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“I wanted to write a rave review, too.....”

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Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
Kirkland, WA
Level Contributor
191 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“I wanted to write a rave review, too.....”
Reviewed 10 November 2011

We were guests at the hotel from September 13 – 18, 2011. Overall, our stay was very good. Our initial impression, however, colored most of the rest of our stay.
We arrived for a 5 day, 4 night visit after looking at a wide range of options for our first ever trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. This trip was in celebration of our 15th anniversary and I wanted to make it extra special. This property was highly recommended to us and seemed to be a perfect blend of time at the hotel and activities around the Islands.
My goal with this trip was to take a second honeymoon and planned all of our arrangements to reflect that. I requested the best rooms at our hotel in Quito and at Finch Bay – I wanted our stay to be memorable and comfortable. My goal for our trip was comfort and luxury over cost. I selected the ocean view room with a king sized bed and I was assured it was the nicest the hotel had to offer for a couple.
On arrival at the room, we were surprised to see 2 beds. I explained that it wasn’t what I’d requested and the young man with us (Carlos) said there had been an error and no king sized beds were available. When I asked how this could be, he said it was the fault of the booking agent. This didn’t make any sense to me. Since the hotel is owned by the booking agency, I was puzzled. I said that we really wanted a king room and he then said none would be available until the 16th. Carlos said he would find out if he could get another bed to replace the two. He left, saying he’d be back in a few minutes. He didn’t come back, and since we didn’t know if we’d be staying in the room, we sat there, unable to settle in, or unpack, and even unsure if we should use the bathroom. After about an hour, I went down to the office to ask what was going on and they found Carlos. He said he was still trying to find out. Again, he said “be patient – just a few minutes.” By this point, I’d emailed our booking agent to ask for her help in resolving the situation. While I was down the office area, there was a call for me. It was the booking agent. She said that the hotel was overbooked and the room not being available was the property’s fault. At this point, I felt completely caught in the middle. By now, we’d been at the hotel for a few hours and didn’t think we’d be getting what we’d been promised. Carlos came back to our room and said no other bed was available, but thought maybe we could push the two beds together. He looked at the beds, said to give him a few minutes, and he left. It was now close to dinner time. We finally decided to change out of our travelling clothes. We felt resigned to the fact that no one was going to honor our reservation by providing us with the room on our contract. Carlos never returned to our room with an update. At dinner, this issue was discussed with the people who were a part of our adventure group. While I was trying to stay positive about it, what I felt like was that we were given a lot of words, but no action. Nothing that was promised happened and our entire afternoon was spent in limbo – no relaxing, no pool time – just waiting for someone to get back to us “in a few minutes”.
After dinner, we moved the beds together ourselves and resolved to make a bad situation as good as possible. Since it was meant to be our “second honeymoon”, it seemed quite ironic to be in a room with two beds. Not quite the romantic spot I was intending.
Through all of this, a couple of simple things would have helped. First, a sincere apology from someone – the hotel staff or the booking agency – taking responsibility for the error. Neither one would take responsibility – they pointed fingers at each other, leaving us caught in the middle. Second, an offer to give something in compensation for our inconvenience: a discounted rate on the room (preferable), complimentary bottle of wine or drinks – anything rather than continuing to say “not our fault and no options available”. Last, but definitely not least, follow through. If you say you will get back to someone, be sure you do. Don’t say “a few minutes” if what you mean is never. I realize it was a busy time at the hotel with lots of arrivals, but from our perspective, we were in limbo all afternoon and finally had to come to the conclusion on our own and create our own solution. For anyone in the hospitality industry, this is a bad first impression. The guest should feel valued, cared for, and their solution made a priority, not ignored. We did not feel any of those – more ignored and forgotten.
While all of this was going on, the only time I heard back from the booking agent was to tell me that she still could not get my payment processed on the Visa card I’d provided to her. It was used for our deposit, which worked fine, and I made sure my bank knew to expect the charges (I gave them the company name and amount) but it still wasn’t going through. Having to deal with this multiple times while on vacation was frustrating. Each time she called, I thought it might be about our room problem, but it was about this issue. It felt like again, our problem was forgotten and this issue took precedence.
We were finally offered the room next door. Sadly, that offer was made on Friday night at dinner time and we would have to move everything over after we were done. The thought of packing everything up at 10 p.m. and then having to pack the next night for our early a.m. departure held no appeal. There was no offer to facilitate the move for us – just if we wanted to, the room was available. It felt like more of an inconvenience than a solution to the problem.
I would like to have had the “rave” experience so many people have had at the Finch Bay Hotel. I was frustrated that this first impression made me feel like our stay was less than what I expected or was promised. I worked very hard to stay pleasant and positive with all the staff there - I adopted the idea of “relax…it’s vacation…it’s still OK” and that helped, but then the bill came and I was annoyed again. The experience we had in the Galapagos was wonderful – our group, our guides – all great. The property was lovely and we enjoyed our ocean view from the balcony. The food was very good and it truly was a fine stay. The only problem was that we were promised something that could not be delivered – and no one ever stepped up to say “we messed up”. That one thing was a key piece of our total vacation experience that I worked hard to plan – a room with a king sized bed for our second honeymoon.
I did write to the hotel company and never heard back. I would have posted sooner, but I wanted to give them the chance to respond. After 4 weeks, I'm think it's safe to assume I won't.

