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The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

Guayaquil, Ecuador
1 post
2 reviews
The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador


Canoa’s a nice place and there are plenty of hotels. Seriously, just go find one of those; Bambu, Coco Loco, Baloo. You don’t want to stay at The Coconut. Seriously.


Because the owner is mentally unstable.

As in he attacks guests with physical violence when he doesn’t understand or like what they say. Or maybe when he’s drunk? Mind alight with harder drugs? I don’t know what his deal is, but he assaulted me my last night. Oh yeah, like raging bloodlust full-on cage-match style ferocity. Like an animal in his eyes, not a man. What, this doesn’t convince you? Ok, let me explain.

I stayed at The Coconut for a month and a half, maybe more. During the majority of that time the owner was the sole employee of the hotel. The first couple weeks were fine, though I did notice a striking tendency of the owner, whilst conversing, to either completely ignore any point made by anyone other than himself, or, if acknowledging the point, went on to assert that he knew all about that, had already done that in ways you could never dream of, so there was no need to talk about it ever again. Charming, I thought, but not a deal-breaker. After a few weeks he berated us (I was at that time traveling with another) one night over not doing enough to help out around the place. Excuse me, I thought again, is the money we hand you no longer sufficient? Said that we were roommates, not guests, and we could do more for ourselves (like fixing the gas tanks that - oh so very rarely - heated the water for bathing, or mopping, etc.). All of which would be fine of course, except that nothing of the sort had been worked out at the beginning, and as far as I was concerned it was a little late to be agreeing on a lease. This was mostly laughable, childlike behavior, so at the time I took it as such. Then Mateo, one of his buddies (who stayed at The Coconut six months prior to my arrival), came over one night on a three-day ‘partying’ blitz. Not my scene so I went to bed. I was awoken the next morning by fire sirens, police crawling around the building, huge plumes of smoke hovering overhead (eldiario.com.ec/noticias-manabi-ecuador/…). The buddy in question had apparently set fire to a moto-scooter, the owners car. Burned them to cinders. Luckily the wind was blowing northerly so the hotel wasn’t touched, no one was hurt. Hmm, I thought to myself, this is a deal-breaker; this and the fact the owner decided to use the tragedy to blame every single citizen of the United States of America (where Mateo is from) for his misfortune. I’m from the states, hate discrimination and bigotry in all its forms, didn’t find this very convincing or logical at all. Find it acceptable. Made plans to leave. Before I could, one night while researching online, the owner comes home in a particular state. Same type of state that his ‘buddy’ had been in that fateful night. Urged me to join the celebrations though I had no interest. A few days later he did something that sealed it: he lied directly to my face without batting an eye. Told me, my travel companion, that he doesn’t ‘party’ like that, that that was what started this whole mess and he wanted nothing to do with it; except that just two nights before he couldn’t get enough! I stood there entire time trying to figure out if a camera was on me. If it was a joke, prank. It was not. He spoke as if he actually believed what he was saying; now I’m not trained to assert this, but I have to say the experience possessed a tinge of the psychotic. The events of my last night confirming it beyond all doubt.

Yes. The last night. He was carrying on again about how terrible the states are, our culture and the way we treat each other, disparaging an entire country because of the errors in his life. I’d had quite enough of all that drivel by the time, told him, in a clearly jocular tone, if that’s really the way all Americans are I better “finish what Mateo started”. That’s when he assaulted me. Grabbed my hair, tore at my glasses. Screaming nonsense about murder, death, showing someone something. Came after me a few times with full-throttle brutality. Being in better shape it wasn’t hard to evade the brunt of his attack, push him off. I left soon after.

Sure. All of this is just one man’s experience. But ...

It’s your vacation.

If there is even one chance in a hundred that you’d be staying with, paying, a psychotic proprietor who lies, discriminates, resorts to violence against guests - would you take it?

Should you?

Do you have kids? Someone you love?

If so don’t take them to The Coconut. Don’t risk it. Don’t go there yourself. Canoa’s got plenty of other hotels.

