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“Best Hotel in Galapagos!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge

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Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge
Km 12, via a Baltra | Isla Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador   |  
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Ranked #1 of 38 Puerto Ayora B&B and Inns
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“Best Hotel in Galapagos!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2010

When I shared with relatives in Ecuador that I would be staying at the Semilla Verde in Galapagos, they tried to dissuade me from finalizing my trip arguing that I could find cheaper hotels elsewhere on the islands. Although booking a cheaper hotel sounded tempting, I decided to follow my gut (given Semilla Verde’s excellent reviews and my correspondence with Robert the owner) and give Semilla Verde a try. I’m glad I did.

From the beginning, Robert displayed a high sense of class and professionalism responding to my numerous inquiries and emails in prompt fashion and planning my itinerary based on my personal needs and interests. Upon arriving at the airport, Robert welcomed and greeted me with an infectious and warm smile; we boarded the ferry and then rode in his newly painted land rover to Semilla Verde. Secluded in the highlands, it was more than what I could ever imagine – pristine, surrounded by lush vegetation, charming, spectacular views all around, a nature lover’s dream. As I made my way into the house, I experienced a sense of warmth and peace. In that instant I knew I had made the right choice. After settling in, a delightful lunch prepared by Robert’s wife Daisy awaited me. Following lunch, Robert took me on a local tour of the island sharing his vast and keen knowledge of the Galapagos.

Over the course of the next 6 days, I visited 4 outlying islands and explored more of Santa Cruz. At the end of each day, I would arrive to Semilla Verde always finding the place clean and impeccable. Robert keeps an excellent collection of books and DVD's, which I would delve into every night before going to sleep.

Every morning I would look forward to a delicious breakfast consisting of cereal, omelet, fruit, fresh coffee and juice. The daily boat excursions Robert planned for me provided lunch. Puerto Ayora, about a 15 minute cab ride from Semilla Verde, has inexpensive dining options which Robert will tell you about. Having dinner prepared at Semilla Verde is also another option. You can’t go wrong here. I had dinner at Semilla Verde on 2 days. Daisy is an excellent cook and reasonable menu options are available.

In summary, during my stay at Semilla Verde, Robert went above and beyond the call of duty. He has a deep genuine respect and appreciation for the islands and you will too after your stay. I have absolutely no regrets in my decision to book my trip at Semilla Verde. It was worth every cent and more. When I return to Galapagos, I will not hesitate to book at Semilla Verde again. They have my highest recommendation.

  • Stayed September 2009, 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
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280 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    264
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London/Zurich
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2010

Semilla Verde has great service and an excellent standard of accommodation. But what makes this an excellent rating for me is that it is more than just somewhere to stay. It is a remarkably simple concept that Robert, the owner, has nailed. As an experienced guide, naturalist, Robert brings together everything that defines the Galapagos. Sustainability - the fledgling coffee plantation and the ecological engineering that goes into his lodge. Nature - the outstanding view across south Santa Cruz, the incredible bird life, the free roaming giant tortoises and his knowledge of all of the above. Philosophy - the owner understands the relevance of galapagos - is well read on Darwin and has a few of his own clever theories - for us this enhanced the magic of the galapagos. It just feels right - he could have been a marketing professional... Oh, and him and Daisy are extremely nice people too.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bogota, Colombia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2010

Robert and Daisy, the lovely owners of Semilla Verde, went out of their way to make our 9-night stay unique. Robert organized our stay to the last details, while making sure we enjoyed a bit of independance and a lot of privacy.
Semilla Verde is 10 minutes away (by taxi) from town. Taxis work surprisingly well and make traveling around the island easy.
Semilla Verde is a little jewel amid luxurious vegetation. We loved walking around the property, enjoyed the abundant biodiversity, looking for giant turtoises with our 4-year old son.
The guest house is spacious and very confortable.
Dinners and breakfasts are always beautifully served and delicious.
I do not have enough words to describe our experience and the enjoyment.
For the ultimate Galapagos experience, don't look further, this is the place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

We are so grateful to Semilla Verde for their planning and hospitality during our week of honeymoon in Galapagos. We had the most amazing honeymoon imaginable and we have Semilla Verde to thank! It was perfect -- and such a pleasure getting to know Robert, Daysi, their beautiful daughter Iona and all their pets. We really feel like we had a unique experience in Galapagos staying in such an idyllic setting, and we will forever treasure our visit.
The grounds of Semilla Verde make you feel like you're on top of the world and are the only people staying on Santa Cruz (as opposed to the hotels in the somewhat touristy downtown Puerto Ayora). The day trips and tours Robert gave and planned for us really enriched our experience -- every day was a wonderful adventure. And of course, Daysi's cooking was the best we had in Ecuador! A+++ for Semilla Verde!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights during our honeymoon trip to the Galapagos Islands. We stayed in the top room, which is beautifully constructed of local materials and has a wonderful view of lush vegetation and roaming tortoises. Everything about the place was superb. Robert and Daysi are kind, gracious, and engaging hosts, and they go out of their way to make sure that you maximize your stay on the islands. They will plan your day trips, suggest small outings, cook you meals (I suggest Robert's langostinos), and do your laundry. We even got to sit it on a tortoise tagging on the premises, when a group of schoolchildren joined with experts to fasten a GPS transmitter onto a huge tortoise in order to track its migratory pattern. If your tour of Galapagos involves island excursions from Santa Cruz, I highly recommend making this your base camp.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
N. Hatfield
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2009

