Casa Helbling won us over for several reasons, the top being the owner's personality & helpfulness. Claus & Jessie speak fluent English & German were full of great recommendations for food accommodations as well as places to visit equipping us w/ a map & easy to follow walking directions. Claus even hunted down a vegetarian restaurant that was only blocks away & turned out to be our best meal in Quito. Claus's laugh is infectious & larger then life:[).
Conveniently located, large facility w/ lots of balconies & a well stocked kitchen. Breakfast was great & the rooms are large & comfortable. Internet access & two rooms that were stocked w/ books & maps.
When we arrived the airport transport was waiting as promised. Our room was always clean & we felt comfortable sleeping in the sheets (which we cannot say about other hostels we have stayed in), & the water was hot.
The floors were a little squeaky but hardly noticeable & w/ the great location the time we spent was right outside of the hostel at the market or enjoying great restaurants.
There is a enclosed seating area in front that allows smoking; however, we did not find it smelled inside the hostel or that the area confined the smoke. Being non smokers & sensitive to the smell we did not believe it was obtrusive or took away from our great stay.