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“The Best”
Review of Hotel Albemarle

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Hotel Albemarle
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Certificate of Excellence
Springfield, Missouri
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Best”
Reviewed 11 May 2011

I have been to the Galapagos Islands many many times. I feel like I know the islands intimately, having stayed on the three most heavily populated islands many times. This hotel is in absolutely the best location on the best island to visit. The island only has about 2000 permanent inhabitants, all of the streets are sand, with a laid-back atmosphere second to none.

The hotel is right on the beautiful white sand beach that is approximately 2 miles long. I think the most people I have ever seen on the beach is about 50 people.

All rooms have direct ocean views, where you can open the beautiful French doors and enjoy the sea breezes. The bed quality is great which is a very rare thing to find on the island chain and bed sheet quality has a high thread count, all of which is very important to me.

The rooms are clean and new'ish. It is not five star but it is as close as you're going to find on the island.

The restaurant has very good food. In fact one time when I was they there, I met a couple that have been traveling well over a year. I asked him what they missed the most about home, and being from Germany they stated the Schnitzel. I knew the chef at that time was from Austria so I went down and asked him if he could do schnitzel because it was not on the menu. The result was all of us had beautiful schnitzel served on heated lava slab carve plates garnished with some kind of flower. And a side of some kind of German potatoes that were excellent.

Overall it is a fantastic place and I can't recommend it enough. I stay in hotels a lot of years over 200 nights a year, so it's quite nice to get to a remote location in a Third World country and find an oasis like this.

Room Tip: All the rooms are equal and fantastic
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  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GlobalXtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2011

Do not stay at this hotel. The photos and description on the website are highly over exaggerated. We prepaid for a five night stay through a travel agent. The room was extremely hot - the air conditioner didn't work well. The latch on the window was broken and instead of repairing a simple latch, they nailed it shut. Therefore, the heat at night was miserable because you couldn't even open a window. The toilet was broken and wouldn't flush. Something...as in a creature of some sort, left poop on the walls (gross)! One day there was even some on a pillow! (which indicates something was running around in there while we were out)! The internet did not work. The television does not work because there was no cable or satellite as advertised. When we asked the staff about non-working items, they acted very surprised, but did nothing about it. The staff's personal children played in the tiny pool all day and the jacuzzi had no water (and looked as if it had been empty for quite a while). The restaurant really had no food - they even ran out of beer. The location is great - on the beach, however, it isn't worth it.
FInally, even though we had already paid, we left and went down to the IGUANA CROSSING HOTEL, which was absolutely magnificent. I wish we would have stayed there the whole time.

Room Tip: Stay here if you want an expensive hostel
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank jds111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2011

It all started off well. From the outside the hotel looks great and when we arrived we were upgraded to a sea-view suite. Altho’ we later figured out this was to make room for a couple of tour groups.

For the first 4 days everything worked. We had air-con, hot & cold water, a working toilet, a comfortable bed and the hotel really does have a wonderful location on the beach. On a good day it’s lovely place to be based.

But the last 4 days were pretty grim. On day 5 the hotel’s water pump broke. So we had no water at all in the room. None in the taps, none in the shower and none to refill the toilet after flushing. The staff kept saying “5 mins”, this then turned into “in 1 hour” which eventually turned into “it’s an island wide issue” which it wasn’t as we went to the restaurant around the corner where they had no water issues. The staff finally confessed that their pump had broken but it would be fixed the next day

The cold water did come back the following day but until our final night we had no hot water and a toilet that did not refill after flushing. Not really acceptable for a hotel that charges over US$100 a night.

One the staff came to investigate the toilet, had a poke around, told us that toilets in other rooms were working and then went back to reception to resume his computer game. Didn’t say anything else and clearly didn’t care.

I’ve stayed in enough places around the world to know that all hotels can have their off-days but usually the staff try to do something to mitigate the problems and tell guests what’s happening. Not at the Ablemarle where the staff give the impression that they really don’t care and that the place is just a crèche for their kids to run around, urinate on the steps, hog the internet-enabled computer and sit around watching soap-operas in the restaurant area.

As for the rooms; whilst the rooms look spacious, quite stylish and very clean you soon start to notice things like gaps in doors, TV’s that don’t work, broken towel rails, missing a/c remotes, holes in the wall covered with cellotape and dirty furniture.

Whilst we were there the owner, a Brit called Max, was away and that might be why it was such a shambles and why the staff were, with the sole exception of the French receptionist, so utterly disinterested and useless.

We really wanted to like this hotel. Most of the other reviews are very positive but I found myself recognising everything in the review from 29-Dec-2010. When everything goes well I’m sure it’s a wonderful hotel with a stunning location. But for us things didn’t go smoothly and the disinterested attitudes of the staff mean I cannot recommend the Ablemarle despite its location and I would suggest you look elsewhere on Isabela.

