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“A Unique hotel in Unique place”

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Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos
Ranked #11 of 25 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2014

The Royal Palm hotel is different than any other hotel; its specious villas are situated in the middle of nature, with nothing but quietness and relaxation.
The rooms are modern, large and gorgeous, the food in the restaurant was excellent and the staff very friendly.
Our vacation began weeks before we arrived with two friendly “adventure consultants” helping coordinate and personalize our package and activities.
All was above our expectations.
A great hotel for a great vacation in the Galapagos.
Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The best rooms are the villas
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank benny E
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 we went above your expectations and made 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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66 - 72 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2014

My boyfriend and I spent 7 wonderful nights at the Royal Palm while adventuring in the Galapagos. We ate at the hotel almost every night because town takes a lil while to get to and after a day out on the ocean/diving/hiking we just wanted to stay in. The breakfasts were wonderful and the dinners were great and they did very well at letting you customize dishes since most do decide to eat at the hotel every single night.

The negative reviews you are seeing I understand, but I don't think people realize where they were traveling. This is the Galapagos people, not St. Barths. The hotel is definitely under a lot of strict regulations which I'm thankful for, and know ahead of time you are located in the Highlands (which on arrival I was bumbed out because it was so cloudy up there, but after an entire day in the sun... it's nice to come home to.)

The landscaping is beautiful, but the pool is freezing and basically unusable because it's so cold... solar heating or something definitely should be done because it's such a waste. The gym is also pretty sad... no free weights? No treadmill? No elliptical? Those 3 staples should definitely be added. Also Higher fences on the Tennis court is necessary, who wants to chase balls into lava tunnels? lol

The on-grounds vegetable garden was wonderful to see. We might've snuck a leaf or two of the ingredients for or dinner one night =-.)

All of the excursions we went on were wonderful! We took a day trip to Bartholome/Santiago Islands and it was wonderul. Dolphins swimming alongside the boat and giving us a show in the wake, snorkeling with penguins and sea lions while on Santiago and feeling like your in untouched land.... surreal. Scuba Iguana's dive at Gordon Rocks was the Highlight of the trip though. Schools of Hammerheads, Eagle Rays, White Tips, Sea Lions, and Sea Turtles... the vast amount of wildlife in one day of diving... words cannot express how amazing it was.

The Royal Palm Staff is incredibly friendly and do their best to help you in every way they can. There were some people staying at the hotel that were nightmares even when out at the tortoise reserves. Why did you come to the Galapagos for New Years if you are not fascinated by wildlife??? If standing next to Gigantic Tortoises and one does not have any sort of enlightenment or sense of awe... maybe you should just stay in Europe. I actually witnessed the wench of a lady go behind the front desk basically yelling and trying to get her way with transportation to a beach that you can't drive to... idiot. I wish I would've said something like I normally would, but I had just arrived and was trying to stay in a positive mood.

We stay in two different rooms at the Royal Palm over the 7 Nights. First we were in the Royal Suite. The in room sauna was great. The outdoor jacuzzi never got hot. The furnishing were good, just very bare. A few touches to the decor would put the place over the top. If you have shelves, have something on them or simply cover them up with wood in a decorative fashion. The Royal Suite was entirely too big for the two of us though lol. The Presidential Suite was Perfection. The outdoor Jacuzzi worked well in that room and having a more compact space made us feel more at home.

I had a Wonderful stay at the Royal Palm and definitely recommend it to other when visiting the Galapagos.

Room Tip: The Presidential Suite was perfect for 2.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RyFy
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 felt at home at the Royal Palm.
Thank you for understanding that Galapagos is a unique exploration destination, this always helps guests and visitors to understand what Royal Palm has to offer, a great experience in the Highlands of one of the World’s largest and most beautiful nature reserves.

We hope to see you again in the near future,

Warm Regards from the Galapagos Highlands,

The Royal Palm Team

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

My family just returned from a fantastic trip to The Galapagos. During our stay we spent 3 days at The Royal Palm where we had excellent service led by Daniel the manager and his entire team. They greeted us at the airport with private transportation that took us all the way to the resort in a timely manner. At the hotel the grounds were well maintained; the villas were spacious, clean and extremely comfortable; and the restaurant, led by Mauricio, also provided terrific service, food and hospitality. We loved The Galapagos experience and enjoyed our stay at the Royal Palm!

