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Wittmer Lodge

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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
Traveler (53)
Pool & Beach (9)
Dining (3)

About

Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
l'un des deux seuls hotels de Floreana
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Property amenities
Restaurant
Non-smoking hotel
Room features
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint

Location

Full view
Contact
Ecuador
Getting there
Baltra Airport60 mi
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60Reviews
5Q+A
15Room tips
Traveler rating
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I was really excited to stay on this secluded island, but unfortunately our experience here was awful. We have been traveling throughout South America for 8 months now and this was BY FAR our most disappointing accommodation. The island itself is beautiful, and I think it’s worth a visit, however I would highly recommend staying somewhere else or doing a day-trip from Santa Cruz. For starters, upon arrival in Floreana no one was there to greet you at the dock, and no info was provided on how to reach the hotel. Despite being classified a B&B and having read several other reviews discussing the “wonderful breakfast”, I was surprised to find no breakfast was served—not even coffee. When other travelers inquired, the owner/manager Erika said that they will only serve breakfast if the hotel is at high capacity. Apparently 10 guests were not enough. This wouldn’t normally be an issue for us, however none of us were aware breakfast wouldn’t be served and options on the island are VERY limited as you can imagine. The one little market had next to nothing and was understandably very pricey. We did eventually find a decent cup of coffee and good food at one of the three restaurants on the island; however, hiking in the heat and humidity to find a cup of coffee first thing in the morning was less than ideal. The hotel did provide drinking water for guests, but the jug was located outside and was obviously not insect-proof. The rooms were absolutely disgusting. It looked like the bugs hadn’t been cleaned out of the window wells or from under the bed in months and we found cockroaches in our room every night. There were spiderwebs everywhere, gross stained sheets, dirty walls and mold in the bathrooms. The rooms were not sealed at all and we could see daylight from all of the roof joints and door jams—that’s a big deal in a place with soooooo many mosquitos!We left covered in bites despite slathering on the DEET. There was a fan in the room, but it was absolutely useless. It only had one speed that was not strong enough to actually move any air. Given the close proximity to the beach I assumed an ocean breeze would be enough to cool the room at night, but it was not. The room was extremely hot and combined with the non-stop mosquito attacks meant neither my husband or I slept much for the two nights we stayed. Even lounging on the balcony hammock was not enjoyable due to the hundreds of wasps. There were nests everywhere: under the tables, stairwells, and eves. The rate for Wittmer lodge is per-person, not per-room. Which means my husband and I paid twice as much as our single occupancy friend did for the same room. In my opinion, a per-person rate should only be applicable if the hotel is providing food or activities. The worst part is that once you are there you’re stuck. After our first night we were ready to leave early and forfeit our second night’s lodging that we pre-paid in cash upon arrival; however, there is only one ferry leaving per day and it’s often full, so we were forced to wait until the following day to leave. Another thing worth mentioning, which is not specific to this hotel, is that many of the well-known activities on Floreana are ONLY accessible by live-aboard boats or day-trips from Santa Cruz. These include the Devil’s Crown, Cormorant Point, and Flamingo Lagoon. I was hoping we could find a local water taxi or tour guide who could take us to some of these locations, but the really weird thing is that locals are prohibited from going to these places. The only activity we could schedule was a trip to Post Office Bay at $120 per person. Actually staying on the island seemed to limit our activity options. Overall the Wittmer Lodge was a big disappointment, despite its great location. It desperately needs updating. If you value comfort or hospitality this is not the place for you. If you really want to stay on Floreana there are other options. Some which even offer great views, sealed rooms, transportation, breakfast and AC.
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The balconies face the waves, on a gorgeous black sand beach. Snorkeling there is a dream, with sea turtles, and so much more. In the main part of the village, marine iguanas bask in the street as well as upon volcanic rocks at the water's edge, and lazy sea lions lounge all over. Loved the food, the setting, and the Wittmers. If I had brought my copy of "Floreana" (great read!), they would have autographed it for me! Rats. Next time!
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After having read Margret Wittmer's book about their life on Floreana in the first half of the 20th century, I was thrilled to find out that her daughter and granddaughter are still running this hotel. I loved lying in the hammock on the balcony of our upstairs room with views of the ocean, little beach and visiting sea lions. Erica Wittmer was a delight to chat with. Since we were nearly the only guests, they were taking a break from cooking for guests, but helped with explaining the restaurant roster among the other restaurants in this little village. Sampling them was also a lot of fun. While this island is very quiet, it still has a lot to offer. We particularly liked exploring the area where the Wittmers had first settled and found an amazing little mangrove cave on the way to the loboría, where we spent several hours reading in the public hammocks. Margret Wittmer's book can still be bought in the little souvenir shop run by Hotel Wittmer.
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I am writing this review some time after our stay in this hotel in May as I have been waiting to resolve a compensation claim against the tour company (Exodus) who included this hotel on their itinerary, having being attacked and hospitalised by the owners extremely vicious dogs which they keep behind one block of rooms in the hotel. I was attacked and bitten in 4 places by these dogs and now have some scarring for life. The owners could not have cared less, to the extent that following the incident who I was lying on the floor of my room bleeding and being attended to by my fellow travellers, that the owner walked by, took one look and walked on. I am sorry to say that Exodus are continuing to include this hotel on their itinerary but I would warn anyone who has the misfortune to stay here to be very careful where you wander. If you do manage to escape an attack, expect a run down tatty motel with very strange and unhelpful owners, albeit in a lovely location. Unfortunately this is about the only hotel on the island so I don't think they need to bother too much. I dont normally write reviews but I feel I should warn anyone who stays here so that if something like this happens again, nobody can claim that this has never happened before. On the positive side, the locals are extremely friendly and the care received at the hospital was excellent.
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The Wittmer Lodge is in a fantastic location on Floreana, within easy walking distance of the dock and a great beach in front to snorkel from. The food here was very good but the rooms really need to be updated. There was also a lot of loud music being played nearby during the day which spoilt the atmosphere. Beware of the local dogs, one of our party was bitten.
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LOCATION
EcuadorGalapagos IslandsFloreana
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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