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“best B&B, and best COFFEE”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Nanton, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“best B&B, and best COFFEE”
Reviewed November 19, 2011

There were many BEST on our one month trip through Ecuador. Two are reserved for Semilla Verde: best B&B and best coffee.Semilla Verde is a B&B in a coffee plantation, it is just 15 min. outside Puerto Ayora with sweeping views over the treetops to the ocean, no other buildings in sight. We would wake up to the sounds of birds, take an early morning stroll through the plantation where we spotted many unusual plants, birds and oh wonder giant turtels, one morning three. Then after admiring the coffee plants we had that amazing coffee freshly roasted for breakfast. What a treat!
During the day we did our own exploring or went on a tour organized by Robert our host who with his british humour made us feel at home. In the evening a delicious meal prepared by Daysi, Roberts wife awaited us. Then it was stargazing on the patio till our eyes could not stay open any longer. Have you ever seen the southern cross? Wonderful!
This from three seasoned senior travelers.

Room Tip: mainfloor bedroom with large balcony, incredible view
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank efatzergarcia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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419 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2011

I very much enjoyed my stay at Semilla Verde. The room as large, with a nice view, and spotlessly clean. There were also 4 or 5 Galapagos tortoises, roaming there way around and through the property to remind you that you really are in an exotic place.

For me, however, what separates a good place to stay from a great place to stay is the quality of the service. I encountered an unexpected situation - I lost my wallet on the bus - and Robert and his staff went out of there way to help me out. Robert made a series of calls on my behalf, and his staff member tracked down the person sitting next to me on the bus. In the meantime, he loaned me the cash I would need for my trip. After I returned home, my wallet was recovered, and Robert took the time to pick it up from the person in town who recovered it.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NYC001Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Semilla Verde in June of 2011. There isn't much to add that hasn't already been said in the many glowing reviews that precede this one. The property is beautiful and tranquil, and it compliments its natural surroundings in the highlands. While the location is rural, getting to and from the bars, restaurants and shops of Puerto Ayora was simple enough. We stayed in Room 1, which was comfortable, clean, had stunning views, and we very much appreciated the modern amenities (e.g., hot water, Wi-Fi). Robert, a naturalist and conservationist, is a terrific host whose knowledge and passion for the Galapagos are infectious. We greatly enjoyed and recommend his personal guided tours of various sites around Santa Cruz Island. We also enjoyed and recommend Daysi's delicious meals (in addition to breakfast), which featured local and traditional ingredients. Overall, we had a wonderful stay and it's no surprise that Semilla Verde is a top pick.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DC_Excursionist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 29, 2011

My wife and I were fortunate enough to spend four nights at Semilla Verde.

Literally from the moment we picked up our luggage at the airport, we were completely taken care of.

There are likely no other native English speakers, who own and run a bed and breakfast in the Galapagos other than Robert. My Spanish is abysmal. His is fluent, and it must be said that he helped out of a few jams that we had bungled our way into (eg: leaving rented snorkel equipment in the back of a cab.)

When we arrived at Semilla Verde, we were greeted by Robert and his staff. Immediately, we were shown around the grounds, given delicious fresh squeezed juice and were made to feel right at home. Since it was early enough in the afternoon, we were also given lunch. This was the first of two amazing meals that we had at Semilla Verde. My wife is generally vegan, and the staff at Semilla Verde went to great lengths to ensure that we had soy milk and other dietary supplements.

Later that day, Robert took us out to show us Los Gemelos in Santa Cruz. As a former naturalist guide. Robert is extremely knowledgable about the plants and animals on the island.

That evening he also took us into town and gave us recommendations on everything from where to get our snorkel equipment to where to eat. His recommendations were always spot on. He certainly has local knowledge.

We asked Robert to help in organizing all of our day trips with local boats and tour companies in the area. He did a wonderful job planning, and we went out on alot of great cruises.

Semilla Verde itself is a wonderful facility situated on sprawling acreage outside of Porto Ayora.

