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“BEST ON ISABELLA”
Review of Hotel Albemarle

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Hotel Albemarle
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Certificate of Excellence
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“BEST ON ISABELLA”
Reviewed 17 April 2010

Fabulous beach front hotel with an awesome view. Clean rooms, great service, very friendly staff. Pool ok to swim in but pool area not finished yet(4-08-10); a little rugged. Jungle Jim on beach for a little exercise . Star gazing. Lots of eats close by. Will book tours for you.Walk down the beach and visit The Pink Inguana Bar. You will see many marine Iguanas.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank JenineRN
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
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  • Value
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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
Washington, DC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2010

I stayed here with my husband for three nights in March after already spending 21 days in the Galapagos. My son had been studying in Isabela with a college program and I went down to visit him and wait for the rest of my family to arrive during their spring break. I came across the beautiful Albemarle while on a walk with my son the first day I arrived in Isabela. I was going to be staying in a hostal in town for 10 days but knew that my husband would want a few more amenities than provided there so we walked in to the lobby to check it out and encountered Amanda.

She is the friendliest person you would ever want to meet and pretty much ran the hotel the entire time I was there. Not many people in town speak English and Amanda is from New York and volunteering in Isabela. She showed us one of the spacious rooms, fully air-conditioned, with a beautiful bathroom , spectacular location on the picture-perfect beach and I knew it was the place for my husband and me to stay later in the month. When I discovered that they were the only place serving brewed coffee on the island (don't know about the new Iguana-its at the very end of town) I came every morning for breakfast-the hotel no longer serves other meals. Amanda helped me with everything even though I wasn't staying there. When we did eventually stay for 3 nights, she arranged tours for us, ordered us sandwiches for a day trip and assisted us in every way.

The hotel is fairly small and has two floors with rooms. The upper floors were booked so we were initially concerned that the first floor rooms might seem too exposed but Amanda assured us that the beachfront is pretty quiet at night and she was absolutely right. I saw the comment from a guest who stayed during Carnival and my son was there at that time and it was a party atmosphere but that is so rare and it would have been noisy everywhere, not just the Albemarle. Isabela is a very small place with dirt/sand streets and very little nightlife.

I rated this hotel excellent in every area. That doesn't mean it is a 5-star hotel. It is all relative to other places in Isabela. This is a vacation spot for the adventurous. By the time you've taken that 2 hour (hopefully) boat ride from Puerto Ayora and experienced the heat, the power outages, the language barrier, lack of hot water, you'll see why the Albemarle is an Oasis.

I would like to recommend a fun gathering spot for travelers. (Also attracts young volleyball-playing locals) Casa Rosada -the pink house with an iguana painted on its side. It is the last house on the left on the beach-fronting street. Thatch roof bar, palm trees, hammocks, stars, sand volleyball court and guitar player/singer Jeff of the Iguana Men who plays with whoever is on the island. For a few nights there was a fabulous flute player accompanying him, some other nights, some Australian girls with great voices. Different every night.

Also recommend snorkeling at Tuneles. There is great, free snorkeling at an area near the town boat pier but you have to get a guide to take you to Tuneles, about 30 minutes away. It is the only snorkeling trip you should pay for and the rock formations are beautiful.

Diving was also fantastic at Tortuga. There is only one dive shop in town (very little English) and they were great. We saw Hammerheads, huge Mantas, a seahorse, sea lions, eagle rays, turtles, white-tip sharks and of course, all of the smaller beautiful fish. Its not a coral spot but terrific.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mjacobwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2010

excellent hotel, very spacious rooms, TV/Cable, wireless, great bathroom with double sink and with everything you would need. All rooms have a view, french doors with a small balcony looking out on the white sandy beach, good snorkeling spot in the cove in front of the hotel. We loved Isabela, loved the town, great seafood. Forget Puerto Ayora (unless you want to party) and spend more time on this quiet and picturesque island. We spent four days here and wish we spend more time. The albemarle has the only Italian espresso machine on the island, so at the very least, come here for breakfast. Max the owner is very nice and will help you with your day tours. Price is higher than other hotels (many have beachfront and are being renovated but not easy to find on the internet), but with the view and location of the Albemarle, you really won't care.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank soldelmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder CO
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2009

