Most travelers tend to stay near the Mariscal, which is packed with guesthouses, hostels, bars and eateries. The quieter, less touristy neighborhood of La Floresta is a pleasant alternative and it begins only a few blocks away. There's a good range of accommodations in Old Town (especially the city's best top-end hotels), which offers easy access to its museums, churches and other sights, not to mention beautiful, historic architecture. A lack of night life, except La Ronda on the weekends, is the downside. Several hostels are in the Old Town neighborhood of San Blas, an ordinary, working-class area that you'll need to taxi to and from at night. Keep an eye out for the Monastery of Quito hotel project (www.monasterioquito.com), which involves a historically sensitive repurposing of a small part of the Society of Jesus of Quito (Compañía de Jesús), plus a new museum; it promises to be one of the most interesting upscale hotels in the Old Town.