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“Amazing land-based tour in the Galapagos”

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Red Mangrove Ecoluxury Hotel
Ranked #8 of 21 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We did the 5 day Darwin short triangle through the Red Mangrove lodges. It was a fantastic trip. I have only praise for the program. We stayed in Red Mangrove lodges on Santa Cruz, Floreanna and Isabella. The lodges are all excellent, our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and we saw incredible sights. They arrange everything, move your luggage to each island, arrange all transfers etc. I only wish we could have stayed longer in the islands. If you are like me and are choosing a land-based option due to seasickness on a boat, beware that the small boats that you will need to take in between the islands can also be a problem, they will offer pills before the boat rides: take them! But it is totally worth visiting the Galapagos Islands, truly amazing place.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sherdave5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 - 322 of 673 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2012

Our family just returned from our trip here (we stayed at both the Aventura Lodge and their lodge on Isabela Island). My husband and I and our daughters had an amazing time experiencing the wonders of the Galapagos. Truthfully, I didn't know what to expect since my husband planned the trip (and ended up packing the wrong kind of clothes). After a long day and a half of travel to get to the Red Mangrove, it was wonderful to be greeted with cool drinks and friendly service.

We had two rooms, and they were spacious and clean. You do have to get used to the "no toilet paper in the toilet" thing, but that is a minor inconvenience. I like that our room was equipped with a dehumidifier, which provided white noise for me to be able to fall asleep easily. The hotel (not sure if that is the right word, since it implies a more mass-produced experience) is small and cozy, and the staff knows when you are arriving from your expeditions because they always greet you with the appropriate drinks (hot cocoa for when you come back from snorkeling or cold drinks when you come back from hiking). We had the all inclusive package which included our rooms, meals, and excursions.

Our tour guide Jorge was excellent. He was amazingly knowledgeable, and was extremely professional, prompt, and helpful. You can tell he loves his job and takes pride in the beauty of the Galapagos. I saw other tour guides (not from Red Mangrove) take their people snorkeling and stand on the sidelines, but Jorge was always the first to jump in, and guide us to ensure great sightings. Rather than just going through the motions, he wanted to make sure we were awestruck.

The people that were associated with the Red Mangrove tours were excellent. The fisherman that worked with Jorge was top notch, he knew how to expertly maneuver his boat through waves and find the secret spots to see fish and sharks, which thrilled my kids. Again, I saw other tourists crammed on tiny boats (with no roof or bathrooms) and was glad that we were with Red Mangrove. There were other boats that couldn't get there boats where we were because of the waves, but our fisherman was quite the expert. He actually jumped in the water and led us on our snorkeling trip, taking great trouble to try to find everything!

The drivers who took us to the dock, the airport, the excursions were always prompt and very helpful. From the moment we were greeted by a friendly representative from Red Mangrove at the airport, to the time we had to depart and were escorted back to the airport - our luggage was taken care of (over ferry rides and shuttle buses). That was such a nice relief to not worry about.

The food was very good. I saw earlier reviews where people weren't so thrilled with it, but my family found the food to be exacty what we liked. Everything was fresh and tasty, and there was a nice variety. (Lots of rice and bean dishes, and sushi, vegetarian dishes, and some fish and meat selections). I felt it was very healthy fare. The fruit juices were the BEST! Fresh squeezed juices (usually two different kinds) were always at meals, and they were delicious. While you could opt for soft drinks, we thought the juices were so good we didn't drink soda the entire time we were there (a week stay).

One of our excursions included a stop a Campo Duro, which was beautiful. Lunch was outstanding there. I also loved the trips to the tortoise breeding stations and the Darwin center.

Our family enjoyed the hiking trip, as well as the kayaking. I think you have to be in reasonably good shape to enjoy these excursions, but if you are not, you have the option to turn back early on the hike with another guide, or have your kayak tied to the guides kayak to help you along.

