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“Great little place near market”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hostal Dona Esther

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Hostal Dona Esther
Ranked #6 of 27 Otavalo B&B and Inns
Chicago
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great little place near market”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2008

I spent one night here in late November and felt that it was a great experience. I was traveling with a friend, and we were looking for a reasonable but safe, clean, and pleasant place to stay on Saturday after seeing the market. The staff held our bags for us until check-in time on Saturday and again while we hiked on Sunday before heading back to Quito. The room was very basic, but very clean and comfortable. Since none of the places around Quito and Otavalo have heating, we appreciated the three wool blankets on each of the bed! We were also pleased by the clean bathrooms with good hot water in the morning. The restaurant was great; we had coffee/dessert one night and breakfast the next morning and wished we would have eaten there more often.

The location was central to the market and little stores and main square; we also appreciated a recommendation for a hiking guide (Runa Tupari) to go around Laguna Cuicocha on Sunday morning.

Although we thought this was a great little place for the price, a few things people should be aware of: 1. the rooms face a central courtyard and there is some noise from conversations and footsteps as people climb up to their rooms. We found this not to be a problem, but others might want to plan for earplugs if they're sensitive. 2: it does get cold at night, and even with the blankets, you need warm night clothes to sleep in. 3: our room had a bit of a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. we just tucked a rolled up towel in the gap and went about our business.

  • Liked — clean, affordable, great restaurant, helpful staff
  • Disliked — a bit chilly
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mmb23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
    2
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32
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rotterdam
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2008

In November 2008 we stayed in Hostel 'Dona Esther' in Otavalo for 8 nights and we have had a wonderfull time! Each time we entered the hostel after walking though the busy streets of Otavalo, we enjoyed drinking something in the beautiful little courdyard, where the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed.

The food in the Mediterranean restaurant tastes great. We have tried other restaurants too, but the hostels kitchen is just one of the best! On both our Fridays there was a local band playing traditional music and the combination 'excellent food-nice wine-good music' couldn't be better!

Our room was nice and clean and that is what we expected, but the shower was a big surprise; a lot of nice warm water. So no moving around a little bit of water in this shower!

The (Dutch) owners and employees of the hostel always were very friendly and helpful, and that's what makes staying in hostels like this so special. Ofcourse the rooms of the big Marriott and Hilton hotels are nicer, but the atmosphere isn't! And the price isn't.... Especially according to European standards this hostal is cheap!

So: Hostel 'Dona Esther'...... great place!

Pieter & Debby from The Netherlands

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
Thank PieterDebby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aromas CA
Level Contributor
92 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2008

A comfortable, classic colonial hotel in downtown Otavalo. A fairly good value, well attended.

  • Liked — Funky colonial hotel at a reasonable rate.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Aromasguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leawood ,Kansas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2008

My family has stayed in this hotel three times over the last couple of years and we are headed back this July. (We love Ecuador!) Dona Esther is so charming... The inner courtyard is peaceful and inviting. The rooms are large and cheery with bright yellow bedding and spotless bathrooms. Great hot water all day with a wonderful shower...not always found in your smaller hotels. Some of the best pizza in town is served fresh from a clay oven. I have always found the staff to be helpful and kind. There are many places to stay in Otavalo and I always return to Hotel Dona Esther. My family feels 100% safe and secure and the price is very good. I highly recommend this hotel!.

  • Liked — Charming, clean... close to the market
  • Disliked — That you can only use cash...credit cards are not accepted
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank PT816
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, June 30, 2008
Thank you very much for your nice review. Did you know we accept credit cards online through Paypal? Please visit our website and click on the Paypal-logo for more information. We are working on accepting credit cards in the hotel itself, but untill then we hope we can satisfy our customers with the Paypal possibilities.

See you in July,
Wendy van Driel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
93 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2008

Let me start by saying I understand hostals are very basic hotels and you trade off some hotel comforts for a better price. I also understand Dona Esther's intent on "rustic and historic". Finally, I am generally a pretty simple needs guy on my accommodations. That said, I was very unimpressed and only stayed one night of an expected 3-4 day stay. Frankly, I only stayed one night because I paid for it. There were two very large concerns: 1) the locks on the rooms are supposed to be "historic" but far too basic to inspire a sense of security to your room, and 2) the very strong smell of mold or mildew in the bathroom.

Additionally, their restaurant - while food was fine seemed too much of being in a cavelike atmosphere.

Dona Esther is overpriced compared to other locations within a block of this hostal. I moved to Santa Fe hotel, saved $9/night and had a far more modern and comfortable stay.

To Dona Esther's credit, they did offer to move me to another room when I was going to check out but at that point it was too late.

  • Liked — Location was convenient to the markets and main square
  • Disliked — cleanliness issues, specifically in the bathroom.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wouldbeworldtraveler
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, March 26, 2008
You can't discuss taste, of course, you're never obliged to chose our hotel.

I think I'm entitled to say that this client did not even bother to inform us about any inconvenience but was simply checking out in the morning, dispite his reservations. If you're not sure about which hotel you are going to chose, please don't reserve and come to have a look first.

We never had any such complaints, as you can see from the reactions of other clients and if anything might be disturbing a guest in a room, it will be solved immediately. Maybe the very cheap price in the other hotel was more important to this client.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2008

Beautiful quiet rooms, ours was spacious and simple, spotless. Wonderful staff, run by a young Dutch couple, great pizzas at their restaurant. Great breakfasts, not sure if included in the price. We found the staff exceptionally friendly and helpfull. Very close to the market and beautiful church around the corner. Lovely view from roof terraces. There are interior stairs to climb.

  • Liked — location and price
  • Disliked — the steps
  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank landstreicher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Level Contributor
160 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2008

We really enjoyed our stay here and ended up staying several days longer than we had planned. The room was spacious, clean, had a view from the balcony, and was above all quiet. I hadn't expected that in such a busy and noisy town. The staff weren't always as helpful or as friendly as i would have liked and the restaurant was dark, which we found unwelcoming. But all in all, we were pleased with the accommodations.

  • Liked — how quiet it was
  • Disliked — staff didn't always seem particularly friendly (though they usually were helpful)
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caminoista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal Dona Esther

Property: Hostal Dona Esther
Address: Juan Montalvo 4-44 y Bolivar, Otavalo EC100208, 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 #6 of 27 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 B&B in the center of Otavalo, near the famous Saturday crafts market and all other activity. With only 12 rooms and a family room for 4 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 a delicious and inventive menu is just downstairs, our reading room has enough books to buy or exchange and the Wifi is free for guests. A choice of breakfasts available. Restaurant closed on monday evening. ... more   less 
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