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“Lovely owners and staff”
Review of Hotel Solymar

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Hotel Solymar
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Lovely owners and staff”
Reviewed 8 May 2014

We spent two nights at Hotel Solymar, after completing a five day boat trip in The Galapagos. It was a perfect way to get back on land and to rest up after five days of non-stop sightseeing, hiking and snorkeling. The setting is charming and the view from our room was spectacular. We enjoyed two dinners and the restaurant, as well as the outstanding buffet breakfasts. The owner and his wife were extremely nice and went out of their way to let it be known that they were there to help. The sea lion who jumped into the pool one afternoon made the stay even that much more special :-).

Room Tip: You definitely want to face the water!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank gkoitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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412 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Palo Alto, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 May 2014

REI Tours booked us in Hotel Solymar for 5 nights as an extension of our 12 day tour of Ecuador highlands and Galapagos Islands. It is a top notch hotel and extremely well located in the middle of the restaurant zone in this city. We used it as our base for 3 days of scuba diving at Scuba Iguana - considered by most as the best dive operation on Santa Cruz Island. The hotel booking included a full breakfast just off the open air pool/sauna and not far from the bar area that offered a great jazz sax in the evenings. OK, so we listened to it from our second floor balcony!
The room was not cheap, but if you don't know what else to expect in this city of 40,000 then you book one of the best. This was one of the best if not the best...
Only problem we had was low water pressure in the shower in our 2nd floor room.
Service across board was excellent!

Room Tip: Take a 2nd floor room above the pool facing the water...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Frank C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
122 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

As the hotel day time guest for 4 days. I used their beautiful pool and patio, enjoyed great meals prepared by their truly fantastic chief Edwin, and had great help from their very helpful front desk people, particularly from Emiko. I also had a look at the hotel ocean front room.

Originally, I stopped by to inquire about their room prices. I could hardly believe what I heard - $380 for an ocean front room, breakfast included :) Do not recall if taxes and service charges were included in this truly outrageous price, but do remember that the charge was same for the single or double occupancy, of a 3 star hotel. I had a look at the room at the second floor and, in my estimate, I would be paying $300 + for the view from a lovely balcony and $80 for the very standard room with a very standard and outdated furniture and the bathroom with only a shower, but no bath tub. The room I stayed in the GYE City Plaza, on my way to the Galapagos, was only a slightly smaller, but had a much better feel to it. And I thought that was expensive for Ecuador - LOL. But really, I've stayed in some five star hotels in Ecuador for slightly over $100. So, since many people estimated this hotel as providing a good value for money, I assume they did not pay more than 1/4 - 1/3 of the price quoted for me. In fact, I nearly booked that hotel for $150 at Booking.com. But this, of course, is endemic to the Ecuador hotel owners, to prefer to pay commission to the agents for their discount sales and offer the sky high prices directly to the customer. Anyway, paying or not paying for a certain hotel is a matter of personal choice :)

But, since I saw the rooms, I may as well add that they were spotlessly clean and that the bathrooms had good plush towels and nice toiletries. And that their front desk service is simply superb. And this is how I learned that I could use the swimming pool as a day time guest, paying $25 per day, to be credited to my restaurant bill. Well, the pool was lovely, and so was the hot tub :) Swimming in the pool and looking at the Pelican bay is a memory to cherish. And so are the iguanas sun basing around the pool, the resident pool pelicans, and the seal making his theatrical appearances in the pool.

And now picture getting out of the pool for lunch in the bar, literally 5 steps away. Well you would not think of a fabulous food in such a place, would you? Neither did I, but SURPRISE, AND A VERY PLEASANT ONE. It turned out that the Solymar restaurant has a truly fantastic chef Edwin, who studied cooking in Montreal, Canada and is a true artist gourmet cook.

I had five fantastic meals at the Solymar restaurant. One of the dishes was especially prepared for me. Unfortunately, I cannot post the picture of that
dish, because the hotel owner did not email it to me as she had promised. And, as it turned out, being a true gourmet cook, Edwin just created something, according to his mood and whim, so the fantastic combination of sea food has no name :) So, if you are a food lover, go there, ask to talk to Edwin, and ask him to create something for you. I promise you, you will remember that dish even if it is to stay nameless :)

In addition to that special creation, I had there grilled fish with 2 different, but equally impressive souses, accompanied by the crisp vegetables and wonderful potato pure, all food always beautifully and artfully arranged and presented. I also had a fried sea food plate, with the best calamaris I have ever tasted and the fish that melted in my mouth. I had a tomato-cheese salad with the pesto which tasted as if it came from a very good Italian restaurant. I could go on raving, but it is easier to say that, in my 3.5 years in Ecuador, I have been to many good restaurants. And I think that Edwin is one of the two best chefs, whose meals I so enjoyed in Ecuador, the second being the owner of Tiesto's in Cuenca.FIVE STARS FOR EDWIN'S COOKING. But less than 3 stars for the simply awful restaurant service, probably the worst I have met in Ecuador.

