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“First Class Service at Royal Palm Galapagos”

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Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos
Ranked #11 of 25 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 July 2013

My wife and I booked a trip to Peru and The Galapagos Islands for our 25th anniversary. I wanted something special and didn't want one of the Galapagos cruises that are typically offered. As the only 5 star property in the islands, we opted to stay at the Royal Palm resort so we could return to a room each night, go at our own pace and enjoy the surroundings.

I selected one of the villas on the property which offered us a large bathroom, screened in deck with jacuzzi hot tub, sitting room with fireplace (if we needed it) and very large bedroom with a king size bed. The staff at the Royal Palm were very attentive and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. On our 25th anniversay, we returned from our daily excursion to find our villa decorated with hibiscus flowers along with a complimentary bottle of champagne.

The food was served in a separate restaraunt and the menu changed daily to accomodate fresh fish offerings or other special preparations by their chef. We received excellent service by staff that spoke multiple languages, including English. The wine menu was excellent and there is a stocked bar if you want to hang around after dinner for drinks and conversation.

The property itself was beautiful, filled with tropical plants and flowers and very well maintained. You feel as though you have the entire island to yourself. It was set back from the main road by several kilometers which assured privacy and tranquility but still offered a view of the ocean and nearby islands in the distance. The weather was decent for our stay but the resort is located in the highlands of Santa Cruz and most mornings were foggy or drizzly but this usually cleared off early. Most of the time, this was a non issue as you take a local taxi to Peurto Ayora for boat rides to explore nearby islands and as soom as you drive about half way into town, the elevation changes enough so you don't have any rain to contend with. A taxi ride to Peurto Ayora is about 20 minutes but only costs $10 (USD). The town is small but there is shopping, restaraunts and a wonderful fresh fish market to visit while you are there. The resort has a health club, swimming pool and tennis courts but we didn't have time to use these due to all the other activities we had planned. The staff also offered us spa services including massages with a 60 minute notice but we didn't have time to take advantage of this service on this visit.

I would highly recommend staying at the Royal Palm resort if you are looking for a land based itinerary while vacationing in the Galapagos Islands!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Djt90b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
decontagg, General Manager at Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comment; we are delighted that you chose The Royal Palm to celebrate such an important event on your life; I’m very glad that we were able to make you feel at home.

We hope to see you again on a near future,

Warm Regards from the Galapagos Highlands,

Daniel Contag, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2013

If all you want is a beach vacation, then go to the Bahamas. If you want hustle and noise, stay in town.. but if you want a real Galapagos experience, this is the perfect hotel. At the Royal Palm, you'll experience garua, the mist that defines the highland climate. You'll also have sunny days, cool nights, Darwin finches joining you at dinner and crickets lulling you to sleep. You can take an afternoon tour of the lava tunnels, right on the grounds. On a stroll along the stone walkway that weaves through the grounds you'll see banana, lemon, and poison apple trees, bamboo shooting to the sky, mockingbirds and butterflies. It's peaceful and beautiful.
it's 20 minutes into town, and along the way you'll see the landscape transform from lush to dry, and feel the air grow warmer and heavier. Puerto Ayora has its own beauty, some great restaurants, a busy dock, and fun shops. But we were happy to leave the heat behind after a full day of touring or shopping and retreat to the cool highlands.
The staff is exceptional. They were anxious to meet our every need, and welcomed us home each day like family, only better. My family doesn't welcome me home with a delicious meal of the freshest foods and coffee just the way I like it. They found bikes for our kids (20-somethings), so they could bike into town. They arranged tours with knowledgable, fun naturalist guides who taught us so much about the islands.
We visited in late May 2013. The weather will depend upon when you visit, but ours was great. Although too cool to make use of the pool, we didn't go to the Galapagos to sit in a pool.

Room Tip: We stayed in a veranda, which was roomy and well-equipped. The villas are gorgeous.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Carol H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
decontagg, Manager at Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2013

Dear Mrs. Hauss,

Thank you very much for your comments; we are really delighted that you felt at Home in The Royal Palm. We hope you had a great trip back and we look forward to your return.
Should you have any friends or family that will come this way please don’t hesitate to pass on my direct contact so I can help them with any requirements.

My contact is dcontag@royalpalmgalapagos.com

Warm Regards,

Daniel Contag
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2013

We spent just two nights here before our cruise in the Galapagos. It was a pretty hotel and the owner was happy to help us with whatever we needed. The hotel was undergoing restoration, and the business center was converted into a restaurant throughout the renovation which was a pain because it was nowhere near our room. We did get upgraded to a two bedroom suite, but it was dirty and bugs were everywhere inside. The hotel was a distance from the main town on Santa Cruz island, Puerto Ayora and if I came back to the Galapagos, I would stay somewhere else closer to town.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank JRWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
decontagg, Manager at Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2015

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comment; we are delighted that we were able to make you feel at home.
We hope to see you in a near future,

Warm Regards from the Galapagos Highlands,

The Royal Palm Team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Alas, our stay here was just one night at the start of a cruise of the Galapagos Islands...and one night is certainly not enough at this charming resort in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Accomodations were in very handsome and roomy individual villas facing the ocean in the distance. The villa had four "to die for" rooms, including a pavillion room with a cathedral ceiling and a Jacuzzi tub with wrap around large windows framing a stunning water view and a grand, luxurious bathroom with a drenching shower room featuring a giant sunflower-style shower head. Also the large king size bed faced adjoining doors leading to a living room area with fireplace, desk, table and comfortable upholstered seating. The villas are connected back to the main lodge, dining hall, swimming pool and other common areas by a series of walking paths with well maintained landscaping to view along the way. Beautiful place overall and absolutely peaceful at night. Very good food, too, including fresh local fish, deliciously tender and perfectly cooked. If there ever is a next time for a return trip to the Galapagos, my note to self: "stay longer here"!

