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“We'll try other hotel next time” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Galapagos Inn Hotel

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Galapagos Inn Hotel
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Praia Joao Fernandinho 3 Quadra B, Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #54 of 92 Hotels in Buzios
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“We'll try other hotel next time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2006

I've stayed with my husband for 2 nights -- we're in honeymoon, travelling through Rio de Janeiro state.

Our room was big and had a beautiful view.
However, furniture, decoration did not look nice...
scratched, faded... The bathroom really needed some refurbishment... mirrors with those black marks, and even the towels, were old and never seemed to be clean.

For that rate, you will definitely find a nicer hotel in Buzios!

  • Liked — View
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2006

Hello:

We spent with my girlfriend a week in Buzios and we stayed all that time in the Gallapagos hotel. The hotel is situated in the last corner of the peninsula in the joao fernandinho beach. That was the only beach I never went beacuse was very small, dirty and crowded.

If you are going to stay here you must know you are 30 min. walk from rua das piedras (downtown).
The rooms are clean and had an incredible view to the ocean, but dont think you can sleep with the air conditioning on, because is too noise. The bathroom was small.
The bed in terribly hard and the tv cable has got only CNN and FOX, nothing more.
The breakfast was poor in fruit and dont even think in trying the eggs.

The best thing of this pousada that calls itselfs to be a hotel is their STAFF, they always were smily and nice. Helpfull in all aspects, really special persons.

I had a nice stay in Gallapagos but I will never go back again.
To many negative aspects and quite expensive too. US $137 per nite.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2006

We returned from Buzios last month, having spent abut six days at the Galapagos Inn. We had a great time. Buzios was fantastic and, certainly, the GI is one of the two top hotels in Buzios, the other being the Casas Brancas. Yet, we preferred the GI from what we saw.

We traveled to Buzios after a few days in Rio. The two cities are a great combination. We arranged transfers through the hotel and they worked out smoothly. The trip is 2.5 hours max, with a stop for gas or a soda, over modern highway with some good scenery. On our return, we went directly from Buzios to Rio airport, and that drive is a bit shorter, because you avoid Rio traffic.

We were two adults and two children and booked a two level suite at the GI. Frankly, it was way too big for us; essentially, it is the size of a very comfortable condo unit, with a large downstairs living area, full kitchen, two bathrooms, a double bedroom downstairs and the master bedroom upstairs. Our upstairs bedroom was large, with big windows looking towards the sea and a good size balcony/patio - with an outstanding view. The master bathroom was modern, large, had a number of windows, two sinks and a very roomy tub/jacuzzi/shower, with sliding glass doors and a window. The two bedrooms were air conditioned, but the rest of the unit was not. That was never much of a problem but, at night, we did not want to leave the windows open for fear of various things flying or crawling in. There are lots of very cute small lizards walking along, etc., and, at one point we had a large frog in the bathroom - again, not a bother and a good memory. He hopped out when asked. Of note, you may want to bring some Off to Buzios, it is the tropics. We did and were never bit once.

The GI more or less overlooks Jao Fernandes beach, and is located at what looks to be the highest spot overlooking the area. The views are great. Jao Fernandes has many restaurants and places inexpensively to rent chairs and umbrellas. It is a great spot to relax. It has warm water, certainly by our NYC standards. The water is also clear, calm and crystal. Vendors stroll by selling everything from local jewelry (some of it quite good, and cheap), cover-ups, woven bags, grilled cheese, ice cream and buttered corn. None of the vendors are "harassing," as is the case at some other resort destinations and all are very friendly. Indeed, all of Buzios is super-friendly. We never encountered a negative feeling, children were welcome everywhere and people could not be nicer. From what we were told and what we saw it is safe and people strolled everywhere at all hours. The hotel also overlooks Jao Fernandinho, a small beach around a curve from Jao Fernando. The hotel provides chairs and umbrellas there. It too is relaxing, with clear water.

