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“Decent location on Isabela”

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Hotel San Vicente Galapagos
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Reviewed 24 September 2011

We stayed at the Hotel San Vicente for three nights in late August as part of our land based tour with Nature Galapagos and Ecuador. Overall, we found the accommodation decent for the amount of time we spent there (minimal) and the price we paid (also minimal).

LOCATION
Not the greatest - it was down a quieter street, and one night we were dropped off at the beach and given vague directions on how to get back to the hotel. After wandering around for about half an hour, we were finally given directions by a police officer. It probably is about a 10 minute walk from the beach, but if you've had a few too many drinks at Bar de Beto (great place!) you might find it takes a little longer...

HOTEL / ROOMS
We were first given a room upstairs, with a huge king bed and two twins. Very spacious and comfortable... and then were told that this was an error and our room was actually downstairs. This room had three twin beds and was so cramped, with our bags on the floor there was practically any space to walk around. If you're willing to pay more, there are some decent rooms. For our purposes, we only used the rooms to sleep in, so it didn't bother us too much. From our room, we could hear all of our neighbours talking / laughing quite loudly into the night, and had a lovely wake-up call from the oft-mentioned rooster at approximately 5am every morning. If you're like me and can sleep through anything, this shouldn't be a problem, but my travel companions found it incredibly annoying.

The beds were comfortable, if not somewhat sketchy looking (the sheet covering the sketchy looking mattress was really thin and see-through, so I layered a towel on top). I'm sure everything was clean enough but if you're squeamish towards this kind of thing I wouldn't stay at this hotel. We also had a resident gecko in our shower the duration of our stay, and had to be very careful not to accidentally soap him while using the shower. If that is something you can't live with, I'm not sure I would suggest visiting the Galapagos!

The internet at the hotel was extremely difficult to get, even at our room right next to the lobby. If you really want internet (which you shouldn't - you're on vacation in the Galapagos!) I would suggest going and sitting out in the garden area with bug spray at night - and lots of it.

There is no in room safe, but there is a safe in the lobby (which we never used.) We didn't have any issues with security at all. There is also a water cooler in the lobby with filtered water, so you can leave your kettles at home.

STAFF
The staff is very friendly!! Always willing to help out, always had smiles on their faces, and were relatively quick to respond to any issues we had. There was a bit of a language barrier here if you don't speak Spanish, but a Spanish-English dictionary went a long way.

FOOD
Like a lot of the reviews mentioned, the meals are served buffet style in the lobby, with one long dining table, another big dining table outside, and a few smaller outdoor tables. This really gives you a chance to get to know the other people at the hotel, and everyone is pretty friendly.

We actually found the food to be pretty decent, despite the complaints on tripadvisor. There was always some sort of vegetable soup, chicken/fish, potato/rice, and vegetable for dinner. At breakfast we were always provided with those amazing buns (I would intend on eating half of one, and end up eating 2!) , fresh fruit, delicious juices, and eggs. Same grilled fish/chicken for lunch.

Like I mentioned, if you're just looking for a basic place to sleep while you're on vacation, you can't go wrong with San Vicente. It is very budget friendly with very few inconveniences (language, location, roosters). If things like being woken up early, monotonous meals, and sketchy looking beds aren't your thing, I would suggest looking at some of the higher end hotels available on the island.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Daphh_Huang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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77 - 83 of 121 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2011

Situated on remote Isabela Island, this should be a castaway island getaway but instead is a fairly commercial, tour group centric hotel that lacks much charm. The staff are welcoming and friendly, but it just lacks the character that you would expect having travelled 6-7 hours from the Ecuadorian coast into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The food is served canteen style and with no choice at all. Although good hosts, the staff are mainly focused on getting tour groups in and out on their various excursions. On the plus side (and the reason why it got 3 stars) the rooms are adequate and clean and the surrounding beaches and national park great to experience while travelling through Galapagos.

Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
4  Thank KH401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2011

We stayed at the Hotel San Vicente in January as part of a island hopping tour booked through the company Nature Galapagos & Ecuador. While I´m sure there are more luxurious hotels in Isabela, for the price we paid we were very happy with our accommodations. The staff was nothing but friendly, (but true they don´t speak much english), and the rooms were quite comfortable - spacious, clean, air conditioned, with large comfortable beds. The guides that work at the hotel (who DO speak english) even invited us to a local bar, and getting to know them and interact other natives of the islands was one of the highlights of our stay in Isabela (along with the wildlife, volcanos, beaches, and everything else about the galapagos!).

