!). The food in the bar is also very average (at best) and very expensive. You can get a great Chinese meal 50m down the street for a third of price of the Secret Garden.  ()
5  This is a clean, safe and super location to the Old Town of Quito. We ate at the terrace restaurant on the top roof each night here at The Secret Garden, watching the lights of Old Town appear as we drank a beer with new friends from all over the world. It was myself, my husband and our son (a teenager who had a blast). Most of the people we met were college students, but it was fun and enjoyable hanging out with them. We met up with a couple of them again in Banos. The Secret Garden is a place I would go again. The staff were friendly and VERY helpful. The owners are personable and are truly customer service people. I loved Ecuador. Great adventure. ruth_burton@yahoo.com  ()
5  I stayed at this hostel in August 2004. It was excellent. The beds and the bathrooms are spotlessly clean. It is located in Old Quito within walking distance of many tourist attractions. The staff are friendly and helpful with tour reservations and other information. The terrace restaurant is excellent and offers great views. They even have a movie night every Sunday. The movie is complimentary. I would definitely recommend this hostel to anyone visiting Quito.  ()
5  Within a couple of hours of arriving at this hostel I'd been met with great friendliness, found someone to continue travelling with and sampled the fantastic food that is on offer every evening! This was simply the best hostel I stayed at on my trip and I'm definitely going back! The vibe is fantastic and everyone who works and stays here is so friendly. One lass arrived at 10 p.m. and was out clubbing with a big group of us half an hour later! The rooms are great — fantastic comfy beds, lockable storage areas and most importantly, hot water (as long as the gas hasn't decided to act up!) The view from the rooftop is amazing, the breakfasts are so tasty (homemade jam!) and the area is safe. I didn't have any problems as a solo female traveler. Stay here and meet fantastic people and get a feel for a great country! Enjoy!  ()

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