Room Tip: Be sure to specify what you want, but don't be surprised if it isn't available.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank ErinLeary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 3 December 2011
Dear Guests,

We own you an apologize and i kindly ask you to please accept it, the booking agent and us have been working hard to be sure this will not happen again, my main intention is not to justify anything, on the contrary, it is to rectify these mistakes and problems we have had with our booking system software.

I want to thank you for your review, your feedback is invaluable.

I feel terrible and i am very sorry to know your experience in Galapagos was not the best one, specially because it was your 15th anniversary, i look forward to have the chance to compensate you in the future, the positive part of a mistake is the knowlegde you get from it, thank you for the lesson.

Best regards,


Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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miami fl
1 review
Reviewed 8 November 2011

We stayed on the 5 day package at this hotel, it was a wonderful experience. The ocean view room we had was perfect, specially the hammock at the terrace.

The restaurant was good and the food varied and interesting.

The organised trips from the hotel were excellent, using the hotel's private yacht. The guides were excellent - very well informed, friendly and helpful.

The pool area was of a high standard and perfect ocean views, although we had little time to sit around.

Room Tip: if you get an ocean view room dont miss the sunrise...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pbruscatto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear pbruscatto,

Thank you very much for your review and for taking the time to write it down, we love to know you had a wonderful experience with us in the Galapagos Islands.
Our recommendation when you buy an all inclusive package is to add a few extra nights so you can enjoy other visitor sites in Santa Cruz Island like Tortuga Bay - the most beautiful beach here- or Garrapatero Beach, kayak rides or just relax at the hotel and enjoy Puerto Ayora.

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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Atlanta
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2011

Just returned from a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Stayed at the Finch Bay resort which was wonderful. Accomodations, grounds, food, guides, employees were exceptional. My only complaint are the daily excursion trips which leave early (7:30 am) in the morning, returning around 5 pm, (that part is fine) but take two hours to get to and from destinations, a lot of time was spent traveling and not seeing much. I don't know if all boat tours take that long to get to the islands, so a response is welcomed. We did a 4 night/5 day all inclusive trip, we were very busy everyday without really getting to relax at this nice property. I would suggest adding a few days to enjoy the hotel.

Room Tip: Stayed in 201 overlooking the bay, very nice corner unit.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Suzanne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear AtlantaZanne,

Thank you very much for your review, i am pleased to know you had a wonderful time in the Galapagos Islands. Our daily tours are full day excursions leaving the Hotel at 07h45 everyday and coming back around 16h00 except saturdays when we go to Bartolome, that day the arrival time to the Hotel is around 18h00 because Bartolome is far away from Santa Cruz Island but this island is one of the most beautiful in the Archipelago. The average distance we have to cruise everyday is 35 nautic miles round trip, it takes between 11/2 and 2 hours to get to and from destinations as you say, during the cruising there are good chances to see whales, dolphins, mantarays, sea lions, storm petrels, blue footed boobies, etc. Personally i love to cruise, i could spend hours and hours cruising, just watching the sea, the water, its flexibility and adaptability, there are so many beautiful things to learn from it, but i do understand the fact that there is not enough time to enjoy the Hotel´s facilities and i am 100% agree with you about adding a few extra days to do it.

