Best Hostel in Quito: Secret Garden
Quito is a beautiful city sitting high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. The city was developed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city and to this date is a well preserved city with a colonial center. Quito was among the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. As soon as you arrive into Quito you will notice the hustle and bustle. Quito is a large city which offers many accommodations for all types of budgets. Before we arrived to Quito we knew we wanted to stay near the Centro Histórico. Centro Histórico is within a short walking distance of many Quito attractions. We were recommended Secret Garden Quito by many other travelers. We figured it must be good, so we decided to give it a try…let me tell you…we were not disappointed.
Best Views of Quito
THE best views of Quito will be found on the rooftop of this hostel. This is literally the spot... for everything!
Once you arrive to Secret Garden Quito, you will have to make your way up the stairs to the reception area in the terrace. As soon as you arrive at the terrace you notice two things... the stunning views of Quito and the social environment. This is were you want to be for breakfast, afternoon breaks, happy hour and dinner. The rooftop terrace is the heart of the hostel.
There is no secret here, I love to surround myself with people and loved the social aspect of the hostel. Secret Garden Quito is all about this! As soon as you set foot in the place you can feel the vibe. Everyone is very upbeat and having a good time. This is my kind of spot. Secret Garden gets an A+ for the social environment. They really have the place set up so you can meet new people, make new friends and build relationships. At 6pm on the roof top, the Wi-Fi is shutdown and the drinks start flowing. In all fairness, drinks are happening in the rooftop since the afternoon as some people just decide to chill out, relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Quito. Happy Hour happens daily at 6pm. There is no way you can miss this as the bell is being struck to announce the start of Happy Hour! Our favorite Happy Hour special was the 2 x 1: 20 ounce beers for $3. You can’t beat this price. We started having our beers around 6pm and some people pause the drinking to have dinner at 7pm. Dinner can be purchased at Secret Garden Quito for a reasonable price and good portion. We skipped dinner this night and decided to keep drinking with our new friends. All of a sudden, the bell started ringing again. I was very surprised with the noise, but it was all for good. The staff at Secret Garden Quito was announcing a second Happy Hour at 9pm! Double yeah! We got another round of beers and drank the night away.
Everything at Secret Garden stays lively until 11pm. This is when the music shuts down and people head out to their bed or leave the Secret Garden in search of a wild night. If you decide to keep the party going, there is party bus that happens from Wednesday to Saturday. They leave Secret Garden and take you out to continue the party. Once you arrive at the property, you can ask for more details on the party bus.
Chill Out & Relax
Secret Garden Quito has something for everyone. If you want to chill out, relax or get some work done the hostel makes it easy for you to disconnect from the crowd at anytime. I am sure some of us are happy staying all day in the rooftop, but there are others that just want to chill and have some alone time. Throughout the many floors of the hostel, you will find rooms to hang out in, read a book or just do nothing. The rooms are equipped with comfy couches and are very inviting. Grab your book, laptop, cell phone or grab nothing and just head over to relax in one of these rooms. I felt like I was at home in my living room… just relaxing with no worries in this world. Water can be found in these rooms along with books to read if you wish.
We found these rooms very comfortable and took the chance to get some work done. One of our favorite areas to hang out and work was at the 1st floor of the building that was attached to the main building. There was an access point on the 4th floor that allowed you to connect to the building next door. The other option would be to exit the main building to enter through the main door of the second building. This spot had a nice round table and hammocks to hang out and chill once you are done with your work.
The Secret Garden Quito offers several kinds of accommodations. You will find Double Rooms w/ Private Bathrooms, Double Rooms w/Shared Bathrooms and Dorms. We stayed in a Double Room w/ Shared Bathroom. The nice thing was that the shower was outside our room and we had no issues having a nice hot shower after walking around Quito. The bathroom was also very close and no issues trying to access one as there are multiple around the building. The staff kept the bathrooms clean throughout the day. The bed was comfortable and the pillows were amazing!
We had the chance to check out the Double Room w/Private Bathroom and let me tell you they are sharp. Secret Garden is currently in the process of updating some of the rooms and giving them a modern feel. If you are looking for a private room with a bathroom, this is a great option.
The Dorms are also getting a makeover. These dorm rooms are getting revamped to be very sleeper friendly. Each dorm bed has an outlet with a USB adapter to the wall, private storage in the room and a pin pad entry to the rooms. I can’t forget to mention that each dorm bed has a small shelf near the wall for storage and for ease of organization. Ohh yea… the shelve also has a small bed for your cell phone to rest while it charges over night!
Location, Location, Location
There is no secret that Quito is an enormous city with many different kinds of neighborhoods. Secret Garden Quito is located in Old Town and easily accessible. The location is perfect as you can walk to the Plaza Grande, Basilica Del Voto Nacional and the surrounding areas with no issues. Quito may have a bad reputation for certain parts of town, but we felt safe during our stay. Just like any other big city, keep valuables with you and use common sense while on the street. If you are going out at night, make sure you head out with a group of people.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Secret Garden Quito is known for the social element and the atmosphere they provide. If you are looking for a lively scene every day… this is definitely your spot! You will have a great experience, a very safe location and the opportunity to meet people from around the world. Secret Garden also provides breakfast and dinner. If you are looking to eat here, make sure you speak to a staff member to put in your order for the day.
Secret Garden Quito also provides great amenities. The Wi-Fi was very good during our stay and we had no issues using our phone or laptop to access the internet. They also provide bag storage for free, free tea and water and secure taxis. The taxis will have the Secret Garden logo and are right in front of the building parked waiting for Secret Garden customers. If you are debating if you should stop by Quito, give yourself a day or two. Secret Garden Quito is a great spot to spend a couple of days between towns and allows you to relax, enjoy the beautiful sights and meet some new friends.
Once you are there, you will also be tempted to head over to Secret Garden Cotopaxi. Let us tell you, the secret is out and you should know all about it! Check out our adventure at the Secret Garden Cotopaxi.
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*No, there was no money involved. This post was part of a collaboration with Secret Garden Quito. All the opinions and reviews are completely our own.