You might wonder why I've given this 3/5 rather than a lower score. Well, when it came to paying our balance we phoned the owner and described the shambles we'd experienced and agreed to pay a much lower room rate than originally agreed. For his flexibility the hotel gets 3 out of 5.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rudderi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laguna Beach, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2011

I was there in January with my family. From the time I first contact the owner by email, Max provided us with of being service to our vacation. The suite he put us in was amazing. The view was wonderful and the room exceptionally clean. Max was a wealth of information and helped us get hooked up with a couple of great tours (that did not cost an arm and a leg). He also told us about some local places to go. Breakfast each morning was one of the best I have had in any hotel. I recommend spending at least 3 days on the island. We were there for 5 and it still wasn't enough. We had some of the best snorkeling compared to the other islands we visited. I look forward to my next trip and I definitely will return to Hotel Albemarle.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Morningstar49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2011

Great place to stay. Staff friendly and very helpful. Lined up all of our excursions with ease and "don't worry" attitude. Had a great time in Isabella. One regret..I should have gotten much stronger sun block lotion!!! Burnt to a crisp!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank debrabird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2011

Isla Isabela is still in the development stages of a tourist industry. There is one airplane flight in and out of the island a day to the Baltra airport ($158). There is a shuttle boat service ($25) that leaves at 6:30 and another at 3:30 for a two hour trip to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island.

The town, Villamil, is a mix of beachfront architecture that reminds one of Isla Mujeres, Mexico or Ambergris Cay, Belize from 40 years ago…sand streets, one bar that stays open after 10 pm and wonderful, friendly people. All of the restaurants serve a seafood-based menu…not a hamburger to be found, although you can have a camarron pizza if you dare.

The hotels in town all cater to the beach set since there is very little to do besides swim and sunbathe. You can schedule a taxi tour of the “Wall of Tears” and ride or hike to the tortoise breeding operation. The hotels will schedule a boat tour to various areas to see penguins, frigate birds and sea life. These tours are $300 for six hours and can handle as many as 6 people. They run whenever they can be arranged.

There is a recently opened dive shop and, although we didn’t use it, the diving should be magnificent around the island. I would check with the hotel before you come here specifically for diving.

The Albemarle Hotel is a classic, beachfront, hacienda-styled hotel that is located in the center of town. It is in the same block as all of the best restaurants(6). In front of the hotel is a water-front bar, Iguana Point, that sits out in the water 50m and is open from 8pm – 2am. The beach in front of the hotel is palm-lined with benches and has a wooden play area for children.

The Albemarle has a restaurant that we only used for breakfast which had great coffee and a small but adequate selection of food, mainly ham, bacon, eggs, yogurt, fruit, toast and jellies. More than enough to get your engine started. Other than that, there are other restaurants around the corner that seem to specialize in lunch and dinner. The Albemarle may be excellent but I rarely saw anyone eating there except breakfast.

The rooms are very clean and bright. The furniture is a mix from new to worn but everything, including the beds, is comfortable. We had the “honeymoon suite” (if you’ve read other reviews) and, since it wasn’t our honeymoon and everything didn’t have to be perfect, it was more than expected for the price. The kitchen and living room combo had a refrigerator and microwave with a sofa and dining room table that sat four. The A/C in the living room was not working at the time but we had enormous French doors opening to the balcony that more than kept the room comfortable with sea breezes.

The bedroom had a king sized bed with night stands, an armoire and a dresser…all in good condition. The air conditioner in this room kept the room absolutely chilly but we could have made the room warmer if we wished. The bathroom was an open design with a shower in one corner with no walls or curtains, a Jacuzzi tub in another and a toilet and double sink…more than you could ask for.

The hotel has slow, wireless internet available in all rooms that was barely adequate. We were told that the satellite TV system has been out for three months.

All in all the Albemarle was a quiet get-a-way which is all the owners, Max and Diane, seem to want it to be. We would definitely go back and recommend that you do too.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Noodlebrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2011

We stayed at the Albemarle in December, 2010 for 2 nights as part of our trip to the Galapagos. The English owner, Max, is very welcoming and knowledgeable about local attractions. The location is incredible, right on the beautiful white sand beach of Isabela. Rooms are spacious, beautiful and very clean. I loved how this hotel provides every room with a water cooler. Did not try the restaurant so cannot speak to this aspect of the hotel. Highlights of the location include the activity of the sea and shore birds right outside and the gorgeous beach with sea iguanas and creature-laden tide pools to keep wildlife lovers busy. I highly recommend both this island as well as this hotel as part of anyone`s Galapagos adventure.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sarshebert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Albemarle

Property: Hotel Albemarle
Address: Las Fragatas Street and Los Jieles Avenue, Puerto Villamil 200250, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Villamil
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Albemarle 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Albemarle Hotel, spectacularly set right on Cuna del Sol Beach, is a Mediterranean-inspired house featuring a beautiful garden with swimming pool. Each of the large rooms has tiled floors, wood-beamed ceilings, a luxurious, marble-accented private bathroom and either sea or pool view. Other amenities include air conditioning, TV and free WiFi. The in-house tour desk can make your travel arrangements around Isabela and other Galapagos islands. The Albemarle Hotel has an excellent location in the heart of Puerto Villamil, a two-hour boat trip from Santa Cruz Island and three kilometers from General Villamil Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Albemarle Hotel Isabela
Hotel Albemarle Galapagos Islands/Isabela - Puerto Villamil

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