The Hostelz.com Review - Genuine, independent review you can trust.
Hostal El Andariego has a superb location, on one of the city’s main streets, in between the Central Park and the bus station and at a quick walk from either one. The hostel is in a beautiful, Colonial, white, two-story building. The lower floor is occupied by the Red Cross's offices, while the hostel is on the second floor.
Otavalo is renowned for its vividly colorful market and the ethnic mix of its population, but perhaps less known for the variety of dining venues it offers to visitors. As you exit the hostel, there's a small, quaint cafe-restaurant on the right-hand side corner of the block; for an inexpensive price, they serve one of the best lunches you can find. If you splurge and order a la carte, you will certainly not be disappointed.
The hostel is relatively new (during our stay, it had only been open a few months), yet it's functioning as if it were a seasoned old-timer, filling up on the weekends. The minimalist approach, with a touch of Ecuadorian colorful decorations, gives it a particularly spacious feeling, though the premises are a bit small. With only five rooms, it has an intimate, staying-at-home feel.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The dorm has three single beds in the room. It is quite spacious, and its large windows allow for good light and ventilation during the day. The beds have excellent mattresses, with massive, locally-crafted head- and footboards. They’re covered with brightly colored quilts and include warm additional blankets. Combined with the hardwood floors, a wooden handcrafted seat with its own reading lamp, and a large wooden wardrobe, both the furniture and decoration blend in to form a rustic and cheery room. Shampoo, soap, and towels are included for each guest. There are plug-ins in the room and a general night light for all the guests.
All the rooms have external bathrooms, located towards the back of the living and dining room.
The rooms and bathrooms are spotlessly clean and are divided into women and men's bathrooms. Showers have low water pressure with electric water heaters. The showers are separated and the toilet doubles as a dressing room, equipped with shelves, hooks, soap, hand towel, plugins, and a large mirror.
As a small hostel, it has few but inviting common spaces. The lobby has small lounge, with sofas that sit two to three people. The main area is the dining and living space in the center of the hostel. All doors to the rooms open to this space. This is a cheerful set up that accommodates up to eight people comfortably. It's a good spot to share a drink and a chat after dinner. The kitchen has good light and ventilation. It’s a bit small but can handle simple meals well. There’s a breakfast table for up to four, which also makes for a quiet chat area. Finally, there’s a terrace at the front and with a view to the street. Smoking is allowed here.
The Andariego is owned by a young couple from Octavalo. During the mornings, his mother and father attend the hostel. The rest of the day, the owners are there, ready to spend time with the guests. All the family is warm and outgoing and this makes the visitor feel at ease and at home.
The Red Cross will leave next year, and the owners plan to expand the hostel to the include the entire building. More dorms and common spaces will be available, but their intention is to keep it operating as a family-run hostel, which will make for a great place to enjoy Otavalo.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2016-11-29
Location and Contact
Bolivar 12-10, entre Quiroga y Salinas, Segundo piso, Imbarbura, Otavalo,
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