PS from NYC

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Paul_NYC2014
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 really happy that we were able to make you feel at home in Royal Palm.

We hope to see you on 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 7 January 2014

My husband and I traveled to the Galapagos for our honeymoon in May 2013. Everything was absolutely perfect.

We wanted this to be the trip of a lifetime and it was. Sofia, the agent for the hotel who is located in Ecuador, set everything up for us. She booked our day trips and made sure everything was perfect. She was extremely thorough and prompt with her responses.

When we arrived in Baltra, we were greeted by a taxi driver arranged by our hotel. He took our baggage for us and got us on the boat to cross over to Santa Cruz. We got right into his truck and after a short drive we were at the hotel.

Check in was a breeze. We stayed in a villa and it was perfect. They even had a bottle of champagne on ice for us since it was our honeymoon. Daniel, the general manager, introduced himself immediately and was available anytime we needed anything.

The hotel took care of anything and everything we needed. We arranged for a scuba diving trip and the hotel arranged for us to be taken to town to try on our gear. We had a day tour where we went to a beach- the hotel had snorkel gear and towels ready for us. We never had to worry about transportation which was really great. Our day trips were amazing and the guides we had were perfect.

The restaurant was awesome! When we first arrived we were one of 9 groups of guests at the hotel. By the 3rd night we were the only couple at the hotel. We were in our own paradise. All of the hotel staff were very nice, including the two male waiters. They took care of us for dinner every night and were just such genuine people.

Our villa was beautiful. It had that perfect mix of rustic charm and luxury. Everything was impeccably clean and neat. We had no problems with anything in our room, including the wifi.

The hotel was undergoing some renovations when we were there but nothing that impacted our stay.

If you want a place where you feel like you are alone and treated with first class service, this is the hotel for you. It is in the highlands and you need to take a taxi ride for about 30 minutes into the main town but you will not have this type of experience at a hotel in town. It was truly majestic and I definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who wants luxury, peace, quiet, good food and great customer service.

Room Tip: We stayed in Villa #4
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Angelica V
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; it’s great to know that we left with great memories from your visit last year, we are happy that we were able to make you feel at home.

We hope you can plan to come and visit us again sometime,

Warm Regards from the Galapagos highlands,

The Royal Palm Team

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Reviewed 30 December 2013

Just terrible. The rooms smell dank, the light bulbs are maybe 30 watts and the place is seedy. By USA standards this is a motor lodge. Bathrooms are a joke, and the restaurant is, well, awful. What an unhappy place, chef boyar dee spaghetti, scary fish burger, and Pathmark crinkle cut fries. This is Darwin's idea of a ghetto. Just pass this place up, you will be the better for it.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
5  Thank J L
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 sorry that we weren’t able to make you feel at home. It is a shame that you did not voice these issues during your stay allowing us the opportunity to make things better for you. It is hard to understand your comment about our bathrooms. They are some of the largest bathrooms you will ever find in any hotel; beautifully crafted in Mahogany wood with double sinks, separate showers, robes, safes, large wardrobes, iron and board, toiletries, clean white towels and some rooms have a separate Jacuzzi bath. We receive very few complaints about our food and are constantly producing new and exciting menus of traditional Ecuadorean dishes and international favorites. I’m sure that Darwin would have had a great time at the Royal Palm!

Regards from the Galapagos Highlands,

The Royal Palm Team

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Reviewed 26 November 2013

I spent hundreds of nights in 5 star hotels in most I cannot remember – but this one I surely will as it was such a desaster. And we talk about a hotel where rooms ar up to 700 US$ per night.

It is clear, that nobody in this hotel has expertise in running such a venue and in construction the problems startet.

First night I stayed in a regular room, which has a connecting door. I could understand every whisper from the neighbouring room. (300 US$) This alone makes the room unusable.

