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“What a wonderful place on earth!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

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Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave. Conocarpus, Puerto Villamil 00000, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Oslo, Norway
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“What a wonderful place on earth!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We travelled to Galapagos for the 8 days Full Adventure trip, and it was absolutely wonderful!
We started on Santa Cruz, then Floreana and continued to the island of Isabella, definately our favourite of the three islands. The Isabella lodge was right on the beach. A perfect location! The room was excellent. Lots of space, a very nice bathroom with sufficient pressure in the shower. A well functioning air conditioning. Safety deposit box. Big beds. And everything was very well managed and clean. Having the toilett bucket emptied every day and clean towels every day is worth a lot in the Galapagos heat. We stayed three days on Isabella and we enjoyed every minute of it. The hike to Sierra Negra was one highlight. A tip is to bring a lot of water because it is a long trek (6-7 hours) in the heat of the day. The lodge provided us with a nice packed lunch and to bottles of half a litre of water. We brought one more bottle, but at the end of the hike, we were still thirsting for more. The weight is more than worth carrying. Other highligts was swimming with sea lions and penguins in the bay, snorkling with sea turtles and even manta rays! We really loved Isabella. It is not much to do on this island after the excursion is over, but the few beach bars are worth checking out. We loved the peace and quiet of the island, but if you need a lot of action around you, you might think differently. We had a wonderful 8-day trip around Galapagos and the only regret we have, is that we did not schedule two-three days at the end of the trip to just stay at Isabella and process all the experiences we had.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

On a very swimmable beach good for families, sheltered from high waves by a pier. One doesn't go to Galapagos for the food, but buffet style meals here were fine, especially breakfasts with granola, yogurt, many fresh fruits and juices as well as eggs, buns, toasts. Comfortable A/C rooms relatively modern motel-style, indoor and outdoor seating for meals, and a rooftop sitting spot with a view of the offshore surf and ships at anchor.

Room Tip: Beachfront rooms have the disadvantage of facing on the inn's outdoor dining deck, not the beach...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viera, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights on our package tour and while the beach behind the hotel is very nice, we did not care for this hotel or the staff. When we first arrived we were shown to our room and we turned on the air (as it was in the high 80's and hot) our a/c blew hot air. We turned it as cold as we could and waited 30 minutes but it was still blowing hot air. So hubby went and got a staff member who fiddled with the dials and told hubby he would have to find the manual. 20 minutes later he still had not come back and now it was hotter in the room than outside and we were really sweating. Hubby went back to the lobby and staff member was on the internet watching music videos. Hubby again asked him to come check the a/c. he again fiddled with the dials and tried to leave. We brought him to our friends room next door to let him see how cool their room was compared to ours and he finally agreed to move us to another room where the a/c worked.

The food was good however they ran out of cold soda's the first day so our only other choice for the next 2 days was warm bottled water, unless we wanted to pay for beer which we do not drink. We asked several times if they could put the water bottles in the fridge but they ignored us. (Aventura Lodge on Santa Cruz always had cold bottled water). So we ended up going to town each day and getting cold soda and cold gatorade from one of the stores.

Next issue was 6 of us ended up sick the 2nd day on Isabela with intestinal issues. We only had a 1/2 roll toilet paper in our room so hubby went to the desk to ask for more and the same guy from a/c issue handed him a 1/4 roll that he got from the public bathroom and proceeded to tell my hubby that they were out of toilet paper and they would have to send someone to the store to get more. Needless to say we never got any more that day. So the next afternoon we were out of paper and we asked again for some toilet paper and were given another 1/2 roll from the public bathroom. Apparently toilet paper is scarce at this hotel. We also had to ask twice for soap as there was none in our room. Finally the maid came by with some.

The staff at this hotel are not very good and gave us all the impression that they did not like tourists. I was very surprised that only one staff member spoke very limited English when these hotels main guests mostly speak English. There were approx. 12 English speaking guests there with us. This hotel also shuts down at 9:00 pm and the entire staff leaves so it was a good thing no one had an emergency after 9:00 pm.

The hotel itself is OK and rooms were clean. It is on a nice beach, you can walk to the iguana nesting sites and also on the pier. Town is very close and within walking distance. All our tours on this island were wonderful. We really enjoyed snorkeling with the sea lions and penguins.

