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“Wonderful location in the historic centre - and quiet.”

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Hotel El Relicario del Carmen
Ranked #40 of 110 Hotels in Quito
Certificate of Excellence
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Wonderful location in the historic centre - and quiet.”
Reviewed September 9, 2011

Overall
Comfortable, clean and recommendable. Hotels in this part of Quito are all over the map in terms of quality and price, and there isn't much competition in the nice, small, 'moderately-priced' hotels category, but there is this niggling feeling that the rates are pitched higher than they need to be.

Location
The RdC is very conveniently located for visitors to Quito's centro historico, close to the main plazas and virtually next door to the converted Palacio del Arzobispo that houses a number of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. All of the likely tourist targets are within easy walking distance.

Rooms
The hotel is housed in an historic building which has been heavily reconstructed. The rooms vary in size (we slept in two of them) but not in appearance. They are all over-furnished with reproduction 'colonial' furniture, nice, if you like that style. It isn't luxurious, but it certainly is comfortable, and quiet. Our first room had the smallest bathroom I can recall seeing in a hotel but, like the rest of the (small) room, it was spotless. The beds were comfortable. Our second room (43, I believe) was up on the top floor overlooking a romantic panorama of rooftops and churches. It was much larger (and more expensive) and the bathroom was larger. This is an old building after all. If you have the opportunity I would ask to see the full selection available.

Breakfast
Breakfast is included and served in a pleasant-enough little dining area off the lobby. The food was quite acceptable (rolls, juice, coffee, fruit, eggs or pancakes) but inexplicably repetitive for a country where there is clearly rich access to a wide range of food. I have to say that this was true of almost everywhere else we stayed, and I can't blame the RdC. I put it down to a different breakfast culture. If the idea of consuming the identical meal every morning bothers you, go out to eat - breakfast is cheap enough and there are lots of restaurants around.

Front Desk
Booking a room is a complicated affair, but few small hotels here have an efficient on-line reservations system. It took us several telephone calls and fund transfers to on-line providers to make it work. Reception was courteous and responsive (to a point) - but, opaque and so reserved as to seem intimidated. As with almost everywhere else we stayed over these two weeks, we needed to drag information from the front desk! Virtually nothing is volunteered (and this not about having a common language). So, my recommendation would be to ask numerous questions and to check the replies. Have a full conversation rather than ask a simple request: the clerks can relax and remember more bits of information you might find helpful.

Room Tip: The RdC has lots of stairs. The altitude means that rooms on the upper levels are for the fit! And s...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chapul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Kitchener
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2011

Originally built as a home around 1720, this hotel is well situated on a busy street a few blocks from the cental square. The open courtyards have been covered over and most of the rooms face inward. Rooms vary in size and layout . Ask to see the room you are assigned. Some have small bathrooms with large steps. The rooms are spread out over 4 floors and there is no elevator. If you have coping with the altitude in Quito this could be a a problem. Staff were helpful but their English more limited than they let on. Breakfast was freshly cooked to order. They even served us an hour after the posted serving times.

Room Tip: Be sure to see the room . Nicer, larger (but a little bit noisier ) rooms face the street.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank robbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2011

Our double room was a twin on the second floor - it was extremely small and dark, with a single tiny skylight. The ensuite bathroom was also tiny (the shower was just 20inches wide). A small room would have been fine had there been comfortable places in the hotel to hang out - but there aren't. There is a "reading" area - with lovely (but uncomfortable) period furniture and a small patio space with similarly uncomfortable gargen furniture.

We complained (for an exceptionally long time!) about our room and were eventually moved to two single rooms which were more comfortable. The rooms weren't big (you wouldn't expect them to be in a colonial house) but they were adequate for one person.

Room service was hit and miss... Sometimes toilleteries and chocolates were fully replenished and other times not. The toilletries provided are obviously refills and the shampoo was like paint stripper!

Breakfast was adequate but it was the same menu each day (pastries, yoghurt, egg and sausage).

Free internet is available in the hotel but for some reason the computer didn't run Java.

