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Reviews (32)
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All reviewshome away from homesmall roomenjoyed my staynorth seymourcoffee teaplace to staythe ownerevery morningjaimejamiebalconiesbartolomepuertopoolitineraryhammockstours
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Reviewed 13 February 2017

This is a lovely, welcoming place, convenient to everything in Port Ayora. Maria makes a great breakfast and accommodates early time schedules. The staff is friendly and the pool is a refreshing experience at any time of the day. The rooms are simple, but comfortable and air conditioned, a real plus.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AdventurePhiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2017

We booked the Galapagos House Hotel but we were disappointed. The small room had a window facing a junk yard. There was 1 lady working a few hours a day but after lunch there was nobody around on the property. The entrance door was kind of broken so it didn't feel very safe. The key is needed to go in and out of the property but we were 2 and only had 1 set of keys. Impossible to leave each other to walk around town. I had to ask another client for the wifi password. We had to take the ferry on the last day to go to Isabela Island and since the ferry is early we couldn't get the breakfast that is usually included with the room.

Room Tip: Don't book upfront for the Galapagos. When yuou arrive ask around and visit the room first. You'll get a better price!
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank MartinYUL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2016

We really enjoyed our 4 days at Galapagos House Hotel. Loved the advice and suggestions. The basket of local goodies was a pleasant surprise. Enjoyed the close proximity to the major attractions. Will recommend to family and friends.

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank michellemybell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2016

We stayed at the Galapagos House for 5 nights while in Santa Cruz and were pleasantly surprised. We weren't sure what to expect since there weren't many reviews yet on Trip Advisor, but the decision to stay here paid off. First, the price is pretty reasonable considering how expensive some of the places in the Galapagos are. The location is perfect; right off the main street where all the restaurants and shopping are. The owner was very laid back and his staff also helped us arrange several last minute tours to North Seymour and Santa Fe islands, which were great! Maria made breakfast every morning and even did our laundry twice while we stayed (we tipped her before we left as they didn't charge us anything for this service). The breakfast included fruit, bread, and eggs. We also bought some yogurt and granola at the local grocery store and stored it in the fridge to give us a little more variety for breakfast options. The room we stayed in, which I believe was #3, was comfortable and spacious and the air conditioner cooled us down quite nicely after a long hot day touring around the islands. The only negative I can recall is the wifi. We had a difficult time with reception in our room and most times had to go out into the house for a better connection. The house itself doesn't have a/c, so it can get a bit hot. It was a nice place to stay and the dining area encouraged interaction with other guests, so we got to meet several other couples from different parts of the world and share tips on what to see and do while in the Galapagos. Overall, it was a great place to stay and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a nicely priced place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Napoleonjr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2016

I booked our stay at Galapagos House on Expedia.com, due to the positive reviews found here on Trip Advisor. Regretfully, our experience was not consistent with that of the previous reviewers.

Prior to arriving, we requested information on tours and received a comprehensive list of options and cost. Ultimately we selected all that were presented to us and were asked to wire the total cost, over $2,000, to Ecuador. We were a little hesitant to do this but, after reaching out to other reviewers of this accommodation via Trip Advisor, were assured that this is normal. We did send the money and the tours were booked. First I would like to review each of them in a way that might guide you when making your tour choices:
On our arrival day we stopped in to see the tortoises, craters and lava tubes. This was a great trip, but our guide spoke almost no English and we almost no Spanish so we were a bit jealous of the folks we noticed touring with their fluent English guides.
Day Two was our tour with Jamie, as referenced below, and very good.
Day Three was our most expensive tour and consisted of a ~45 minute drive on a bus to, basically, the airport. The boat was nice and the experience quite good with a great tour guide who spoke English well and took us to Bartolome and for snorkeling. We highly recommend this trip though the departure time and bus ride are both a drag.
Day Four took us on a “Vivencial Fishing” tour which consisted of no fishing. The boat was in poor shape and smelled, the crew bossy and unwelcoming, the leader spoke very little English and there were far too many people for comfortable lounging on the boat. We were miserable and disappointed that our day was wasted with no fishing and a full day of snorkeling. While we enjoy snorkeling, we had plenty built into our itinerary already and were really looking forward to fishing.
Day Five we had a snorkeling trip planned. However, our family was exhausted from the previous days snorkeling (that was supposed to be fishing) and made the tough decision to skip this trip and use this as a recovery day since we’d snorkeled the full day prior. There was no recourse from the hotel for the false communication on the fishing trip and they were unable to refund our $570 costs, in full, for skipping this outing. We were pleasantly surprised that they were able to sell our seats to another family so we did receive a partial refund of $300. As much as I appreciate this effort immensely, if they’d communicated accurately we would’ve never booked all of these snorkeling trips in the first place and could’ve avoided any financial loss at all.
Day Six was our trip to Isabela Island. We really appreciated Jamie making the effort to really walk us through what to expect for this long day, the evening before. We enjoyed the day but you should be warned that the boat ride there and back is VERY long (2+ hours each way) and uncomfortable.
If we were to visit Galapagos again, which I think we will, we would book our own tours once we're there. As we walked around each evening, there were always signs outside the many tour agency offices advertising a great deal (much less than we'd paid) on a trip somewhere the following day. We'd play it by ear more next time and not book everything in advance.

