We stayed in Saiananda for new years eve with all the family and booked a room for 7 people and a dog. We couldn't be more comfortable! To be honest the hotel exceeded our expectations, it's a little oasis full of peace and espirituality. The breakfast is home made, lots of fruits, juices and empanadas, if you are looking for sausages and fried eggs then breakfast won't work for you. Since there's a lot of vegetation bring repellent for the mosquitos, they also have a 132 year old galápagos turtle called miguelito, some friendly dogs and a sloth called Don Pérez. They are sooooo cute. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed, but even in new years eve that was not necessary! I highly recommend people to stay here, Chantal and Alfredo are aware of every single detail so your stay is even better! We will come back for sure.
My experience was more than wonderful at this place. The breakfasts are homemade and deliciously vegetarian. The suites have hammocks and peaceful views overlooking the mountains and water. The property feels more like a resort, with many communal areas. You are welcome to kayak to the sandbar, as well as enjoy a beautiful dock with many places to relax, sit, and enjoy natural beauty.. Everything was clean and the beds were super comfortable! I read review that said something about the husband not being happy he couldn't watch TV.. well, if you are the person who enjoys TV on your vacations, this is not the place for you. However, if you appreciate natural beauty and have a car to travel, this is the perfect place to stay, as also it's off a main highwaty road, but off to the side. I never heard the road from where I was. The owners care a lot about the community, as they have opened a school nearby to support struggling families, and promote quality education. This is also a place to put your money!
How many hotels have a live-in sloth? Rooms on stilts in the estuary? A hole in the room floor where you can see the river bed at low tide? The owners take a very hands on approach, and seemed to be always there.
Breakfast was all made in the hotel, including the yogurt and the preserves and was generally excellent. The hotel also organised several trips for us.
We visited Bahia during the dry season in September. The lush grounds were a beautiful change from the surrounding brown countryside. We had a lovely waterfront room with in a "teak" wood structure, literally ON the river (a plexiglass covered window in the floor allowed us to monitor the changes in the shore due to the tides). It was so relaxing sitting on the porch of our room, laying in the hammock and strolling the grounds, visiting the parrots, peacocks and the 140 year old Galapagos turtle. Breakfasts were plentiful and varied, always with fresh local fruits and different entrees. The staff were so friendly and accommodating. Don Alfredo was a joy to get to know and a perfect host. It was a short bus or taxi ride to the hustle and bustle of town.
Saiananda is a unique place operated by a unique owner. We rented one of the suites overlooking the water. The suites are sitting on concrete piles and you are actually over the water. The glass panel in the floor with a view of the water is a nice touch.
The food is wholly vegetarian. I'm not - or wasn't - a fan of vegetarian food, but this is so good you can't tell it's vegetarian. The ceviche is incredible and you won't know it's not actually fish. There's no liquor, but we didn't miss that either with the variety of freshly-squeezed juices from local plants. Alfredo and his people have put a lot of effort into the food over the years and it shows.
If you rent a suite, be aware that only one suite is air-conditioned. If you want air conditioning, make sure you request it. However, there is sufficient breeze and a ceiling fan so it's not strictly necessary.
Saiananda is beautiful and relaxing. There's a dock for swimming and several areas for privacy and meditation or reading. The setting is very natural. But what really makes Saiananda special, aside from all the amenities, is the owner, Alfredo. He went out of his way the entire time to make sure we were comfortable and taken care of. He is very interesting and we spent hours just talking. By the time we left we felt as though we had been friends for a long time. On our next trip to Ecuador, we will not miss a return visit.