The hotel is right on the water, and although there isn't much of a beach on this one (as opposed to the one on Isabela Island) you still get a nice view of the water (and the sea lions that snooze on the deck)

It is so nice to experience the hospitality and genuine care from a small operation like this, which would certainly not be the same if it were a big chain hotel. Kudos to the management at Red Mangrove for taking such care to provide great service. It makes such a difference to the travel experience!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank travelingfivefamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

My wife and I arrived in the Galapagos islands and stayed our first night in an inexpensive guest house. We had planned on scheduling tours on our own. However, we quickly realized this would result in most of our time spent traveling by boat and would still be rather expensive. We discussed hiring a cruise or doing one of the land based tours. The Red Mangrove staff bent over backwards to meet our needs and customize our experience for us using one of the tours they offer as the foundation. We decided last minute to extend our stay on Isabela and add additional tours. They worked hard to figure it out for us even though they had limited availability. The staff was always courteous, polite, and hard working.
The tour was organized and well executed. A good blend of activities on three islands that saves a lot of time that would be spent traveling and waiting if done alone. We had multiple guides and all take safety seriously, are knowledgeable, and personable.
The accommodations on all three islands were top notch if you respect the limitations of living in the Galapagos Islands. The food was always delicious and the waiting staff very attentive. The meals are usually a buffet style. The rooms were clean, comfortable, and tasteful.
The only downside is cost. A vacation in the Galapagos can be very expensive very easily as you stack on different tours. You pay for what you get though. The Red Mangrove offers great packages that are rich with information about the islands and intimate encounters with much of the wildlife. Just remember, no tour can guarantee every encounter in the wild.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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2  Thank autorotated
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Great service, accomadations, food was awesome and staff goes above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable. I would definetly recommend both Divers lodge and Aventura lodge for lodging and eating. The 3 island trip and diving services are amazing! We all had a blast! Transportation (shuttles/boats) are all handled for you as well as taking care of your bags for you. Very friendly and knowledgible staff.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank JoshNewport_RI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We stayed here three nights during a 7 days land based Galapagos tour. The location was lovely, but the deck was undergoing major reconstruction so we could not sit out and appreciate the views. Our room was not ready, so they gave us another room for the first night and then had to move to another room for the next two nights. The food was edible-- that is all I can say. Our smoke alarm went off several times in the middle of the night- apparently it malfunctioned- so they finally just removed the battery, but did not replace it.

Over all, it was fine- but nothing special.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cyclist6049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

This "resort" has a lot of potential and is definitely above average for what else is offered in the Galapagos, but is far from 5 star luxury. The staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating. The blame for the overall shortcomings, in my mind, come from upper management who clearly have not passed along an organized structure with which to run the property. The transition from the airport to the bus to the water taxi to the mini-van to the hotel was a smooth enough process and our personal concierge, Lawrence, was fantastic.
The amenities of the hotel are average...from bedding to towels to the generic shampoo and soap dispensers in the shower. The maid service was hit or miss during our week long stay, as there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to their checklist items when servicing the room. Meaning that, sometimes our towels would be replaced, but not the hand towels. When we returned from the daily activities, sometimes the beds would be turned down and sometimes they wouldn't. The soap/shampoo dispenser was never re-filled, even though it ran out with 3 days left in our trip (we just used our own). Toilet paper cannot be put into the toilet itself, but rather a trash can next to it, because everything just flushes out into the water. I would suggest that they supply biodegradable toilet paper.
The food, while it looks amazing on the website, is just average as well. The sushi was decent enough and the steak dish is okay, but most meals are buffet style and lacking any real effort or taste that I would expect from a self proclaimed luxury hotel.
Again, the staff is great and VERY nice, they just need better direction from the company's upper management. A couple of small tweaks here and there would provide some much needed extra value for the money being spent, as it is slightly overpriced as of right now.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JPBowden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We just returned from a South America holiday and would recommend going to Galapagos and booking the all inclusive tour with Red Mangrove. Our tour included Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabella. We stayed at the Divers Lodge out first night and absolutely loved this unique place.. The service from all of the staff at Red Mangrove was fantastic. I would highly recommend staying here.I can't say enough good things about this company. We had great guides and met some wonderful people.. Food and drinks were outstanding as well as their staff.
Definitely put this on your list of " go to " places! Loved it!!

Room Tip: Ak for a room with a view... They are fantastic.. All the rooms are excellent though.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Smileytraveller_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Mangrove Ecoluxury Hotel

Address: Avenida Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora 010110, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range: $309 - $506 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Red Mangrove Ecoluxury Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Red Mangrove is an oceanfront hotel with the best views of Academy Bay, located in Puerto Ayora. The hotel is the perfect place for Galapagos visitors to stay considering many activities like snorkeling, hiking, beaches, swimming, kayaking, and visiting the Charles Darwin Center are just minutes away. Why else is the Red Mangrove a good decision? For those who are prone to seasickness the hotel gives you a stay where you feel just like you're on the water with the option to choose different packages with the activities mentioned. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Mangrove Aventura Hotel Puerto Ayora
Hotel Red Mangrove Aventura
Red Mangrove Ecoluxury Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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