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“Wonderful Hotel, great staff & service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

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Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Rockledge, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful Hotel, great staff & service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We booked the Darwin's Footprints, Santa Cruz and Isabela islands. We absolutely loved the Aventura Lodge (not so much the Isabela lodge, see separate review). We were greeted right away with smiling faces and very friendly staff which most spoke some English. We had Mangrove rooms that were very nice & clean. This hotel is on the water and has a awesome view, as well as sea lions, sally lightfoot crabs and iguanas all over the place. We loved sitting at the tables by the water and drinking blackberry daiquiri's YUMMM!!.

Our guide was Carlos and he was awesome, very knowledgeable and friendly. I love that they assign you the same guide throughout your trip. As much as I loved the tours on Isabela, I really could have stayed at the Aventura lodge the whole trip. Food was great, always had cold drinks and cold bottled water. Juices were very good. Free WiFi and right in town, we walked to the fish market to watch the antics. Definitely worth it.

This hotel met my expectations in every way and I just loved everything about it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ancaster, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Unique!
Hotels, location, food and especially the guide, MariaElena Aviles, all were excellent!
I will return in few years!
If you go in the rain season, do not forget a raincoat, windbreak jacket and hiking shoes.
Sunscreen and insect repellant are mandatory:)

Room Tip: I did not have any complaints.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Just returned from a 6-day trip to Galapagos where I stayed with the Red Mangrove on both Santa Cruz (3 nights) and Isabela (2 nights). Overall I was extremely pleased with the hotel and I highly recommend it.
Its key strengths (for both SC and Isabela) are:
1. Service is excellent: very polite and helpful staff, always there to help
2. The hotel and rooms are very clean and well maintained
3. The setting is beautiful and quiet (the Isabela location is particularly amazing, right on the beach), yet the center of town is 5 min away

On the tour / "adventure" front, in Santa Cruz I recommend not to depend exclusively on the hotel but also to book daily tours to nearby islands (e.g. North Seymour) through other operators - the hotel can direct you to the best operators - and to do things on your own (e.g. Tortuga Bay).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The hotel was at the seaside. The first night, I stayed in a room next to the sea. I could hear the soft sound of waves. When I returned after a few days, I stayed in a family room with a little private "garden". Both rooms were very neat and clean. I was told that bugs were everywhere in Galapagos but I didn't see any in the room. The air-conditioning was adequate and in-room wifi worked well. The shower was not very hot but it was understandable for a place like Galapagos. The restaurant served very good food and fresh juice. I have a sensitive stomach but didn't get sick after having like 6 meals there. The patio at the restaurant was a natural theatre for wildlife show. I saw a deal trying to climb up a speedboat, iguana sunbathing, colorful crabs walking around......the hotel was close to shops. Just walk out and start shopping along the street!

  • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Our room was at the off site rooms of Red Mangrove, but room was clean, spacious & fairly well appointed. We weren't expecting TV on the Galapagos, but it was available, plus Free Wi-Fi. It is located fairly well on the main road and close to the main centre of town and all the cafes & tourist handicraft shops. Bit hard lugging the suitcases up the flights of stairs to room, & then lugging the 100 meters to the main Red Mangrove for breakfast & pickup to take to cruise. Breakfast was good for South American Hotel standards. Great dining area, on balcony overlooking sea, with Marine Iguanas & Red Crabs on the decking, & sea life within easy sight.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed at the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge on Santa Cruz for 3 nights: at the beginning of our 8-day tour including Floreana and Isabela and 2 nights at their best Suite Mayor at the end of the tour. Our stay and the trip in general has exceeded our expectations. It was an expensive tour. However we would have got very upset, if the conditions had been close to those ones at luxurious resorts. All in all, we paid a premium for something we had not seen or experienced before and for their nature and location. Our glass was not only "half full", but even flooding over :) The hotels are run very well: a good example of efficiency, which we did not see very often in the continental Ecuador. The personnel was extremely helpful and friendly. We were very lucky with the guide. Ours was very knowledgeable, considerate and tactful. We like the food understanding that it tastes "very local" and cannot be to everybody's liking. In general, this agency made us very happy. We will remember Ecuador warmly because of our experience with Red Mangrove. We will highly recommend this agency to our friends in Ukraine and the Netherlands who will consider going to the Galapagos and continental Ecuador.

