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“Home away from Home in the Galapagos”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 21 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 20 May 2011

We just returned from an 8 day stay at Semilla Verde in the highlands of Santa Cruz. I had selected Semilla Verde because of the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, and it was absolutely the best decision I made for this trip. We booked Room 1 on the top floor and enjoyed coming back every evening to relax on the balcony overlooking the coffee plants and scalesia trees. The view out to Tortuga Bay and the ocean was beautiful, even on the days when half-covered in mist. I can't say enough about the wonderful meals Daysi prepared. She is an excellent cook and a very gracious hostess. Robert is an excellent guide, host and all around terrific gentleman. He is so knowledgeable about the islands, thehistory, the environment and graciously shares that knowledge during his guided tours. He took all the work out of scheduling day trips to other islands. The staff were friendly and efficient. Breakfasts were generous and always included fresh fruit, cereals, yogurrt, wonderful bread, bacon and eggs prepared however one wanted. Many of the ingredients Daysi used in her meals and the fruits for breakfast are grown right on the property. Robert and Daysi are sincerely interested in the preservation of the Galapagos, carrying out a reforestation project on the property, planting scalesia trees and coffee plants. It is difficutl to sum up what the stay at Semilla Verde meant to us, but I can say that it was one of the most enjoyable places I have ever stayed. Robert, Daysi, their precious daughter Iona and baby Lochlan on the way are such a lovely family. Staying at Semilla Verde was like being welcomed into that family. We will treasure the memories of the time we spent there forever. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Room Tip: I would definitely recommend Room 1 for the view.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank luvtravlin47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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310 - 316 of 445 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2011

what more can be said about Semillgnia Verde.... It is great. All of the positive reviews have already been very clear !! Thank you Robert, Daysi and staff!!
Superbe !! Great !! Riccissimo!!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank Fran05488
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2011

As expected we were met at Baltra Island Airport by the driver who drove us to Semilla Verde after crossing the channel to Santa Cruz Island.
The hotel is in the middle of a forest and situated about 12 km far from Puerto Ayora, the main town in Santa Cruz Island, in a place of pleasant temperatures and, as said by Robert Grimstone, without mosquitos. The hotel provided us with every day taxi riders to and from Puerto Ayora, and the calm atmosphere to relax and enjoy Daisi's excelent food! I personally suggest a fish or a Galapagos lagostin for dinner, with a good Chilean Chardonnay white wine and, of course, a delicious Semilla Verde locally produced coffee.
We stayed at the lobby/kitchen level in a south facing big room (room 2) , with a sliding window that let us pass to a private terrace, from where the forest could be felt entirely. Giant tartoises passed by slowly on the grounds below our terrace. They also could be found inside the 5 hectares this property embraces. We found 6 of them in a short walk.
When we had to go to an excursion to Bartholome Island early in the morning Robert had wakened up earlier than us and provided us with a quick breakfast (and that delicious Semilla Verde produced coffee!), what was very much appreciated.
We didn't need to turn on the air conditioning nor the ceiling electric fan, although it was Summer.
Certainly, in a return, Semilla Verde will be our #1 choice to stay in a quiet place and to enjoy these marvelous islands.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank corrosio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2011

We had the most amazing week in the Galapagos Islands, and thanks to prior recommendations we saw on Trip Advisor we were lucky enough to stay at Semilla Verde, which was really like the icing on the cake!! Everything about our stay was perfect, Robert is a very warm, friendly and enthusiastic host and guide who organised a personalised itinerary for us that included as many as possible of the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands. Another reason we so enjoyed our time there was meeting and spending time with the other guests from Argentina and Canada. Daysi, Roberts wife is a fabulous cook and it was great to have the option of staying in at night time, relax and have a "home cooked" meal instead of going into town which was only a short taxi ride away. I would highly recommend Semilla Verde to anyone wanting a landbased stay on Santa Cruz island.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ksigley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2011

Myself, my husband and our two sons (8 and 11) stayed at Semilla Verde for over a week this past February. Everyone on staff was friendly and kind. They took excellent care of us, and helped us to organise our tours - which in themselves were fantastic. Your stay includes a very hearty and healthy breakfast - juices, fruit, pastries, bacon and eggs - and wonderful, home-grown and roasted, tortoise friendly coffee. The guest house is spacious and airy, very clean, and aesthetically beautiful.

In the mornings you will wake to fresh coffee and the sun rising over the canopy that surrounds the guesthouse. You will sit in your bed and watch as the white egrets fly northward from the coast across the island. Breathtaking - and perhaps my most favourite part about Semilla Verde, apart from the giant tortoises that live on the grounds. Each day we would look for and find at least one tortoise. You can't believe how huge they are until you actually see them up close.

We had two cooked dinners at Semilla Verde (a traditional chicken dish, and a traditional tuna dish). Both were delicious, local cuisine, served with style and grace.

Semilla Verde is about 12 kilometres outside of Puerto Ayora. Don't be put off by this! Each day your transport to and from town via taxi is provided, and the experience of having free access to the grounds of Semilla Verde - and all of its flora and fauna - more than make up for this. For more information on Semilla Verde and travelling in the Galapagos Islands, you can look at our travel log at www.charleton.ca.

A huge bonus is that Robert is a certified guide, and his knowledge, enthusiasm and energy come together to offer an amazingly educational experience.