Next three nights (now 500 US$ per night) I decided to move to a villa. The villas are very spacious, have a big bath tub, great views, a chimney etc. In detail many cheap things where used and the impression is, that everything was furnished by chance and clealy no interior designer in charge. More important: No way to control the temperature, as heating would simply be on and off. I understand many people are impressed by the size if the room and the view – so the first impression is much better than this room deserves. But anyway, the villa is absolutely acceptable and even though some things are weird almost everybody will enjoy the stay with the views etc if everything was just about the room.

Service?
-pick up from airport was 2 hours delayed and no chance to take a taxi, as Baltra ist he second airport on the planet I know with no taxis
-on arrival I was booked with another guy into a room despite a booked a single room
-my main luggage made it after 3 hours to the room
-my diving luggage I found by asking other guests in the hotel – after 2 days.
-room service constantly brought the wrong items. I couldnt order anyway, but my girlriend is a spanish native speaker and ordered for us. For one breakfast we got 2 items we didnt order and about 6 were missing. After the got back with another wrong item there were still 2 things missing, e.g. salt fort he unsalted egg. We didn´t give it a 3rd try as the eggs were cold anyway
-the preodered taxi was forgotten

That is only room service and front desk. And the worst thing: For the pick up there wasn´t even an excuse. I talked to the manager. He offered to take the 20 bucks from the invoice for the transfer. A funny detail is, that they defended the pick up at 12 am, which was supposed to be at 9:55 am, with the reason, that they thought the flight would arrive at 11 am. They seem to find it within the normal to be one hour late.

The dinner is really so so. I would never go to a restaurant of that quality again if I hadn´t to. We booked for a 3 course menue daily. On one day, all three courses were replaced by just one: A do it yourself pizza, not kidding. Everybody was doing a Pizza for himself and when it came to getting them to the table everything was mixed up. Some people insisted on a desert and got it finally – but the request for a salad was refused as any other requests as well.

The cheapest wine startet at 50 US$, while drinkable wine was for more then 100 US$ a bottle. Ok, accepted. But the restaurant was not able to provide the same kind of glass to one table with 8 Persons. Reason given: They have just a few of each kind and mix them as neccessary.

Breakfast is presented in plastic containers (fruits and cheese). Per every 5 times you order toast you get 2 and for every 4 times you order a coffee you get one. If you order an omelett with say cheese and onions the chances are a little above 50% of getting what you requested. The salt fort he egg is on a plate in the mddle of the table and all 8 persons use their fingers to serve themselves – yummy. Also a constant fight for silverware, spoons beeing especially hard to get.

Usually such single events wouldn´t do my mood very well, but after a while in this hotel we just guessed what possibly goes wrong next and we had quite good loughs. It almost never happened that anything worked just fine and come il faut.

Surely some problems are related to the location and the staff you can get there – but they should have seeked some help in interior design and they 100% need an internationally experienced manager for the untrained staff – the sad thing is that most staff actually seems to be motivated. The rooms are good but overpriced and the restaurant and service is a horror which cannot be avoided as this hotel is almost 30 minutes driving from anywhere, so going out for every meal would be quite a hazzle.

Furthermore, the hotel lies so high, that is was mostly in the mist, even though the coast had good weather. You will freeze!

Cut the long story short: Stay away!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank CoppasFTL
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 20 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments, please find below the responses accordingly:

• The noise on the first room used has already been fixed, we would have greatly appreciated that you passed this complaint to the Hotel Staff while you were with us so we could have given a solution to it. Unfortunately this was not mentioned and it comes as a surprise to us on your comment.

• pick up from airport was 2 hours delayed and no chance to take a taxi, as Baltra is the second airport on the planet I know with no taxis
Let’s please take in to consideration that the taxi service was not for you or your group, this was a room reserved by your girlfriend, the transfer time was confirmed with you the day before her arrival and the fault information on transfer times came from your side. The issue that you mention that the airport has no taxis has nothing to do with the Royal Palm, unfortunately due to conservation of the National Park things work quite differently than in other places of the world, we do encourage guests to research before they come to the Galapagos so they have a better idea of the environment they are visiting.

• on arrival I was booked with another guy into a room despite a booked a single room
The reservation was made as a part of a group and rooms where assigned as double or single according to the agency and their information. Unfortunately the final information was confirmed the day before arrival of the group and it had you booked as a sharing guest and not as a single reservation. This was amended on check in by the Tour leader, but there is no way this could be blamed to the Royal Palm and its coordination.

• My main luggage made it after 3 hours to the room
This operation which was handled by me personally, did not take more than 1 hour, and again this happened due to the confirmed information given by the agency, because we received the luggage 2 hours before and was put in all rooms as rooming list from the Agency. All of this had to be changed due to the different Assignation changes upon check in.

• My diving luggage I found by asking other guests in the hotel – after 2 days.
All guests from the group where called for confirmation of their luggage arriving to their rooms and if everything was ok. We received no information or request for any misplaced luggage. Once again it would have been greatly appreciated that this request was made to the Hotel Staff so we could have given solutions. It is sad that members of the same group that arrived to the Hotel did not say that they had received the wrong luggage so that we could have taken care of it.

• Room service constantly brought the wrong items. I couldn’t order anyway, but my girlfriend is a Spanish native speaker and ordered for us. For one breakfast we got 2 items we didn’t order and about 6 were missing. After the got back with another wrong item there were still 2 things missing, e.g. salt for the unsalted egg. We didn´t give it a 3rd try as the eggs were cold anyway
I have no explanation about this complaint, other than we have taken all measures so this will not happen again. All orders will be picked up by the reception staff or the Restaurant manager to prevent this room service issues to continue. We do apologize for this inconvenience. And at the same time this was not expressed while you stayed in Royal Palm in order to compensate the guest for this. We appreciate your comments which are our best source to polish our procedures and prevent this from happening.

• The preordered taxi was forgotten
The preordered taxi was not forgotten; the taxi driver who was on the way to the Hotel to pick up the guests suffered mechanical problems with the vehicle and didn’t advise the Hotel. The Solution for this issue was given 5 minutes later when the Hotel Van was provided for the guests activities.

• The cost for the transfer service that was late due to the wrong information provided had a cost of $21,60, and this was discounted from the guest.

• All meal services where confirmed with the Agency beforehand, the 3 course meals and the make your own pizza was planned as a group activity. The Wood oven pizza is quite a popular activity within our guests, and we are sorry that it wasn’t what was expected in the guest’s point of view.

• In Ecuador wine is quite expensive due to Government taxes and import duty, in the Hotel we price all items greatly below the industry gain percentage. We have a good selection of Argentinian and Chilean wines for our guests. Unfortunately all this prices are high due to Government; this is not the fault of the Royal Palm Hotel. We do have all the inventory needed for glasses, this was a fault on service, disciplinary measurements have been taken to prevent this from happening again, we do apologize for this inconvenience

• In terms of breakfast, yes the service issues have been addressed and disciplinary measures have been taken. We do apologize for this inconvenience.

• The cold breakfast buffet is served in plastic containers due to the large number of birds that are present in the Restaurant, the containers are to prevent them from eating the food, but most important as a precaution for guest’s health due to illness that the birds may carry, so these closed plastic containers do not allow birds to get to the food.

• Unfortunately all this laugher and concerns from our guests where not passed on to the Management while in-house, and even when the remaining of the group checked out nothing was mentioned, not by the tour leader with whom staff asked about everything, and there was no negative response, then we followed up with the Agency that sent this group and no comments or complaints have come through.

We hope that these issues did not taint your whole Galapagos Experience.

Kind Regards

Royal Palm Management

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Reviewed 19 September 2013

It's quite aways from town, but the property and the rooms are to die for! They even have little bungalows. Loved our stay here. The restaurant was so-so, but the grounds more than make up for that! Make sure you walk around.

Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
Thank CTKath
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 comments, we are happy that you enjoyed your stay and we were able to make you feel at home.

We have recently revised our menu to include a choice of local Ecuadorean dishes and international favorites too!

We hope to have you stay with us again one day.

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
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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: £250 - £644 (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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