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 4 November 2011

We stayed at Finch Bay for 4 nights in October. Everything went very well, from the moment we were greeted at the airport to the moment we left. The ocean view rooms are perfect and well appointed, meals were superb!
The daily tours were great, especially the one to visit the tortoises in the wild and Bartholome Island. The long walk to Tortuga Bay is well worth the trip, it is one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen, naturalists were very informative and funny.
Thank you for a fantastic experience!!!

Room Tip: go for the ocean view room OV2
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank grandlife775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear grandlife775,

Thank you very much for your review, we are delighted to know you had a fantastic experience in the Galapagos Islands, i am agree with you about Tortuga Bay, it is one of the most beautiful beaches i have seen in my life! i am glad you had the time to enjoy it!

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
274 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2011

Peaceful hotel in Puerto Ayora. Probably the best hotel on Santa Cruz. Easily accessible from the port, by water taxi and then a short walk along a footpath. Good pool. Can walk onto the beach - about 25 metres from the pool.
Very helpful staff.

Room Tip: Pay a bit extra for an Ocean View room.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SBSevenoaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review, the Finch Bay Hotel is a peaceful hotel indeed thanks to our location, i love the sound of waves, wind and birds and of course the beautiful ocean views, but at the same time we offer many kind of activities, day trips, scuba dive trips, kayak rides, etc.

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tazzybear@shaw.ca
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2011

Full marks go to this resort which both preaches & practises the concept of a small carbon footprint. You will not encounter large Greyhounds spewing out toxic fumes while idling at the front door to disgorge their occupants. No, this would not be possible, for there is no road for these or other vehicles to access the facility. Guests arrive via boat at the Hotel's dock and then make a walk of about ten minutes along a good trail. While water is a precious commodity wherever you might be on this Planet, in an archipelago where fresh water is in such short supply it is especially so. The Finch Eco Hotel maintains its own desalination plant to satisfy the need for this resource.
"But how," you might ask, "does the garbage truck take away the waste if there is no road?" Well, it seems that there is no reason for a refuse vehicle to approach the premises, for it has its own treatment plant!
If you book a stay here, be prepared for being "spoiled". The staff members are attentive, the accommodations are comfortable, the dining is superb & the guides for the field trips are knowledgeable.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Taz D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear Tazzybear,

Thank you very much for your review, it was a pleasure to spoil you and we all are very happy to know you had a nice time in Galapagos.

I want to point out something: what we have at Finch Bay Hotel is a sewage treatment plant, not a garbage treatment plant, we work together with the Galapagos Foundation in Puerto Ayora to classify and recycle the trash. We are doing some other small things to reduce our carbon footprint: we use solar panels to heat up the water in the rooms, we have a little green garden with vegetables and fruits and we are working in the Hotel´s garden mainly with native species because we understood they need less resources like water to be healthy and beautiful.

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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Lancashire
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

Spent 5 nights her at the end of a long Sth America trip and it will live in the memory . The hotel is peaceful and restful with an open air feel . The food is to superb and the staff cannot do enough to help you without being overbearing . Breakfast was the best on the whole trip !
My partner had his 60th birthday there and they went to great lengths to give him a special meal with wonderful detail , cake and candles . Rooms were functional , well equipped and comfortable . Home made chocs by the bed every night !
The hotel yacht was so spacious and comfortable and the guides were fantastic . We felt privileged to be able to see and learn so much about the environment and wildlife .
Another highlight for me was that I learnt how to snorkel off the yacht ! Awesome .

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finchbayhotel, Gerente at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, responded to this review, 1 December 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review and for taking the time to write it, we are pleased to know you had an amazing time in the Galapagos Islands, it was our pleasure to meet you and be able to serve you.
What makes me happy the most is the fact that you are ready for more adventures under the water, congratulations!!!

Best regards,

Xavier Burbano de Lara T.
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Additional Information about Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel

Property: Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
Address: Punta Estrada S/N | Puerto Ayora, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador (Formerly Finch Bay Eco Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning hotel enjoys a peaceful and magical beachfront location in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. The 21 Garden View-room and 6 Ocean View suite hotel makes the ideal base for exploring the natural diversity and attractions of the island – including Tortuga Bay beach – and for taking day-trips to nearby islands, aboard its own, specialized yachts. The hotel also implements best practices in sustainable tourism. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Finch Bay Eco
Finch Bay Eco Puerto Ayora
Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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