We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A sad expereince” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Sula Sula

Save Saved
You added Hotel Sula Sula to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Hotel Sula Sula
Cactus y Pinzon Artesano, Puerto Villamil 593, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A sad expereince”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

We booked our summer 2011 reservations for Hotel Sula Sula before we left the US. We were so excited about the reviews here on TripAdvisor that we thought we made a great choice for Isabela. We landed in Santa Cruz just in time to catch our boat to Isabela that Julio had reserved for us. We approached the boat operator Julio told us to use. The English speaking operator told us we were not on the list and the boat trip to Isabela was full for the day (in fact all of the boats to Isabela were full). She even called Julio, had a "heated" conversation for about 3 minutes, and hung up on him. She then told us he forgot to make our reservation. We put our names down for the next day just in case we still wanted to go to Isabela...

Frustrated, we looked for lodging for that night since we could not get to Isabela . We did find a nice place in Santa Cruz... look for a review on that in the future. We called Julio asking what happened. He blamed it on us. He said we did not respond to an email he sent us. That is 100% incorrect. Each email Julio sent that required our response explicitly said "please respond". His last email confirming our details did not say "please respond" so we did not see a reason to respond. Julio, in an attempt to save face, said he would pay for our travel to Isabela for free (which was not part of the original deal). That was a savings of $50.00. We were considering not going to Isabela as a result of the mishap. We only had 6 nights in Galapagos and we wanted to maximize our time! Julio was putting his best foot forward with a free boat ride. We agreed.

Upon arrival Julio was there to greet us. He spoke English, was kind in our first interaction, and was helpful in arranging a trip to the volcano the next day (he did not forget this reservation). The room included a basic breakfast. One egg, some toast, fake butter, jam, juice. The staff which was his wife and another hotel employee did not speak English. After we saw Julio the 1st day we arrived, we did not see him for the rest of our stay at Sula Sula (two days). In fact we did not see him until we were preparing to leave Isabela for Santa Cruz… more on that later.

Our first night:
Don't remember our room number. I think it was unit 3? It was facing the street above the sign. The room did not have a balcony. It was spacious. AC, TV, two beds, clean. The bed sheets were too small for two people to share a bed. We were constantly fighting for covers! It was cold in the evenings when we were there. Dogs kept barking all night. It was like a barking contest at certain times during the night. Then, the wind would whip up and make the windows rattle loudly. Then loud vehicles would drive by. The windows were closed the entire night so it was not for lack of trying to keep out noise. I woke up trying to prevent the windows from rattling by shoving paper in the window tracks... helped a lil. The night was hard to sleep through. This happened again the second night... that is when we decided to look for "alternatives". The location of Sula Sula is 8-10 blocks or more from the central plaza. It is not near the beach and located in between the boat landing and the main plaza area.

We had reservations at Sula Sula the entire time in Isabela; however, we wanted to find out what else what out there. After speaking to a few other places we stumbled onto a location on the beach with a view of the ocean for the same price!! It was only 1 block from the main plaza. It was also across the street from an English speaking tour operator. Check our other reviews for this special place just added to TripAdvisor.com. We asked TripAdvisor.com to add the hotel we stayed at since it was not available to view online and no website.

My advice to anyone not happy with a reservation: Look and ask around for other accommodation. I am very glad we did versus sucking it up and living with our decision.

Because of the lack of Julio we were forced to ask the hotel worker to cancel our reservation for the remainder of the stay. She called Julio's wife who came and collected our payment for the room, beers and trip to the volcano. Both did not speak English so it was challenging to communicate our desires to leave early... but we stumbled through it. After an uncomfortable 30 minutes we finally were on our way to a MUCH BETTER HOTEL FOR THE SAME PRICE ON THE BEACH 1 BLOCK FROM MAIN PLAZA / RESTAURANTS / BARS / ETC.

This was not our last run in with Julio... you must read on for the two other encounters with Julio after we left for the other Hotel.

To be fair, the staff (sans Julio) was very friendly and caring. Julio's children were very cute and friendly. Julio's dog was even very lovable. The ground was clean, and there was a covered area to eat at. There was also a main refer to store food, beer, etc. They even sold beer / water at okay prices.

