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“Eco... not so friendly Hippies”

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Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Perth
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Eco... not so friendly Hippies”
Reviewed January 10, 2008

I stayed at two of the four places in the town, wanted to see what all the fuss was about at the Black Sheep Inn.

I would recommend any of the cheaper places, great atmosphere and your own room at one third the price of a dorm at the Black Sheep, we shared a dorm with 13 people in such a cramped room. Not to mention 1 shower between 13 people!

I was unlucky enough to meet the owners who were so rude. The staff were apologetic about them saying they have been wanting to distance themselves from the tourists/business for a while… they would have no business without us!

Its sad when Eco friendly Hippies start talking about supply and demand!, I would support the locals, these people don't deserve or need the money.

Don't let this put you off the Quiliota loop, its a must see, so beautiful! Getting there is just as much fun.

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Owners and lack of value for money
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank JohnJosep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackSheepInn, Owner at Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge, responded to this review, December 26, 2010
Michelle and Andres pioneered tourism in Chugchilán with the Black Sheep Inn back in 1995. There are now several options for all types of travelers and tourists with varied budgets. The most important part of any guest visiting to the community of Chugchilán is that they enjoy their stay; this can be done in any of the three accommodations in Chugchilán.

Black Sheep Inn is a part of the community and has initiated and supported numerous projects: recycling center, public library/computer learning center with free Internet access, telephone lines for the school and clinic, scholarships, volunteer teaching for over 10 years, teachers salaries, no interest micro-credit, water projects, health workshops, guide training and more.

The other two hostels in Chugchilán have been inspired by the Black Sheep Inn and have copied more than their buildings and service, but also a bit of the ethics. This means that Chugchilán has some of the best community based tourism in all of Ecuador. Please choose the accommodation that best suits your style and budget and enjoy this beautiful part of the Andes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
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English first
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2007

My husband and I stayed here in the spring (South American) of 2005; my only regrets are that we didn't plan to stay longer and that it was early spring. Next time, I'd like to go in late spring or early summer.

The owners and staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the local culture and natural surroundings. We rented horses for a day, went on the Quliatoa hike as well as going on little side hikes by ourselves, and lazed around the inn quite a bit as well. Make a trip to the woodworking shop down the road - it's worth it! I also recommend taking advantage of the wood-fired sauna, if they still have it, after a long day's hike or ride. The food is pretty good, all vegetarian, though I found myself itching to jump in the kitchen and cook alongside them, throwing in some herbs and spices.

The views from our room at the top of the ridge were INCREDIBLE; it was just an absolute joy to wake each morning and walk out. I often brushed my teeth while standing atop the ridge. We really liked the fact that they have composting toilets and a graywater system, though I found myself wishing for a private, warmer bathroom when I got a stomach bug while there. Our bed was comfy and warm, being furnished with several layers of wool blankets, and the woodstove knocked off the chill in the room at night and in the morning.

We also loved sitting up at night in the main lodge and talking with the other travelers, most of whom were European to our delight, drinking wine and beer.

We were fascinated by the tiny village of Chugchilan and its inhabitants. Luckily while we were there, they celebrated their patron saint and founding day with a little festival, which was really fun. They had music and dancing, food (which I did not eat after watching them cook that afternoon LOL), and plenty of drink. We also got to watch a volleyball game that afternoon, which is serious business there, replete with betting.

If you're looking for nightlife, this is not the place for you; but if you're looking for gorgeous scenery, a decent hike, and a quiet place to contemplate or write, then this is the trip for you.

  • Liked — Views, natural surroundings.
  • Disliked — Price.
  • Stayed September 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JulieLBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa rosa,ca
Level Contributor
226 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2007

i cannot say enough good things about the black sheep inn.
located on the quiliota loop in the central highlands it boasts fantastic bed and board to fit all budgets. private rooms with incredible views of the rio toachi canyon are very cozy with lofts great bathrooms w/ composting toilets . this is an eco lodge. they try to waste nothing. comfortable beds a wood burning stove w/ plenty of firewood. relaxing exciting an incredible experience. activities in this beautiful area include horseback riding. hiking ...kicking back........ price includes breakfast and dinner ........ vegetarian.......pretty darn good but if yr looking for culinary expertise ------ go to napa ------- they even have a reasonably priced selection of chilean wines and hand -made wool hats etc the black sheep inn gives a lot back to the community as well. check out their website. stimulating conversation and interesting people from all over the world are the norm at black sheep inn and it was an experience i'll always cherish!!!

  • Liked — it lifted my spirits
  • Disliked — transportation can be tricky
  • Stayed October 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank alan k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2007

I stayed at the Black Sheep in for 3 nights in Sept 2007. It was a nice eco hostal in pretty rural area of Ecuador but I found it to be really overpriced.

It cost US$80 for a double with shared bath, which included breakfast and dinner. I was prepared to pay this amount for the experience (despite it being 2 to 3 times what we paid elsewhere in Ecuador for nicer beds and rooms) but I was disappointed to find that it cost extra money just to step outside the door each day. For example, you need a guide to do any of the decent hikes nearby ($US10), bikes cost US$20 a day to hire, a taxi to the Quilotoa Crater hike cost US$25 and lunch cost an extra $3.50 per person per day. Often, you can share some of these costs with other guests but if there is nobody else interested in the activities then you pay the full cost yourself.

