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“AMAZING - look no further.”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“AMAZING - look no further.”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

I would like to start by mentioning that this is my first TA review. I have stayed in some great hotels over the years, but unfortunately writing reviews is not something I've previously got round to. Our stay at Semilla Verde was so amazing that I made a promised myself that I would get round to it on this occasion.

Semilla Verde is situated 20 mins outside the coastal town of Puerto Ayora, set on a private hill side estate with stunning views all the way down to the sea. There are nature walks on site that are often visited by tortoises.

Prior to booking, our only reservation was about the isolated location, but I must say this was not a problem. A trip to/from town is included in the price and taxi's are inexpensive should you wish to go more than once.

The owner Robert, lives on site with his family. Semilla Verde is his project, The Galapagos Islands are his passion. He is extremely knowledgeable and his enthusiasm is infectious. He was always on hand to give suggestion and could organise trips at short notice, which was extremely useful. We particularly enjoyed the highlands tour. Diving on the islands is expensive, so if you are on a budget I would suggest going down to town to haggle.

The staff were brilliant! The food is restaurant quality, we particularly enjoyed the cerviche. The rooms are clean, spacious and have on-suite facilities. All the luxuries that you would expect from a hotel, but with a much more personal service.

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in The Galapagos, look no further.

If you read this Rob - thanks for making our honeymoon so enjoyable! We look forward to seeing you again in the future.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlexQuinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
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English first
Durham, NC
1 review
Reviewed June 24, 2012

I have to say that I was totally impressed with Semilla Verde. Robert is a most gracious host and the man is a master at providing for his guest. The grounds and view are out of this world beautiful. There are tortoises on the property as well as lovely wander paths that take you through his orchards of bananas and coffee. I can imagine that some would be cautious about staying so far away from town, but it was not a problem at all. The drive takes just a couple of minutes and Verde is careful to help you make sure you aren't over charged by cabs.

For what you pay, this place is a massive deal. Although judging from all of these glowing reviews the secret might get out.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a view.
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Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Kevin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

I went to Semilla Verde to scout out the location for our groups (yoga and otherwise). I could not have been happier with the location, people, food, layout... with all of it! The Travel Yogi is excited to be in league with such an amazing property.

This was my second trip to the islands (the first being a boat trip) and I can say that I prefer the quiet of the highlands, the cool and mosquito free location and the amazing amazing stars at night (there's no ambient light at all!). The luggage gets taken out of the room once you are unpacked and it really feels a bit like home. The lounge areas are comfortable with an amazing view from the patio and the people... the people are what really make SV someplace special.

Expect to be amazed by the nature, soothed and relaxed by the islands and the highlands and pampered at Semilla Verde. We'll send our groups, take our own families and continue to enjoy the Galapagos for years to come.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

We stayed here for 4 nights five days, it was absolutely fantastic. A great alternative to staying in the village of Puerto Ayora. This spot is very quite, surrounded by nature, an ideal place for the Galapagos. The owners are so welcoming, they can help you plan your trips on before hand, awesome service. Don't think twice, this is where you want to stay!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tuttebel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights on a recent trip to the Galapagos. The house was beautifully decorated with an amazing layout. The other guests were very friendly and the view from my room was fantastic. On a clear night, you can see forever, and because it is far from the city, the stars really shine... and it is all visible from bed! I remember waking up at 3 am and just being in awe.

Robert the host, is very helpful and professional. Emails were returned very promptly, and he made excellent suggestions on tour activities. On my last morning there he made arrangements for a taxi driver to take me to several places on Santa Cruz and then directly to the airport, excellent planning.

I had so much fun I left some of my belongings there, naturally mailing them back to be was not a problem. I would likely stay there again if I find myself back in the Galapagos some day.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jay D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
124 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2012

Semilla Verde is not your typical Galapagos hotel. While most hotels are by the ocean, Semilla Verde offers a very pleasant alternative in the highlands of the island of Santa Cruz, about 10 mins taxi ride away from downtown Puerto Ayora. We found the highlands to be very relaxing and the weather was way cooler than by the sea.
Semilla Verde offers 5 star treatment with a homey feeling: it's a massive property but with just enough rooms. It never gets too busy and gives a certain sense of exclusivity. At the same time, the personalized treatment that comes from the fact of this being a family owned guesthouse makes you feel truly welcome.
The rooms at Semilla Verde are spacious, receive a lot of natural light, have their own terrace with seats (the upper room with a hammock even) and have a really solid bed. Bathrooms are practical and complete, and all bedrooms have a huge TV screen and DVD player - the house has a selection of movies and documentaries about the Galapagos. There are 2 living rooms where you can relax, hang out and read books about Galapagos as well. Alternative, hang out in the terrace where you have a swing and offers an impressive view all the way to the sea and even Floreana Island on clear days!
The open kitchen is very well equipped: they serve breakfast and others meals upon request but you can also use the kitchen to prepare your own food if you'd like to. We had lunch once, typical Ecuadorian chicken grill with lentils, rice and salad and it was cooked home-made style and really tasty.
Breakfast is healthy and fulfilling, including different options every day, such as cereal, bread/croissants with butter and spreads, milk, yogurt, fresh fruit salad, fresh fruit juices and bacon and eggs cooked to order. Try the coffee as it is grown right in this property (also available for sale - we got a bag!).
Apart from all of the above making a very comfortable stay, it's a good idea to stay at Semilla Verde while exploring the highlands: from here you can easily go to The Twins, the Tunels and see giant tortoises in the Semilla Verde garden's itself! We were there on what is considered the low season to spot tortoises, and still we managed to see one right by our bedroom's terrace. This huge property has holes in the gating, so that tortoises can roam around freely, as this is their natural environment!
The owner of Semilla Verde, Robert, is a naturalist guide with many years of experience in the Galapagos. He will give you insightful info and help you book your entire Galapagos stay if you wish to, with their service of custom trip design: they can arrange both cruise ships and land based tours.
Highly recommended place!

Room Tip: If you are visiting on a special occasion, go for the top floor room: the view in incredible and the...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank zararock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset West, South Africa
Level Contributor
208 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012

Robert and Daysi could not have been more welcoming. The highlands location was great and Robert's organisation of all our day tours was spot on. The house is immaculate, the rooms were beautiful and we felt like we were at home. A great ambassador for the Galapagos.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ethnee H
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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