We had a really good experience with the hotel san vicente, and i think a lot of that was due to our mindset going into Galapagos. We did not come to Galapagos thinking "wow, i really can´t wait to see how fancy our hotel is", we came hoping to see the wildlife and experience the islands OUTSIDE of our hotel. The fact that the San Vicente was clean and comfortable was pleasantly surprising, but truthfully we spent as little time in our rooms as possible. We viewed our hotels as places to eat, shower, and sleep in between our experiences in the islands, and in that regard the quality of the san vicente actually surpassed our expectations. I mean if you think about the price, paying $35 per person for a spacious private room with air conditioning, hot water, and private bathrooms is quite good. It sure beats what i paid for in hostels and hotels traveling around europe!

  • Stayed: January 2011
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3  Thank will_lax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2011

We just return from Galapagos, Hotel San Vicente is the worst place where we stayed. The owners are not welcoming at all and they just forgot about being polite and nice, we are wondering why they are in this business. This hotel is like a tourist factory where a lot of persons are coming for one or 2 nights and they just do not care about you The only thing they want to get from you are your us$.
DO NOT GO THERE!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank dcartier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

we got to this place as a package deal we got from puerto ayora .2 nights, return boat ,full board "flamingo lagoon tour" (its an old quarry with the odd flamingo ,if you are lucky, that you drive pass on the way to the hotel)and a horse back tour of sierra negra(worth it)for US$160p/p .It cost some people more others less ,how good are you at bargaining? Room was four walls, bed, bathroom, TV ,LEAKY A/C.Food was edible group table affairs.Great for socialising.all in all good place for the price. Location is close to a shop when its open. couple blocks from the beach.
P.S. we stayed a couple extra nights to go for a ride to the wall of tears, there is a beach on the way that is spectacular penguins were swimming up to us just stunning

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank whatsroundthecorner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2010

We stayed three night in a lovely and rather large room. We had full pension in this hotel. Due to the different activity programs and the size of the groups the meals are sheared on rather large tables. There is a very small front garden with some parasolled tables.The hotel has helpful staff.
The hotel pick up and return guests with cars from harbour when boats arrive mainly from Santa Cruz or Santa Cristobal.
Puerto Villamil surprisingly has a lot of small restaurants, bars and everyone these days seem to raise a new hostal or hotel. All are within 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Internet cafes are located only 50 meters away.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank PerUrdahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2010

positives: clean, comfie bed, nice courtyard

negatives: air conditioner was either dripping water unto bed or spitting out ice unto bed, bathroom mirror was at least 5 foot 7 inches up the wall as neither I or my husband could see into it, none of the staff spoke English so it was hard to communicate if you needed something

Isabela Island - locals not welcoming to tourists, asked one of the guides about this and he said that the locals have had to change their way of life since Galapagos became a National Park and they don't really want tourists coming to the island...we went through the whole process of ordering, eating and paying for a meal at a local restaurant without a smile or even one word of welcome spoken to us...I also waved at a small child who waved back and smiled and her mother got her into trouble for waving at me...I could understand if I was some brutish looking man but I'm a 4 foot 10 inch woman - not very threatening looking ;)

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sonny & Cher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel San Vicente Galapagos

Address: Av. Cormorant and Puerto Villamil 1204, Puerto Villamil 52172, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Price Range: £65 - £74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel San Vicente Galapagos 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel San Vicente Galapagos is dedicated to provide the highest quality of service and comfort to each and every of its guests. We like to complement your visit to the Galapagos as perfect as possible. We are proud to say that Hotel San Vicente has become one of the most popular of the Galapagos hotels on Isabela Island, which we believe is due to our standard of excellence and personal commitment to our guests. From our Galapagos hotel you can arrange a variety of land tours that are sure to leave you breathless. The natural beauty of the islands will amaze you while you enjoy a comfortable and superior service from the friendly staff of our Hotel San Vicente Galapagos. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel San Vicente Galapagos Galapagos Islands/Isabela - Puerto Villamil

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