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Reviewed March 31, 2021 via mobile

TLDR: Everything about our stay at Semilla Verde was wonderful and I can’t say enough good things about it.

The property up in the highlands is truly a destination in itself. We almost didn’t stay there because we thought we should prioritize being oceanside while in Galápagos, but not only did we stay three nights, we ended up changing our plans at the end of the trip just go come back.

If you’re a nature lover (and even better, an early riser), this is the place to be. The views from the rooms are just stunning (ours had windows on three sides), looking out onto lush forest/garden with the ocean far in the distance, white cattle egrets flying across the sky and monarch butterflies in the Scalesia trees. From your balcony or walking around the property you can often spot a giant tortoise or two. The birds are very active, especially at sunrise (the yellow warblers sing all day long), and if you’re into birding you can definitely tick a number of ID boxes.

Beyond it’s beautiful setting, Semilla Verde has all the attentive care and luxury feeling of a hotel with a relaxed, guesthouse vibe. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and clean. The communal kitchen downstairs, the friendly, welcoming staff and Shania’s warmth and eagerness to make your stay as comfortable as possible make it feel like you’re visiting friends. The welcoming committee also includes a sweet, golden lab-looking mix who will greet you at the entrance and escort you to the house. She would love it if you threw her stuffed animal a few times and seems to enjoy butt pats. The cat mostly sleeps on the roof.

Our trip to Galápagos was everything we dreamed it would be, and among all the expensive (but worth it) tours and active days, staying at Semilla Verde was an unexpected gem. My only regret is that we didn’t spend more time there.

Thank you Robert for this beautiful hotel, and thank you so much to Shania and the team for making our stay so comfortable and special! I hope to be back one day!!

Date of stay: March 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank X6358FBemilyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 25, 2021

Soon after our arrival we were greeted by the most wonderful and kind hostess, Shania. Our bags were sanitized and brought to our room while we were given a welcome drink and a rundown of the property. The room was immaculate and the view from the balcony was stunning. The shower had great water quality and they even provided disposable masks and sanitizer in the bathroom for our use. If you choose to, they will wash your clothes as well for a small fee. Towels and room were cleaned daily, and the AC was incredible. The bed was extremely comfortable and we slept like babies every night .The property itself is beautiful, and walking the trails is a must do! Sabah the property dog is a complete gem, and will even guide you on the trails (and even lick your face). There are several giant tortoises on the property, which is super cool to see. Breakfast was provided and was absolutely delicious. The staff are incredibly friendly and always willing to help with anything. We had dinner twice at the hotel, and those were the best meals we had during our time in Santa Cruz. Home cooked, mouthwatering, and delicious. Going to the main town is only a $7 taxi ride, the staff will call one for you no problem, and it is easy to flag down a cab to return back to the hotel. It is a 20 minute ride to town, but don't let that stop you, the hotel is more than worth the short ride. The best part is returning at night and looking up at the night sky. It is breathtaking. You can see so many stars, and you can even see the Milky Way cloud. This is a view you don't get in town because of the light pollution. The property itself is great, but the staff (especially our hostess Shania) went above and beyond to make our stay in a hotel feel like home. We wouldn't stay in any other place in Santa Cruz!

To the staff, thank you for giving us an experience that we'll never forget!

Date of stay: March 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Maxine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 13, 2021 via mobile

The territory of the hotel is one of the most beautiful I have ever been to in my life. There are wild tortoises everywhere and birds chirping non stop. If you love nature and wildlife, this place is the most perfect spot to stay. It will be a dream to return to Semilla Verde.

Date of stay: February 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank mariyahummingbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert Grimstone, Owner at Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2021

Dear Mariya,

Thank you so much for choosing Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel for your recent 'dream' visit. It's so nice to hear what we too believe, that the grounds of the hotel are some of the most beautiful you will find. Also, they are quite unique amongst all the hotels on the islands.

With twelve hectares of private forest with nature trails, giant tortoises, birdlife, swimming pool, yoga studio and swing set, there is opportunity and reason to get outside, where the natural life of the Galapagos Islands abounds.

Our semi inclusive hotel-tour packages are the most popular choice amongst our guests and are specifically designed to offer the maximum exposure to Galapagos in a short visit in a tight, affordable package. They include the very best visits to nearby islands via full day boat tours and the must dos of Santa Cruz via half day guided tours/self guided activities.

And for larger family groups such as kosher or special interest groups such as yoga we can offer full inclusive packages with a full itinerary of tours and activities and all the meals included.

We pride ourselves in being flexible to meet everyone's requirements and thereby give them the most comfortable, enjoyable and tailored Galapagos experience possible.

For those wanting to travel onto Galapagos, you will require a negative PCR test within 96 hours prior to arriving in the archipelago, and a 'salvoconducto' document that your travel operator or hotel will provide you prior to travel. Also, here is now a private PCR testing facility on Santa Cruz Island.

We can set your test up in advance of your arrival for a time that suits prior to your departure. Please contact the hotel about the latest protocols and we will guide you through 'the new normal' that we will all have to learn to work with.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm regards,

Robert & the SV Team.

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Reviewed February 11, 2021

Semilla Verde is as good all the reviews say it is. Our little family (kids ages 6&4) spent 5 nights there, and we loved everything about it. The rooms are big and comfortable, hot water plentiful, breakfasts and other meals delicious, grounds beautiful, and so much more. The service was impeccable from our first inquiry to the help on the ground from all of the staff.