The night before our scheduled departure from Isablea (return trip back not reserved with Julio) we were walking in the dimly lit streets of Puerto Villamil looking for a place to eat dinner. Julio approached us. He said we "forgot" to pay his wife for our boat trip to Isabela when we paid for our room. We informed him of his statement to us 5 days earlier that he would pay for our boat trip to Isabela because of the "mixup". Julio said he told us he would "cover our payment" to Isabela but would want us to pay for it once we got to the island. That is not what was communicated to me over the phone. He was lying. After I told him no several times, he asked for half of the money saying it was half our fault and half his fault. He said we could split the boat cost 50/50. I laughed... and continued to say no. He gave up and left us alone. The conversation left us feeling uncomfortable and frustrated even more!!

Our last encounter with Julio was at the boat docks to leave Isabela. We were standing in the customs line with about 10 other tourists to get our bags searched. The line was moving at a slow pace. Ecuadorians and foreigners were patiently waiting in line with us for the search. Julio and his departing guests arrived via taxi while we were in line. Julio escorted his guests to the front of the line bypassing all of us who arrived before him. His guests cut in line and were searched before us. The cutting in line was useless since everyone needs to be checked in order for the boat to leave. The boats would never leave because someone was still being check at customs. It was a clear testament to Julio's character. I would never consider staying at Hotel Sula Sula again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

31 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    17
    9
    4
    1
    0
See reviews for
7
11
2
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

Julio is an amazing self-made man and is an official guide for the Galapagos Parks. We chose his hotel because he is a local businessman, uses local produce and products, and is very eco-conscious. His hotel feels welcoming, and Julio and his wife made sure we had everything we needed.He impressed us by his hard work, honesty, gentleness and generosity. We also hired Julio to guide us around the island and his knowledge of the Galapagos and love for the islands became very apparent. Nothing on Isabella is "fancy" and the hotel isn't either; just a good solid value for the price. Puerto Villamil families love fresh eggs and the numerous roosters in town greet each day with enthusiasm which lends a wholesomeness to the town. Our room, in the corner of the second floor was clean and roomy and had its own bathroom. Julio provides filtered water for drinking right outside the door and has a hot breakfast ready each morning. We only stayed on Isabella 3 nights but I would like to return again for a couple of very relaxing weeks and definitely would stay at Hotel Sula Sula again. M-L T

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

After feeling scamed and abused on Santa Cruz, I immediately felt safe and comfortable talking to the owner Julio and his wife. They were super kind, honest and mello and were very helpful in finding tours, leading tours, and guiding us around the city. He was completely felxible when we changed plans several times and always was ready to help or offer tips. He worked with us on any special needs we had and never failed to come up with a great solution. The kicker was that he leant me $20, as there are no ATM machines on the island... he just asked me to send it along once I got back to Santa Cruz, where there are ATMs. WHAT amazing trust and service. Can't recommend Julio or SulaSula enough!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

Julio and his wife went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at ease! The hotel is really good value for money, rooms are clean and we had a private bathroom (and hot water! a real luxury at Isabela!). Breakfast was delicious! This was our second trip to Galapagos, but our first time in Isabela and we will definitely return! Julio is a natural guide too. So, just tell him what you want to do, and he'll schedule your days with a bit of beach, hiking to Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico, snorkel at tintoreras, etc. I'm sure Ill regret sharing on the web what should be a secret place for the few.

Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OAKDALE, NEW YORK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

julio and his wife made our stay with them as comfortable as possible. the hotel is clean, classy and has hot water! The prices were great and the convenience of having a great breakfast right there in the hotel was all we could ask for....julio made sure our tours were organized and he also made sure we got to where we needed to on time. This is a four star hotel.. Don't consider anyplace else while visiting isabella.. we hope to return soon!

Room Tip: within walking distance. the island is beautiful..
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guayaquil
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

This small hotel is on a quiet street of simple houses (some with chickens in the yard) a few blocks from the beach and town. The rooms and bathrooms look a bit pieced-together but are comfortable, with good beds, air conditioning and hot water. A hearty breakfast of eggs, toast and fruit on a covered picnic table is included. The owner, Julio, is a knowledgeable, bilingual tour guide, and he is very helpful, booking tours and calling taxis as needed. Altogether a great bargain place to stay on a beautiful island.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banos, Ecuador
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

National Park Guide, Julio Pullaguari is the owner of this lovely hotel. Basic but with good beds and split unit air conditioning in all rooms. The 2nd & 3rd floor corner rooms have great views over the island. Friendly, helpful service and a very complete breakfast at bargain prices.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Hotel Sula Sula? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Sula Sula

Address: Cactus y Pinzon Artesano, Puerto Villamil 593, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and BookingOdigeoWL so you can book your Hotel Sula Sula reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hotel Sula Sula Galapagos Islands/Isabela, Ecuador

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Sula Sula, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.