There are three guest rooms on the property in total. We had the run of the home while we were there, and there are even two live giant tortoises that call the backyard home. We were also given really excellent breakfasts every morning including fresh coffee grown right at Semilla Verde.

We really had a wonderful time and cannot recommend the place strongly enough.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jtron3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 23, 2011

We were extremely happy with our stay at Semilla Verde. As a family of 2 adults and 2 children (7 & 3) we were glad not to be in the center of town and in the hinterland away from the busy Puerto Ayora. The house has a beautiful view of the coast, both rooms upstairs and down, we stayed on the same level as our children so they could run between our rooms.

Our hosts Robert and Daysi were very hospitable and welcoming, their 3 year old daughter was delightful and the perfect playmate for our daughter. The property is great for exploring and the resident tortoises were a great nature-fix. The dogs and cat were also a great entertainment for our children and they were very child-friendly. Catching a taxi into town was easy and the cost was graciously covered by our hosts. Robert is a wealth of knowledge for the island and is very forthcoming with advice and information about the island, and can even do a private guided tour.

The staff were all very polite and friendly, communication was a little difficult for me as I didn't speak Spanish, but smiles and sign language seemed to be enough mostly.

I thoroughly recommend Semilla Verde as relaxing place to stay, it's homely vibe is definitely a plus for families or honeymooners looking for a natural retreat.

Room Tip: Upstairs room has beautiful views and a private hammock on the balcony.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Michelle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Semilla Verde for 7 nights and had a fantastic experience. It is no mistake that this place is ranked as the top B&B in the Galapagos. The best part is that Robert wants to keep improving the guest experience and continually seeks guest feedback on how to make their stay even better, before, during, and after their stay. This attitude and desire to take an already top ranked B&B to an even higher level means guests will no doubt enjoy their stay at Semilla Verde and it will likely remain ranked #1 for the foreseeable future.

We arrived at Semilla Verde after a spending a few days on Isabella (less populated Galapagos Island and thus less food and restaurant choices) and eating virtually the same food at every meal, we were hoping to find more variety on Santa Cruz. We were tired of having white rice and french fries as the only side dishes on the menu and we stay away from artificial and/or over processed food (like white rice), so our dietary wishes are a bit more strict than most people. Robert was happy to oblige our request for some different breakfast items than they normally stock and we were allowed to show Evelyn and Gladis (the friendly housekeeping staff) how to make french toast and pancakes using oatmeal vs. the normal box mix. They were more than willing to adapt the regular menu to meet our requests, which made us very happy. We had dinner at Semilla Verde one night and Robert/Daysi had no problem using one of the grains we suggested and in fact, Robert mentioned that Semilla Verde is happy to cater to guests wishes in order to for them to enjoy the experience more (this is why they will stay #1).

Semilla Verde is situated in the highlands, which allows for a very peaceful and relaxed environment. You won't see all the people from the cruise ships at port roaming the streets or hear the noise from all the activity surrounding the touristy souvenir shops...things my wife and I really appreciated. The property itself is very nice, clean and the rooms are comfortable. They have a good selection of books and movies to enteratain guests as well. We only had one clear night to fully appreciate the night sky (might have had something to do with the season we visited), but it was an amazing view. The walkway around the grounds provided some great proximity of truly wild tortoises in their natural habitat. One thing not mentioned on Semilla Verde's website is that they have an exercise room that guests can use. Don't expect a full gym, but there is a universal machine, elliptical, and bar with a couple plates.

On our way home, we discovered that we left our house keys somewhere in the Galapagos. After a quick email from the plane to Robert, he reponded immediately with confirmation that they were still in the safe at Semilla Verde. Once we got back to the US, Robert emailed me and proposed the idea that another guest there from the US, that we had met, could bring our house keys back and mail them to me once they got home. I agreed and so did they, which made our life a lot easier (thanks a ton Bob and Elaine if you are reading this - someone tossed the envelope with your address before I had a chance to write a real thank you note). Robert offered to pay the shipping even though it was clearly my fault that I forgot what I put in the safe. In an effort to avoid this sitaution for other forgetful travelers, I suggested to Robert that he put in dividers or bags for each room in the safe so when people leave, everything is cleared out whether they remember what they put in there or not. His response was somewhere along the lines of...good idea, we've already implemented it.

