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“Wonderful birds but don't raise your expectations too much”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Hato el Cedral

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Hato el Cedral
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Wonderful birds but don't raise your expectations too much”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2013

We have just spent three days here & had the most amazing experience of bird life that we have ever had but please expect that to be the only highlight of your trip as there was not one English speaker there when we arrived and in fact no one who spoke English there (other than a few guides for some private parties) for the whole three days. You go out on drives and by boat (only one of each was working) & see the most incredible selection of bird life but we unfortunately had no one who could tell us in English what we were seeing which was very frustrating. The manager & assistant manager had gone away on hols & that is why there was no one speaking English. The washing we had done was excellent but rooms very basic with one friends air con not working & no hooks on wall to hang anything - such a pity as it is an amazing place. Food was edible except for a beef steak and breakfasts weren't great - needs some investment quickly.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank fido0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    25
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    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
191 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2012

First Of all this property is NOT in Caracas as stated by Tripadvisor. It is in Los Lllanos in Apure state! It needs to be merged with another listing " El Cedral Ranch Elorza, Venezuela"

The wildlife is the reason to be here and I think most people would not be disappointed. The excursion by boat was particularly memorable. Three nights is about right to see the wildlife in the this vast ranch. The accommodation is not luxurious but is adequate. Noisy old conditioners. Erratic mobile phone signal and Wifi signal, which is not surprising due to its isolation. Food quite adequate and plenty of free water supplied at mealtimes and on excursions. Water cooler in dining room. No drinks of any kind on sale. Satellite TV in the rooms. No room safe.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mps1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2012

My wife and I decided that for our honeymoon we wanted an adventure - and a tour of Venezuela seemed to fit the bill.

Our first stop was three nights at El Cedral, and it proved to be a magical start to our trip. The staff were welcoming and the guide (Rafael) excellent. The food was delicious traditional Venezuelan such as chicken and black beans, arapas, with some great stuffed peppers. The cook is excellent and went out of her way to get up at 0430 to cook breakfast for us on our final day.

Tours are either by boat where you can fish for piranha or on the back of a truck. The wildlife was spectacular – from crocodiles to capybara and we even saw fresh water dolphin. While not initially thinking I had a great interest in birds I was proved wrong. Sitting back at the Hato in the evening to hear and see the vast flocks of enormous birds roosting above us was something special.

While visitors need to remember that this is a working cattle ranch in the middle of Venezuela (hence the simple amenities) the experience is one that I’ll never forgot.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
717 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2012

We went on a safari on our first afternoon and saw lots of wildlife: birds, deer, capybaras, anteater, iguanas.
Our rooms were very basic with a small bathroom, a small refrigerator and two twin size beds. There were lots of mosquitoes and some other flying insects in our room.

Food was basic : scrambled eggs for breakfast and partially melted slices of cheese and some slices of boiled ham, cold pancakes and slices of white bread. We had fruit punch or orange flavored Tang drink, coffee and hot tea. They served overcooked pasta with some bland tasting tomato sauce over it for dinner. Food presentation was very unappetizing.

On our second day, we went on a boat ride to see more wild life. There were lots of brids and crocodiles. The boats were wet because of the heavy rain the night before. They wiped the seats but not the floor of the boats so they were very slippery. They could have put some old blankets or towels to avoid the passengers from slipping. I was first let into the boat. I was holding my Nikon D 7000 Digital camera with a brand new 55-300 telephoto lens on my right hand I slipped and landed on my right side which really hurt. The staff did not even asked if I needed any help. They did not have any first aid kit. I was not offered any ice cap to apply over my bruised areas. I was bruised all over my right side (right arm, hips, thigh and leg) and bruised my left thigh as well. I kept quiet although I was hurting badly because I was embarassed that I fell!

The bruises turned black and very sore as the days went by. Luckily, there was a surgeon in our tour group who advised me to stop my blood thinner that I was taking for a clotting problem. I had to see my primary physician as soon as I went back to the USA. It has been 5 weeks after the fall and I am still sore.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank TRAVELdglobenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lacey, Washington
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2012

This place is not what it was 13 years ago. Taken over by the government, it lacks good motivated management. Rooms were clean but in disrepair, there was no soap, the air conditioner sounded like an aircraft at close range. Food was mediocre but palatable. Dining room chairs lack cushions so you sit at a level where you can almost push the food right in.

We had one guide who was pretty good but he got sick and we were left with a guide who was either bored or lacked a lot of knowledge. The larger creatures were all he seemed to care about. I was really put off by their catching an Anaconda and injuring it in the process. Animal planet comes to the llanos.

BUT the evening bird display right over your head at the Hato and all the creatures you can see if you venture out with a private guide, and even the Disneyland package tours, make it worthwhile for the serious photographer or wildlife lover. The staff is friendly and one can only hope that they will try to restore the Hato's once fine reputation.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sallyvogel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Cork Ireland
Level Contributor
147 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2011

Had a great time here. Saw real cowboys rounding up the cattle!! Had a very good time on 'the safaris' spotting the wildlife. We were out with Otto our guide (terrific) when he spots a group of storks about 200 metres away in the marshy ground. That means there is a snake says Otto so he then gets us to take our shoes off and walk through the squelchy ground to see what it is. We find an Anaconda and he and the driver armed with just a broomhandle maniupulate the snake so we can take close up pictures. It was a wonderful experience although the anaconda looked a bit peed off when he was released. We saw a lot of beautiful wildlife and so many different birds. It will stay in my memory for a long time. Good accommodation and food with very helpful staff.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank westcorktravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2011

What a beautiful place this Hato is. If you want to see the endangered Orinoco Crocodile, spectacled caimans, anacondas, barn and great horned owls, piranhas, anteaters, capybaras, iguanas and TONS of other birds, this is it! Amazing wildlife all around. The service is good: free linens, good food (all traditional venezuelan food), hot water, clean rooms and nice staff. There's also coffee and tea available during the day.
Be aware that people in Venezuela is very open and the staff is no different, you just need to be also open minded and friendly.
Tours are arranged twice a day: one after breakfast and another one at around 3pm, and in most cases you can ask for a private night tour and hope for puma sightings. You can ask Otto or Rafael (tour guides) to tell you the funny story about Steve Irwin and the piranhas. You can also go on horse rides for an additional price. Make sure you bring binoculars, insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen, it is very bright and sunny!
Tip: if it your birthday, or your friend's, you can ask the staff to make a cake for you, and they will sing happy birthday after dinner. It's really sweet. Make sure you share the cake and give the cooks a piece, too. They deserve it. Try to make friends with other tourists too.
Tip 2: do not miss at least one sunset.
There's a review that talks about racism and discrimination, but I find it hard to believe, since I've stayed at Cedral for long periods of time and never experienced or saw such a thing.
Ask me directly if you want to know more about the place :)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank albiventer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hato el Cedral

Property: Hato el Cedral
Address: Av. La Salle EDF. Pancho | Piso 5, Nº 33, Los Caobos, Caracas 1071, Venezuela
Region: Venezuela > Capital Region > Caracas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Caracas
Also Known As:
Hato El Cedral Hotel Caracas

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