Now on to my accommodation specific review:

The Good
* The location is well suited for exploring the town. We really appreciated that we were able to easily walk a few blocks and find restaurants and shopping.
* Jamie, the owner, was an excellent nature guide and we really enjoyed our time with him on day two of our trip. We especially enjoyed Kayaking in Punta Estrada and were able to view sally lightfoot crabs, blue footed boobies and several other animals we’d hoped to see while in Galapagos
* The breakfasts were always tasty though we could’ve used a bit more variety and a bit more quantity some mornings. We dined out on our final day for some variety. It should be noted that this is the only meal offered so it is important to note that the "on site restaurant" listed is only open for breakfast.

The Bad
* The water is a big problem at this hotel. It’s either (literally) scalding hot or very cold. The first night, I was in the shower with my five year old daughter when the chilly water suddenly turned to scalding hot. I screamed and shoved her out of the shower while my foot and leg grew bright red. It was very traumatic for both of us, but especially her. She cried and cried every night at shower time, saying “but it will get hot”. Several nights we had no option but to bathe her in the tiny sink with a glass as she was that afraid of the shower. We were too and dreaded showering every night.
* We were in room #2 and, while we were happy that the room included two beds, the bathroom was very small and the door to the outside (which was locked) was not sealed well, inviting all kinds of critters into our room. This room begs for some TLC and could use bedside lamps so the ceiling light is not your only option, nicer bedding and some floor rugs. This room is VERY basic. I noticed, on another site, that this hotel is penned "Galapagos House Hostel" and while I've never stayed at a hostel, I imagine that title is much more appropriate than "hotel". If I'd known that this was more of a hostel I would've likely not stayed here....or I would've lowered my expectation which would've impacted this review and rating
* The house is HOT. When we come “home” from the heat of the day (which is extreme for us Colorado folks), it would be nice to walk into a nice, cool home. Instead, it is just as hot as outside and you must retreat to your rooms air conditioning unit. This made really enjoying the house difficult for us.
* The WIFI is HORRIBLE. Really.
* While it is awesome to have a pool on sight there were consistently non guests in the pool. I realize that the folks who run Galapagos House live in the community and that it's nice to offer pool access to friends, there were times when we were unable to get three chairs to lounge in and when the pool was just too full with non guests. We also dealt with the children "cannon balling" into the pool which was annoying, frankly. If they'd been other guests kids, this would've been a little easier to deal with but it felt like non paying guests were "crashing" our "relaxing" pool time. Again, I understand that it's nice to offer the pool to neighbors and friends so maybe doing so between specific hours, that are posted for the guests to be aware of, would be a good way to offer this while still ensuring a positive experience for your paying guests who might avoid those hours if they wish.

One item that we’re ambivelent to, but should be mentioned is that doing laundry was never offered to us. I see that several reviewers have mentioned this so I just think it’s important that you understand that this luxury is not offered to all guests.

Overall, I think Jamie and his staff are trying really hard and mean well. They are very nice people! However, there are several areas of opportunity here and I hope they will take this review in the constructive way that it is intended.

Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
5  Thank WorldTravelerCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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