The town of Montanita on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador is something special. It evokes images of a surfing inspired Tiki village in the South Pacific. On Friday and Saturday nights the town gains a carnival atmosphere with hoards of tourists coming out of the woodworks to party it up on the beach, the clubs, and the mini bars stands that open up their temporary facilities for the weekend. During the week artisans and surfers sell their hand crafted wares from carts that line the streets of the village. There is a lot of tempting things on offer. On Saturday nights the pounding music dissonance from the different competing clubs creates an atmosphere of pure camp. A people watching extravaganza!
Dharma Beach hotel is the nicest in town and is a good bet for the visitor who wants the pleasures of Montanita, but who also wants to sleep at night. If you are staying on a Friday or Saturday, make sure you get a room on the right hand side of the hotel (facing the beach) - there are dance clubs that open up for these days on the left hand side!
The rooms at Dharma Beach Hotel are well appointed with comfy duvets and the most comfy mattresses we've had in Ecuador. We got a week of relaxing sleep as there were no chickens to wake us up at 4:30 am! The balcony overlooks the stunningly raw Pacific Coast whose pounding waves help to drown out any of the noise created by weekend partying on the beach. The room was kept very clean and the manager was excellent to work with.
The hotel's steam room is a delight for us due the slightly chilly August weather. There is also ample comfy seating - from hammocks to couches, allowing us to read in peace with the background of the pounding surf.
The restaurant is blessed with having 2 Peruvian chefs who really know their stuff. Best food we've had in Ecuador! The specialties of the house are all excellent, but the crispy fried calamari with mashed potatoes and a fruity sour sauce are my favourite.
Breakfast is included, but doesn't start until "9". This actually means about 9:45. But it is worth the wait. The hotel actually has an expresso machine and does not insult us with offers of Nescafé instant coffee. Oh happiness and joy!
Start breakfast earlier and stay open later for dinner
Not all rooms had security safes, including ours - however, the housekeepers were very trustworthy
More towels for beach and pool activities
Hammocks on the 4th floor terrace would be a great use of this mostly non-utilized space
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