I think if they would improve the staff services at this hotel it could be a nice place to stay. We spoke with one of the managers at the Aventura Lodge when we got back and she told us they have had several complaints about the staff at Isabela and they were looking into the issues.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The beach where the hotel was located had very fine and soft sand. You could have an unobstructed sunset view there. There was a small but beautiful red mangrove at one end of this long long beach. If you walk for 10 minutes, you would find a pier and a bar. The hotel room was very spacious and clean. The bathroom was also very clean with hot water for shower. Internet reception however stopped after around 9:30pm. The restaurant served free soda and bottled water. The food was very good. The only thing I wasn't sure was how secure the hotel rooms were. The beach was shared with other tourist accommodations and local people homes. Theoretically, anyone could walk to knock your room's glass door (note: the room door was lockable). I stayed two nights with my dirty shoes outside but they were intact. Guess security wasn't a problem. Travelers however should take note of this and stay vigilant.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

The "Isabela Diver's Lodge" is a short walk from the main Red Mangrove Isabela lodge, and I have to say, our view from the room was phenomenal!! Actually, I would argue that it was better than the main lodge's "best view" room because ours was not obscured by hedges, or a table/umbrella on the deck. Our room at the diver's lodge was big enough to walk around, simply decorated, had white tile floor and a larger than expected blue tile bathroom. It was also outfitted with two queen beds. The best part of the room was when we opened the curtains and we were graced with an amazing view of the beautiful white beach and blue/green ocean. As to it's location, it is a very short walk to the main deck of the Isabela Lodge where meals were served. We enjoyed buffet-style meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even though there was another party of 15 on site during our stay, the amount of food, its variety and taste was very good. Because of the short walk, we did track a lot of sand back into our room, and I would have loved to have had a broom to sweep up the floor; but mostly I would have liked to have had a broom to swept my feet before getting into bed. The environment on this island is vastly different than Floreana or Santa Cruz. You will not eat with sea lions frolicking in the water in front of you, and you will only see an occassional small iguana on deck, but this location offers you a beautiful beach on which to walk and the sound of laping waves while dining. We did take a walk on the beach and saw several schools of different variety of fish, plant life, sea urchins, and amazing lava formations right on the beach. This location and its set up for us was another great experience that offered something different than what we had already seen in the Galapagos Islands.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

I booked three nights & prepaid via PayPal $160 a night, a big mistake. On arrival we were shown to our room in the divers lodge, a cheap old hotel purchased & branded red mangrove. The room was no better than a $15 room & was dark & smelt strongly of mold. It had no windows to open with screens & no privacy. I asked if I could get any refund & they said no. The room was so bad i went to casa del playa & got a lovely ocean view room for $40 less a night. Red mangrove has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Very disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear traveller,

Thank you very much for taking your time to send this follow-up. For Red Mangrove it is very important to have a first hand evaluation of our services and it is thanks to reports like yours that we can improve our services. We are really sorry for the impression you had while your stay on Isabela, after reading carefully all the aspects you mentioned we have been through an intensive control of procedures and standards. For your information we have done a complete re-structure of each department in order to provide better services, we are working hard in completing training process with our staff. If you need any further information please do not hesitate in contacting us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Isabela Lodge is much cleaner than the Floreana Lodge. We have booked 2 ocean view rooms few months ago. When we arrived after a rough rocky boat ride from Floreana, we were given 2 rooms at the back of their property. Our daughters were given a room right at the rear entrance (not guarded) of the hotel which is right next to the main street. When I complaint to the staff about their mistake, they connected me to their head office at Quito by phone since there is nobody in charge on site!
Juan the manager first claimed my booking wasn't for ocean view room until I presented their confirmation and my proof of payment for the ocean view rooms. Then he gave me the running around..... I was on the phone in their restaurant (that also double up as their office)back and fore wasting my vacation time negotiating with them. They even made me wasting more time sending an e-mail to the owner of Red Mangrove explaining our dis-pleasure. ( including the terrible conditioning at their Floreana Lodge) It helps my negotiation according to Juan!
Finally they promised to refund us about US$270 each when we arrived back at Santa Cruz. The actual pain started when we try to collect the promised money. First, there were not enough cash, then they cannot refund through VISA because it is foreign currency...They promised money will be wired to our account when we get back home. The first few e-mail to them regarding the refunds always came back with some stupid excuses.. then they don't even answer my e-mails after a few weeks. Finally, I have VISA involved and received my refund 3 months after we left Red Mangrove.
Food is not bad here but you have to arrive earlier than the flies since it is buffet style again. Do not drink their fountain water. Staff are also nicer here, may be they all over-heard my complaint with their head office.
Isabela Island is a beautiful island with a lot to see eg. flamingos ,sea lions and iguanas (you grew to love those ugly things). Go with an honest organization...enjoy this beautiful paradise!

Room Tip: They only have 2 ocean front rooms but you have to climb up onto the roof top to see the ocean
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Dear traveller,

Thank you very much for taking your time to send this follow-up. For Red Mangrove it is very important to have a first hand evaluation of our services and it is thanks to reports like yours that we can improve our services. We are really sorry for the impression you had while your stay on Isabela, after reading carefully all the aspects you mentioned we have been through an intensive control of procedures and standards. For your information we have done a complete re-structure of each department in order to provide better services, we are working hard in completing training process with our staff. If you need any further information please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Best Regards

Red Mangrove
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

Address: Ave. Conocarpus, Puerto Villamil 00000, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great Beach Hotel, Iguanas, blue footed boobies, penguins at the beach ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Mangrove Isabela Hotel
Red Mangrove Hotel Isabela
Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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