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“Fun place to stay on Santa Cruz” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Castillo Galapagos

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El Castillo Galapagos
2.5 of 5 Hostel   |   Barrio Pampas Coloradas, Calle Isabela, Puerto Ayora EC200350, Ecuador   |  
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Hotel amenities
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
106 hotel reviews
Reviews in 132 cities Reviews in 132 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
“Fun place to stay on Santa Cruz”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here four nights in total with great host, Alejandro.

The Good:
Rooms - we stayed in the front tower and the back tower and was fun. Themed right down to window shutters and lights. Big beds and plenty of space. Fridges available in all rooms. Hot water and table or sofas and a hammock in rooms too :) no ac but very airy rooms with good ventilation.
Staff - Alejandro will do pretty much anything to make stay comfortable and easy. Is knowledgeable of the area.
Value - puerto ayoro isn't a cheap place. We had no accommodation booked and ended up walking around for about an hour looking for places to stay and were either ridiculously priced or had screaming kids and a disco on the ground floor. The castle is in a generally quiet area and if off-season or plenty of availability Alejandro may organize a deal with you.
Gardens - gorgeous. Swing in a hammock or walk around.

The Bad:
One night out of the four we had a disco down the road an was on a Monday night as well?!? Not much Alejandro can do about that though. Put earplugs in and went back to sleep.

The Ugly:
Nothing ugly about staying in a castle!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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28 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

We walked around Puerto Ayora looking for accommodation for a few nights. Until we stumbled across this place, the others we had encountered were either too pricey, unwelcoming or just a little too shabby. We loved El Castillo! The rooms were clean, spacious and the fan was more than adequate to cool the room. It's a 15 minute walk to the port, 10 minutes from the kiosk street, and 5 minutes from a small supermarket/s. And taxis are just $1 and frequent if you'd prefer. Alejandro was very accommodating sorting out the rooms we wanted, leaving luggage as well as with local information too.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

A little way out of the centre of Puerto Ayora, but still that's only a ten minute walk from the water front, and you get to see a little life on the way there apart from travel agents and souvenir shop.

The building is a castle-like structure built of lava and we had a very large room with a little turret and hammock too. Clean and comfortable, the shower was a little slow to warm up but that wasn't a problem as it was hardly Arctic conditions outside.

The hosts were very pleasant and helpful and a generous breakfast was provided that kept us going for the whole day.

The only criticsim is that credit cards weren't accepted. This would have been useful so we could keep hold of our cash as we were having problems withdrawing money from ATMs. Otherwise very nice and we really enjoyed our stay here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

The thought of staying in a castle sounds appealing but it needs a LOT of work. Rooms seemed unclean even if they were just cleaned. The shower was tough to get warm. Overall everything just looked really run down. The upside was the owners/staff were very hospitable. For some reason there seemed to be frequent domestic fights/arguements happening while we stayed there which gave a nasty vibe as well as made it hard to sleep. Like other people commented on the price is much higher once you add in the tax. That was a nice surprise on the last day!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We booked El Castillo well in advance in fear of not being able to find available places in Santa Cruz. After we arrived there we realized that given the fact that it was the "off season", we could have booked a much nicer place for less than what we paid. To make it worse, we didn't realize that the 22% taxes weren't included in the already expensive price we were given - and to top it off, they only take cash! El Castillo is an interesting concept for a hotel - staying in a castle is appealing, but unfortunately the place needs a lot of help to make it worth it. The room we stayed in was extremely large, but awkwardly decorated and poorly lit. Not sure what it was, but we believe the ceiling was deteriorating, as when we would come back from the day, our items would have little pebbles all over them (I can only imagine what fell on us as we slept). The water was warm at best and very low pressure. The location is a 10 minute walk to the pier but with cabs only being $1, it wasn't too bad. Potentially in high season or if the price was a 10th of what it was, it would be okay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Stuttgart, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

We booked the Hostel 3 Months in advance due to High Season on Galapagos. The Reservation was confirmed. When we arrived, they told us, they have given our room away one day before!!!
Don't book it, if you don't want to get disappointed.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Probably the most memorable room we have ever stayed in...our daughter in the tower above us. Really lovely. The owners were very friendly and breakfast was good...trays are available for a DIY breakfast in bed!
Booked through Booking.com, but realised when we arrived that we were paying maybe double the going rate so we moved after a couple of days to something much cheaper.
Note: the hotel is a 10 minute walk from Peurto Ayora centre.
Suggest that you try to book direct with the hotel to see if you can get a better deal than offered on Booking.com though.
BTW, a tip for those on a budget...maybe only 50% of the mid-range hotels in Puerto Ayora are on Trip Advisor and when we were there (July) all the TA hotels were full, and they were all more expensive than the non TA hotels!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about El Castillo Galapagos

Address: Barrio Pampas Coloradas, Calle Isabela, Puerto Ayora EC200350, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 20 Specialty lodging in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Castillo Galapagos 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A lovely place, built in volcanic stone, local travel agent and everything you'll need to guarantee satisfaction on your stay ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Castillo Galapagos Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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