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“Amazing!”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

The place to stay in the Galapagos, in the uplands away from the heat and mosquitoes. Beautiful views all the way to the coast. Excellent walking trails on property for viewing the giant tortoises. Close enough to town and National Park to take in all that Galapagos has to offer. The yoga studio was fantastic naturally lit by the morning sun and a view of the tortoise pond. Every meal was a culinary delight. The proprietor Robert and his wife Daisy were excellent hosts. The tours were all top notch and we were picked up and delivered back to the lodge making everything so easy. It was an amazing week!

Room Tip: We had the Forest View room and loved it, comfortable beds and one of the better views. It had the e...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank RogerNeal
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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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
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The yoga studio is beautiful and it is such a treat to look out and see a giant tortoise grazing. The host Robert is a naturalist guide and very knowledgeable and passionate about the Galapagos. After a week I feel like family.

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank peacefull_warrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013

At the recommendation of friends who stayed at Semilla Verde three years ago, we spent the first week of February at the guest house. Our friends did not undersell what a wonderful experience this was. Robert does a fantastic job setting up the tours, and his Highlands tour is really memorable. From the delicious meals to the friendly staff (shout out to Evelyn and Gladys) to the tranquil location, it was a delight. Everything was taken care of and we could just relax and enjoy the Galapagos. Thanks Robert and Daysi!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ryanandsara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
116 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

What a wonderful place to stay. When we were there in early December, we had the entire place to ourselves and it was wonderful. Robert and Daisy, always around if you need them, but never intruding, were the perfect hosts. They have truly turned this oasis into a sanctuary. It is in the enchanted forest up in the mountains, so the weather is nice and cool. I loved it. The serene feeling I had of sitting on the deck with fresh brewed Galapagos coffee made right there on the coffee plantation with Galapagos Tortoises wandering around in front of you is about as good as it gets. Evelin, their housekeeper, makes incredibly delicious breakfasts and was so sweet and accommodating at all times. The place is made entirely of wood and is nicely decorated. There is tons of trails to walk around on. The place is totally kid-friendly, which we always appreciate. You are entirely away from all of the hustle and bustle of the city, but only a 10 minute cab ride away. We spent a lovely week here.

Room Tip: Top bedroom is as good as it gets!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

As I told Robert when we arrived, we put all our vacation/travel eggs in his one basket based on Trip Advisor, and either it would be fabulous or we would find a man very good at writing positive reviews under various pseudonyms. It was fabulous. I won't reiterate the superlatives of previous reviews, other than to say you can believe them all. Instead, I'll focus on some helpful hints for when you're there.

We employed Robert's expertise to plan our week's stay and travels, and it worked out very well. If you are limited in time, the best day trip by far is to North Seymour Island: beautiful snorkeling, interesting animals/birds to see, and a unique and wonderful experience on a white-sand beach filled with endearing sea lions.

As for dining, we enjoyed Il Giardino immensely - all three times we went! We tried Isla Grill and felt like we were at a Friday's or such. For our family with two teenagers, it was nice to go into town for some liveliness, and then come back to the peace and quiet of Semilla Verde. Even someone my brother knows offered that we could have stayed at her guest house in Puerto Ayora, but was quick to say it gets really noisy there. No problem with noise at SV.

As for Robert as a host and guide, he was terrific. I think his last name is a misnomer, as he is the opposite of Grim and stone. More like Happyflow than Grimstone, he. His positive energy is a pleasure.

Bring good sun protection, an adapter for your chargers, no bug spray needed when we were there (February). Some granola bars might have been nice for when we were out and about. We were glad to have brought our own snorkel equipment, but I was the only one of us who consistently used a wetsuit (the water was warm enough for the others). One of us used the wetsuit for sun protection after her swim shirt left a 2-inch band of sunburn from riding up as she snorkeled.

A trip here is a terrific experience, especially for families. Thanks to Robert and crew for a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: We had rooms 1 and 2, and they were lovely.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank wonworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

My husband and I are currently serving volunteers in the Peace Corps. Since we live and work in coastal Ecuador and can enjoy the beach any day we want, we took the opportunity to visit the Galápagos on our first vacation, which coincided with our one year anniversary in Ecuador.

We could not have asked for a nicer more relaxing place to celebrate than Semilla Verde!

Rob was an excellent host and I would highly recommend SV to anyone visiting Isla Santa Cruz. For us, having the lodge situated outside of Puerto Ayora was ideal as we were looking for a quiet and relaxing location to enjoy with friends. We ate out at several of the restaurants in town, some of them attached to hotels, and I honestly didn't see any other place that came close to being as nice. While we traveled with two friends visiting from the States, we also made friends with other guests - an unexpected benefit.

I am trying not to repeat what other visitors have said but I agree with other posters about the tours that Rob arranged. We very much appreciated the high level of service when we moved on to Isla Isabela and experienced the difference with two other tour operators, both of which paled in comparison. It speaks volumes that upon hearing a few suggestions for improvement on our first day's tour, Rob personally spoke with the tour operators to ensure that the next day there would be a few changes, which is exactly what happened.

It is important to have an advocate and that is what we found in Rob. It's obvious that he cares about his guests and that he wants each and every visitor to have a wonderful experience. When we asked what we should do with the second half of our trip, instead of convincing us to spend more time and money at his own lodge, he suggested we go to Isabela and gave advice I believe he would have given to any of his friends or family members. That's what it means to stay at Semilla Verde.

The food at SV was some of the best we've had in country. While the price tag was a bit steep, we may have been better served by eating more meals at the lodge than we did. We found food in Puerto Ayora to be generally over-priced and disappointing. Rob was even nice enough to allow us to use the kitchen to cook dinner with our friends on our last night, a rare treat and a gesture I can't imagine another owner making.

So, if you're looking for a home away from home on Isla Santa Cruz, look no further - Semilla Verde is it!

Room Tip: We enjoyed room 4 on the lower level - very private, quiet, and nice balcony view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BKLYNbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berthoud, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Semilla Verde accommodations were top notch. Robert and Daysi are first rate, professional hosts. Robert made all our tour arrangements. Everything went as planned. The breakfast his staff provide was nothing short of excellent as was the dinner Daysi prepared on our last night. The property was well maintained and the rooms were immaculate.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank BillDombrowski
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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