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“A depressing and disappointing visit after an excellent two days just out of town” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Dona Esther

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Hostal Dona Esther
Juan Montalvo 4-44 y Bolivar, Otavalo 0000, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 21 Otavalo B&B and Inns
Canberra
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A depressing and disappointing visit after an excellent two days just out of town”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2010

There was a depressed and run down feeling about this place. The staff didn't seem to care too much and we didn't feel welcome. The place was clean enough, the rooms were very sparsely but just adequately furnished, but the cracked bathroom mirror in our room added to the feeling of neglect.

The hostal is very well located just a block away from Bolivar square and the top end of the Saturday markets. It is noisy well into the night.

The cheese empanadas that we had in the restaurant for lunch were the best that we had in 3 weeks in Ecuador. The evening meal was a disaster with very long delays and the trout (the local delicacy) arrive so over-cooked as to be inedible. The breakfast included in our tariff was the worst we had in Ecuador, consisting of stale bread, ordinary cheese and jam.

Overnight visitors to Otavalo might be better off staying in one of lodges just out of town and running back and forwards in cheap, reliable taxis.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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WendyOtavalo, Owner at Hostal Dona Esther, responded to this review, June 18, 2010
I'm sorry to hear you didn't like your stay with us and apparantly made a wrong choice for the type of hotel we have. A "lodge" is indeed a completely different and far more expensive option. Neglection does not appaer in our dictionary and our local staff cares a lot about our customers; any complaint - because things sometimes just happen, as always in life - would have been treated with respect. I'm sorry you didn't take the opportunity to make your point while you were our guest.

Best regards,
Wendy van Driel
Manager/owner
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    46
    35
    11
    4
    2
See reviews for
21
47
5
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

It's not luxury, but what can you expect for such a price. It's clean rooms (not too big) and a very good restaurant.
Location is perfect; very near the center (and near the saturday market)

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Louisville, Ky
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2010

We spent a month at the Hotel Dona Esther and found it to be one of the better values we have experienced in our travels. The owners and staff were extremely helpful and went out of their way to help us. The restaurant was one of the better ones in the area and the variety of food ranged from pizza to more formal dining. The down side, like most restaurants in Otavalo, is that it is closed on Monday. I would definitely recommend the suite on the top floor for an extended stay. There is a small stove and refrigerator so some money can be saved by doing some cooking in the room. All in all, a great experience and a place I highly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Winchester, Virginia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2009

We spent three nights at the Dona Esther in Nov 09 and from the reviews and pictures it looked relatively nice. We chose the suite on the 5th floor and was very disappointed. Not only was the sofa too dirty to sit on, the towels were like using sand paper and 30 watt bulbs in which you could not even see to read. We are seasoned travelers and not real picky, but after walking a few blocks from the Dona and finding a very nice hotel and great restaurant for the same price we defnitely would not return to the Dona. In addition to the hotel itself the staff was not friendly and when placing an order (in the very small restaurant) it took forever to get served. We met a couple other travelers that had the same opinion as we did and they met the owner, whom they said was not friendly at all. Not Recommended.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WendyOtavalo, owner/manager at Hostal Dona Esther, responded to this review, November 30, 2009
Well, we're sorry, apparantly we cannot keep every person happy in our hotel. I remember you preferred another room when you arrived, because the penthouse was too high up for you to walk. Unfortunately, we didn't have another room available, because of the many (satisfied) guests that weekend. We did have it available on your third day, but you didn't change rooms after all.
We haven't heard any other complaint or remark from you or other guests. We're not so difficult to approach, so that would have been a possibility during your 3 days stay with us.
But since really nothing was okay for you, I guess you made the wrong choice from the beginning and you just don't like our style of hotel.
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Rosmalen
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2009

Perfect Hostal ith great food en and a warm accommedation. Perfectly located in the center of Otavalo, near the central park - Parque Bolívar - and very close to the Saturday market.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

My friend and I stayed here while in Otavalo for Spanish school. We were pleased with our room and especially the restaurant. It was so good that we ate there almost every night of our 6 night stay. The room was clean, and the staff were helpful. As two middle aged female travelers, we felt very safe here, and well cared for. The only thing we wished for was a place to unpack our clothes, but this was a minor inconvenience, greatly outweighed by the cleanliness and quality of the room. Great hot water shower, with only one temporary exception. They also have a good book exchange, and are willing to assist with reservations. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2008

Having spent a few rainy days in Cotapaxi we decided to drive upto Otavalo to visit the famous Saturday market before heading back to London.

We checked Tripadvisor and our guidebook and decided on the Dona Esther. I phoned them up and we were in luck. They had a room for the following night.

First impressions were great. A lovely exterior, a pretty interior courtyard and right in the centre of town. They didn't have any parking on site but staff showed us a large carpark just a few minutes walk away.

Rooms were basic but really clean and had a good strong hot shower. Really appreciated after a long drive.

The restaurant food is excellent. During our 36 hours in Otavalo we ate there 3 times - dinner, breakfast and lunch - something we would not normally do. The wood fired pizzas, salads and garlic prawns were delicious. Wish they had a branch here in London!

The Dutch owners are very friendly and as they have lived in Otavalo for a number of years they were able to give great advice. All the staff were really friendly and helpful.

Otavalo is a great town and I highly recommend a visit.

  • Liked — Location & the restaurant
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Additional Information about Hostal Dona Esther

Address: Juan Montalvo 4-44 y Bolivar, Otavalo 0000, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Imbabura Province > Otavalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Otavalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dona Esther is a small colonial style hotel right in the center of Otavalo, near the famous Saturday crafts market and every other point of interest. With only 12 rooms and a family room on the top floor, we can keep it personal. Your room has a view on the green inner court yard, so you can take a seat outside your room and enjoy a glass of beer or wine after a day of activities. Our restaurant with delicious dishes is just downstairs, our reading room has enough books to buy or exchange and the Wifi is free for guests. ... more   less 
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