When did you open El Hostelito and what inspired you to do so?
I opened on August 2014. I was inspired to do so by a backpacking trip through Vietnam during which I was able to stay in lots of different hostels.
Having stayed in some great pod hostels, I realised that this type of hostel didn't exist here in Quito and that it was definitely necessary. I came back, used all my savings and opened El Hostelito!
What makes your business different?
El Hostelito is different because of all the little details we have put in to make it feel like a home for all of our travellers. Apart from being a pod hostel, you also have all of the conveniences you would expect from your own home. We also have a very personalised service with our guests where we help them organise their vacations and give them the best possible ideas for their travels.
What has been the most rewarding part of opening El Hostelito?
Waking up every morning and loving what I do. Going to work happy and leaving happy!
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome this?
The biggest challenge has been our location and allowing our guests understand why we chose this location. We have been slowly overcoming this by giving free walking tours of our neighbourhood and our local food. They have been loving it!
Why is Ecuador a great place to visit?
We have everything from the jungle to the Galápagos Islands as well as a rich cultural heritage and spectacular volcanoes and mountains. There is nothing we don’t have!
Are there any trends/changes that you've noticed in tourism?
Yes, I've definitely noticed that more and more people are using their smartphones to book and look for places to stay, tours, buses, etc.
What would your advice be for anyone thinking about starting their own hostel?
Be patient and make sure that you have the time. It is a 24-hour job and does take a toll on you but in the end it is very rewarding!