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“Very nice room, do not use Julio as a guide”
Review of Hotel Sula Sula

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Hotel Sula Sula
Colorado
Level Contributor
260 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Very nice room, do not use Julio as a guide”
Reviewed 8 May 2013

We have requested a room on the 3rd floor (no.9) well in advance worried the hotel will be packed. Beside us there was only another couple staying at the hotel.

I will divide the review to two parts:
1/ the room - gets 5 stars, large room, large bed, nice, clean bathroom, spacious balcony, common area with TV on the 3rd floor, use of the fridge on the 2nd floor. Large filling breakfasts, drinking water and wifi available for the guests. No complaints at all.

2/ Julio - there was simply something off, that made me feel uneasy while dealing with him. It seems that he always had a hidden agenda. At first, all our communication was in english and the email were signed by Elena-Medina, his wife. It turns out she does not speak a word of English, why can't he just sign it with his name?

We were picked up from the pier by his wife, nice gesture, but in the end of our stay he charged us for the pick up. It was not a large sum by any means, but just a bit strange way to handle it. Similar thing happened when I forgot my sunglasses and he got a taxi driver to fetch them from the hotel for me. I was glad to pay, but it turned out the Julio, too, forgot his and just used me to pay.

Once we arrived in the afternoon to Isabela, we were hoping he would give us some suggestions on what to visit etc. We did have some idea of the activities we wanted to do, but is is always nice to get the confirmation from the local, esp. since Julio is a guide. All we got was information about the tours, how he can organize them for us, to the point I felt being pressured to take the tours with him.
We ended up organizing a Tintoreras tour with another agency and Tuneles through Julio. That was big mistake, not only we did not snorkel at the Tuneles, but he insisted we have to stay together as a group with him, during this time we did not see anything at all, but he dragged the whole group through sharp lava rock in the sea, instead of going around, so that several people ended up having bloody cuts.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Boleslav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leyendasierranegra, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Sula Sula, responded to this review, 20 April 2015
Google Translation
Estimados:
Gracias por sus comentarios,como pudieron apreciar,Puerto Villamil es una población de 2000 habitantes.Todos los servicios están a una corta distancia caminando.
Saludos.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2013

Julio is amazing! When I asked about the room, Julio ended up helping us plan our whole trip! He bought a local flight for us, took us snorkeling, set up our boat to leave the island, pretty much organized our whole land based trip to the Galapagos (which is not an easy task). He went well beyond anyone I have worked with at a hotel. The room was safe and clean. We were there during carnival so we wanted a place a bit off the beach to get away from the noise. So happy we found this place!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank KOPhoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sooke, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Julio was our personal guide on a 7 day trip in the Galapagos March 2012. Julio travelled with us during our 3 Island tour with a very full itinerary. We hiked, biked, kayaked and snorkelled. We ate lunch on the rim of a volcano, snorkelled with sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas and sharks.
We visited tortoise reserves and the Charles Darwin Research Station. Julio was very knowledgeable about the history, flora and fauna of the islands. He taught us so much on every excursion (He can even talk to the penguins..we have a video to prove it!). We had very little to worry about as Julio arranged all the drivers, boats etc. for snorkelling trips, hikes etc. and our breakfast, lunch and dinners were all taken care of. Julio was very energetic and made every effort to ensure our trip was a memorable one. We felt like celebrities while on one of tour kayaking trips when we had 2 boats with lots of staff following along to ensure or safety.

On our last day of our trip we had a very nice surprise BBQ lunch arranged just for our family with a chef and staff making a wonderful meal of their traditional food under a canopy of trees close to the beach. We can't say enough about Julio and we would highly recommend him for a guide during your trip to the Galapagos.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lori A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2012

Sula Sula is located at the farthest end of the town from sea, but the Villamil is so small that it does not really matter. The rooms are pretty basic with almost no furniture - hard to manage your clothes and stuff. Breakfast – standard continental, Elena (Julio´s wife) is baking the bread, so you can expect fresh bread every day for minimal price.
Julio is welcoming and friendly, the same about his family. Ask him where to eat-buy-rent anything you want – he always gives good advices. He can be easily approached for organizing any kind of trips or stuff. He is knowledgeable and experienced guide as well.
Internet connection is good, no problem with skype on video call mode.
We asked to be allowed to use ground floor kitchen for occasionally cooking stuff for kid - Julio agreed.
Overall – good choice for budget traveler.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Aldas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gulf shores
Level Contributor
254 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

My wife and I met Julio on a tour. We were looking for a place to stay away from the beach because it was so noisy during carnival. We toured his establishment, met his wife and children, and made our booking. The rooms are clean and are air conditioned. The rooms are attached to their house. We slept very good. Julio is a nice guy. He met us one night after work and took myself and my wife snorkeling. It was very nice and he is a great guide. It was a pleasure to meet Julio and his family and we enjoyed our stay there. Thank you.

Room Tip: Always consult tripadvisor
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank nohassle1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level Contributor
215 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We were recommended this hotel but did not share the same great experience as alot of reviewers. It is really a house with rooms for rent. There is an addition under construction so it may change when finished. We had a big room with private bath - never did have any hot water but we got used to refreshing showers so our basic needs were met. We stayed 4 days and the only service was getting the bed made - no fresh towels or cleaning. The location was a short walking distance to the centre of town and the port. We had to keep the airconditioning on at night since mosquitos got in through the screens. Noisy dogs and chickens in the neighbourhood too. Although this was an okay place to stay and the price was definitely reasonable I think there are better places to stay in Puerto Villamil.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MajaMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

We took an amazing week-long vacation over Christmas break to the Galapagos with Julio serving as our intrepid guide for our entire stay. Together with two other families we visited San Cristobal, Floreana, Isabela and Santa Cruz. All the arrangements, transport, activities etc went off without a hitch. The pace was just right: not rushed or too slow either.

As a park guide I would put Julio up against anyone. His knowledge of the islands seemed endless. So much so we started a secret contest between the families to see who could stump him first with a Galapagos-related question. As fair play, he turned the tables on us after we let him in on our contest. Much to my shame I had forgotten when he quizzed me, but I expect I'll now remember for quite some time that there are 13 species of Darwin finches endemic on the Galapagos and a 14th on the Cocos Islands.

But perhaps more memorable than his extensive knowledge was Julio's easy-going personal manner that made it a real pleasure spending a full week with him. His English was excellent, he was always patient and approachable and I thought he found the right balance between helping us understand & experience the islands with his help and then letting our own interests influence our course.

If I ever get the chance to visit again I would start my preparations by contacting Julio.

Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank JimTucson_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Sula Sula

Property: Hotel Sula Sula
Address: Cactus y Pinzon Artesano Streets, Puerto Villamil 593, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Sula Sula (Home Inn). It is a place were you feel at home sharing your passion for the conservancy of the flora and fauna of the Galapagos. We are conmmited to use clean energy to heat the water(solar panels) and have implemented a good recycling sistem. Our 12 rooms are furnished to provide our guests with a pleasent stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Sula Sula Galapagos Islands/Isabela - Puerto Villamil

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