I do not know why the Solymar restaurant and bar are not listed separately, nor even have the name. My rating for the quality of food at that restaurant would be 5 stars, same for the price/value ration. In fact, the restaurant only a bit more expensive than overpriced tourist hang outs such as El Giardino and the Grill, which I also reviewed.

Thanks for the wonderful meals, Edwin. It was a pleasure to meet you. Allison, may I suggest that you you give your restaurant a name and list it as such at Trip Advisor. This way, you will have many more customers and Edwin will have many more admirers.

Finally, as I mentioned above, all the Solymar front desk people were very helpful, friendly, and courteous. But Emiko went out of her way to make my day time visits to Solymar particularly enjoyable. She is a wonderfully warm, intelligent, and knowledgeable young woman, who speaks English fluently and clearly likes both her job and people, and helping them any way she can. Thanks to her suggestions, I had a great excursion to one of the islands.

Will be back to Solymar, may be even as a resident guest :)

Room Tip: The rooms in the new building across the street do not have ocean front views, but they rent for aro...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank movingtoEcuador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

We found this hotel via Expedia and reviews on trip advisor. It was better than we expected. Great location, nice clean rooms, good food, breakfast buffet is very impressive, staff were beyond helpful. My passport was being sent to the hotel but got stuck with a courier in Guayaquil for 6 days. The hotel receptionist spent all morning on the phone trying to track it for me whilst still having to do her own job. She then called our hotel in Guayaquil so they could continue trying to track it for me. She went above and beyond considering it wasn't her problem. Our first day here we sat the pool and saw iguanas, birds, crabs as sealions. Our 3rd day here we got to witness a sealions swimming in our hotel pool. It was brilliant!! We would come back to this hotel for sure. The waiter service for drinks is very slow but we noticed that is common throughout everywhere we have been in South America so far. But sitting by the pool relaxing whose in a hurry :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank naomiammar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Watertown, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We greatly enjoyed our stays at Solymar. The rooms over the pool were attractive with a great view. Food on the deck was excellent for lunch and dinner. Location convenient. Staff was particularly helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: Rooms over pool avoid street noise (if any) and have a great view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2014

breakfast: the novelty of the lizards around the pool quickly wore off, but seeing the shocked look on each persons face as they walk in to see the skimpy morning breakfast was always entertaining. the breakfast is pathetic considering the room rates.

hygiene alert: birds come in and help themselves to the same cereal, nuts, etc that guests are eating, but how would the staff know or care since they often hide in the back room so they don’t need to bother to make breakfast omelets for anyone.

wifi: slow to none (intermittent service)

room: nausating hospital lighting (bright white LED bulbs to cut costs)

my room had holes in the screen door allowing for easy entrance for mosquitos

location & view: good, but has fishy harbor smell of dead fish and constant bombardment of bird droppings. pool has occasional sea lion droppings as well as sea lion occasionally swims thru it.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rseg99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 April 2014

We stayed at Solymar for one week. The people were very friendly, the room was always clean. An ideal address to start from if you want to experience the Galapagos !! It was only a pity that some of the personnel speak only Spanish.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Solymar

Property: Hotel Solymar
Address: Ave. Charles Darwin | Thomas de Berlanga, Puerto Ayora 00000, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz > Puerto Ayora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Ayora
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Ayora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thank you for your interest in Hotel Solymar and our New Extension Isla Sol, located 10 steps from the entrance of Hotel Solymar. We are centrally located in Puerto Ayora’s mainstreet, with ocean access, and a beautiful patio for your guests to enjoy the nature that is Galapagos. Galapagos' only Galapagueño owned and operated first class hotel. Our father, a Galapagos tourism pioneer and legend, Jimmy Perez, opened the hotel in 1960 with eight rooms. It was later completely renovated in 2007 to bring the capacity to 17 rooms with ocean front views.In Hotel Solymar we have 17 rooms equipped with LED flat screen TVs, minibars, air conditioning, hot water, private balconies which allow our guests to appreciate a spectacular ocean view. Guests may enjoy a our jacuzzi, pool, and bar in our open air patio area or enjoy a more formal setting in our dining room, all while experiencing the service of our ultra attentive staff.August of this year, we inaugurated Isla Sol by Hotel Solymar; a new building with 14 modern rooms (6 exterior view – 8 interior view). Isla Sol with meeting space for up to 120 people, ideal for hosting any type of event in Galapagos.As former guides, we know our Islands intimately and can assist our guests with their travel plans, whether your desires be to kayak with sea lions or hike through the highlands to encounter the famous giant tortoises.Our staff speaks English, Spanish and Hebrew. We hail from Galapagos, Columbia, mainland Ecuador, Israel and United States. With our diverse international staff we are proud to provide a level of hospitality and guest service that keeps guests returning year after year.We look forward to welcoming you soon at Hotel Solymar - Galapagos! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solymar Hotel Puerto Ayora
Hotel Solymar Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

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