We arrived tired and bleary eyed at 4am after a 32 hour bus (which was only supposed to be 24) from Quito. As the taxi pulled up outside the hostel, I was wondering if anyone would actually be at the door.
However, Florian (the ownser) true to his word, he said there was 24 hour security, and the guard came down to greet our tired faces and showed us to our room.
I was too tired to make a first impression of the hostel so that would have to wait for the morning. The only thing I did notice was how comfortable and warm the bed was. Within minutes I was fast asleep.
When I awoke the following morning, I was feeling a little more refreshed and Anthony and I clambered up the stairs to the roof top terrace for the delicious breakfast.
We sat down to enjoy the inexpensive fresh fruit salad, juice, coffee (or tea) and jam with a croissant. Of course, for extra dollars you can also order eggs, bacon, french toast-anything to fill you up (or cure a hangover!)
We had read on Secret Garden’s website about the ‘famous’ views from atop their terrace and indeed…they were pretty spectacular. We were looking out over most of the hisotric area of Quito, including the huge Basilica and the El Pancecillo on the hill to the South. If it looked this pretty during the day, I couldn’t wait to head back up to the terrace at night to see everything glittering and bright (not to mention sit around the fire that is lit each night too).
The Secret Garden Hostel is set out in an old heritage building along a cobble stone street, and because it is a heritage building it can take some time to get used to the maze of small staircases and corridors leading off into different areas of the hostel. I can’t tell you how many times I ended up near someone else’s room for taking one too many flights of stairs back down from the terrace! Although after a couple of goes you start to know where everything is and it all works out fine!
The rooms are very comfortable and clean and the beds (like I said before) are so warm and soft-great for the cold Quito nights! There are also safety deposit boxes in each of the rooms. There is the option of dorm rooms, private rooms with shared bath and also en suite rooms. Every choice for every traveller and budget!
The only downside we had was the lack of hot water from the showers. I tried several different bathrooms during our stay and most of the time they were luke warm and I had one hot shower. However, this could have just been my timing for my showers, because each time Anthony hopped out to have a shower he came back saying his was scorching hot! I guess we’ll never know!
As you probably know by now, WiFi is a big plus for us especially if it is available in the rooms. Our signal was pretty weak in our room and we could get it occasionally, but all we had to do was head up to the lounge room and we could use it fine from there. Not the fastest internet, but it did the job.
Secret Garden Hostel has great rooms and beautiful views from the terrace, it also has a whole range of other perks when you stay there. For example, there is also: affordable laundry, dinner each night (and if you sign up for dinner before 10am you get a free wine or beer), book exchange, free computer use, taxi service of reliable drivers in the area, bicycle hire on weekends and cheap transport to their sister hostel in Cotopaxi.
To add to that there is also a great travel agency downstairs of the hostel where you can book tours from the Galapogas to the Amazon. Not to mention just receive extra informtiaon about the city of Quito!
Phew! What more do you want?! The Secret Garden Hostel really knows how to cater for the budget traveller crowd. They are friendly, well organised and an affordable accommodation option in Quito.
While we did receive complimentary accommodation at the Secret Garden Hostel all thoughts and opinions are our own. For the most up to date information and pricing visit the website of Secret Garden Hostel Quito.