My experience with this property (and Judy) began on shaky ground, as I inquired about making reservations near the end of December and into January. I requested reservations for 8 nights at the rate online, but was quoted higher by Judy. When I asked about it, she said the rate went up after the New Year. I replied the website for the property still advertised the price I reserved for. She said the rate would change online in a few days. I responded that was very unfair to advertise rates that were not being honored. She responded that she would honor the 2013 rate ($90), which was $15 less per night than the 2014 rate. So, we were set.
Upon arrival, Judy offered us an upgrade to a room with a view to the water for $25/night more for us and a $20 discount from what she was charging for the room ($135). We looked at the room and my wife liked the idea so we decided to do 4 nights in that room and 4 back in our standard room, as Judy said the room was taken after our 4 nights in it. On the 2nd night around 2am, we were both shocked out of our sleep when the air conditioner made a very loud, sustained, scraping noise. I quickly turned it off and our hearts settled back into our chests. In the morning, I discovered that water leaked out of the unit and wet many of our clothes that were folded and placed on a shelf below the a/c. I told Judy about it at breakfast, and her husband was going to take a look. I brought our clothes that got wet down to her after telling her about them, asking they get washed as they now had a slight mildew smell due to the water. She said yes, and we went on our way after repacking our stuff so it could be moved to a different room. We noted she did not apologize or say anything about our inconvenience.
When we returned at the end of the day our clothes weren't ready - she said the next day. The new room was just 3 rooms down (307 to 304) from our original one so it was fine. The next morning after breakfast I asked for the clothes. She went to get them and they had not been washed, just dried. I could smell the staleness on them, and this combined with receiving no apology, no effort made to compensate the bad experience, I got angry. Judy and her husband got that I was not happy at all, and as we left she stopped us and said due to what happened, we could stay in the room for the entire time and after our 4 nights of agreed to extra $25/night, we would pay no more than what we would've paid for the standard room. Both my wife and I believe Judy's husband, whose name escapes me as I write, was the driving force behind this action. Judy just didn't seem to have a "knack" for this type of service, but we think her husband does. Judy is very friendly, tries to be helpful to the guests, but seemed lost and unsure when something goes wrong. We are not so sure about her ability to be a good, competent source to go through to get tours, either. We got a good deal through her for a day trip to Las Plazas, and just by dumb luck we walked by Hotel Ninfa. We saw their tour sign, and my wife wanted to go in and check to see what they offered. On a lark, we asked about Las Plazas for the day Judy hooked us up, and their price was $10 less per person than what Judy got for us. The kicker is the woman at Ninfa who we were talking to is one of Judy's sisters! Now, there could be several reasons why there was a price difference. Judy said it was a different tour (but it was the same day, same boat), which we doubt. Anyway, after this, we wandered into Gala Travel located on the main street near the piers and liked working with Grace, so we got the rest of our tours there. AND they take credit cards!
The property is located just outside of the busy tourist area which I liked. It is an easy 5 minute walk to the entrance to the Charles Darwin Center and the start of the tourist area. The pool was nice to dip in after a hot, sweaty day before showering in the room. The room was very comfortable, bath and shower suitable. The maid did not do a good job cleaning. On the first day as I was putting away clothes, I had to ask her to come back in (she had just finished cleaning our room) to clean the accumulated dust off the shelves that I wanted to put clothes on. Days went by without the balcony being swept and sometimes our floor inside was not swept well. Other times we had no towels, no soap, no shampoo, and she even left a key to another room in ours, so I had to take it down to Judy. The breakfasts were nice. The same every morning - only thing changed was the type of juice (watermelon, mango, blackberry) and the way the eggs were cooked (omelet or scrambled).
For some reason, Judy's policy for bottled water is you have to buy a $1 first bottle of water, and after that you can give her or staff the empty bottle and they will take it in back and refill it for you. I don't know why it is this way, but we found it to be a real pain. Other hotels we walked into we always made it a joke to point out to each other "Oh look!!! Clean water out in the lobby for guests to drink when they need it. How nice."
All of these "adventures" were part of our trip, our stay at Hotel Galapagos Inn. Luckily, the major bad experience was eventually addressed and somewhat to our liking. Judy and her husband do a good job. She makes effort with English-speaking guests. Her personality is over-the-top and loud - my wife even heard her husband once ask her to lower the volume! If she hadn't recovered and given us the discount (even though our clothes were still smelly and we eventually washed most in the room sink), this property would've received a poor or at best average review from me. But, Judy pulled it out, for whatever reason, and overall I would have to say it was a good stay. Would I stay there again? Don't know. It would depend on how high these rates go and how the compare to other places. We saw several we may try upon a return trip. Won't rule out Galapagos Inn, but can't commit to being 100% sure I would stay again.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Casa De Judy Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz