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“Galapagos Nirvana”

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Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 21 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 28 January 2014

Robert & Daisie Grimstone are wonderful hosts dedicated you making your adventure in the Galapagos Islands most memorable! The accommodations are exquisite. The food is remarkable. the location is perfect. The tortoises abound on the grounds inching their way through the coffee trees keeping the grass mowed and fertilized. If you are expecting barren landscapes, you immediately realize that you are on the tropical side of Santa Cruz. Baltra Airport is deceiving with its barren appearance. Once you cross on the little ferry boat and ride up the hill, you find yourself in a lush environment farmed by the 30,000 folks living there. Excursions are organized for daily adventures around Santa Cruz or around the number of surrounding islands filled the Blue Footed Boobies, Iguana, the the infinite number of flora and fauna that make the Darwinian Galapagos so intriguing. Semilla Verde Galapagos Lodge is an adventure all by itself well worthy of consideration.

Room Tip: Spend the money of the upper levels...although any floor is great!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank N64UW
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180 - 186 of 440 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2014

Semilla Verde is a charming and peaceful guesthouse set in a beautiful coffee plantation 10 minutes away from Puerto Ayora. We stayed 12 nights with our 4 year-old boy in the room nr 2 with a spectacular view on the property and sea (and of course the giant tortoises).
Robert, our english host, made sure that everything was ok during our stay.He organized well in advance the 4 day trips (Bartholomé island, Santa Fé, North Seymour and the Plazas). And was our guide for the excursion on the lava tour and Santa rosa ( nature reserve for the tortoises); he gave us many interesting informations about Galapagos islands.
The staff was really friendly!
Our son won't forget these holidays and Rusty, robert's dog!
Thank you!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

A trip to the Galapagos is a unique experience that few people will choose to take or have the chance to take. Despite all the reading I'd done about Charles Darwin, the Voyage of the Beagle, Ecuador, and the Equatorial South Pacific, I had no idea what to expect. As the plane flew in over Baltra, the tiny island that houses the airport, my first thought was that I had come at the wrong time of year! The landscape was parched and devoid of vegetation in January. On leaving, I thought, "What a perfect use for this dry and somewhat featureless island".

After being ferried to Santa Cruz Island, I was driven toward Puerto Ayora, which is in the highlands. With each foot of altitude the landscape becomes more lush and green, flowers emerge on the ground and in the trees, and the unique flavour of the flora and fauna begin to appear.

Semilla Verde occupies a lush, saucer-shaped property in the highlands, where bananas, coffee, and mangoes abound. The coffee plantation is a secondary business at the lodge, but offers visitors wonderful walkways to share with the giant tortoises which you'll meet every time you take a walk - HUGE tortoises that stare you down as to say, "What are you doing on MY path?" Get too close and they pull in their head and legs until you pass, but if you move slowly and quietly they merely watch you go on your way.

The dining room and food preparation were high points at Semilla Verde - wonderful fresh fruit with a breakfast of your choice, fresh fish and local chicken with flavourful and tasty sauces and local vegetables, with imported rice. Healthy eating.

Service is always an important consideration; and Robert has assured that his staff know what it takes to keep the customers happy. Always smiling, always good-humoured, and always willing to help...

My stay at Semilla Verde was a real treat. I'd go back in a Canadian minute!, and will recommend it to all my friends and fellow travellers.

Marjorie
Ottawa, CANADA

Room Tip: Room number 5, overlooking the coffee plantation and turtle garden, on the lower level, was very qui...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank MarjorieinOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

A group of nine friends stayed at the house for 8 days and were not happy to leave this paradise. The house, situated on a 12-acre coffee plantation, is beautiful, comfortable, well maintained and clean. Each room has a bathroom and deck, and there's a separate yoga studio a few steps away. The walking paths on the property wander through the coffee, banana and grapefruit groves and are used by giant tortoises as well as guests. Robert, the host - a charming, bright, knowledgeable Brit - makes sure that everything is just right all the time. The breakfasts are extensive with fresh fruit, juices, eggs and bacon as you like them, and the rooms are made up each day with fresh towels. We had 5 delicious dinners at the house and were delighted with the food and service. Robert, a naturalist, took us on an outing to the lava tubes and other places of interest and gave us information and tips about the island of Santa Cruz, boat trips to other islands, etc. He also arranged for all transfers from the airport at Baltra to the house and back. Flawless. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: All rooms are comfortable with good views. The room with the best view is on the top floor - up a fl...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank 4Judy3144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

As we pulled into the driveway we saw 2 giant tortoises on the side munching grass. They were all over the place! The house itself is beautiful and well appointed, the extensive gardens are a tour in themselves, and the food was the best that we ate on the island. Of course, a physical plant is only the foundation of a great vacation. It's the people that create the feeling of hospitality and emotional security in a foreign place. Robert and his wife, Daisy are excellent hosts who provided all of the warmth and guidance that guaranteed a memorable vacation. I celebrated my 70th Birthday there with friends and family. Our hosts made a beautiful party and everyone was really pleased and excited by the atmosphere they created. Take Robert's advice on the on- and off-island tours and use his skills as a naturalist/guide. You will not be disappointed. I would also recommend early January as a great time to visit. The highland, where the house is located, remains cool, but it's hot and sunny on the beaches. How perfect is that?

Room Tip: The best room is #1 at the top, which has a large dressing room and a beautiful view from the balcon...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank GStut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

We could not have asked for more on our first visit to the Galapagos. From the very beginning Robert helped us with making the arrangements and provided us valuable advice. Mary Lou was the perfect host and made sure that every thing was taken care of including preparing a wonderful herbal tea when one of us was very sick. She is the manager, guide, host and a nurse all at the same time.
The rooms have panoramic views of the highlands which are way better than anything you will find in Puerto Ayora. The property has giant tortoises and many many birds. We had a couple of meals on the property and they were the best we had on the island.
The tours that Robert arranged were well worth the price and we did see a lot of wildlife.

Room Tip: Get room 1 on the top floor if available... the views are worth the price
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank SandeepRoy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

I led a retreat there over Thanksgiving. A combination of yoga/writing. I realized that this magical spot (Semilla Verde) would be perfect for any retreat. Writing, meditation, healing etc. Holy tortoise, is Rob amazing! Rob is a Brit who owns the lodge and if I could've packed him and taken him home, I would have.
The staff is lovely. Humble. Gracious.
Food: delicious. Service: impeccable.
Coffee: I took bags and bags home.
Tortoises roaming free in front of the studio where I taught my candlelit classes.
I never wanted to leave.
If you can, visit Semilla Verde. Say I sent you ;)

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Jennifer P
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: £156 - £178 (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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