12 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,483 posts
101 reviews
1. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

I wonder why you didn't avail yourself of all the other hotel choices much sooner if conditions were so bad.

Bogota Colombia
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
2. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

You can overlook alot if the price is right but car bombs and physical violence pretty much outweigh everything else. I was there and can attest to most of this. This particular owner needs to go. Hes a great host and a great cook, but you cant have this kind of behavior in the hospitality industry.

Montanita, Ecuador
Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
3. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

I believe that he did. Once something happened that was a "deal breaker" and not just an annoyance, he left. He clearly says that the fight happened on his 'last night', as in he was not there the next night.

Canoa, Manabi...
Level Contributor
1 post
11 reviews
4. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

haha this is a great comment by a GREAT writer no doubt, very entertaining. Said guest in question enjoyed a stay at the hotel for quite some period of time and departed some days after the "fire" and returned on his own accord , perhaps because he truly enjoyed his stay ? Perhaps it was the discounted room and cervezas that he could not get anywhere else in canoa ? Hard to say. ...lucky for him he was in such superior physical condition or he may have sustained true injury . Sounds like only his pride was damaged. The Coconut is located a long way from my home , and i think that maybe people dont consider their actions to be held accountable . As an adult u take responsibility for yourself , much more so abroad than when at home . The staff at the Coconut would love to prove this comment false . The day after the fire we had a 5 yr old move in with his parents for a month. Great times , he caught some of his first waves and discovered a nest of hatching baby turtles right out front , on our beach ! Im sure his parents would recommend the Coconut as a great experience, and the owners quite delightful, helpful and kind .

Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

Stayed for 3 weeks last year. My husband and I (60) ish thoroughly enjoy the owners and , the wonderful young travelers. We never witnessed anything inappropriate. Yes they are young and like to enjoy themselves but are honest, helpful , great cooks. Have the best sunsets beaches and always lots of good advice on where to go and what to do. Their community loves them and they do not want their reputation thrown in the mud. One disgruntled guest(?) does not break such a great place.

Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador


I just checked out of the Coconut. It is about a 20 minute walk south on the beautiful Canoa beach. I chose the Coconut because of the beach and the surf, but did not want to be in the youth-hang-out sceen (I am 66 years old from Chicago). The owner Zack was an excellent host, and full of information about the area. He is something of a community leader amongst the local hotel owners.

I cannot imagine what CR (above) is ranting about. There is no better value for your dollar in the area ... Enjoy.

Robert Duke

Level Contributor
13 posts
288 reviews
7. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

What are the rates like at the Coconut? (1 couple) We will be there this summer.

Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
8. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

Sounds suspicious

My husband a d I stayed there last year for 3 weeks and did not see any of that kind of nonsense. Host has great reputation there but does not put up with BS. Me think that's what this is

Nelson, British...
1 post
9. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

Wow! How could such a creature perpetuate such a story? I have stayed at the coconut for a month and had an amazing experience :) Being close friends with the owner, I know that Zack, although larger than most, is a teddy bear! He does not have a violent bone in his body. He is loved by many friends in multiple communities in Canada, as well as the community of Canoa. He is not racist in any way, shape or form. In fact he is very good friends with the AMERICAN owner of the Surf Shak in Canoa. He is a lover sending good vibes and smiles all around. In the 8 years I have known him I have never even heard him raise his voice in a negative tone. He is a kind, very generous and fun lovin character who helps MANY friends and employs MANY people in MANY communities. And is very tolerant of many people or in this case, creatures.. This story is clearly slandering in attempt to gain some sort of self pride after what I’m guessing, to me, sounds like an evicted tenant unwilling to leave. If you read between the lines, my guess would be that this strange “fire” was set by the same deranged individual who would fabricate such an awfully unpleasant story. Great narrative however, I’ll give you that. Clearly not just a fabrication, but a straight up lie considering the fact that Zack would never attack anyone, ever, period. End of Story. Just high fives and hugs from that Big Bear! <3


10. Re: The Coconut Hotel in Canoa Ecuador

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