Overall - this isn't what i'd expect from a 4* hotel - its overpriced for what you get.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UkRuthie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Relicarm, Manager at Hotel El Relicario del Carmen, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
Thank you for writing this review. We take it very seriously. Here the facts: because of a credit card problem you promised already at check-in to write a very negative review of our hotel. You were convinced that we had charged you twice. Finally you calmed down as you understood that such a thing we never would do. Anyway... you posted your review and we think we have to answer it: Especially your extreme comments about the shampoo discredits the rest, because it is not true. The shampoo is a neutral quality shampoo for every hairtype. Concerning breakfast we serve only fresh and healthy morning food and no dinner food items. Our breakfast includes many other things you could have asked for. A breakfast card which lists all the available was given to you. Finally at check-out you left a very generous tip to our employees.They are gratefull and it might us think that it wasen't so bad at all, in a 18th century building, lovely adapted to the 21st century needs, with lots of artistic details. Thanks anyway for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2011

I stayed at this elegant little gem of a hotel for two nights on my way to the Galapagos. The room was minute, but nicely furnished and comfortable, with a small but adequate shower cubicle. My only (minor) criticism was that the bedside lamps were linked to the main room light. The staff were very helpful, the desk clerk (at midnight) willingly finding means to cut the thick plastic tie that the TSA had used to secure my backpack after a totally unnecessary search. Breakfast was delicious, but I would recommend finding an alternative restaurant for the evening meal, which was pretty ordinary. Overall, a great experience of 'old' South America.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank myrgatroyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
551 reviews
187 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 534 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2011

This small, charming hotel is perfectly located in Quito's old colonial district, which to my mind is the only place to stay in Quito unless you are only there for business or else you can't stand anything that isn't totally modern. The staff was one of the friendliest and most helpful I have ever encountered in my extensive travels. And the breakfast (included) was one of the best I've ever had at any similar hotel--really amazingly good.
The only drawback was the relatively small size of the bathroom, but that is to be expected in a hotel in a very old historic district such as this. Only one room has windows on the street--all others get light indirectly. However, or possibly as a result, the hotel was very quiet.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rick049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2011

Perfect location 2 min walk from Plaza Grande, I really suggest staying here on a weekend as the streets are busy with people and their families.

The hotel is great and has an old charm, while the staff go out oft heir way to help with anything, even though their English is not the best....we are in a Spanish country after all.

We arrived and the long haired door man carried 2 massive backbacks up 5 flights of stairs then helped me with directions to an ATM, was awesome and accurate and friendly.

The night before leaving I told one of the doormen i needed a taxi at 330 am....in my very poor Spanish. It was their as promised and he came to our room at 330am to collect our bags.


overall just nice to see that good people work for this great hotel in the old part of Quito, makes it even more awesome.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shoe1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

We stayed a total of five nights at El Relicario during our trip in Ecuador.
The location is perfect, two blocks from el Plaza Grande. Furniture, wood carpentry and art pieces make it a charming place.
Rooms are inequal. We first had a room on the 4th floor, with great view on the old city but no curtains on some of the windows, a very small bathroom and a noisy pipe system. Not the best if you have mobility issues as there is no elevator.
We then had the room behind reception on the ground floor. Smaller, no windows, same sized bathroom but no stairs...
Service is also inequal - doormen and waiters usually more helpful and/or friendly than front desk officers. English is limited.
Breakfast correct with fresh juice of the day. Diner expensive, better to go out.
Free wi-fi in rooms

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alja30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Relicario del Carmen

Property: Hotel El Relicario del Carmen
Address: Venezuela 1041 y Olmedo, Quito 170150, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Quito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Quito
#16 Family Hotel in Quito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel El Relicario del Carmen 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A truly historic house, dating back to 1705 has just opened it??s door as a hotel with 18 comfortable rooms. It is beautifully renovated with great emphasis on the original details and has all the comfort expected today, including a central air conditioning system. All the furniture is handmade by recognized Ecuadorian artisans and many original paintings decorate public and private areas. You will live in a real historic surrounding. The hotel is definitely declared non-smoking. It is located a block away from the main square "Plaza de la Independencia", the Government Palace and very close to many historic monuments of Quito. We also have an exclusive dining room and coffee-shop. ... more   less 
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El Relicario Del Carmen Hotel

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