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“beautiful and charming”
Review of Red Mangrove

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Red Mangrove
Ranked #8 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
GreenLeadersSilver level
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“beautiful and charming”
Reviewed April 21, 2009

The service was superb, staff for the hotel were extremely helpful, with great attitude, my stay at their Isabela and Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) hotels was overall very pleasant. The hotel in Santa Cruz is conveniently located within a walking distance of the lively Puerto Ayora (the city center), yet isolated by virtue of its location at the end of the main road, closer to the Charles Darwin Station. I highly recommend this hotel. I will definetly return to stay at the Red Mangrove for my next visit to Galapagos.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank paulyna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dana Point, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2009

I stayed at both the Red Mangrove Isabela and the Red Mangrove Aventura on Santa Cruz. Both hotels are very nice, comfortable and both hotels exceeded my expectations.

I arrived in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz via the public boat from Isabela and I must say that the view of the harbor was truly amazing in the morning. I was promptly met by a member of the Red Mangrove staff who escorted me to the hotel, where I was welcomed by VERY nice staff and shown my accommodations. I must say that I was pleasantly surprise and very appreciative that my room was available for an early morning check-in. The room was very nicely decorated and had all the right touches. After a short rest in the morning, the staff made several suggestions of points of interests and/or tours that I might like to see.

The Red Mangrove Aventura has a very unique charm! The view from my room (Verde) and the restaurant are spectacular. The food was very good, staff was helpful and the town quiet charming. I had the fortunate to running into some of the other travelers I met on Isabela and we explored various parts off Puerto Ayora's points of interest as well as the night life. The little city is very clean and safe.

I would highly recommend this hotel to both solo travels, couples and families with children.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank socaliving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2009

Our visit to Red Mangrove Inn, Puerto Ayora, Island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador. March 26-29, 2009

Overall experience was magnificent.

Room: Esmeralda, First floor, has a comfortable balcony with round table and chairs. The room was clean, the bed was comfy, with great pillows, a very good mattress and soft linens, plus the roof and all crevices within sight were decidedly bug free (I guess they worked on this). The room has a cloth draped ceiling that gives it an ethereal feel. While the room was nice, the view from it was terrific; you can see the inlet and all the yachts that are docked at the entrance to the harbor from here. This particular balcony view far exceeded my expectations. One morning I awoke to watch 5 sea lions playing in the water just off the rock barriers that shield the hotel docks from waves. Marine iguanas were a common sight walking, or actually lounging lazily around the deck area of the property. I will note that the rooms have wooden floor so you may hear your upstairs neighbors if they don’t tread lightly.

I would think that including the word of “mangrove” in the title of the hotel would be descriptive enough of a term so that we would expect to encounter plenty of bugs, and I expected some level of bug spray smell, but it wasn’t bad at all. Some of the more civilized folks whose reviews I’ve read seem genuinely surprised or off-put that Bug Spray smell can waft through the air at times, especially right after they have just finished spraying around the property. It’s not the most pleasant smell, but did not last long and we never considered it too much. Be aware that this hotel is not only in a privileged location because of the great view, but also because of the ecology of the mangrove within where it lays. For us, a little insect repellent once in a while was a small price to pay for the experience. However it’s the polar opposite of a man made island hotel like the Burj in Dubai, this volcanic rock island is in my opinion far more developed, civilized and modern that I would have expected given the particulars. A reasonable person has to factor in the unique value of this place, it’s on a Mangrove, on a Volcanic Island, far out in the Pacific Ocean, and it was an awe-inspiring experience that we look forward to soon repeating.

The Jacuzzi was used as a mini pool during our stay and provided us with a nice place for a “cool down” splash. It is right outside one of the rooms though, and I can’t imagine that it offers much privacy since the windows to one of the guest rooms are literally right next to the Jacuzzi.

The Restaurant: Having tried the Mangrove Iced Tea when we arrived, it became our drink and we drank more of these than we probably should have. But we were soooo thirsty, and this was a welcome sweet treat between emptying water bottles. We had several breakfast and lunches at the hotel. The food was good. The service was good. A place in town with also a good breakfast was called”Chocolate”. None of the meals we had in town were remarkable, but culinary treats were not the reason we went to Galapagos in the first place. Again, this obviously is not Paris or Manhattan or Sobe, it’s not Tahiti or even the Caribbean, it’s a spectacularly beautiful place that will far exceed the expectations of those who travel to learn and experience the unique flavor and style of the places they visit.

The hotel is located right next to the Darwin research station. Entrance to the research property is free and you can walk among captive turtles, iguanas, and gain insight on the islands ecosystems, in particular as it relates to yurtles and iguanas. As you exit, be sure to check out the small but beautiful little beach on the left… when we went, it was a bit too crowded for my taste so we kept walking.

