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“You'll love this place!”
Review of Red Mangrove

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Red Mangrove
Ranked #8 of 21 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 27 March 2014

This vacation was truly one of a kind! We just got home this afternoon, & I wanted to write before the details started "blurring".
I have to start by mentioning & thanking Frank F. For his amazing support in our family's planning process. An Incredibly helpful man, who hung in there with us from start to finish.
The guides they provided were fluent in English, fun, & incredibly knowledgable.
The food & wait staff were both to be commended.

Room Tip: I was initially less than thrilled to be placed in the Divers Lodge. It's a good 3-4 block walk...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Susan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Susan,

We thank you for choosing Red Mangrove , for your time to send an email to Franklin and after all leave your comment on Trip Advisor.

Your feedback is very important to us, as it helps other guest to decide for our company.

Sincerely,

Red Mangrove Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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244 - 250 of 663 reviews

Reviewed 26 March 2014

First, a special thank you to Juan Jose' Salazar, the Red Mangrove Adventure Specialist. While we were in the planning stages, he always answered our many questions promptly by email and was most patient and helpful. Without his feedback/assurances, I am not sure we would have undertaken this trip.

The Galapagos trip was a once in a lifetime adventure with snorkeling, kayaking, hiking to the Sierra Negra volcanic crater, and seeing all the exotic wildlife. There were only 4 other people with us and our guide, Manolo. He was very knowledgeable, professional, and so enthusiastic. One English-speaking couple were in their late 20s and from Switzerland on their way via South America to San Diego to conduct research into gene therapy and diabetes/cancer. Both had just finished with their PhDs. Other couple was from Rio and in their 40s. He spoke English but she did not.

The wildlife was fascinating. Loved seeing all the huge lumbering tortoises, owls with chicks nesting on the ground, playful sea lions, penguins, pelicans, iguanas, crabs. reef sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, Darwin's finches, and my most favorite....the blue-footed booby birds. Had webbed feet that were a powder blue! Also when they dove in the water for fish, they went straight down like a torpedo.

Food was all-inclusive and usually a buffet. Had some unfamiliar local food but I always found more than enough to eat! The fruit juices were amazing...strawberry, mango, blackberry. YUM! One day we went to eat lunch at a farm. All the food had been grown there organically. Very tasty.

WiFi at the lodges was spotty at best but was free. Bicycles were also free of charge through the lodge and we took several trips to town on them. Lots of little shops there for souvenirs. The water in Galapagos is undrinkable so bottled water is always available and cooking water is purified.

The hike to the volcanic crater was 4 miles round trip. In the rain. With lots of mud. Felt like I was in a try-out for Survivor. But I made it there and back with just a few minor slips. View at the top was worth it. There had been an eruption in 1995.

Stayed on 2 different islands (Santa Cruz and Isabela) at Red Mangrove properties. The hotel on Santa Cruz was on an inlet. Had meals on the deck overlooking all the water and boats. Sea lions, crabs, iguanas, birds. On the deck...not the menu!!! Sea lions liked to crawl up into the boats to sun and rest. Looked like captains of the ship! The hotel on Isabela was ocean front and was my favorite. While we were traveling in a cabin cruiser between the 2 islands, we were joined by a school of dolphin. Boat slowed down and 3 of them swam with us for several miles.

Took a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Center where there were many iguanas and tortoises being protected until their release back into the wild.

One of my favorite memories is of visiting the fish market in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. Fishermen bring in their catch at the end of the day, and they are cut up and sold there. In addition to lots of locals and tourists, this attracts lots of pelicans and sea lions crowded underfoot as the guys worked. Was fun to watch a tug of war over a fish head between a sea lion and one of the pelicans.

All in all it was a wonderful experience that we would recommend to all our friends. I would advise them to stay overnight in Guayaquil at the Oro Verde Hotel on both legs of their journey. Coming home we opted not to stay overnight in Guayaquil as we had done initially, and the return trip home to Memphis took us about 24 hours due to lengthy airport layovers. But it was all worth it for the memories.

