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“Cloudy overcast Salinas”
Review of Big Ralph's Hostal

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Big Ralph's Hostal
Ranked #3 of 44 Salinas B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The weather didn't dampen our trip to this beach town in Ecuador. We had a good time at Ralph's and Andy's place (Andrea). We were looking forward to fun in the sun. No sun. So we looked for fun in the places we ate at the Malecon and in town recommendations by Ralph. The walk to the Malecon (Boardwalk) was about 10 mins from the hostel. Andy and Ralph were gracious hosts giving us an insight into Salinas that is rarely encountered by visitors. Walking around, we felt safe. The accomodations were basic and the breakfasts were filling.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank armel519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 43 of 78 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2013

We had booked to stay for 2 nights but I wish I had tried harder to check out after the first night. 

Well we tried checking out the first night but as the owners were not about that was not a possibility. 
In general, the owners were often not about and seemed to shy away from any type of real work and were more interested to spend their time with the family 
(away from The hostel). 

The owners (a couple from UK and Ecuador) were not around in the morning after our first night's stay and as they hadn't even bothered to register us in the day before the cleaner (who was left in charge whenever the owners were out, told me they had already left. And once they were out nothing could apparently be done. He couldn't fix us breakfast (even though it's included in the pricey roomrate), nor help to check us out. We couldn't even get a cup of coffee. For guess what? Only the owners were allowed to serve that (it appeared). The cleaner in charge simply said "sorry cant help you the owners are out" and I would have to wait for them to come back (which could take all day for all I knew).

So we gave up on the idea of trying to check out and pay the bill for that night. So despite the non existing service we decided to stay on for the 2nd night as planned. 

The location is super awkward. Not only is it a good 20 min walk away from the malecon (beach strip), but there are only 3 restaurants nearby all with sky high prices (20USD for a pizza). Not only is the location poor but the hostel charge double of what we found others do near the beach (where all the facilities like restaurants, shops and bars can be found). They charge 49USD for 2 people in a cramped room (with a double bed and a bunk bed crammed together) while we found a nice hotel next to the supermarket (with a double bed, TV, private bath with hot water and wifi) for 25 USD for 2 people!

The only good thing about this hostel was their shower. It's hot with good pressure all day. 

I would suggest to the owners to either step up their service to their guests (one example is to provide either more ownership to the cleaner when you're out and provide breakfast at other times than just 8.30am sharp). Alternatively, you could reduce your prices to match the awful service provided. No breakfast in the world is worth 25USD so I have no idea why you charge so much for what is provided. On a side note I did eventually taste their breakfast the next day and after having finished it, I felt nauseated and almost threw half of it up half an hour later.

My final recommendation:  If you are stuck for a place then you might want to consider this place for 1 night otherwise there are many better options nearer the beach. 

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Kee20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I would definitely recommend a stay at Big Ralph’s. It was an inexpensive place where the rooms were clean with no frills. The fish and chips were awesome and it was apparent by the locals who visited just to stop in and enjoy the food. Big Ralph and Andrea made us feel welcome. After a busy night of cooking Ralph took time to chat and enlightened us with the history of how he came to Ecuador and open this place. If I had to pick a place in Salinas I would definitely come back again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mbarsi_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Ralph and Andrea certainly make the guests feel very welcome. Our room was clean and spacious and a good value for the price. The fish & chips at the restaurant are truly excellent and are worth a trip to Big Ralph's even if you don't plan on staying there. Fabulous! The location is good as it is quiet and only a short distance to the Malecon. We will definitely visit Big Ralph's again and highly recommend it to anyone planning on making a stop in Salinas.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jeff F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Ralph is a transplanted Brit and as such servers great Fish and Chips. Seriously, it's amazing. The staff (his family for the most part) is very friendly and accomodating. The sleeping arrangements were certainly adequate but not lavish but for the price you can't beat it. The place is a 1 minute drive or 5 minute walk from the Malecon and has several gas stations/stores/eateries within a block if you need anything they don't have.

The only negative was the 'grandpa' going in and out of the room the family uses ALL NIGHT LONG - he was creeping us out.

Room Tip: There are only 6 rooms so any of them are fine really - 1, 2 and 3 are the furthest from the family...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank DarinB352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Big Ralph's for 4 days in Feb, 2013. If you're looking for a five star all inclusive, this is probably not for you. If, however, you're looking for good value then in our view this is it. The rooms are small, but very clean, with air and the food is great, as you've probably read and the hosts are very friendly and helpful. The hotel is a little off the beach at the opposite end from the Yacht club, but it's really a short walk to it, the main beach, restaurants and Commisariato. We enjoyed the walks because it let us get a feel for the place and the Ecuadorians. We felt very safe the whole time that we were there. There's an Italian restaurant and a coffee house close by. The coffee house (The Common Ground) has become a meeting place for real estate agents and their Gringo clients who seem to be invading Ecuador at the moment and it was interesting to have a coffee and watch the action as people consulted lap tops and tablets with listing info and then zipped off for real estate tours. We will definitely stay there when we return to Salinas.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Marc L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

I spent 4 nights At Ralph and Andrea's place and was welcomed and felt at home as soon as I walked through the gate. The room was large, bright and clean with a comfortable bed and lots of hot water. The hostel is located away from the Malecon but within easy walking distance. The hostel is quiet at night so one can get a good night's rest with air conditioning in every room. One of the highlights is that Chef Ralph is an excellent cook and the restaurant is full of expats and locals most evenings. One small negative were the tiny mosquitoes that seemed to be everywhere, but some repellent solves that small problem quite easily. I would recommend Big Ralph's to anyone planning on visiting Salinas.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank WParks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Ralph's Hostal

Address: Av. San Lorenzo S/N | Calle 53, Salinas 240207, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Salinas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 44 B&Bs / Inns in Salinas
Price Range: $31 - $44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Big Ralph's Hostal is a small English - Ecuadorian business in Salinas a few steps from the beach. Services and facilities available at Big Ralph's Hostal include a Restaurant, bar and private parking. Our bedrooms are supplied with air conditioning, private bathroom, hot water and national TV. Spoken languages: English & Spanish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Ralph's Hostal Ecuador/Salinas

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