Now, with regard to actually getting to Puerto Ayora:
We departed on time at 11:30AM from Guayaquil (via Aero Gal) for the 1:40 minute flight to the island of Baltra (time zone change -1hour). A reminder that prior to departure, you need to secure a Galapagos Identification card and a related entry form (looks a lot like a customs declaration form). We were unaware of this, so at the Aerogal ticket counter in GYE we were sent to a booth where we paid a fee, were asked a few tourism related questions by a cashier, and given the ID card and a form that is to be turned in on arrival at the islands. You keep a stub from the form, which is subsequently handed back to them (airport control) on your way out of the islands.

When we arrived in Baltra airport, it took only a few short minutes to be admitted onto the island. After that you get on an airline bus (doesn’t matter which, no cost) that takes you on a 10 minute ride to a dock. From the dock you have to get on a 10 minute slow ferry ride ($.80 cents USD per person) across to Santa Cruz. From here, it got really confusing for us. It turns out there were no taxis available because they had all been hired just before we arrived at the dock, and every bus that arrived said they were chartered and not available. So we spoke with half a dozen people before finding transportation into town. If I would have known that it would take us an hour to find a ride, I would have arranged for the hotel to pick us up. I will admit that I cursed the fact they did not offer to send a car (at my expense of course) considering what an awful experience it was to arrive and be left at the docks with no way to call anyone to come get us from this no mans land where we got off the ferry. This was the low point in our trip and I strongly suggest that the hotel makes it part of their confirmation process to offer a ride to the hotel and advise there is the possibility their guests will be stranded for awhile after they arrive at the Santa Cruz airport transfer dock when there are no taxis available and all the buses have been privately chartered. I wrote it off as probably just bad luck on our part and that most likely there are otherwise almost always transportation options. This thought was confirmed when we left, the dock was packed with seemingly available taxis (all of the taxis are double cabin pick up trucks).

When we finally arrived from the 40 minute drive, the streets of Puerto Ayora were buzzing with tourists. However by evening it was very quiet since the cruise ships had retrieved their guests for the night. Friday morning the place was a ghost town without the cruise ship tourist, but that lasted only a few hours until the flights arrived and the local and foreign tourist descended on the island once again, many were there just for the weekend.

Great places that we visited include Tortuga Bay, La Loberia, Las Grietas, had a great dinner at the Angermyer Restaurant on Playa de los Alemanes. We rode the complimentary bicycles provided by the Red Mangrove all over the place since most roads in town had well marked bike paths. The drivers were generally courteous and respected the pedestrian crossings and bike trails. We checked out towels (also complimentary), and stiffed them into our backpacks, along with 60SPF, Bug Spray and 4 bottles of water prior to trekking out to discover as much as we could in our limited time on the island.

Safe travels and hope you enjoy your travels, wherever they may take you.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank nickt4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topeka, KS
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2009

My wife and I wanted to see the Galapagos Islands. It has been something we've talked about for a long time. We decided against the small boat accomodations. Nothing against the boats, but we wanted to sleep on land.

It is important not to expect a luxury resort on the Galapagos. They provided superior accomodations, very clean, very comfortable and excellent service. It is in a very unique setting. The small resort provided very personal attention by the staff. They provided a program with interesting excursions daily. Trips to two other sister resorts on two other Islands were fantastic. Be prepared the boat rides can be on pretty rough seas, neither of us got sea sick, but if you are proned to sea sickness bring something to take before setting out. The food was very good but restricted to a pre selected menu. You never went away hungry. We felt that the fruits, vegitables and fish were all local and very fresh.

I am suffering from a nuerological disorder that makes hiking on uneven terain dificult. There was a lot of that on the Islands! There was always a friendly staff member to help me over the rough spots. I could not have made it without them. I did not have to ask for help, it was just always there. I can not say enough good things about the staff.

We stayed an extra night and opted for the camping experience in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. We really stayed in a "tree house". You have a choice of the tree house of a tent with a roof and porch. The bedding is good and comfortable, clean sheets on an air mattress. It was truly a unique experience. The meal at the campgrounds was truly outstanding.

The Galapagos Islands are all about nature and wildlife, the guides friendy, very knowledgeable and made this vacation very memorable for us.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank vance1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2009

We signed on for the Red Mangrove because we are both prone to seasickness so boat based tours were out. It was a well recommended place for a land based tour of the Galapagos. We could not have done better!

Red mangrove is certainly one of the best places we have ever stayed. Considering that it is on an island with very primitive facilities generally, this place has an amazing array of amenities. Add to that, the staff are as friendly and helpful as one could hope for. You wake up to the lapping of the waves right outside your window and go to sleep looking at the moonlight on the water. The food is remarkable, from the generous array at the breakfast buffet to the excellent, reasonably priced lunches and dinners which include some of the best sushi available anywhere at any price.

The rooms are well lit, immaculate, and quiet with excellent linens. The dining room looks out on the local bay and is wrapped by glass walls on three sides so the view is wonderful. Add to that there is a wrap around deck one may dine on, or just have drinks, at any time of day.

Everything about this hotel was wonderful but for one small flaw. The staff are happy to set you up with side trips to other islands and places of interest on Santa Cruz. Be careful here though, because you will pay more, by a good twenty percent, than for the exact same tours at any of several agents in the nearby town just a short walk away. After going on two such tours (yes we're slow learners) we confronted the desk staff with this discrepancy and they were unwilling or unable to do anything about it. Their reasons for this sounded quite lame and the management was unavailable so we could not pursue the issue.

Even with the problem we encounterrd over side tours, I would still highly recommend a stay at the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge if you will be on Santa Cruz Island.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank lenbehr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cadillac, MI
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2009

After again reading the reviews below, not much to add except to pile on and add another positive review. Yes, it is probably one of the more pricier options. But how many times are you planning on going to the Galapagos? If you are like me, probably not too many. Splurge a little and stay here. You won't regret it as its location is superb. Silberstein is right down the road and on the "strip" but not on the water. Finch Bay costs more and is a further walk. Royal Palm? Long way away and isolated. Breakfast with the iguanas and sea lions on the deck was nice and, speaking of which, the breakfast was the best we had in Ecuador.
The service here is also excellent and they were very helpful in getting a lost piece of luggage returned to us. I didn't do a thing--they took care of the whole thing. Also organizing the day tours went very smoothly and hooked us up with very good English speaking guides.
Honestly, so glad I didn't go on a cruise (my wife has a serious seasickness problem). I watched piles of those people trucking back and forth on Zodiacs and am just really glad I wasn't part of that show. We had a group of six and for everything we did, we were by ourselves with the guide.
I saw everything I wanted to see and didn't need to go to the further islands to see it. I'm sure there are some pretty spectacular sights that I missed by staying in a hotel but we had an incredible trip as well and were able to get to Floreana, a whole lot of Santa Cruz and North Seymour. I also dove one day with Scuba Inguana (top notch as well, by the way.)

FYI we booked everything through Happy Gringo, a tour company out of Quito. They booked us a trip to Otovalo before going to the Galapagos. Can't say enough good things about them either. Email me if you have any questions--kevanders113@hotmail.com.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gostate93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Cerrito, CA
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2009

I went to the Galapagos with my girlfriend and her family (9 of us total). Spent 3 nights here, 2 at the main property, 1 at the private homes.

Main property is a very good hotel in a great location, right off the main strip. Impeccable staff and service (most speak english very well), always willing to try and accommodate guest requests.

Great restaurant (supposedly the best sushi on the island, but unable to try during our trip) with a wonderful view of the harbor. Sea lions, pelicans and herons are regular visitors to the hotel harbor dock. Can get a little buggy (mosquitos) at night so bring insect repellent.

Try to splurge and get deluxe rooms near the back of the main property overlooking the harbor. Standard rooms are a bit on the small side, one room near front of property was very noisy (red mangrove seeds constantly falling on plastic roof during evening). Be prepared for visitors to your room (insects and geckos). Insects are pretty much harmless and geckos are helpful (eats the insects). Air conditioning is a very welcome amenity for each room. Cable TV is nice but most programming is in Spanish. Maybe an optional DVD player might be better?

Great and easy access to downtown Puerto Ayora. Enclosed property so not much worry about theft.

Hotel organizes some great excursions; we enjoyed all but one "hike". It had been raining all day so the way was pretty treacherous, especially since we had just come off of sea kayaking and no one was wearing hiking boots.

Only downside was the private homes... stay away from them (located about 10-15 minutes away). Might be cheaper (for our group anyway), roomier, and more private but we had a bad experience there. Was noisy during our stay (compressor regularly going off at night, neighbors' dogs barking). One overhead light in upstairs bedroom kept blinking on and off every hour or so while in the off position. Second house supposedly had a lot of mosquitoes inside. Second house also had no hot water; first house also had hot water issues later that evening. Floors were a little dirty. No air conditioning, but there are standing fans throughout the house. Also didn't seem like the safest route at night for walking from downtown. Located off a few side streets so if you're unfamiliar with the streets, take a taxi from the main property. The hotel staff will be able to give the driver directions.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Thomas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Mangrove

Property: Red Mangrove
Address: Avenida Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora EC010110, 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
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Red Mangrove 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 Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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