Room Tip: We booked this trip through Travelzoo and they did not mention an option to upgrade to an ocean view...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank 38002Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Guest,

We appreciate your time to write such a good comment,

Once again, thank you for choosing Red Mangrove

Sincerely,

Red Mangrove Team.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

If you are happy with awful staff and overpriced shoddy rooms, this is the place for you.

Firstly, my review and experience would have been completely different if we had only paid $200-$300 per night. However we were charged $655+ per night for a suite (even the chap on reception couldn't believe how much we'd been charged when we told him!!). This price was room only and didn't include any flights, transfers or day trips etc, so almost $2,000 for a room for 3 nights only.

I am also surprised I am writing a bad review based on so many other good reviews, but when reading through them, they do seem to be few and far apart and the majority of them seem to be reviewers who have stayed in all three Red Mangrove locations in the galapagos as part of a tour and appear to mark the tour as a whole rather than the specific hotel.

We were in the galapagos to celebrate a milestone birthday and a result wanted to stay somewhere a bit more special. We had saw the good reviews of Red Mangrove and decided to stay here for 3 nights. We contacted the hotel direct and were told the cost would be $655+ per night. This was a lot more than we were expecting/budgeted, but as it was a special occasion and we had saved hard for the trip, we decided to go for it as thought the quality would match the price. We couldn't have been more wrong.

We had already stayed in Iguana Crossing on Isabela island, so were familiar with the galapagos prices bring expensive, however, we had had an outstanding stay at Iguana Crossing so considering Red Mangrove was $255 more expensive per night, we had high expectations.

Firstly, upon arrival we were met with miserable staff who barely looked up and not a smile in sight, a welcoming hello was clearly not standard! My husband had advised them in advance of the birthday we were celebrating, but there was no mention of this.

We were shown to the room, which on first appearance wasn't what we expected. The room was quite tiny, unlike the photo shown for a suite. We closed the door and even when the door was closed and locked there was a gap down the side of the door at the top which we could physically reach our hand through!!

Now, I understand we are in the heart of a national park, so there is plenty of wildlife around and the odd creature in the room wouldn't be a surprise, but when there are as many in the room as outside, it can be quite uncomfortable. I'm not saying we were shacked up with sea lions and iguanas, but there were geckos, cockroaches, ants and spiders in the room. The geckos had even poohed in the room and one right on the toothbrush!! As mentioned before, had we paid $200-$300 for the room, maybe we would expect this, but not at $655+.

The room itself was tidy, but in need of upkeep. We had a jacuzzi bath in the room, but this didn't work and the bathroom was not a separate room, it was in the bedroom with a kind of partition wall around it which didn't go all the way to the ceiling.

We spoke to the guy on reception who, after inspecting the room, confirmed he was unable to move us as the hotel was completely booked. He explained that all the suites were the same and maybe we would want to downgrade as these rooms were tiled rooms with no wildlife entering these rooms. He could not believe how much we had been charged per night. We had to speak to the operations manager (via telephone), who at 10pm that night, finally agreed to refund the nights fee and we went elsewhere to find a room for the night. We found a hotel a few doors down which from the minute we walked through the front door were more welcoming and friendly. The room was much more secure and it was less than half price!!

We had to go back the following day to sort the following two evenings, but I was less than impressed seeing as this was my actual birthday.

I spoke with the sales manager I asked to cancel the following 2 nights as they had done the first, but said this was against policy to process refunds, even though they already had for the first night. They agreed to change us suite, but I explained I wasn't comfortable to do so as I had been told all the rooms would be the same.

I then asked to downgrade, but was told these rooms were fully booked (different to the information given on the previous day). We also asked to move to the dive lodge instead, but we're told this had also booked up completely overnight. I found everything we were told was contradicted from one conversation to the next and found the staff very dishonest.