The staff at the hotel were very welcoming and helpful. The hotel is spread out over a couple of floors and you rarely see many other people. The pool area is very nice, with a good view, lounges and food service. The breakfast buffet is good, with great coffee. The waiters were memorable, always greeting you and not being able to do enough. The staff at the front desk were cheerful, spoke English and Spanish and were very interested that we had a good time. They obviously are proud of the hotel and are to be commended. Requests for pillows and the like were responded to within a couple minutes. The hotel belongs to a small group of luxury hotels in Brazil and, I think it can best be likened to Relais & Chateaux, although granted, it is not as super luxe as those properties.

We did not rent a car in Buzios, although buggies were easily available. (And, we don't drive a stick.) We walked or tood taxis. A taxi into town took five minutes to come to the hotel and five minutes to get into town. It cost about US$ 5. After a few caiprinhas it was money well spent. Likewise, taxis to the beaches are an easy option and, to the furthest beach, would cost under US$ 10.

We went a few times to Geriba Beach, which is outstanding, the picture I've posted doesn't do it justice. We've traveled extensively, to many beaches around the world, and Geriba ranks up there as a favorite. It is very long and very wide with low mountains at both ends. Although the surf can be rough, and it attracts many surfers, you can walk out quite a bit before the water gets deep and you can certainly swim closer to shore in beautiful crystal blue water with good mid-size waves. There are lifeguards on the beach. Again, like other beaches, Geriba has many beach vendors; lying in a chair, under an umbrella, watching the world go by you begin to wonder whether you can stay for a month or two. Do not miss Geriba. We also went to Tarraturaga beach. It is quieter, with calm warm waters - again crystal clear. Good for snorkeling, although not an abundance of fish to see. It also has numerous inexpensive restaurants and kiosks. There is a particularly good one at the "busier" (the term being relative) beginning part of the beach, where most of the cars are parked. It is painted white and has indoor seating, a large patio, and chairs on the beach. Waiters were super friendly. Many restaurants offer a shrimp and cheese thin empanada type thing. Although hard to describe -they are outstanding.

Downtown Buzios, Rua das Pedras, is very sophisticated for a town this size. It has many of the same stores as are found in Ipanema, like Bum Bum, with good shoe and bag stores and similar items. (Consistent with what our guide in Rio had told us, shopping prices in Buzios were equal to or more expensive than Rio, not cheaper.) The stores apparently don't open till about 2 pm or so (was never in town during the afternoon to see) and stay open till 1 a.m. or later. The street is closed to cars and people stroll back and forth, with music from many cafes. There are numerous restaurants downtown and we had some good meals. Although I think the food is generally better in Rio, we had some great rissotto and pasta at a pretty Italian spot. The name is Acquarello, I think. Next door is Don Juan, an Argentine restaurant, which was also good. The night we went the restaurant had live tango and a good Argentine singer, along with a good reasonably priced list of Argentine wines. We also went to Satyricon which was good too, although we think the one in Rio is better. Both locations are expensive. Next to Satyricon there is a pizzeria, Capriciossa, which is also good.

We looked at Casas Brancas and it is very white, chi-chi and pretty. It has a small pool, large patio area and a terrific view towards town. It is walking distance to town while the GI is not - unless you hoof it for about 20 minutes or so. Certainly, CB is not a place for kids and, generally, we preferred the feeling of GI. It was much more resorty, tropical and had, we think, better views. Also, we preferred being closer to the beach than to town.

We went to Buzios the week leading into Carnival and, as the week progressed, Buzios started to get packed. Even so, we had a terrific time. The downtown area feels very European, there are many shopping/dining options, the people are great, you have many beautiful beaches and the town is only a 2+ hour drive from Rio. Compared to some other destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico or elsewhere that we have visited, Buzios has them beat by a mile. We certainly want to go back and will return to the Galapagos Inn, without hesitation.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Galapagos Inn Hotel

Address: Praia Joao Fernandinho 3 Quadra B, Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Buzios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #54 of 92 Hotels in Buzios
Number of rooms: 36
Also Known As:
Galapagos Hotel Buzios
Galapagos Inn Hotel Buzios, Brazil

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