Room Tip: Cover all the details of interest before the trip by telephone or by e-mail, if needed.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Four of us paid a total of US$9212 for the Darwin's Long Triangle for 5 nights stay. We were not impressed right from the start! We were being shuffled into a stinky and cramp public bus upon arrival. Then we were transfer into a tiny public boat with our luggage thrown on top of the roof (Don't use your good bags!) The 3 workers from Red Mangrove who were sent to welcome us were enjoying their nice popsicles as soon as we landed on the harbor.Their popsicles were dripping all over our bag! We were told that we can buy them for 50cents each! Right the way, I know this is an over priced cheap operation!
They do use their own hotel van transferring us from the harbor to the Adventurer Lodge. The driver crank up the radio so loud, I end up with a headache after the 45 minutes ride. (Asking the driver to turn it down fell into deaf ear!)
The food is terrible. The first night, on their buffet table were some bitter taste vegetables, a big bowl of beans, some overcooked beef and chicken slices and tortilla and stale bread! I don't remember the last time ever that I went to bed hungry.The only time we have decent food was the breakfast the next morning after I complaint of their food. The buffet dinner was changed to a-la-carte for one dinner. The worst thing at their restaurant is their bread baskets. Hundreds of tiny bugs will come out every time you give it a shake. We have the waiter changed it for 3 times with the same result! Finally we skipped their bread as well .
I also wonder how clean their drinking water is. We insist drinking bottled water than filling up from their filtered water fountain into the canister they provide. The other 4 guests (the hotel arranged 4 other travelers with us as an excursion group) who did not drink bottled water end up with traveler's diarrhea at some point during our stay.
For the excursion part: The bus is so old that it probably can kill a few protected species at the Galapagos and the door keep popping open while it is moving. The guides are quite knowledgeable about their local flora and fauna but it stops there! During the bus rides, they were sleeping without talking to the guests, usually with their feet up on the dash board! Refreshment on the bus is grabbed by the guides (the leader would grab 3 or 4 snacks and couple soft drinks)leaving us with just water! One day we even have to leave 30 minutes to make a special trip to pick up the guide! What hospitality!
Safety is also a big concern.On one excursion,we were being transferred from one boat to another in the open sea. One of the lady in our group end up twisted her ankle in doing that. She was taken to the hospital and joining us on the next day with crutches.I almost got thrown into the water when arriving at Floreana because there was no proper docking facility there.
Our first outing was to Garrapatero Beach, it is suppose to be a tortoise habitat and also for flamingos sighting. upon arrival we were told due to the Japanese Tsunami the sand dune was destroyed there are no more flamingos nor tortoise. Hey the Tsunami happened more than a year ago! A few other sites during our stay were skipped as well without even being mentioned about it. When you questioned about why we did not visit certain site that was scheduled, the answer is usually "Oh ,it is closed" I wonder why it was not brief ahead of time and who know if that is the real reason.
I also don't like the tour guide double duty as the park ranger at the Galapagos(This is not the hotel's fault) During one of our excursion, our guide scold another company's guide that he is too close to the blue legged booby because he is passing the rope. The response of the other guide/ranger is he set up that rope as a boundary himself. These guides/rangers are just competing for the tourist's money!
The room is quite decent at Adventura Lodge, I would rated it a low 4 stars. On our last night they upgraded us to the best suite to compensate our terrible experience at their other 2 lodges, Florena & Isabela lodges(under separate reviews). The view from the suite is not amazing but quite beautiful. The room is spacious but run down, especially the bathroom.
In general, this Red Mangrove company is not worth what we paid for. You can pay much less for the same type of excursion, food and lodging at the Galapagos. I would not book with this company nor recommend it to anyone since I found them sub-standard (consider the amount of money they charge) sneaky and not trustworthy (It took them 4 months to pay me back the $600 they promised to refund me for the room type that they cannot provide. I finally got it back through VISA) Our Floreana and Isabela experience were even worst than this!

Room Tip: Save your money,bring your sleeping bag and stay at a $50 lodge...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Aventura Lodge, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your review. Although it has been nearly a year since your visit, we would like to express our sincere apologize for the inconveniences you were through your stay, as we previously did . We would also like to remind you there were some aspects of your experience that were not under the control of Red Mangrove, such as the airport transportation. As you may remember the only transportation allowed to make the transfer from the airport to the canal were the ones from the airlines it selves. Nowadays there is the possibility to rent a private van from the airport to the canal and make this short portion of the transfer based on private service and avoid this crowded buses from the airline. However this aspect nor any of the others you listed are acceptable, and we have taken very seriously your report at the time. We have made many improvements in terms of quality control and of course the staff who was leading your trip during your visit is not longer working for us. Of course there are still things we cannot control such as nature conditions but we can guarantee we are taking care of all those little details that can make a big difference on any travel experience. We are still working on these details as we understand this activity is of a constant improvement, that is the nature of the travel industry. We are working hard every day to make sure our guests receive not only a value for their money but also a life learning experience of our culture and natural resources. If you need further details about all the procedures implemented in order to guarantee a better experience, please feel free to let us know and we will be more than happy to share them.
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Additional Information about Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

Address: Avenida Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Red Mangrove Aventura Hotel Puerto Ayora
Hotel Red Mangrove Aventura
Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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