Visitors to the Galapagos often make the assumption that the only way to experience a trip like this is to take a Galapagos Islands cruise. This can put some people off, especially those that are prone to sea sickness. There is also an assumption that time in the Galapagos cannot be spent in luxury. Neither of these beliefs could be further from the truth. In fact, luxury hotels in the Galapagos can be found in many different places, mostly on Santa Cruz Island, but with one or two on San Cristobal Island and Isabela Island as well. What is more, guests can undertake land-based Galapagos trips, making visits to nearby Galapagos visitor sites each day, while returning to the stability of their luxury hotel at night. Alternatively, hotel guests can arrange their own day trips within the Galapagos, so there are plenty of options and flexibility for those looking for something a little different. Luxury hotels in the Galapagos tend to all offer spacious rooms, comfort and elegance. The following are just some of the luxury lodges in Galapagos that you might consider staying at.
Offering perhaps the most outstanding luxury in lodges in the Galapagos Islands Pikaia Lodge stands head and shoulders above the rest. It has a stunning location, set at the top of two extinct volcano craters, and there are panoramic views in all directions. Situated on a site of 31 hectares, the lodge also has its own private wild giant tortoise reserve – another factor that makes it unique. There is a wonderful pool suite (as you might expect, with its own private plunge pool), but also balcony, garden and terrace rooms all with splendid views across Santa Cruz Island and beyond. The hotel offers an infinity pool as well as restaurant, bar and lounge space for relaxing. For those that want to take this to the next level there is also the Sumaq Spa. Pikaia Lodge offers opportunities for land-based Galapagos trips, and on its luxury yacht, the MY Pikaia I, guests have their own cabins for relaxing between visits or while sailing.
Scalesia Lodge is located on Isabela Island. It is a luxury lodge with a difference in that it offers comfortable tented safari-style accommodation. This gives it an unusual adventurous theme. The lodge is located in the highlands of Isabela, on the flanks of a volcano, and it is situated within a lovely forest. It is possible to take a Galapagos land-based tour which stays at both Scalesia Lodge and Finch Bay on Santa Cruz Island, to experience both islands and a wide range of wildlife in the lap of luxury.
Finch Bay Lodge in the Galapagos is an elegant beachfront accommodation, in a pristine location on the coast. It has been recognized by National Geographic and designated a Unique Lodge of the World, for its wonderful location. The suites offer unbeatable sea views, and all rooms are delightfully well-appointed for a comfortable stay in luxury, with every need taken care of. Guests can organize a variety of Galapagos land-based options while staying at Finch Bay, including a couple of fabulous options which combine with staying at Scalesia Lodge on Isabela as well. The facilities are superb at this Galapagos luxury hotel.
The Royal Palm Hotel is a luxurious accommodation set in the Santa Cruz highlands on a private estate, designed with numerous facilities for guest leisure and relaxation. It is proud of its former royal visitor – Prince Charles of the UK, who stayed here in 2009. A relatively small place, it has eight huge rooms and 13 spacious stand-alone villas, each with a jacuzzi. Those staying in villas also benefit from a wood-burning stove. Guests may enjoy the health and fitness center, table tennis, tennis courts, sauna and massage room, swimming pool and business center. The hotel and restaurant are very well rated.
Opulent but sustainable, with a strong focus on being environmentally friendly, the Ikala Galapagos Hotel is another of the luxury Galapagos lodges to be found on Santa Cruz Island. Situated in the small town of Puerto Ayora, this lodge sets itself apart from the others through its option of luxury with a high level of convenience, as the pier is very accessible from here. Service at this hotel is outstanding, and guests staying here can enjoy the beautiful pool, rooftop terrace (with a stunning view over Puerto Ayora’s harbor), restaurant and bar, between their other Galapagos adventures. All rooms are tastefully appointed and spacious, and the hotel is set among beautiful gardens, with trees offering shade from the tropical sun.
Set in a well-designed and chic modern block, Golden Bay can be found close to downtown Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island. This makes it a superb spot from which to explore the surrounding area. The hotel is small, with just 21 rooms, each well-designed to optimize natural light, and with panoramic windows. Even when full, because there are few rooms here, the staff can provide a highly personalized level of attention. One highlight here is the rooftop Jacuzzi with its tremendous view of the locale and beyond. This Galapagos luxury lodge is proud of its ecofriendly architectural design and processes, and aims to be as sustainable as possible. The restaurant has particularly good reviews, offering both Ecuadorian and international cuisine.
Note that most of the above listed hotels provide the option for guests to take up Galapagos land-based packages with them, but some offer accommodation only. At Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders, we can organize packages including any of these luxury lodges in the Galapagos. We are experts in Galapagos Islands travel, and can find you exactly the place and/or package to meet your specific needs. We also normally include these hotels in our various hotel-based tours. Contact us today to find out about arranging your customized Galapagos land-based trip, staying in luxury hotels in Galapagos.