WHY DOES ANYONE WANT A COLD SHOWER?
And by cold I mean shard of icicles pelting at your face cold!
If you live in a tropical desert (which Quito definitely is not) cool showers aren’t that bad. Hell, even in Medellin, I’ve gotten used to them (but still wont take them on cold, cold days). But if I’m paying for a hostel, in the mountains, and especially one that advertises HOT WATER, I expect it.
Vibes Hostel may have super comfy beds, and Wi-Fi that gets into the bedrooms…but COLD SHOWERS? Their “hot water” is literally a bucket outside under a plastic ‘roof’ a foot above it. So basically your ‘hot’ shower is only slightly warmer than the air outside. Oh, and most of the showers are outdoor showers too. Plywood rectangles on 3 sides, with a curtain on the fourth.
Only 2 showers are inside, and they not totally separate. The first ‘bathroom’ is a sink and a shower. Through this is a door leading to a small room with a toilet and another shower (with a window that is permanently open and lets in all the freezing cold, Andean air). So if you are showering in the first ‘room (the only one without outside air) you have the possibility of someone in the second shower just walking through.
Ok, whatever, that part really isn’t that bad unless you are super private…but we live in dorms. We are use to changing in front of total strangers of both sexes.
But cold water. And outdoor showers. Why in god’s name would anyone want to take a cold shower, in the cold outdoor air, in Quito – a city above the clouds that has permanent late New England fall weather?
So even though the beds are dank, and the Wi-Fi kicks ass, as soon as the 3 days I booked was up (because they wanted 48 hours notice to cancel a reservation, so by the time I realized about the cold showers I couldn’t really steal out any earlier)…I moved across the street to the Blue House Hostel.
Photos of Vibes Hostel online also show a bar and fancy lite activity room, which I noticed a distinct lack of when I was there. There was no breakfast, no bar. The maintenance guy who has to let you in and out of the front gate during the day is usually nowhere to be found. The rec room downstairs was dingy and dirty and not inviting at all. The reception changed from super nice and helpful to mildly interested to annoyed you have questions depending on who happened to be working. You never knew if you could get help or just stared at coldly. The kitchen was small and dingy as well. Vibes is just a completely mis-advertised hostel.
Although the beds were super comfy and got Wi-Fi to them, everything else they advertise is distinctly lacking, and the service ranged wildly depending on who was working. They are cheap, but there are many others in the same price range in the area that are nicer hostels and have hot water. I recommend staying anywhere else.