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“Not the Ritz, but a very enjoyable stay”
Review of La Casa del Suizo

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La Casa del Suizo
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Puerto Napo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We stayed at La Casa del Suizo with a Gate 1 tour and really enjoyed it. This place is a jungle lodge, not a five star hotel, so if you're willing to forego some of the amenities you might find in a large, modern chain hotel I think you'll enjoy the feeling of being in a very remote location in the Amazon. We had to take a motorized canoe to and from the hotel and, as others have mentioned, there is a rather steep walk from the dock to the hotel. However, the views from the hotel are worth the hike. The grounds are very pretty and well maintained, with a wide variety of flora and fauna. I was worried because our room did not have air conditioning, but we were quite comfortable with the large screened in wall and ceiling fan. The room itself was spacious, but as others have mentioned there weren't lots of places to put stuff. The shower was nice and had plenty of hot water and there was space on the counter by the sink for our toiletries. There were no chairs in the room, but there was a hammock on our private porch and a couple of chairs there. We liked having our own porch and enjoyed sitting out there and listening to the sounds of the jungle. The buffet meals were fine but nothing exceptional. Others have commented about people getting sick, but we had no problems. There is a nice pool and deck area, which many of the people in our group enjoyed.

We took a tour of a native village, a trek through the jungle, and a visit to a wildlife sanctuary, all of which were arranged by the lodge. We had to take the canoes to get to and from all of these trips and were provided with boots, which we really needed. In the village we were treated to a demonstration of making a local drink and got to try our hand with blow guns. The hike in the jungle was quite difficult, not nearly as flat as advertised with muddy, slippery slopes, uneven terrain, lots of roots and vines to cross, somewhat steep climbs, etc. We were told that there were two versions of the hike, one hilly and one flat. Because of the rain only the flat tour was offered the day we were there. Again, it was definitely not flat and we left wondering what the hilly one would have been like. Despite the difficulty, we really enjoyed the hike, but we felt they should have been a little more accurate with their description. One member of our group had a lot of trouble and needed quite a bit of help from the guide. The trip to the wildlife reserve was a huge disappointment, but we did enjoy the ride over there and walking through the forest. Beware, however, that although we were told there were 100 steps, one member of our group counted 303. It's not worth the trip and steps for the animals you'll see, but it was nice to be out in the wilderness and we enjoyed being on the water on the ride over and back. The hotel also offers an adventure package with a zip-line and obstacle course which looked like fun but would have been too difficult for me, but it was not operating on the day we were there due to the rain and lack of participants. There's a video in the reception area that shows what the trip is like and I would recommend you watch it and decide if you feel you can do it before booking. We did not go to the butterfly farm.

There is a small, actually extremely small, town right outside the hotel but there is absolutely nothing worth seeing or doing there except a small internet café. Don't plan to go into town for groceries, restaurants, bars, etc., just hang around the hotel complex.

We enjoyed the feeling of being in the jungle and the hotel more than met our needs.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank DCH47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 - 152 of 379 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2014

We stayed here for two nights and enjoyed our stay. You leave your bus at the Napo River and arrive and depart in motorized canoes. There's a steep walk up from the river, but it's worth it. The cabins are rustic but very attractive with large screened windows overlooking your porch (with a very comfortable hammock). Very attractive resort with beautiful plants and flowers. Be sure to climb up to the observation deck on top of the main building for a fabulous view. We couldn't see the river from our room but had a lovely view of the vegetation. The weather was cool enough at night that we almost didn't need the ceiling fan and the bird and frog sounds put us to sleep. Nice refreshing pool that was very clean. Comfortable open-air bar and gathering area. I was somewhat disappointed in the food; it was adequate but nothing special. The open-air dining room was very attractive. There was a nice small gift shop. We took three excursions while we were there: a two-hour walk in the jungle for which they give you rubber boots to wear (you'll really need them), a visit to the house of a local woman who demonstrates preparation of food and beverages, and a trip to an animal-rehabilitation center. There was also a trip to a butterfly garden offered. All but the butterfly garden require trips in the canoes. The guides are very helpful and informative. We walked out the back gate and visited the village and that was interesting. What I really enjoyed was overlooking the river shortly before 7:00 a.m. and watching the children coming down the river in their "schoolboats". The motorized canoes pick up the children from settlements and houses along the river and deliver them to school in the village.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jama47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

My friend and I stayed here in at the end of February for 2 nights as part of a Gate 1 tour. The hotel is remote, requiring a boat ride after the bus docks at the port, which is nothing more than where the road ends at a beach on a riverbank. The staff handled all the baggage and delivered it to our room. The rooms were exceptionally large and had a screened in porch overlooking the river. There was no A/C but the ceiling fans were sufficient to sleep comfortably. Bathroom facilities in the room were roomy. Meals were included in our package and were decent but not exceptional. We had no complaints. The swimming pool is good but not fabulous. The bar area adjacent to the pool had comfortable seating and we spent a good deal of time there. We took a tour to a nearby indigenous village which was interesting but not sensational. The best part of the tour was learning to use a blowgun and shooting at a wood target. The back gate is locked and can be opened by staff. The village outside is rustic, to be generous, and makes you appreciate where you live. The butterfly farm, a 15 minute walk from the gate, costs $4 and kills an hour.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank lenox862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Lovely establishment in the jungle on the Napo River. Enjoyed the property and all the tours. The food was very good and the staff was very hospitable. What an experience it was to be in a lovely cabin overlooking the river and enjoying the jungle. Great time had!