Room Tip: All the villas seem to have nice distant water views, but ask for one as close as you can get in the...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Cabin2125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
decontagg, Manager at Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2015

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comment; we are delighted that we were able to make you feel at home.
We hope to see you in a near future,

Warm Regards from the Galapagos Highlands,

The Royal Palm Team.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2013

The Royal Palm makes its visitors feel absolutely AMAZING and like royalty. We were able to stay in one of the villas and it was NICE. It seemed like we were literally the ONLY people staying there! We may have saw one other person our entire stay. Due to our budget, we were only scheduled to stay one night. Even that night was priced extremely well due to the construction that absolutely didn't bother us. However, we didn't want to leave and stayed another night!

Arrival to Galapagos was made extremely comfortable by their pick up service, which is only a few dollars more than doing it on your own. However, the driver has a sign with your name on it, waiting for you at the airport. He carried all of our bags, WOW! This was great, because you have a bus, boat and van transfer to get to the resort.

Their staff is VERY attentive, especially Gustave and Victor! We would literally call any time of the night for the fireplace to be lit or order food, even juice and someone would arrive very soon. Speaking of the food, it's only one of the 2 "cons" that I have about the place, everything else is a PRO! The only reason I have to complain about the food is because this place is so amazing that they should invest in better food. The food wasn't good at all and it was very overpriced to be practically be inedible.

The other "con" is the fact that the place is so far out. By staying another night, we missed opportunities to go to town and bargain for excursions. The place is pretty far from everything. So most fun, especially after dark, has to be held in your room. We had the best driver ever, the hotel called him for us. We hired him for a whole day for $100. Although he didn't speak any English, we were able to communicate very well.

All in all, this place is def worth the money. We couldn't find available reservations online, but we emailed and received an amazing price to stay here! I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank ascoone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2013

This is a hotel that once used to be proud but is now run down and dowdy. Like a Queen well past her age.

It is 20 minutes from town and within a large property. The villas are isolated and look good on the outside. But once you come in you notice that not much maintenance has been done in ages.

The bulb for our toilet was not working and changing it did not do the trick and they had to replace the socket. Our desk lamp bulb also did not work. The place was not inspected before it was rented to us - cannot believe that. The shower did not have single hook for the towels and with a family, it is is difficult to come out naked into the hall to get the towel. What a disastrous planning on their part. And one reviewer had pointed it out in 2010 yet they had not made an attempt to correct it. The door to the toilet was creaky and did not even close fully.

They claimed they had internet for free but the 4 days we were there we did not get any internet connection. And they blamed it on the IT person - luxury hotel making such stupid excuses. There was no coffee or tea in the room and to bring even hot water to the room was $8 extra.

The food was good though the service was very slow. With small children food ordered at 8 PM came in at 9.30 PM. The kitchen and wait staff were attentive and was the best thing about this hotel.

About the front desk - the less said the better.

One has to walk on the driveways to see the lose stones / shingles and creaking from them to know that there is no money for upkeep of this hotel. That is a shame.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank greenvillehybrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

The hotel has 2 MAJOR problems, 1: The hotel is 20 min by car from the city, so you can no even see the coast from it. 2: The location is in galapagos "highlands" so the weather is completely different that you could expect in Galapagos. It was all the time foggy, cold and raining.
Apart from that is "suppose" to be Galapagos best hotel, but when we arrived at the airport, they came to pick us up 1.5 hours late! We called the hotel and they keep saying some one is going to pick us up, but they would tell us how long would it take.
The rooms are kind of OK, but shower is quite problematic wetting everything around: floors, steps, which makes is a little bit dangerous. Also the internet is quite slow (when it works).
What I can say is that the staff was nice and food was very tasty, but completely overprice!
Overall... It does not worth the price!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank paoladsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos

Address: Km. 18 Via Puerto Ayora | Baltra Isla Santa Cruz, Ecuador (Formerly Royal Palm Resort Hotel)
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 25 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range: £244 - £690 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Palm Hotel is a private family-owned hotel enjoying the quiet seclusion of its own 190 hectare estate in the lush Miconia Highland Forests of Santa Cruz. Located adjacent to the Galapagos National Park, the Royal Palm was built in 2002 and combines elegant colonial style with traditional island design. This boutique estate comprises 21 Casitas and Villas including family accommodation; the largest villa is named in honor of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales who stayed at the hotel in 2009. The hotel has the relaxed and informal charm of an Ecuadorian Hacienda offering a unique sense of natural space. The Hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and is the perfect location for both land and sea exploration of the Galapagos Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Palm Hotel Santa Cruz
Royal Palm Santa Cruz
Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos Galapagos Islands/Santa Cruz

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