it's safe to say that the democratization of travel in the modern age got a kick-start in the late 1970s with the airline deregulation act stateside. the transition of control over air travel shifting from the political to the market sphere has since then been adopted across the planet, and spurred on by new technology – think bigger or more fuel-efficient airplanes, and let's not forget the miracle that's called internet – it has hugely expanded both our travel range and options. but the travel bug also affects infrastructures equally far and wide, and has now even reached the sunny shores of ecuador.
contemporary budget hotels may have been all the rage for quite some time in europe, asia and across north america, but only recently did the first such property open in the equator-straddling country. situated in guayaquil, its biggest city, the so-called yu! hotels chain cleverly launched its first venue in las peñas, a scenic quarter with many historic buildings that draws in visitors by droves. local architect alfredo de león méndez designed a new structure from sustainable materials that takes full advantage of the modest plot of land, and it was constructed in such a way that all of the 20 rooms, spread over five floors, have a good view to the city, thorough ventilation, and plenty of natural light.
the rooms at yu! hotel measure just 15 sqm. [162 sq.ft.], but what it may lack in size, it surely makes up with the package of comfort and amenities that modern travellers expect these days, including a kingsize wall-to-wall bed, a bathroom with rainshower, a 32-inch led television, free wifi, and as said, air-conditioning. additional facilities at the hotel include a self-service snack bar, a meeting room and an upper balcony for the best views in the house. needless to say, this place arguably is the best option for budget travelers heading to this part of the world to explore its many treasures. location: avenida vicente rocafuerte 250 [las peñas].