Our family of four chose to stay on Isabella Island rather than tour around the Galapagos by boat. It turned out to be a good decision for us, and this hotel turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. It is even nicer than the pictures show, on a goreous white sand beach. Max was a wonderful host and set us up with local tours such as snorkeling and climbing the volcano. The hotel is also within walking distance from the Turtle breeding center, a lagoon of pink flamingos, and a nearby natural swimming area where we swam with penguins and sea iguanas. A couple ot tips - bring even more cash than you think you will need as tours and restaurants operate on a cash only basis. Also, bring earplugs as local roosters and animals in the town can be noisy. Finally, definitely go on the lava tunnels snorling trip - it was incredible.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KJFColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2009

I thoroughly recommend Max's hotel, the Albemarle on the island of Isabela, Galapagos. Max said we were the longest staying customer since he opened (at 11 nights). I can understand this as most people visit Isabela for a short stay as part of an overall tour of the Galapagos Islands. We (my partner and 11 year old daughter) decided to stay on one island and take boat and land trips. We figured we'd get a better deal once we were on the island and also that we could get some beach time into the two weeks. Also we didn't want to spend time getting used to the choppy waters on a cruise ship. This turned out to be the right decision for us!

Max, the owner, is English and very laid back, running a relaxed hotel. It is clean, tidy, well designed and beautifully located on the beach. Although it is clearly a hotel (with 8 rooms, small restaurant, bar, Internet access etc), it feels more like a guest house in terms of atmosphere. There is almost no issue with security/crime on Isabela and so you can come and go with ease. The rooms are simple but with good decor, air-conditioning, their own supply of filtered water (Max owns a filtration plant on the island) and Max allowed all 3 of us to stay in the one room (two double beds + sofa bed for my daughter). All the rooms have a truly amazing beach/sea view.

The hotel is in the middle of the town (15 mins walk or 3 minutes taxi from the dock where you arrive). When you walk out the front of the hotel you're immediately on the beach and within a few minutes you can find restaurants, amenities, wildlife walks etc. Wherever you go you will find copious and various species of wildlife. We visited the volcano (on horseback), snorkelling (wherever we could), the Tunnels (a lava formation), Brattle Island (for the birds and for scuba diving)... I could go on, but in short, there's absolutely no shortage of things to do and see on Isabela. It is an easy pace of life without fuss or luxury. Mostly unspoilt by tourism, it would particularly suit families with younger children (7 - 14) I think. Younger than 7 years of age and I would question whether they'll get the best our of the Galapgos. Older than 13/14, I think they'd miss the social scene unless they were passionate about wildlife.

Tips: remember to take small denomination notes as most services/products only cost a few dollars and they don't seem to have much change. The trip by fibras (boat) to Isabela is quite tough so prepare yourself for an uncomfortable 2 (or more) hours. The sun is very strong so don't underestimate it (always use appropriate sun factor cream). Most of the great wildlife is under water so go snorkelling or diving as much as possible.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank pbd2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2009

I optioned to tour the Galapagos land base and I did spend lots of money, Santa Cruz Royal Palm and Isabela Albermarle both Hotels very expensive,
Carnaval y mardi Grass in Spanish, We had DJ in front of our room with the highest volume you could imagine from 10 am to 1 Am next day, we could not rest at all, and next morning we had to hike to Sierra Negra best hike ever, with the hang over of not sleeping with that noise

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jlecao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Wight UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 January 2009

Isabela is a paradise and Albemarle is a gem that was totally unexpected in such a sleepy remote island. The hotel is small, run by a delightful young couple Max and Diana. Couldn't do enough for us and the quality of the suite we stayed in was superb. Clean, friendly, good food and comfy beds what more could you ask for..... well actually right on a perfect white sand beach, where we saw penguins, iguana's, boobies and frigate birds whilst swimming, near the centre of town, safe, happy chilled people and a great roof terrace with an amazing view!
Isabela has no ATM and so come with cash although this hotel does take CC as do a couple of others but generally cash is the only option. Tours on Isabela are excellent and run to good standards, the volcano, snorkelling at The tunnels and the wall of tears walk all worth while. However the walk is at least 18kms there back and quite a trek, biking would be a great option! The Sea lion bar opposite the hotel does beer for 2.5 dollars and food at The Red Mangove was also excellent. We spent 4 days on a boat and came here for 8 days chill out before our next leg over the Andes. It was perfect.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Having to leave!
  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CazIsleofWightUK
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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