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“Sea Lions in the bar”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Solymar

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Hotel Solymar
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Puerto Ayora
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Sea Lions in the bar”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2010

We spent ages trying to choose a nice hotel for 4 days on Santa Cruz Island while diving on our honeymoon. Eventually chose Sol y Mar because of it's location - close to our dive center. Really was a great choice - on our first day we had our breath taken away by the incredible wildlife in the bar area and by the pool - sea lions, pelicans, marine iguanas. A real Galapaganian welcome! The hotel is pretty close to a bunch of good restaurants, our dive center (the very good) Scuba Iguana, and the Charles Darwin Research Center - where they breed the giant tortoises to protect them. Sol y Mar's rooms are comfortable and clean, but basic. The breakfasts were great, the staff were friendly and efficient. We really enjoyed our stay here.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bigcitylondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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410 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2010

My husband and I loved this place. The first thing we saw when we walked into the lobby and through to the pool was three sea lions napping in the shade in the patio area by the pool. We realized this was a daily occurence and enjoyed watching the sea lions, pelicans, iguanas and crabs that hang around by the pool (and sometimes go in the pool...) and outdoor bar area. The room was fairly basic but it was very clean and the bed was really comfortable. The balcony looking out to the ocean was wonderful - we would sit out and have wine before going out for dinner. We love heat and man do you ever get hot, hot heat here! Laying out by the pool was great but you couldn't lay long without going in the water! The breakfast was decent - a pretty good selection and we had no complaints. We didn't eat at the restaurant for dinner but heard it was good. The staff were pretty friendly and helped us book a snorkelling/bay tour around Santa Cruz. We enjoyed that the hotel was quite small and also that it had cold water coolers as you will definitely be re-filling that water bottle MANY times!

Puerto Ayora was actually better than I thought it was going to be! I wasn't really sure what to expect but we really enjoyed staying there for 3 days before going on our boat for 5 days. It's a laid back little town but has some really decent restaurants, bars, and shopping. There is one street where all the locals eat (I can't remember the name but it's pretty easy to find) and there is some really good food there for way cheaper than the tourist restaurants. The fish market is right close to the hotel and it's pretty entertaining to stop and watch for a while as there are pelicans and sea lions flocking around the workers trying to get a snack! MAKE SURE you make a point of going to Tortuga Bay. It's about a 45 walk from town (really easy to get there, just ask someone) but is SO worth it...what a wonderful, long, wide, quiet, rugged, turquoise beach! Make sure you walk the whole length of the beach and when you get to the end you'll see a cactus forest and tons of iguanas! Then if you go around the corner there's a really quiet, calm bay that's great for swimming. We also saw lots of birds while at Tortuga Bay. It's quite a long walk if you include walking there and walking the length of the beach both ways, but we enjoyed it there so much we went twice (wear good shoes)! Other things to see are the Charles Darwin Research Station which was cool, the huge tortoises in the wild in the highlands, and we also did a Bay Tour which was pretty cool. Didn't see as much snorkelling there as when we were on our boat, but it was still worth it.

