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“Nice owners, but fell short for the price”

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El Castillo Galapagos
Reviewed 18 September 2012

We booked El Castillo well in advance in fear of not being able to find available places in Santa Cruz. After we arrived there we realized that given the fact that it was the "off season", we could have booked a much nicer place for less than what we paid. To make it worse, we didn't realize that the 22% taxes weren't included in the already expensive price we were given - and to top it off, they only take cash! El Castillo is an interesting concept for a hotel - staying in a castle is appealing, but unfortunately the place needs a lot of help to make it worth it. The room we stayed in was extremely large, but awkwardly decorated and poorly lit. Not sure what it was, but we believe the ceiling was deteriorating, as when we would come back from the day, our items would have little pebbles all over them (I can only imagine what fell on us as we slept). The water was warm at best and very low pressure. The location is a 10 minute walk to the pier but with cabs only being $1, it wasn't too bad. Potentially in high season or if the price was a 10th of what it was, it would be okay.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Stefanie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 33 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2012

We booked the Hostel 3 Months in advance due to High Season on Galapagos. The Reservation was confirmed. When we arrived, they told us, they have given our room away one day before!!!
Don't book it, if you don't want to get disappointed.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Gisi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2012

Probably the most memorable room we have ever stayed in...our daughter in the tower above us. Really lovely. The owners were very friendly and breakfast was good...trays are available for a DIY breakfast in bed!
Booked through Booking.com, but realised when we arrived that we were paying maybe double the going rate so we moved after a couple of days to something much cheaper.
Note: the hotel is a 10 minute walk from Peurto Ayora centre.
Suggest that you try to book direct with the hotel to see if you can get a better deal than offered on Booking.com though.
BTW, a tip for those on a budget...maybe only 50% of the mid-range hotels in Puerto Ayora are on Trip Advisor and when we were there (July) all the TA hotels were full, and they were all more expensive than the non TA hotels!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Pennydoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2012

The staff was friendly and helpfull, but we found the price way too high for what we got. The room was dark and not so friendly looking. We found a better place to stay in the main street, for half the price.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vanwakeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2012

Upon check in we met the owner's son, Alejandro. He took us on a hike to his favorite place (Las Grietas) and took us out to see the local scene and made fresh coconut juice from a tree on the property. The room had one queen bed, one twin and one hammock and was well maintained throughout our stay.

They are very polite, and have great tips for things to do in the area. They are not located in the "heart" of town, but in all honesty everything is a hop skip and jump (or $1 taxi ride away).

We had a great stay and would recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank suemar7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2012

We were three women traveling together for a short stay in Galapagos. Found El Castillo on the Internet and they had triple rooms, so we gave it a try. We could not have been happier with the choice.

The place is a castle built about 40 years ago and it has some odd twists and turns (owing to the first owner who was a world traveler and added any feature he liked). The current owner is a woman whose youngest son, Alejandro, works the front desk and breakfast. What wonderful people they are!

Breakfast, we were told was from 7-8. On our second day, we had a 6:45 pick-up so we figured we would just skip breakfast, but Alejandro got up to set-up for us. I asked him why and he said "Because you needed to leave early." breakfast was simple -- cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread and cheese, but we were offered eggs as well.

Our room had three screen door in addition to the main entrance. Two doors led to litte balconies; the third led to a short walkway and bridge that connected it to another part of the house. We were on the 2nd floor, in a room with one king and 1 single bed. Shower ALWAYS had hot water. Towels were always provided and the staff could not have been more accommodating.

If I HAD to offer a negative, it would be that there bath mats were too small and thin and we always seemed to get them soaking wet (but that could just be the way we showered!)

The hotel is not near the "happening area" but taxis cost $1 (yes a dollar) and take you there quickly.

WARNING: They only accept cash, so be prepared. Our room was $105 per night for the 3 of us, plus the standard 22% tax. We felt this was a real bargain and consider the castle one of the highlights of our visit to Galapagos. Give them a try; you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank moharaphd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

I loved the unconventional castle. I got a great big room that was very well kept throughout my stay. It is close to everything you would want to see and if you want to rent a bike or snorkel it is available. The staff was awesome and very hospitable. I loved my stay I would highly recommend El Castillo. The owner is an Island native so he knows everything there is to know about the island and has a great restaurant with his dad where we frequently had dinner.

Room Tip: I got the suite at the back that looks like a tower and it was great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Karla P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Castillo Galapagos

Address: Barrio Pampas Coloradas, Calle Isabela, Puerto Ayora 200350, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Ayora
Price Range: £58 - £108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Castillo Galapagos 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A lovely place, built in volcanic stone, local travel agent and everything you'll need to guarantee satisfaction on your stay ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Castillo Galapagos Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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