Mary and Andy

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank 93mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

This place reminds me of being in a refugee camp. The compound has high, and I mean high, barb-wired walls to keep the locals? out. If you just stay on the grounds and enjoy your hammock, then you might find it "charming." We were here on a Gate 1 tour and a few of us were braved enough to venture out on the other side of the wall. Nothing happened to us but we did not find much to do or see in "town." The buffet style for all three meals were okay, nothing great. I seriously question the cleanliness of this resort though as I saw on several occasions roaches in the dining food buffet area. And not surprisingly, 90 percent of our large tour group got stomach sickness from this place, some pretty severe. Ouch. Good thing I have a strong stomach. Also the bed sheets and especially the pillows had a horrendous stench to them. And others in my group said the same. I had to sleep on my clothes. Needless to say, I do not recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank VDlong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

We were part of a group tour with Gate 1 in early March, so I cannot speak to the value for the money. Physically the place itself is charming and allows you to be in the middle of the jungle (if you want that) without experiencing much of the discomfort except for the humid wilting heat. To ameliorate that somewhat, there is a nice pool that the public areas of the lodge wrap around. We were personally dismayed to find there was no air conditioning, as our definition of a nice hotel includes physical comfort, but given the location, that was probably an unreasonable expectation on the part of a pair of northern mountain types. The rooms are nicely appointed, although given the appearance of space, it was amazingly difficult to find a place to lay things out. Fortunately we had two bedrooms, one on each side of the bath area, so we used one to lay our stuff out on the bed and the other to try to sleep. The only fans are ceiling fans, which simply bring the hot air at the top of the very high ceilings right back down onto your bed. (We did finally sleep and even pulled the sheets over us by about 3 a.m.)

How your side trips are handled very likely depends on who your Gate 1 guide is. For example, our caring and conscientious guide arranged for us to get a guide for a small group not wanting to go on the morning steam bath to the jungle "adventure". That guide took us to the butterfly farm separately while it was still not quite so sweltering. He spoke no English but a couple of our friends spoke a bit of Spanish and he was very kind and tolerant of our attempts to communicate in our almost-nonexistent Spanish.

You will not get a lot of cooperation from the staff of the lodge itself. You'll be lucky to find someone around when you want to buy extra water or visit the small shop. We had no problem with the housekeeping staff. They did a good job and our room was clean and pleasant. But we carelessly left a now difficult-to-obtain bird book lying on a covered wooden walkway while taking pictures of flowers and we never recovered it and cannot replace it. One rather defensive front desk clerk admitted that he had seen it, but apparently didn't consider it his job to pick it up and try to return it to us. (My husband's name was in it.) This seemed to be the attitude of much of the staff. "Why would you come to the bar asking for water?" seemed to be the feeling of the bar tender, to whom we'd been told to come to purchase extra water.

So in summary, if you want to experience a bit of the jungle without being too uncomfortable or really roughing it, this is a reasonable and attractive place. Just be prepared to take care of yourself and watch your possessions. And realize the staff's English is only just serviceable to get basics. Mind you I'm not accusing the staff of taking our book, but I feel they could have kept it from being picked up by a less-than-honest fellow guest from another group. They just didn't care.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Cheryl D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Great 3 day two night stop with Gate One on River Napo for those who would like jungle exposure but sleep where it is dry and out of the mud. Hotel is beautiful have to climb up mild stone trail from canoe ride. Only reason went by canoe is it would not cross on the ferry a little upstream. There is a town there though you can get the impression you are way out until you go through the gates and see the small group of businesses. The canoe makes you think you went out a ways which is part of the draw. Gives a feel for the jungle with nicer stay. Side trips to see traditional local family life style try a blow gun at a fake monkey were fun. Short ziplines not terribly difficult hike and need the boots they give you cuz it is muddy. We did not have any of our tour get sick as other reviewers indicated. Had a dance night with music very nice pool for those who preferred to lounge. Interesting lobby of woods and natural construction mostly open air or screened no AC but not really roughing it.

Room Tip: Be realistic - this is the edge of the jungle for the flavor not some remote excursion. Our trail g...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MikeJennyQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Casa del Suizo

Address: Julio Zaldumbide N25-42 y Valladolid | Punta Ahuano, Puerto Napo 150156, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Napo Province > Puerto Napo
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Puerto Napo
Price Range: £214 - £326 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 75
Also Known As:
La Casa Del Suizo Hotel Quito
La Casa Del Suizo Quito

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