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“Peaceful getaway in the highlands”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Peaceful getaway in the highlands”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2011

My wife and I stayed at Semilla Verde for 7 nights and had a fantastic experience. It is no mistake that this place is ranked as the top B&B in the Galapagos. The best part is that Robert wants to keep improving the guest experience and continually seeks guest feedback on how to make their stay even better, before, during, and after their stay. This attitude and desire to take an already top ranked B&B to an even higher level means guests will no doubt enjoy their stay at Semilla Verde and it will likely remain ranked #1 for the foreseeable future.

We arrived at Semilla Verde after a spending a few days on Isabella (less populated Galapagos Island and thus less food and restaurant choices) and eating virtually the same food at every meal, we were hoping to find more variety on Santa Cruz. We were tired of having white rice and french fries as the only side dishes on the menu and we stay away from artificial and/or over processed food (like white rice), so our dietary wishes are a bit more strict than most people. Robert was happy to oblige our request for some different breakfast items than they normally stock and we were allowed to show Evelyn and Gladis (the friendly housekeeping staff) how to make french toast and pancakes using oatmeal vs. the normal box mix. They were more than willing to adapt the regular menu to meet our requests, which made us very happy. We had dinner at Semilla Verde one night and Robert/Daysi had no problem using one of the grains we suggested and in fact, Robert mentioned that Semilla Verde is happy to cater to guests wishes in order to for them to enjoy the experience more (this is why they will stay #1).

Semilla Verde is situated in the highlands, which allows for a very peaceful and relaxed environment. You won't see all the people from the cruise ships at port roaming the streets or hear the noise from all the activity surrounding the touristy souvenir shops...things my wife and I really appreciated. The property itself is very nice, clean and the rooms are comfortable. They have a good selection of books and movies to enteratain guests as well. We only had one clear night to fully appreciate the night sky (might have had something to do with the season we visited), but it was an amazing view. The walkway around the grounds provided some great proximity of truly wild tortoises in their natural habitat. One thing not mentioned on Semilla Verde's website is that they have an exercise room that guests can use. Don't expect a full gym, but there is a universal machine, elliptical, and bar with a couple plates.

On our way home, we discovered that we left our house keys somewhere in the Galapagos. After a quick email from the plane to Robert, he reponded immediately with confirmation that they were still in the safe at Semilla Verde. Once we got back to the US, Robert emailed me and proposed the idea that another guest there from the US, that we had met, could bring our house keys back and mail them to me once they got home. I agreed and so did they, which made our life a lot easier (thanks a ton Bob and Elaine if you are reading this - someone tossed the envelope with your address before I had a chance to write a real thank you note). Robert offered to pay the shipping even though it was clearly my fault that I forgot what I put in the safe. In an effort to avoid this sitaution for other forgetful travelers, I suggested to Robert that he put in dividers or bags for each room in the safe so when people leave, everything is cleared out whether they remember what they put in there or not. His response was somewhere along the lines of...good idea, we've already implemented it.

If any of our friends or family make it to the Galapagos, we will definitely recommend that they stay at Semilla Verde.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robert s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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400 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Georgetown, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2011

Our 7-day stay at Semilla Verde was wonderfully restful after coming off a strenuous trek in Peru. We heartily agree with all the positive reviews. Robert bends over backwards to see that everything you desire is taken care of (including a sunset our final evening!), and Daysi's dinner was the best meal that we had during our time in Ecuador. Robert arranged day trips for us. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the animals and birds on South Plazas and North Seymour islands and, in particular, the Highlands tour including the giant tortoise reserve. However, we were equally delighted to discover the arrival of two new giant tortoises on the Semilla Verde property. We nicknamed them Roberto and Elena--even though we have no idea of their gender--and we're sure that males do not have to be named Robert to stay at SV (even though they all were). If you enjoy tranquility and nature, you'll love your stay at Semilla Verde.

Elaine & Bob Phillips
Georgetown, TX

Room Tip: Room #1 is beautiful and the largest by far. It has the very best views.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elaine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2011

Semilla verde has a gracious host, delicious fresh succulent food for the asking, excellent accommodation and wildlife that was beyond beautiful. i rarely write reveiws but semilla verde is worth it. The trips on and offshore organised by Robert were stunning and the right price. we stayed 8 nights and 9 days and want to go back for more - unheard of in my case. No wet cold nights on boats getting seasick for us - we were thoroughly spoiled by the charming staff, hot showers, big bedrooms and living areas with gorgeous views. We had day trips to Floreanna, north seymour, south plazas, etc diving and taking photos then came home to the relative cool and delightful calm of semilla verde - perfect. Roberts’s local knowledge was invaluable and his homegrown coffee exceptional, staying at semilla verde made our trip a pleasure.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GeorginaParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margate, NJ
Level Contributor
157 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

We just finished our stay at this amazing guest house & I can´t say enough great things about it. We arrived to warm hospitality & an amazing room. Our hosts, Robert and Daysi made us feel like family guests from the start. We stayed in room one - complete with hammock, a view of the grounds & a galapagos turtle that would creep below the balcony foraging for food. A resident galapagos mockingbird joined us on our balcony every morning and amused us as he pecked at his reflection on the window.

We had lunch at Semilla Verde only once - and it was one of the best meals we had on our journey. The other people at the guest house (cooking-cleaning staff) were so pleasant.

The three rooms are connected to a well furnished living quarter complete with couches, books, ipod player, kitchen and best of all - a stone fireplace. Robert surprised us on our first morning with a roaring fire...complete with a delicious breakfast and fresh brewed coffee (grown and brewed on premesis & available for purchase).

There are lush grounds to stroll around & a resident cat and two friendly dogs which make you feel part of the familia. Our only regret is ...not being able to stay longer at this fantastic place...it was perfecto

We are a well traveled couple & have stayed at many great & not so great places over the past 10 years. Semilla Verde definitely tops the charts! Great job & thank you Robert and Daysi (and your two adorable niños).

Room Tip: All three rooms are nice - but room one is definitely the best of the three.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheTravelDudeAbides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemstad, Curacao
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2011

my sister and i stayed at semilla verde over our spring break. we loved the location; the house is simply stunning. our room was incredibly comfortable. robert and daysi do so much to make your stay in the galapagos memorable. our daily excursions were arranged through semilla verde...we did nothing but show up and we had a wonderful time. we really enjoyed being around a family. it gave it a really special feel...like you weren't necessarily just a tourist. meals at semilla verde are outstanding. it is a healthy and inviting environment.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gretchen b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travelling for a year
Level Contributor
114 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2011

This is a great guesthouse to stay in - lovely location out of town with giant tortoise in the garden and hammocks / swing chairs to relax in on the balcony. Robert, Daysi and the team really make you feel welcome throughout.
We are vegetarian and Daysi went out of her way to make us special, delicious dishes. We ate here most nights the food was so good (and great value)! We were lucky enough to stay at the same time as another family who were great company and loved the food - they ate at Semilla Verde most nights too - was just too irresistible.
Robert was extremely helpful with planning the trip and pointing out the good places to go. My only improvement point would be to get better quality day trips - the ones booked for us were all on the same boat which was very crowded despite the high cost, with people fighting over the good outside seats which was unpleasant, although the sights on the trips were good.
We stayed for 10 days and had plenty of time for the trips we wanted and to explore alone also - a great mix. Taxi fares to and from town were included in the price and were very easy to get.

Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Desk-Escape-com
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2011

My husband and I enjoyed the biggest room. Our friends stayed in the second largest room. Very comfortable, many amenities, peaceful and quiet. Delcious breakfasts, with lots of choice, delightful staff and beautiful grounds. Robert was a gracious host and gave us an excellent tour of the Darwin Station - a good start to our Galapagos adventure. We loved being just out of town. The taxi ride was included in our price and it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of town for the night. We had a wonderful stay and would highly recommend Semilla Verde.

Room Tip: The upstairs largest room has a panoramic view and a lovely patio. It costs the most, but not my mu...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JaninOakville
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

Property: 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 ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#2 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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