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“Not perfect - but close”
Review of La Casa de Marita

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La Casa de Marita
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Certificate of Excellence
Wiltshire
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Not perfect - but close”
Reviewed September 5, 2011

Some people do moan on these reviews so here is my honest review; Location - beautiful; on the beach - we had a little sealion play in the sea with us yards from our room (it played with us not the other way round - you should never touch/approach the wildlife!), marine iguanas on the rocks, it's 5 minutes from town and a 5 minute walk from the port. Service is good, food was good. Room was spacious. I did get the feeling that they were trying to fill the role of a fancy hotel when it would really work better as a boutique B&B but it still worked. Room was clean and fresh - we were in Blanca. Not a great wifi signal in the room; maybe because there it was not in the main building. Also remember to take plenty of cash to the island as we found no way of getting more the weekend we were there and although we could pay the room on a creditcard we had to ration ourselves with meals etc elsewhere! Not the hotel's fault though. Overall very nice a worth visiting the island to compare with the more bustling Santa Cruz.

Room Tip: Only saw Blanca and was nice although I suspect the rooms slightly higher with the private balconies...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank charlie_hobbes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Denver, CO
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2011

Stayed here for three days in early August 2011. We chose the cheapest room across the street from the main hotel, but it was clean and had suitable amenities (fridge, mini - stove, AC). It was called the Rainbow room, my only complaint is the bathroom had a sliding glass door that didn't work very well and the shower was luke warm instead of hot. The best reason to stay here is the service and the food. Breakfast buffet included is excellent and the hotel staff were super helpful and accommodating. If you have the money splurge for a suite with an ocean view. Definitely worth the money and reasonable prices for standard rooms. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carrie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2011

The location of La Casa de Marita was great, lovely beach and surroundings. The only problem is the hotel is not as good as what we thought. The staff were friendly enough and helpful, it was just the room. We stayed for 3 nights and we paid for a standard double room with en-suite costing $92 a night plus tax. The room we got put in was called Luna which means moon. We got greeted at the reception with a drink and information about the hotel, breakfast times etc. Then we got taken to our room up some stairs. When we got in we were shocked to see how dirty the room was and what looked like insect/gecko poo on most surfaces. All on the desk and bedside tables, on the bed head board and on the walls. The bathroom wasn't that great either with mould in the toothbrush holder and around the taps. Also the shower door was broken. When we drew the curtains to get changed the curtain pole broke and fell down leaving the room visible to other hotel guests. The bed sheets were also stained in places with what looked like old blood, but we were unsure of what it was. We were not happy at all so at 9pm at night we phoned the reception saying that we could not sleep in this bedroom as it was very dirty and not worth the $92 a night plus tax. The lady at reception said that we could not change rooms until the next day. We then phoned another 4 times pleading that we can not stay in this bedroom as it was so bad. After an hour of trying the lady eventually said we could choose from 2 other rooms. We then had a look and chose another better room which was cleaner and far better. This was also a standard room and we could not understand how much different they were. The next day the hotel manger, Marita, came to speak to us asking why we were upset and what was wrong with the room. We explained and she said it was not insect/gecko poo and that it was varnish. (That when they varnish the floors it flakes up when people walk on it and sticks to the walls and surfaces) we felt this was an odd comment as how can varnish flick up and remelt on to the surfaces??? strange! Any way we said that we were happier with the new room.

We also had dinner in the hotel restaurant on the first night and my husband saw a rat in the dinning area. We spoke to the girl at reception and informed her to say it is not hygienic as the kitchen is near the dinning room and guests also eat there. She laughed and looked confused. The breakfast was ok, a buffet style of toast, eggs, ham, cereals, fruit, yoghurts, although we were unsure if we really wanted to eat it with a rat lerking around.