If any of our friends or family make it to the Galapagos, we will definitely recommend that they stay at Semilla Verde.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank robert s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgetown, Texas
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

Our 7-day stay at Semilla Verde was wonderfully restful after coming off a strenuous trek in Peru. We heartily agree with all the positive reviews. Robert bends over backwards to see that everything you desire is taken care of (including a sunset our final evening!), and Daysi's dinner was the best meal that we had during our time in Ecuador. Robert arranged day trips for us. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the animals and birds on South Plazas and North Seymour islands and, in particular, the Highlands tour including the giant tortoise reserve. However, we were equally delighted to discover the arrival of two new giant tortoises on the Semilla Verde property. We nicknamed them Roberto and Elena--even though we have no idea of their gender--and we're sure that males do not have to be named Robert to stay at SV (even though they all were). If you enjoy tranquility and nature, you'll love your stay at Semilla Verde.

Elaine & Bob Phillips
Georgetown, TX

Room Tip: Room #1 is beautiful and the largest by far. It has the very best views.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elaine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel

Property: Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Address: Km 12, via a Baltra | Isla Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora 200350, Ecuador (Formerly Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#2 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Semilla Verde is an exceptional hotel with the customs and personality of a traditional guesthouse." We believe your experience in the Galapagos Islands should be as unique and natural as you are. So, here at Semilla Verde we offer you the chance to stay somewhere far removed from your busy life and the standard hotel offering you may be used to. We invite you to step into another world, the original Galapagos, the true and enchanting islands. And, to experience the wonders of a rural forest dwelling and life alongside the unique wildlife you came so far to see. Your stay will be based in an original and idyllic rural retreat where peace, privacy and Galapagos wildlife abounds. You will enjoy one-to-one personal service, traditional home cooking, panoramic views from private terraces and exclusive access to nature trails through twelve acres of private forest where giant tortoises lumber freely and native birds thrive. At night, gaze up into the unspoilt majesty of the milky way. Nine comfortable en-suite bedrooms with AC, WiFi and DVD just 15 minutes taxi ride from Puerto Ayora town, costing just $7 e/w. All in all, an authentic and genuinely friendly and authentic land-base for your Galapagos adventure and an all encompassing alternative or add-on to a traditional cruise ship experience. Semilla Verde works with a local tour agency to offer complete hotel & tour package options too. You will visit outlying islands and local sites with qualified naturalist guides and experience first hand the beauty of Galapagos and it's unique flora and fauna - from giant tortoises and lava lizards to marine iguanas and playful sea lions, from volcanic landscapes to cloud forest. Return to the hotel at the end of an incomparable day and share your travel stories around the main dining table with other guests, whilst enjoying dinner freshly prepared in our kitchen. Indeed we don't work from a fixed menu rather we generally prepare one recipe for the group, but each guest receives a serving according to their individual preferences. The location is secluded but convenient and very safe. There is not another residence within hundreds of meters of this oasis. Semilla Verde remains true to the philosophy on which it originally built for good friends and family, ensuring a level of intimacy, small number of employees offering very personal service and home cooking your will only find in a traditional guesthouse. Semilla Verde comprises two hotel builidings some 100ft apart - the Semilla Verde Lodge (Rooms 1-6) and the Finch Wing (Rooms 7-9). They can work in unison or as separate entities for separate parties. betwen the two there is a fully equipped yoga studio where you can enjoy individual or group practice. Galapagos is famous for it's volcanic landscapes and unique wildlife, but it can also be somewhere for you to rediscover your true and unique nature, somewhere you can feel yourself again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Semilla Verde Galapagos Hotel Puerto Ayora
Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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