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“Very charming stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Big Ralph's Hostal

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Big Ralph's Hostal
Ranked #2 of 41 Salinas B&B and Inns
Prattville, Alabama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very charming stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

I stayed at Ralph's and Andreas Hostal for three days and very much enjoyed the hot showers and many conversations with Ralph about his days in England and all the current and future improvements and expansions to the Hostal. I could tell a lot of love has gone into building and maintaining the Hostal. The breakfast was very good: Ralph is a certified English Chef and the breakfast reflected those certificates(see photo:fresh squeezed Orange juice didn't make it into the pic). I very much enjoyed my walks to the Malecon, but other options are taking the bus for $.25 or a $2.00 Taxi to the Malecon, if that is your preference.
The weather(it is winter in July) was overcast and chilly for Ecuadorian standards, but still enjoyed some great Whale watching and had my clothes cleaned from a little place around the corner very reasonably.
They actually drove me to the mall a day during my stay while showing me some of the interesting places to visit in Salinas.
I would stay at this Hostal when I return to Ecuador in the Summer and very much enjoyed every minute of the room and conversations with Ralph and his very good breakfast.

Room Tip: There is no bad room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mike c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    59
    12
    3
    3
    0
See reviews for
15
35
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singer Island, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Simply put, you won't find better.
Gracious hosts, great food, & a clean quiet room.
Ralph & Andrea could not have been nicer, but sadly had no control over the weather.
Salinas itself is great, lots of expats & Gringo Bars.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank robertwlynch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, NV
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank armel519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kee20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Cucamonga
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mbarsi_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeff F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Darin B
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

Property: 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 #2 of 41 B&Bs / Inns in Salinas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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