If you are thinking of booking here please think twice and hope you don't get the Luna room if you have a choice, and don't go for a standard double. I found this hotel very disappointing.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LaraWoodall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benfleet, Essex
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2011

Located on the beach on the eastern edge of town, the hotel provides facilities for those wishing to lounge around, as well as a base for undertaking more strenuous activities. Rooms are individually decorated and extremely spacious with facilities to entertain friends. Buffet breakfast provided a welcome range of fruits, breads, eggs, meats and cakes. Staff were welcoming, cheerful and helpful. Internet access is available. On the day of leaving, at 5.30 a.m. for the boat to Santa Cruz, a breakfast was provided in the room. Although its a bit of a splurge compared to mainland Ecuador, the price of the room is good value for what is provided

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank prujim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2011

Customer Service to make your arrival as easy and pleasant as possible:
We asked Marita, which she booked for us, transportation from the airport on Baltra, by boat. She wrote in response to my email that they would make the reservation for us for the arrival but the departure "you can do it by your self," which I found odd, but accepted. This should have sounded the Customer Service alert in my head, but I ignored it. Since she gave me no other information, I had to follow up with yet another email to ask how we would find the boat, and she told us to "find the Transmrtisa (which was misspelled but eventually found someone who had heard of it at the airport) office and tell them the reservation was made in the name of the Casa de Marita," which led me to believe that they were handling the passage to the island. This was all the information she shared, so we incorrectly assumed the office was at the airport. No one was at the airport to meet us. No one ever alerted us to the fact that we must ride a bus from the airport, much less which bus we would need to take. After over thirty minutes wandering around asking people where the office was (and no, it is not at the airport, where you might think) I found someone in the tourism industry who spoke English--who could not believe we didn't have someone meeting us- and who found someone else -who could not believe we were not given any details and did not have someone meeting us-who had actually heard of this company. The bus we should have boarded had we known about it, had left. This person asked yet another person to please let us board their bus (for another airline but going to the docks, where we needed to go, they explained.) After we arrived at the dock on Santa Cruz, they spoke to the taxi driver in Spanish to tell him where the Transmartisa office was located. I wish we had gotten the names (one was Anna Marie, I believe) of the people who helped us so we could have written a letter of thanks and recommendation to their company, but they were very busy and we felt lucky to have someone guiding us for a change so tried to stay out of the way. Once there, it was not clear whether Casa de Marita had paid for our passage or not. At one point, it appeared so, then the people at the Transmartisa office called and were told no, so we paid. Again - another detail never addressed in the information supplied us by Casa de Marita, so who knows whether that was true. We arrived after a very rough two hour ride to Isabela, where, surprise, surprise, no one was there to meet us. An "official looking" man approached us and asked who was meeting us-- I'm guessing by now that after five different people asking this question, that it is not common for someone to have that little assistance. I understand about no one meeting us in Santa Cruz but our hotel (which booked passage) possibly sharing the information enabling us to arrive on Isabela would have been lovely. As it was, it was like a scavenger hunt looking for clues in a different language.

Upon our arrival in the courtyard at the hotel--we were struggling with our luggage with no free hands and could not figure out what door in which building to enter. A woman on a bicycle pointed at a door, and told us to enter there. She never got off her bicycle, much less offering to open the door or to help us (or to find someone to help us) with our luggage. This woman, we would find out in a few moments, was our most hospitable hostess, Marita.

We were read a list of rules we were to follow--one of which was if we wanted room service, we needed to call one hour in advance and it would be an additional 20%. What we didn't know until later was that the dining room was open for very small windows of time at particular times, which we found out our first morning there when we tried to eat breakfast at (gasp) 9:30! We were given seriously dirty looks when a woman from the kitchen found us putting leftover cold meet and crusty cheese on plates which were on the "buffet" and told that breakfast was over... No offer to get us something or ask if we wanted room service - just cold words, a nasty stare and no service. Our last night there, we were hoping to eat dinner there since we had not been able to eat in the dining room our entire visit. I asked the hours of service and Marita told me it would be "around 7:30." Around? Okay... and how long is dinner service in the dining room? "Until about 8:30 or 8:45." Flexibility is key in good customer service, by the way. Speaking of which, thank goodness we had another leg of our trip. Despite booking this and explaining this was our honeymoon, we did not get a "Congratulations" much less the customary flowers and/or champagne that much less expensive but customer oriented inns and hotels customarily offer.

Ordering cocktails took between five and fifteen minutes (and no, they weren't backed up.) Tours are pushed, I think throughout the island, to be fair, but the idea that we wanted to explore on our own seemed inconceivable. This was the one bright spot of our visit here, however. Discovering and exploring on our own was so enjoyable--it's a shame there is not more information offered and encouraged to do so but I believe it is a commission based issue between hotels and tour companies, and not just here.