We really enjoyed the mix of staying on Santa Cruz for 3 days on our own and then going on the boat for 5 days (we did a GAP Adventures tour to and it was great). The boat trip around the Galapagos Islands was so amazing and I HIGHLY recommend you see more of the islands than just Santa Cruz. We went to Floreana, Espanola, North Seymour, South Plaza and Sana Fe on our tour. They are so different and you see see so many amazing landscapes, animals, birds, sea life, etc. The snorkelling was AMAZING...it was so exciting that we always snorkeled for more than an hour straight at a time. The Galapagos was honestly like no other place I've been and you will not regret going there. I've been to 30 countries in 5 continents and the Galapagos is definitely in my top 5 fave places!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dani_worldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simi Valley, California
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at the Sol y Mar hotel in Puerto Ayora, Ecuador.
The service from the front desk attendants was awesome. The hotel location was perfect for exploring the town! However, our sleep was interrupted every night by construction on a bank located directly beside the hotel. As well, our room was directly above the kitchen of the hotel restaruant so when the construction noise wasn't keeping us awake the kitchen racket was :( Additionally, the patio door would not shut completely letting in noise as well as bugs!!! The tile floor of the room was so slick that with the island's humidity the floor always felt wet and became a death trap after showering. For the price it would have been nice to have had a TV in the room. The hot water from the shower was inconsistent and did not work for half of one of the days we were staying at the hotel. Finally, the sleepless nights came to a cumination when we unexpectedly had to change our flight back to the mainland a day early. The hotel was unwilling to even discuss a partial refund for our prepaid night there. It's unfortunate that such a nice location and front desk staff was wasted. I would not recommend this hotel to others despite these good qualities.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amy1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelSolymar, Propietario at Hotel Solymar, responded to this review, 13 January 2011
Thank you for your visit and your comments. While unable to control the activities of our neighboring bank's construction activities, we apologize that it was an inconvenience during your stay. Their mini renovation activities have since been concluded. We are in the process of resolving the issue of kitchen racket, thank you for your advice.
If the reception was notified of the door issue, we have a maintenance team on staff that could have made sure if closed properly, at times the sliding glass doors that lead to the balcony jump the track and just require a minor adjustment.
We do provide bath mats outside of our showers to avoid slips on our tile floor. Thank you for your mention of the hot water issue, this has since been resolved by installing a new water heater, our sincerest apologies that you were inconvenienced.
As mentioned on our website, we do not have televisions in any of our rooms. The hotel was built with the concept of our guests enjoying nature from any location in the hotel, from their balcony, our patio or restaurant, most guests enjoy this break from reality, while we understand its not for everyone. Mentioned in our website, as well as, all payment and cancellation information sent to travel agencies and direct passengers alike, we are unable to issue refunds for paid reservations.
We appreciate your feedback as it helps us to grow and better our services.

Allison Perez
Guest Services/Owner
Hotel Solymar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
81 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2010

Staff provided a drink and introductory talk on the hotel amenities upon checking in which was informative and appreciated. The room was basic but very clean and provided with bottled water. The rooms had a great view over the pool to the harbor filled with various ships and sailing vessels. The breakfast buffet had a good variety of choices and was very tasty.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank UKBlueCrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield IL
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2010

Clean, boutique style, nice clean rooms with a view overlooking the harbor, balconies. Nice pool (the only one here) with sea lions, iguana, and a handicapped pelican. Nice outdoor bar area, hammocks overlooking the water. Much nicer than other local hotels. Short walk to the dive shop, shopping, restaurants, and the marinas. Restaurant was OK, we ate out mostly.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank skydoc2336
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2010

We just returned back from a trip to the Galapagos Islands and stayed at the Sol y Mar hotel while there. The hotel was so charming. We were greeted with a cold pineapple drink upon arrival and given a briefing of the hotel. There were two sea lions hanging out in the pool area when we arrived.

The hotel is intimate, only 17 rooms. They provide you with two bottles of water and encourage you to refill them from their own cold jugs of purified water dispensers. Breakfast was included and was delicious; included eggs cooked to order, toast, cereal, pancakes, fresh squeezed juices and fresh plates of sliced fruits.

Since we were going on boat excursions everyday, they were kind enough to pack us box lunches of bottled water, sandwiches and fruit. So thoughtful!

We HIGHLY recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Puerto Ayora. We ate at Il Giardini, Garrapata and some food from the local stands and everything was delicious.

Galapagos Islands is a beautiful place to vacation!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank michellem07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2010

The Solymar is a safe bet - clean, modern, run very smoothly. And while the rooms and foyer lack a bit of character and it's a bit over priced, it has some amazing things going for it. We stayed for 3 nights while on our honeymoon and really enjoyed our stay - our room had a lovely view of the bay, the breakfasts were good, the staff were reasonably friendly and the bar served some good cocktails. However the main reasons we loved our stay were 1) the regular visitors to the pool area - including 2 types of heron, sealions, pelicans and marine iguanas, and 2) the pool and jacuzzi - where you can sit and watch the animals (who are literally only inches away!), admire the view of the bay in peace, or sip a cocktail while the sun goes down.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clownf1sh
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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