Hostal San Blas
Caldas E1-38 y Pedro Fermín Cevallos
If you can’t handle a room without a real window, you can stop reading now. If that doesn’t bother you too much and the idea of a room with a private bath for as little as $15/night sounds appealing, you could definitely do worse in Quito.
Single rooms are small but not awkwardly so, there’s free and relatively decent wifi throughout the property, and if you get the room I had, complimentary coffee and tea just outside your door.
The staff were friendly, helpful and accommodating with someone available 24 hours. The latter was put to the test when I arrived at a few minutes past five in the morning, too early for my room to be ready. Without missing a beat, the owner made up one of the beds in a room two men just checked out of. “Please,” he said, “you look very tired.”
Location is key in the sprawling Ecuadoran capital, and the Hostal San Blas scores big in the location convenience department. It’s set in a nice breezy plaza which gives it its name; an excursion agency, laundry service (ask at the front desk) and a great little restaurant are about 45 seconds away.
It’s conveniently located, just about one kilometer from the main Plaza Grande and Quito’s historical center; the Basílica del Voto Nacional, the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas, is about a 10-minute stroll away. There’s a trolley bus stop just across from the hostel’s eponymous square; two other bus and/or trolley lines are less than a five-minute walk away.
Below, a few photos of the Plaza San Blas.
(I stayed at the Hostal San Blas for six nights 24-30 May 2013).
A note about hotel scores and reviews: I base everything on value for money. There’s no other way to compare a $15 a night room with one that costs $150. Or more. More about Piran Cafe’s review policy.