I was somewhat hesitant about Semilla Verde when I first found it, as it had a perfect rating. So perfect, it looked as though it may have been manipulated. I read the reviews and it seemed like a good place. Having stayed there for 7 nights, I can see why it has a perfect score. It is an extremely quaint guest house located in the moist uplands of Santa Cruz around 20 minutes from Puerto Ayora. My first evening there, I counted 10 giant tortoises within 100 yards of the house, roaming free.

The amenities are top notch, with gorgeous views. The breakfasts were phenomenal consisting of Galapagos coffee, fresh fruit salad, juice, cereal, toast, omelettes, etc. The rooms were spacious, clean, and charming.

The beauty of Semilla Verde is that Robert (proprietor) makes all the trip arrangements to meet your needs. Several times, I had to ask what I was doing that day as I had not memorized the itinerary. All there was for me to do was sit back and enjoy what the islands had to offer. My friend and I opted to eat dinner in Puerto Ayora every evening as there were a ton of quaint restaurants with plenty of cheap/excellent fare.

Robert knows practically everything about the islands, even the plantlife. Having been a tour guide for many years he knows the right boats to go on, as well the the must-see sights. I would definitely recommend any boat upgrades you can afford.

During my boat trip to Bartolome Island, I spoke with couple people from NY who had been in the Galapagos for a few days and were having a miserable time. They had made arrangements themselves, and apparently picked the entirely wrong tour groups. Luckily, this final trip worked out well to the point that they were able to leave happy. Robert's knowledge of the islands insured that we did not have similar experience.

I recommend Semilla Verde without reservation.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ESP
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

We stayed at Semilla Verde in November, 2009. We had great expectations regarding our stay, but reality exceeded what we expected.

For what is interesting from a traveller perspective, facilities, being simple in its conception, are extremely comfortable; big bed, nice linen, huge TV in the rooms, spacious bathroom and closet, luminosity, cleanliness, access to books and DVDs as well as the spacious and bright leaving area. And, of course, the wonderful views over the surrounding vegetation. At the end of the busy days a traveller in the Galapagos can have, returning to Semilla Verde is a comforting experience. This is reflected in the fact that you find yourself referring to it as “going home”.

The above is perfectly complemented by the attention and cooperation that the owners and managers, Robert and Daisy, offered throughout the stay. Even before our arrival, we were surprised by the diligence and care with which Robert responded to our queries and requests that, in fact, were numerous and varied. His assistance was really helpful to complete all our travel arrangements and he provided very useful information. Robert is himself an excellent guide and we really enjoyed our tour with him. Do not miss their meals, whether lunch or dinner, homemade, fresh and local.

They show a clear vocation to make the stay in Galapagos and Semilla Verde a unique experience. The guest has the feeling of being, really, a very special one and, somehow, a friend.

One final comment for the marvellous silence that you can enjoy at any time, inviting to relax and sense of real holiday. All you can hear now and then is the birds or the rustling of branches when the giant tortoises around the garden decide to move

We think that if you are going to visit Santa Cruz, there is no better alternative than Semilla Verde. And if you are visiting Galapagos, try to make Sevilla Verde part of your trip.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge

Address: Km 12, via a Baltra | Isla Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
!!! NEW IN 2015 !!! In addition to our yoga studio the mini-spa will offer our guests facial and body treatments, massage and sauna. Semilla Verde Lodge offers complete hotel & tour package options. You will visit outlying islands and local sites with qualified naturalist guides and experience first hand the beauty of Galapagos and it's unique flora and fauna - from giant tortoises and lava lizards to marine iguanas and playful sea lions. Your stay will be based in an original and idyllic rural retreat where peace, privacy and Galapagos wildlife abounds. You will enjoy one-to-one personal service, traditional home cooking, panoramic views from private terrace, spa services and exclusive access to nature trails through twelve acres of private forest where giant tortoises lumber freely and native birds thrive. At night, gaze up into the unspoilt majesty of the milky way. Comfortable en-suite bedrooms with AC, WiFi and DVD just 12 minutes taxi ride from Puerto Ayora. All in all, an authentic and genuinely friendly land-base for your Galapagos adventure and an all encompassing alternative to a traditional cruise ship experience. Semilla Verde Lodge & Spa. Your Natural Selection for Adventure, Relaxation & Revitalisation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Semilla Verde Galapagos Hotel Puerto Ayora
Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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