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Reviewed January 17, 2008

Decided to a land based Galapagos trip over Christmas to shorten trip from a lengthy cruise. I have always had good experiences with members of Leading Hotels of the World, and this was no exception.

Upon arrival at the airport, the hotel greets you and leads you to the only air conditioned room at the airport while the staff handles all the entry requirements for you.

The hotel grounds are beautiful and relaxing. The rooms were nicely appointed. I found the service to be great. The staff truly went out of its way to help you.

I have seen some negative posts on this site regarding language barriers. I speak Spanish, but only did so when necessary. The reception and room service staff all speak perfect English.

I enjoyed the boat tours set up by the hotel, as well as spending time in Puerto Ayora. The hotel was a good experience.

Date of stay: December 2007
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1  Thank GatorFTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2007

Overall the hotel is a superb retreat, although there are some imperfections.

The hotel is located in the mountains about 20 minutes from town. It is in a truly special location where the tortoises graze.

The hotel has the feel of a retreat - quiet and remote.

We stayed in a villa. It was outstanding in terms of comfort and amenities.

The service is also wonderful.

I would definitely go back.

Due to the high price of the rooms - the villa is $575 plus tax - the imperfections stand out more than they would in a more reasonably priced hotel,

The food is OK, mediocre or less. The chef seems to do a poor job - tough meat, tired veggies and fruit, repetitive menu, no whole wheat bread, no consideration at all for healthy eating. Birds peck away at the morning buffet.

There really is no gym at all, although the website claims there is. Just a tired universal machine in poor repair. The steam room and sauna don't get hot and are dirty.

Despite the food and the gym, the location, service and quality of the rooms make up for the detriments.

Date of stay: November 2007
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3  Thank jimKelowna_bc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2007

We stayed at the Royal Palms as part of a small (14 people) tour group and this may explain our very different experience from that of the majority of reviewers. The physical facility is excellent - no complaints at all. On the other hand the food left much to be desired. A buffet breakfast was simply terrible- cold runny scrambled eggs, cold pancakes, cold bacon. Dinner though better was mediocre at best. The restaurant staff was indifferent and not at all helpful. Too bad - with its wonderful physical plant this should be a dream hotel - for us it was not.

Date of stay: August 2007
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12  Thank SJayinCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2007

What an incredible place. Our villa was just lovely with wonderful views and a really comfortable bed. The trips the staff arranged for us were just fantastic. We've been all over the world, but nothing compares to snorkeling with seals or seeing the blue footed boobies.

The resort was so relaxing after a day at sea. The breakfasts were wonderful as were the dinners. The staff was lovely and everyone we met spoke English...although my husband did enjoy trying to hold a conversation using high school Spanish.

I can't imagine how anyone could find fault with the Royal Palms, but yet I do realize that some people truly find fault everywhere they look, except when they look in the mirror. What a shame!

Date of stay: June 2007
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7  Thank DaisyM03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2007

I stayed here for Four Nights and Five Days in March, 2007. My family of six stayed in a luxury villa, the Presidential suite, and a standard room with a single king size bed (two people per room).

The foood was the biggest problem. The food was absolutely nightmarishly bad. I have never tasted such bad food in my life, much less for the outrageous prices they charged. And it's really difficult to drive about 25 minutes into town just to go to dinner or lunch every day. The breakfast is mildly okay, but even that is lacking (how can you mess up breakfast?!?!).

The entire family agreed: this was some of the worst food we'd ever eatten. Even if the food had been $5 instead of $35 for dinner, it was still awful. I would rather eat traditional beans, rice and chicken in town for $3 than eat the crap they served at their supposedly gourmet restaurant.

The poor staff is over-worked and under-paid. The service is atrocious at the restaurant and everywhere else. I can't really blame the staff. Since I speak excellent Spanish, i talked to the staff a lot. They work 11 hour days seven days a week. Every few weeks, they get ONE day off. It's disgusting how this resort treats their staff. Totally repulsive.

Most of the staff does not speak English which is a HUGE problem. Ordering beer from room service or getting Pringles for the mini bar turned into ten-minute long tasks because no one understood English.

Now, I speak very good Spanish. However, the rest of my family did not. Therefore, i was responsible for dealing with the staff in all capacities for ALL needs. This got to be exhausting. So much for a vacation!

I also stayed in the standard room with my girlfriend. The jet tub did not work. The design of the bathroom was catastrophically bad (resulting in a totally wet bathroom after a shower due to a lack of a shower curtain. The shower head was only a little trickle.

They were good at frequently cleaning the room (turn down service was good at that in addition to the usual once-daily cleaning service).

Do not go horseback riding through the hotel. The horses are tiny, under-fed, and cranky (because they're basically starving).

In conclusion, I would have rather stayed ANYWHERE but here. It's so isolated from the rest of the island, too, that it makes it a real effort to get away. The pool is small, the service is awful, the food is horrific.

Date of stay: June 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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15  Thank claired13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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