If you are travelling to Chugchilan for hiking, I would recommend other areas in Ecuador. The hiking is limited and the only hike we did without a guide was along a local road, past farms (although there are shorter hikes available around the property).

I do not believe this information is clearly presented on the Black Sheep Inn website. The site also fails to advise people that the only buses out of Chugchilan are at 3am or 4am, or 5am on Wed and Sat. There are other transport options available but they either involve 4 to 5 hrs waiting in neighbouring towns or at least $30 in a taxi, then a 2hr bus. You might be lucky to share this cost with other guests but we were not so fortunate.

I would recommend the Black Sheep Inn to those who enjoy rural farming areas and those wanting time to simply relax at the Inn. The food was excellent and the manager at the time was lovely (although the owners are nowhere to be seen!). I loved the fireplace in the room. The communal eating area was nice and we met some great travellers there.

However, for anyone on a budget or wanting to do some serious mountain hiking, I would advise you go elsewhere and save your travel time and money.

  • Liked — Great food
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank cpreid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 19, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Black Sheep Inn for four nights and wish we could have stayed longer. The room was wonderful, as was the delicious food. We took advantage of the sauna and the zip line; the lamas were intimidating, but we grew fond of them. I highly recommend this little hotel for those wishing to have a fun, safe adventure. This isn't your ordinary hotel and isn't for an ordinary vacation, but it is a wonderful, quiet place to be. We did lose power for about 30 minutes on two of the days, but the owners quickly produced candles. Also, ask the owner to arrange for a flat bed truck ride out to the Laguna and hike back.

  • Liked — The landscape
  • Disliked — limited food options
  • Stayed January 2003, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KTNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
86 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2007

I typically stay in properties that cost $30 to $100 per night (that is, not luxury nor extreme budget) for a double room, and also thought that the Black Sheep was a little overpriced. But it was a lovely place, and the volunteers they have working there right now are really nice. I'm not usually in places that are so completely full of foreigners - there wasn't one Ecuadorian or even other Latino guest there. But it attracts an interesting group of "gringos", and the common dining IS nice. The food is so-so - one night was rice with sauteed veggies - not even some cheese, much less beans or soy for protein. The next night was stuffed eggplant, which was tasty. The cheese is great, it's made locally by a cooperative. I'd stay there again, but was also curious about Hostal Mama Hilda, which looked really nice, and is much cheaper. BSI is building some rooms with private baths, and that would be a plus in my view. The pack lunches were plenty ample - two of the small sandwiches, popcorn, two cookies and an apple. More than enough to keep a person going. The horseback riding is great, although booked through a local guy, so you could stay at any of the three places in town (hostal cloud forest is the third), and get the same service/prices. 6 nights would have been a lot, we stayed 2. Three would be fine, more would be if you have lots of time and love hiking. If I had limited time in Ecuador, I'd only spend 2 nights here.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank American_Overseas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wotton-under-Edge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2007

Apologies for the delay in reviewing but a recent convert to trip-advisor. Stayed at the BSI for four nights after having a week in the Galapagos and a few of days in Quito. Found the whole exeperience amazing. A real oasis of calm. The trip to BSI is amazing enough with a real hair raising journey along narrow tracks clinging to the side of hillsides. BSI is aiming to be completely self-sufficient (food and energy), and was nearly there when we stayed. Hence the food is vegetarian, to avoid the costs of large amounts of refridgaration. I am a dyed in the wool meat eater, but the food I found was absolutely fine. The benefit is that you all sit around tables to be served at the same time, and the international flavour of the conversation is excellent. A real melting pot of cultures/nationalities. I thought we were going to be surrounded by a load of vegan militants, but nothing of the sort. Room was amazing with its own wood burning stove, and a climb up the wooden step ladd!
er to the sleeping area. Compost toilets and an open air washroom shared between 3 or 4 chalets with stunning views (including the most amazing view when you are sitting on the loo!). Trekking was out of this world and we did the Laguna Quilotoa trek, including a trek down into the crater (and thankfully a mule back up) and then the long trek back to BSI which was stunning. The staff go out of their way to help and advise you. The horse trek is great fun, and we finished with a wood fired sauna. They run an honesty book, where if you want a beer, or a snack o/side of meal times (lovely flapjacks) or a picnic for the trek, then you simply write it on your tab. We did not find this expensive, and we simply settled up at the end. Just a great place to chill out in the middle of nowhere.

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
Helpful?
1 Thank BristolHound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge

Property: Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge
Address: Chugchilan-Sigchos Road | Sigchos County, Chugchilan 050124, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Cotopaxi Province > Chugchilan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Chugchilan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award Winning Ecolodge in the Heart of the Rural Andes. 100% Community Operated. Truly off the beaten path with spectacular views over the Toachi Canyon system. Enjoy horseback riding & day hiking to Laguna Quilotoa or Cloud Forest. Also delicious vegetarian cooking, home-baked deserts, sauna & hot soaking pool, yoga studio, zipline, frisbee golf, weight room, family fun, and adventure vacation. Eco-Features include: adobe construction, composting toilets, recycling, roof-water collectors, gray-water systems, organic gardens, community education & aid work, reforestation, erosion control and more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge Hotel Chugchilan
Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge Ecuador/Chugchilan

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