I highly recommend Semilla Verde, and congratulate Robert, Daysi, Gladys and Evelyn for the welcoming atmosphere and amazing, restful experience that they have created.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank alisonhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2011

When we checked Trip Advisor's site while planning our trip to Galapagos, everything seemed to point into Semilla Verde's direction as THE place to stay. THAT COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE RIGHT!! We had a PERFECT stay at Daisy and Robert's... The place is beautiful, charming, super-clean... one of those places where you get in and the vibe is just great and you inmediately feel like home. Of course that has to do a lot with Robert and Daisy and their staff too! Food is great (Daisy is a great cook!) and Robert is just in every single detail, anticipating everything in order to make things just perfect and easy. We had read the reviews about the charming room numer 1 but it was taken by the moment we contacted Robert... so we stayed in room number 3 and it was lovely too! Really comfortable, wtih everything you need and more... We enjoyed a lot our private terrace/balcony! All three rooms have one.
Also, all tours were suggested and arranged by Robert and it all worked perfectly!
I also have to mention a special situation we lived while at SV... The tsunami in Japan was the day before we were leaving Galápagos... There was no need of evacuation for us, since we were in higher ground than people in Puerto Ayora (which did need to be evacuated). So we just stayed at the hostal and relaxed that day... Robert offered us free meals since it wasn't possible to go anywhere that day and he even said we could stay for free the day after in case our flight got cancelled... WHAT ELSE COULD YOU ASK FOR? I RECOMMEND 100% TO STAY IN SEMILLA VERDE WITH ROBERT AND DAISY!!!! Thank you Guys for making our time in GPS so awesome!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MarianaARG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2011

Our stay at Semilla Verde just happened to coincide with the recent Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami. While it was a little unnerving to wake to the news that the island would be expecting a significant wave of water later that day it was such a relief to know that we didn't have to pack up our things and go to higher ground. Semilla Verde is many meters above sea-level and we spent the day relaxing. The same cannot be said for Robert and Daysi as they were accepting many friends and strangers into their living quarters below. Despite this hectic time they still asked who would like suppers and who would like a free of charge fruit meal, as we really would have no other options for a place to eat. (you don't really need other options - Daysi's cooking is fantastic) Robert also assured the other guests who were supposed to fly out the next day that if flights couldn't leave they could return and stay free of charge as well. In short, we were very well looked after, despite his other obligations with the others downstairs. We heard some unsettling stories about tourists staying in shore-side hotels who were told to grab a taxi and head to higher ground. No organization or care taken by their hotel proprietors! And no idea of a place to go. Everyone has said how amazing and hospitable they are here, and how the coffee is great and the bugs are minimal, so I needn't re-hash that. I would simply like to point out how in a time of impending disaster, people's true color's shine and Robert and Daysi were ever professional with their guests comfort even when it could not have been easy to continue to focus on us.
I would certainly recommend them.

For those of you who are wondering about the damage that the tsunami caused, it wasn't very extensive, and this was apparently the worst wave they have ever had during human occupation. Some buildings were flooded and the residents were almost done with the major clean-up by the time we left, 2 days later.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ADS0084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel

Address: Km 12, via a Baltra | Isla Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora 200350, Ecuador (Formerly Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge)
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range: £159 - £196 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Semilla Verde is an exceptional hotel with the customs and personality of a traditional guesthouse." We believe your experience in the Galapagos Islands should be as unique and natural as you are. So, here at Semilla Verde we offer you the chance to stay somewhere far removed from your busy life and the standard hotel offering you may be used to. We invite you to step into another world, the original Galapagos, the true and enchanting islands. And, to experience the wonders of a rural forest dwelling and life alongside the unique wildlife you came so far to see. Your stay will be based in an original and idyllic rural retreat where peace, privacy and Galapagos wildlife abounds. You will enjoy one-to-one personal service, traditional home cooking, panoramic views from private terraces and exclusive access to nature trails through twelve acres of private forest where giant tortoises lumber freely and native birds thrive. At night, gaze up into the unspoilt majesty of the milky way. Nine comfortable en-suite bedrooms with AC, WiFi and DVD just 15 minutes taxi ride from Puerto Ayora town, costing just $7 e/w. All in all, an authentic and genuinely friendly and authentic land-base for your Galapagos adventure and an all encompassing alternative or add-on to a traditional cruise ship experience. Semilla Verde works with a local tour agency to offer complete hotel & tour package options too. You will visit outlying islands and local sites with qualified naturalist guides and experience first hand the beauty of Galapagos and it's unique flora and fauna - from giant tortoises and lava lizards to marine iguanas and playful sea lions, from volcanic landscapes to cloud forest. Return to the hotel at the end of an incomparable day and share your travel stories around the main dining table with other guests, whilst enjoying dinner freshly prepared in our kitchen. Indeed we don't work from a fixed menu rather we generally prepare one recipe for the group, but each guest receives a serving according to their individual preferences. The location is secluded but convenient and very safe. There is not another residence within hundreds of meters of this oasis. Semilla Verde remains true to the philosophy on which it originally built for good friends and family, ensuring a level of intimacy, small number of employees offering very personal service and home cooking your will only find in a traditional guesthouse. Semilla Verde comprises two hotel builidings some 100ft apart - the Semilla Verde Lodge (Rooms 1-6) and the Finch Wing (Rooms 7-9). They can work in unison or as separate entities for separate parties. betwen the two there is a fully equipped yoga studio where you can enjoy individual or group practice. Galapagos is famous for it's volcanic landscapes and unique wildlife, but it can also be somewhere for you to rediscover your true and unique nature, somewhere you can feel yourself again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Semilla Verde Galapagos Hotel Puerto Ayora
Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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