or stay here if you don't care about maximizing your time in banos.
pros of PDA: clean, relatively large rooms, not in center of town, relatively inexpensive (but not best value for banos -- see headline), internet (but PDA let me use theirs once i moved there, spotty connection at both places). didn't force me to pay for the remainder of reservation when i left early -- i moved next door since posada del arte had actually earned my $$ by going *well* above/beyond call of duty with just about *everything*
CONS OF PEM: THE OWNER. usually i don't take seriously negative service/personal reviews -- but the BEST THING ABOUT POSADA EL MARQUES WAS ITS LOCATION NEXT TO POSADA DEL ARTE. unless otherwise specified, PDA provided the described services ***when i wasn't even staying there***
a. DISORGANIZED -- upon my arrival, el marques owner asked (abruptly) if i should have arrived the day prior (um, no, we changed this in writing, the respondent had written "no problem, greetings"). we had also established that my room would have a balcony -- but that was not honored.
b. RUDE -- when i asked her if she had a balcony room, she said it wouldn't be available until a couple of days into my stay (then didn't move me when it supposedly became available). right in front of me, she then started to call me crazy for changing plans.... um, unless you want to be treated this way, don't stay here if you're not 100% sure of your dates -- or just don't stay here.
seems that most ecuadorians in tourism/service industry will try to improve (at least to maintain their business), but PEM didn't seem to give a da*n. eg she didn't say hi (and/or turn around) when i came back in the afternoon/evening.
c. NO FUSS, NO FRILLS
PEM: although the rooms are painted in cheerful colors, the furniture, lobby, and cafeteria are austere places you wouldn't want to hang out. (not unlike the owner)
PDA: warm/inviting, fun/colorful, exposed stone/fireplace, yes you will want to hang.
c. DIDN'T HELP + DIDN'T CARE
1) horseback riding
PEM: told me to go somewhere down the road, never followed up.
PDA: on multiple occasions -- made phone calls for me, physically went searching for their recommended guide (who came up to me one day on street). ultimately i just went with a random vendor (ie not PDA's recommendation), but that turned out to be a bait/switch + they didn't know what they were doing -- so for accountability, i would recommend going with someone recommended by wherever you stay (even if an invisible commission is subsequently exchanged).
2) other activities.
PEM: no help. upon arrival, i asked for phone number of rainforesturs (with whom i had been discussing a tour), she told me where they were on the map. i subsequently
reconfirmed tour via email.
PDA: at least tried to set me up w someone they knew when rainforesturs flaked, said rainforesturs was overcharging. specific/helpful recommendations for hiking/biking (including what to expect at various points along trail), how to spend rainy days.
3) upgrades + other courtesies
i had gotten free cabin upgrade in galapagos ($1400 retail) and would like to think i had also received upgrade in quito because both were underbooked.
EM owner put me in a larger room, then downgraded to smaller room when the latter became vacant even though most of her rooms were empty.
PDA : let me run a restaurant tab (without even putting down a credit card) and to use their personal laptop (once i finally moved over there). [caveat: not sure they would do this for everyone - it was nice, even if just to encourage repeat business]
PEM: simple/adequate (as described in previous reviews)
PDA: could order the night before to reduce waiting time in AM. generally enormous + not spectacular, but skipping meals made more daylight available. (i was going to say only stay at PDA in headline, but abuelo's (formerly owned by PDA) has more bicultural feel (with new owner), much better food, outdoor fire-bar, etc.
3) getting change for $20
PEM: said no, she'd gone to bank that day, didn't even bother to check.
PDA: at least checked, found + gave me 2 $10s.
although PDA is run by former chicagoans, i don't think these problems were just language barriers (initially i had wanted to avoid PDA gringolandia; have had helpful/fun conversations with spanish-only speakers).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel located in a very calm area of the city, far from the noise of the discotheques and the cars, with a beautiful sight of the waterfall and the mountains. Wide rooms, friendly service of our personnel. ... more less
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