I was told to make my way to reception at a certain time to call the manager, when I got there I was told the manager had gone to lunch for an hour. Ridiculous, why tell a time then not be there? The same happened the following day when we were due to receive our refund.

The lady I was spoke to on the phone to try and sort the issue was rude and patronising and had no customer service skills whatsoever.

We ended up leaving the hotel and stayed somewhere else for the remaining 2 nights and we're not provided with any refund for these 2 nights ($1,310 for nothing) even though I had not been referred to any cancellation terms upon booking.

I would not recommend this particular hotel to anyone and have been left with a very bitter taste in my mouth (and a dent in my finances) from this stay! I would however highly recommend the Solymar which beats Red Mangrove hands down in every aspect - cleanliness, friendliness, facilities, location and price.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
12  Thank MeetTheEdwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

The kids, my wife and I continue to rave about our time in the Galapagos with Red Mangrove. Galapagos were amazing, and the naturalists were particularly attentive to the needs of a curious 9 year old who needed help snorkelling, while explaining evolution and Darwin's theories to our high school aged kids. Friendliest and most helpful hotel staff as well. Can't say enough good things about the experience. Was also great to travel with an Ecuadoran company vs a North American one - really got a taste for the country too. Strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank JayToronto1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Guest,

We are happy to find out you and your family had a good time at the Enchanted Islands.

Sincerely,
Red Mangrove Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We had a fantastic time in the Galapagos diving, hiking and relaxing in a our nice rooms on both Santa Cruz and Isabella. Our dive master was great and we enjoyed the trip immensely. The dive master took wonderful underwater photos of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and sea lions that were once in a lifetime experiences.

We were told we were going to receive copies of our photos before we left, but we never did. My husband and I were both incredibly disappointed as the experiences are something we could never get back. Although trip was fantastic, the service and reliability were questionable and tainted the trip for us. Very sad way to end the trip...

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank cameleon12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Guest,

Your comment is very good appreciated, following up with the pictures. We explained that the internet on the islands is poor. So we are about to receive a CD, and as soon we are able to download, you will receive them inmediately.

Our staff will be in touch with you .

Sincerely,

Red Mangrove Team

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

The Red Mangrove is a wonderful hotel!!! The staff is so helpful and welcoming. The rooms are clean, spacious and the decor is delightful. Having coffee on the deck in the morning was a highlight. I would defintely rcommend this hotel!!! Our guide Eric, was amazing!! He was personable, knowledgeable and very accomodating. His passion for the Galapagos was inspirational!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Katherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback, it really encourage us to keep providing on of the best services on Galápagos.

Sincerely,

Red Mangrove Team.

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Reviewed 16 March 2014

We stayed here after booking the Darwin's footprints tour for 5 nights, 6 days. I agree with many other reviewers that this is an excellent program with excellent food and accommodations. I do think it is worthwhile to upgrade the accommodations, as their nicer suites are much nicer than the standard ones. Also, the program is for the physically fit and some programs may be too much for some, even reasonably fit people.. Finally,, there is a reason so many people cruise through the Galapagos. This is a land based adventure and you will not get to the more far reaching islands which may have additional wildlife, not easily viewed on the inhabited islands.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the larger suites with water view
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Larry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sucorodas, Manager at Red Mangrove, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback, it is always good to receive comments from our guests.

Sincerely,
Red Mangrove Team.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Red Mangrove

Address: Avenida Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora EC010110, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range: £227 - £351 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Red Mangrove 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Red Mangrove is an oceanfront hotel with the best views of Academy Bay, located in Puerto Ayora. The hotel is the perfect place for Galapagos visitors to stay considering many activities like snorkeling, hiking, beaches, swimming, kayaking, and visiting the Charles Darwin Center are just minutes away. Why else is the Red Mangrove a good decision? For those who are prone to seasickness the hotel gives you a stay where you feel just like you're on the water with the option to choose different packages with the activities mentioned. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Mangrove Aventura Hotel Puerto Ayora
Hotel Red Mangrove Aventura
Red Mangrove Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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