The tours organized by Semilla were also amazing, with knowledgeable guides who really showed us the best of Galapagos.

If you’re looking for a great hotel in Galapagos, this is the place.

Date of stay: February 2021
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank H4930QQdanielk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert Grimstone, Owner at Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2021

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for such a comprehensive and positive review and we're so glad your whole family enjoyed being amongst the Giant tortoises and birdlife that thrives on the Semilla Verde estate. It's a special place and life memories are born here!

We'd like to invite everyone who is ready to travel to consider Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, and experience the magic of the Galapagos Islands in a safe and natural setting.

We have been working hard throughout the pandemic and are ready and prepared for that long awaited vacation or family reunion. We offer you the intimate and safe environment to enjoy quality family time, whereby you can rediscover the joys, security and comfort of being with those who you most cherish. And, experience Giant Galapagos Tortoises and endemic birds right on your own private terrace.

Throughout these long covid months, we have been busily preparing the hotel to make it safe for your visit, and making sure all those that we work with to bring you our hotel-tour packages are too;

* Specific staff training
* Regular deep cleansing in rooms
* Regular deep cleansing around hotel
* Hygiene stations / PPE
* Special meal prep procedures
* Social distanced meals
* Minimal contact processes
* Verified safe procedures for taxis and tour boat operators

Safe space and distancing has never been an issue at Semilla Verde;

* Two hotel buildings and only nine guest bedrooms
* Two open plan restaurant areas
* Three open plan lounge/social areas
* Private balconies in each bedroom
* Large main terrace
* Five hectares/twelve acres of private forest
* Over one mile of nature trails

As we all know, the Galapagos Islands are host to an amazing array of wildlife that has never learned to fear man’s presence. And now, in what may be the tail end of this pandemic, our guests have the opportunity to observe this wildlife in a more intimate way than ever before.

And, with very few visitors still, will appreciate what it is to live in a small, friendly and isolated island community. It all adds up to another unforgettable lifetime experience for you and your loved ones!

As many know, land-based visits are ideal for those keen to experience the islands, without the excessive price tag of a cruise ship and without a regimented routine. Also, they represent the best way to help the local community recover and reactivate after such a prolonged period of closure, one in which 85% of the population that depends on tourism, needs all the help it can get.

To make things even easier, we now offer a complete trip planning service and can customize your tour itinerary according to your exact requirements and budget. For couples, family and friend groups, this has proven to be an ideal format. You can choose from a variety of fully-inclusive or semi-inclusive Hotel & Tour package options.

Galapagos is famous for its volcanic landscapes and unique wildlife, but it can also be somewhere for you and your loved ones to rediscover your true and unique nature, somewhere you can feel yourselves again.

Wishing you all every happiness and joy through 2021.

With our very warmest regards,

Robert & the SV Team.

PS. Currently you require a negative Covid PCR test within 96 hours prior to arrival in Galapagos. Also, a 'salvoconducto' document that we will provide for you upon confirming your reservation. For those who require a test to return home, there are facilities on Santa Cruz Island and we will be more than happy to help arrange that for you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 25, 2021

My family (my wife and I and three adult children) visited Semilla Verde in late December. It was an exceptional experience. The views from the room were fantastic. The estate ground were beautiful and populated with a number of tortoises that found the property as appealing as we did. We found that their steps to insure cleanliness of the lodgings and safety from Covid were excellent and worked for all members of our family. The location is located well between the two major departure areas for boat trips to the other islands. The staff was wonderful and helpful with all of our planning and dietary needs. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in being removed from the activities of being in town but still close enough to take a quick taxi.

Date of stay: January 2021
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank mc2galt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert Grimstone, Owner at Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2021

Dear mc2galt,

It was our absolute pleasure to welcome a family of such intrepid travelers to the hotel over the festive season! We're all so happy that you enjoyed the hotel and the grounds, so thank you again for choosing Semilla Verde for your Galapagos vacation.

The tortoises are just incredible and we are very lucky that they choose the estate on which to spend so much of the year. Many people assume they are fenced in, but that is not the case. They come and go of their own accord attracted by large areas of grass on which they graze, shade from the equatorial sun, and of course, the rainwater ponds.

We have reforested the 5 hectares/12 acres of sloping, south facing land with the original Scalesia pedunculata (Daisy tree) that once covered these fertile higher grounds. We grow our own organic, shadegrown coffee that we serve to our guests, and have created a mile of nature trails so that our guests can walk around the property and observe the tortoises, birdlife and vegetation. The hotel buildings are positioned at the highest points of the property and so offer spectacular panoramic views over the forest, national park and ocean to Floreana Island.

As you mentioned, Semilla Verde is located between the airport/departure points for tours to outlying islands and Puerto Ayora, the main town on Santa Cruz Island. This prime position means that it is easy and convenient to escape the usual bustle and escape to a private refuge in the hills. Also, it means that you are almost the last on the tour bus rounds and so you have an extra 1/2 hour in bed or relax, take breakfast and enjoy a cup of our coffee whilst you watch the tortoises!

We have always been very careful to maintain the property clean and hygienic, but especially so now, with the pandemic. All our staff have received specific training and we have implemented all the necessary protocols to ensure a safe visit, including social distanced dining and hygiene stations.

Anyone who is considering a visit may contact the hotel directly via the website or email or WhatSapp. We're here to help you plan and execute a perfect adventure-vacation in the Galapagos Islands.

Our very warmest regards,

Robert & the SV Team.

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