Patricia was a rose among the thorns, however. If she could work on her English, she could seriously impact the customer service quotient here. She was very kind and tried her best to assist us.

Checking out took almost two hours and when they finally had our bill ready, they miscalculated and charged the wrong amount. Since they had just charged a large amount on my card however, the safety feature on their machine(someone on the island explained this feature, which is a good one) would not permit another immediate charge to be processed, so they tried (as I found out when I was finally able to get in touch with my bank) another 7 times, freezing my account with my bank since they believed it to be stolen. Who does that? 7 times? Couldn't use my card for days after that, so that was rather annoying, in addition to the fact we spent almost two hours of our last night there trying to check out since the "front desk" is not open that early regardless of the fact that all boats leave the island at 6:00am. (Here's a thought--what about a basket of bread or fruit for your departing guests who will not be able to eat breakfast and have a two hour boat ride ahead of them?)

The location is optimal and is definitely the best thing this place has going for it. We did have a pretty view since we were appropriately staying in "the honeymoon suite." Our room was clean other than some unidentifiable droppings or shavings on the chair near the bed when we checked in, which was a little surprising since it was so obvious, but that is minor. Also, our sheets had a sour or musty smell like perhaps they had not dried all the way--again we did not mention this since we didn't notice it initially. However, when guests are expected, especially when the exact time of their arrival is known, as ours was, wouldn't it be a nice gesture to have the air conditioning on so the room would be pleasant upon their arrival? Not to mention once the guests have arrived, who goes into a room and turns off the air while they are out? I've never stayed anywhere that allowed housekeeping to turn off or adjust the temperature the guests who are paying for the use of the room had set. Every day we returned to a miserably hot room. It was almost like we were staying in someone's home who didn't approve of us using the air conditioning, but in this case--for which we were paying to use. We had a problem with ants in the bathroom, but did not report it since it came and went and was not a major issue.

All in all, the reason that the rating for this place is so high is because they have little if any legitimate competition and an excellent location. It's a shame that the management attitude here appears to be that their guests are lucky to be here and better abide by the rules, instead of being grateful for and accommodating those guests. As for the "This is the Galapagos" mentality, I beg to differ. We stayed at other hotels in the islands and were delighted with the customer service. It's not rocket science-just common sense and good manners. Marita's casa could be making money and memories (for their guests) hand over foot instead of excuses which will surely follow this review.

Room Tip: The views from the suites overlooking ocean make the rates bearable. Can't recommend other room...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boxford, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2011

La Casa de Marita has a lovely location directly on a quiet beach. The veranda with its comfy chairs, lounges, and hammocks was a wonderful place to relax and unwind after adventuring.
The restaurant has gorgeous views and nice breezes being located above the lobby.
Our room was adequate, but needed a few repairs.
The staff was very helpful and pleasant.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BarbWas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2011

This is a family owned hotel - Marita is the owner. The rooms are big but the views are better. You can get a room looking right over the water. The staff is incredibly helpful. They can help you to arrange day trips which are very reasonably priced. The food in the restaurant is delicious - try the fish. There are hammocks to read a book in or you can use their wi-fi and contact your friends and make them envious that you're in the Galapagos. You can't go wrong with this hotel. We'll probably never make it back to the Galapagos but if we do La Casa de Marita is where we will stay.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank donaldjohn4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Casa de Marita

Property: La Casa de Marita
Address: Conocarpus S/N, Puerto Villamil 200250, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Villamil
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Casa de Marita 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marita’s house is a first class hotel in which you can enjoy the natural charms of Isabela Island, because it is located on the white sands of Puerto Villamil, offering an incomparable view of the colorful beaches of Galapagos Islands. Marita’s house combines harmonically the standards of the best quality hotels with a cozy familiar, hospitality to offer a pleasant and comfortable stay. Quality and warmth characterizes the services of lodging, restaurant and recreation that Marita’s house offers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Casa De Marita Hotel Puerto Villamil
La Casa De Marita Galapagos Islands/Isabela, Ecuador

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