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“Galapagos home away from home”
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Review of Orchidea

Orchidea consists of two apartments: one upstairs and one downstairis in a fine neighbourhood
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Orchidea consists of two apartments: one upstairs and one downstairis in a fine neighbourhood
Upstairs - Balcony Upstairs - Main Double Bedroom with queen bed
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Very good
54 reviews
Orchidea consists of two apartments: one upstairs and one downstairis in a fine neighbourhood
Upstairs - Balcony
Upstairs - Main Double Bedroom with queen bed
Upstairs - Main Double Bedroom with queen bed
Upstairs - Main Double bedroom
Upstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Upstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Upstairs - Bathroom
Upstairs - Bathroom
Upstairs - Bathroom
Upstairs - Living room
Upstairs - Living room
Upstairs - Kitchen
Upstairs - Balcony
Upstairs - Private entrance
Upstairs - Entrance patio
Upstairs - Private entrance stairway
Upstairs - Private entrance patio
A plan of Orchidea! Both up and down have the same rooming plan.
Orchidea's position within Puerto Ayora.
Downstairs - Living area
Downstairs - Main Bedrroom with double bed
Downstairs - Main Bedrroom with double bed
Downstairs - Second bedroom with twin bunk-beds.
Downstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Downstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Downstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Downstairs - Second bedroom with bunkbeds
Downstairs - bathroom with shower unit and small bathtub
Downstairs - Dining room
Downstairs - Dining area with kitchen behind
Downstairs - Dining room, with back entrance
Downstairs - Living room, dining area with the kitchen in the background.
Downstairs - Kitchen
Downstairs - View across the kitchen, dining area with the living area in the background.
Downstairs -  Private back garden. There is a sheltered area with hammocks here and also an outdoor table with four...
Downstairs - private entrance
Downstairs - private front garden
Downstairs - private front garden
Downstairs - front sheltered patio
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 4
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 54 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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English first
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German first
Italian first
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English first
richardle...
Orange County, CA
Level 6 Contributor
34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Not a quiet place to stay”
Reviewed 31 May 2013 for a stay in May 2013
2
people found this review helpful

When we arrived Paul said that "back packers" usually stay in the apartment. I wish Paul had mentioned that before we arrived when we were going through the inquiry and booking for our one week on the island.

Also, when we arrived, Paul also said there was a problem with hot/cold water in the shower going off and on. Actually during our week all of my showers were cold water and you have to stand outside the flow of water and splash yourself with water. Paul said the upstairs unit did not have this problem.

Furniture was second hand, Goodwill or Salvation Army variety, torn cushions, small double bed that was too small for us and we are 5-9 and 5-3 or bunk beds.

I was surprised Paul did not offer to reduce the $500 per week rental cost when we mentioned that we had no hot water in the shower for the week. Paul merely replied that it has been a problem.

I guess we could have overlooked the small double bed, the bunk bed my wife slept in, the old second hand furniture, but this was also the noisiest place we stayed during our two months of travel in South America during the last few years. You hear the crying baby from next door, the television from next door. In addition the residential neighborhood where the apartments are located are on a very busy street which has a speed bump located outside. All the cars, trucks, buses, taxis and motor bikes slow down for the bump and then shift and speed away. It feels like you are on a highway. This is not a problem caused by the owner and it is not possible to fix.

There are 250 taxis in town according to a conversation we had with one of the taxi drivers. The government sells diesel to them for $1 a gallon, so they cruise around all day looking for fares. The taxis are manual-shift vehicles and they are noisy. One morning at 7:25am we were leaving the apartment at 7:25 and in one block of walking, seven taxis passed by. This goes on all day, at night until 10-11 and commences again at 5:30-6am in the morning. Often I would attempt to read something to my spouse or speak to her while sitting in the apartment, I had to stop whenever a bus, taxi, truck or motor bike/cycle went by because it was so loud she could not hear me.

If you want to avoid listening to people playing music in the neighborhood, music blasting from passing cars, cars operating on a very busy vehicle street, neighbor's barking dogs, the next door neighbors crying baby you might want to stay elsewhere. I would suggest staying on Finch Bay where there are no vehicles at either the B&B, a hotel or rental property. It would be worth the extra money.

We travel outside the country 2-4 months each year and we were exhausted staying here. This has never happened before.

We have spent 4 months in Africa and 2 months in South America during the last six years and this was the worst accommodation/location of those travels, primarily due to the noise factor. If you do not mind cold water in the first floor shower, do not mind old second hand furniture, beds that are small and the road noise, then you could enjoy this rental. Perhaps younger people are sounder sleepers and that is why Paul mentioned that back-packers usually stay at the property. I guess we expected more, so it was a disappointment.

There is no air conditioner and this would cut out some of the noise.

On another point, the owner Paul is a naturalist. We joined 5 other people and went to the highlands with him for $45 per person. It was a most enjoyable trip. If you do not want a commentary and the knowledge of an expert on the islands for an excursion, you can get a taxi for $30 and they will show you around the highlands which for two persons is a great price. In our opinion Paul is worth the extra money for an excursion.

I usually write reviews on Tripadvisor that recommend, this has been the exception and it was due to the noise. Paul owes it to his potential guests to tell them that this rental is is not in a quiet location and would be more suitable to "back packers".

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Paul's willingness to help and his services as a guide
Liked least: Noise
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
31 May 2013
Thank you for your review Richard!

However, I do wish we had really discussed the items of your complaint when I saw you several times during your stay. If I'd known you were really not happy, I would have offered you a refund so that you could have stayed in the Finch Bay Hotel.

I cannot find a room for less than $370/night plus 22% service and taxes for the Finch Bay Hotel. Orchidea is one of the more economic options on the internet for Puerto Ayora and offers four bed spaces at $70 including taxes. To my knowledge, the Finch Bay Hotel does not have rental properties as you suggest.

For $490/week we offer a service that most of our guests recognize as being great for the value. Among other things, we have a cleaner who comes in to clean every day except Sundays, who also looks out for problems in the apartment that we can solve immediately.

Recently, we were told by a guest that the water in the shower slowly fluctuates between hot and cold, an issue we are trying to solve but with the limited resources that we have on the island and in Ecuador, solving this type of problem is not one that can be done very quickly, but we are working on. During your stay, we were waiting for a faster-flowing showerhead, which we imported from abroad and took several weeks to get here. I find the postal service in Galapagos not to be reliable; hence this logistic is not as easy as elsewhere in the world. It has arrived, we have installed it, and it is working.

This problem affected one other guest but most didn’t find it a big enough problem to worry about. Once we heard about it, we informed guests upon arrival which we did with you. There was no solution for the shower but the bath-tub could have been filled to get the temperature just right. Once again, had we known it to have been a continuous problem for you, we would have given you a solution.
YOU DID NOT MAKE IT CLEAR TO ME THAT YOU HAD NO HOT WATER. In our information to visitors which we sent you well in advance of your stay and a hard copy of which, was on the apartment table, we have a trouble shooting section. It states quite clearly that if there is no hot water, please inform us and we will change the gas canister that heats the water. Some people also use the wrong taps as the hot and cold are not in the US-standard order. However, the next people to stay after you informed us that there was no hot water. We checked the canister and it was empty. It was changed within minutes with the full one standing next to it. They then had hot water.

As for the noise, this is a problem for some people. There is traffic and noise during the day but during the night, there is almost nothing. However, if you have the window open, and a car does come past in the night, you may notice it if you are a light sleeper. For the few guests we have that sleep lightly, we do recommend closing the windows and switching on a fan to din the noise. There was a group of cars on Sunday morning that decided to park in front for a noisy get-together. This is rare but is out of my control. If I had heard it, as I live next door, I would have acted on it immediately. As for the baby crying and TV, this is also out of my control. It would happen during the day normally, and I know that for medical reasons, you had decided on staying at home, relaxing and even sleeping during a couple of the days. If I’d known of a TV being on during normal night-time sleeping hours, I would have talked with the neighbors.

Air-conditioning is an option for noise. However, air-conditioning is fuel-consuming. Although, with the subsidized fuel, the cost of running air-conditioning is relatively cheap, we want to minimize our impact on the environment and hope that the guests we attract appreciate this in the same way. The temperature from May to January averages 20°C/68°F, giving a great opportunity to escape from the need for air-conditioning and heating. February to April is the hot season here. We warn people coming in March that we have no air-conditioning, giving them the option to either adapt to the local environment, or find an accommodation where the environment can be adjusted.

Orchidea IS NOT usually a place where only ‘backpackers’ stay and I DID NOT say this to you when you arrived. My new assistant, Fernanda, met you upon your arrival. During your conversation, she mentioned this to you by mistake as a reaction to your comments. When you mentioned this to me within an hour afterwards, I corrected it. As you can see from past reviews, we have had mostly families with young children, couples like yourselves and many others, including backpackers. As far as I can tell, they have been very satisfied.

You mention old and ripped furniture. Although they and the lay-out of the apartment are certainly not expensive and luxurious, our things are not old and are clean. They may have scratches, there is some sanding and varnishing that has to be done, but I really think you were expecting high-end accommodation for budget prices. Although $490/week all inclusive seems quite high for Latin American standards, it is low for Galapagos, where the cost of living is more than twice that of the mainland.

In general Richard, your communication with me was very cryptic. I wasn’t really sure whether something was wrong. You told me that your wife was recovering from health issues which are what I put things down to. You did not make any complaints clear to me during the several occasions that I popped over to see how things were, even though I was trying to fish out specific problems.

I apologize for the occasion you popped over with your good-will plate and I pointed out that it wasn’t appropriate to walk into my house area but to go to the front and knock at the door. It was a nice gesture but my family was relaxing in privacy.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DKT18
Perth, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Galapagos home away from home”
Reviewed 18 May 2013 for a stay in May 2013

Spacious, airy, clean 2 bedroom apartment. Top floor. Good security. Cool breezes in the afternoon. Owner hung a hammock for us - lovely to relax in after a day of diving. Easy walk into town. Plenty of hot water in the shower. Owner gave great suggestions for activities and restaurants. Good communication. Cleaned daily.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Service
Liked best: Self contained private apartment. Hammock.
Liked least: A little noisy on the street in the early morning and early evening
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Browncoat...
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous apartment for extended or short term stay”
Reviewed 22 February 2013 for a stay in December 2012

My husband and I stayed for 10 days in the upstairs apartment. We could not have asked for a nicer place. Everything was just as described on the owner's Galapex web site and in excellent condition. We found the apartment to be very comfortable and safe. The apartment has an abundance of natural light and air. It was wonderful to leave the sliding french doors to the porch open and enjoy the cool ocean breeze. And with all the storage we were able to unpack all of our suitcases and feel at home.
The owners were very helpful without being intrusive, and the maid popped in every other day to take care of the apartment. It was nice being less than a 10 minute walk into town or the Tortoise breeding center. It was fun to walk over to the center and watch the tortoises being fed around 9am Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The location and the cool ocean breeze.
Liked least: Having to leave.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Reviewed 9 February 2013 for a stay in February 2013

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Rugged travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewed 11 November 2012 for a stay in October 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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