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“Fantastic vacation home!”
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Review of Casa Opuntia

View of front of house
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View of front of house
Entrance and dining room Living room and door to patio
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Excellent
74 reviews
View of front of house
Entrance and dining room
Living room and door to patio
Living room
Living room
Dining room and office area
Dining room and kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen
Office area
Seating area near kitchen
Patio and garden
Patio and garden
Patio
Side deck and garden
Patio and garden
Downstairs room one: twin beds
Downstairs room one: twin beds
Downstairs room two: queen bed
Stairs leading to second floor
Master bedroom
Master bedroom
Master bedroom
Balcony
Balcony
Rooftop patio
Rooftop patio
Rooftop patio
Garden
View of house
Tortuga Bay (30 min walk from the house along a path within national park)
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 74 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
English first
German first
Portuguese first
Spanish first
Any
English first
ladyxlaw
Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not What I Expected”
Reviewed 1 June 2014 for a stay in May 2014
3
people found this review helpful

My husband, brother and I rented this home for a recent trip to the Galapagos. The three of us have different travel styles--I require very clean, well-functioning accommodations, my brother is very flexible, and my husband is in-between. As a result, we had different reactions to the home, and I will do my best to share those different views. I also want to preface this review and acknowledge that my tastes and preferences are more demanding than others--I wear flip flops in the shower when I travel, am sensitive to smells, and expect a high level of clealiness. Nonetheless, I think it's important to share my view because I would have wanted this type of information before booking my trip.

- Location: Absolutely wonderful. The house is located very close to the main street in Puerto Ayora, so you are walking distance from all of the restaurants, shops, and the pier. You are also very close to the Tortuga Beach entrance, which is very convenient.

- Size: The house is HUGE--way bigger than what 3 people needed. The first floor has a living room, very large kitchen, small office area, a half bathroom, and two bedrooms with their own bathroom. The second floor has the master bedroom, which is very spacious with a couch and a bathroom, along with a large terrace. From the terrace there are steps leading to a massive roof desk, which is great for entertaining. It's really an impressive house, and perfect for large groups.

- Amenities: There is air conditioning in all the bedrooms, which you will need. They are not very high powered, but the fans make it tolerable. The washer and dryer is really useful. The best part was that there was a filtered water cooler in the house, so we were able to fill up water bottles for all of our trips, saving us a lot of money.

- Bathrooms: The bathroom situation was okay. There were plenty of bathrooms to use, but NO HOT WATER. To be more precise, the water was freezing cold, which made it almost impossible for me to wash my hair throughout our whole trip. It was particularly frustrating considering how much time we spent swimming in salt water, and weren't able to wash up properly afterwards. In addition, one of the bathrooms didn't flush, and the shower in our room sprayed water, leading to flooding. Our bathroom also always had an unpleasant sulphur smell the whole time, and the lights did not turn on properly. My brother's view was that we are in the Galapagos and we are "roughing it" to some degree, and should not complain about less than perfect amenities. I completely understand that, and I think that is true for many people, but I am not that type of person. I felt that, for the price I was paying, I should have had better amenities.

- Bugs/lizards: This is the Galapagos, so of course there will be lizards everywhere, and if you are not careful, they will get into the house. Upon our arrival I found many small lizards, a few small spiders, and roaches in the house. It made me feel so uncomfortable that I had difficulty sleeping because I kept one eye on the small lizards in our room all night. Now again, my brother's view is that it's the Galapagos and you shouldn't be "afraid" of nature, and I understand that, but this went beyond what was comfortable for me.

Owner: Tatjana was very helpful with emails and answering questions. She helped coordinate a taxi from the airport, which was helpful, and Maria the housekeeper was very kind. Tatjana also provided suggestions for tour groups, and we were very happy with our bookings through Santa Fe, and really appreciated her suggestion. My main complaint is that I had emailed her some questions a few days prior to our trip, including asking her for a phone number of our driver, and I never heard a response.

Bottom line: If you want a large, spacious, lovely home and are comfortable with nature, don't require perfect amenities, and / or hot showers, then this is a great home for you. It's a wonderful location, spacious home, and great for large groups of families. However, if you are looking for something more modern, clean, bug free, with an updated bathroom situation, then this is not the best place for you.

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 Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: The location
Liked least: The bathrooms
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • 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
Management Response
2 Jun 2014
Dear Saira

As I mentioned to you in my email, I am very sorry that you found the house unpleasant. I would like to point out a couple things -

I did respond your last email with Maria's information, I checked our messages and it is there. The driver's are arranged the night or morning of arrival which is why I could not give you his number. That is why I have you Maria's phone number to contact her in case you needed her number. I also mentioned to you that the driver would be there with a sign with your name.

The bathrooms DO have hot water, and there must have been a problem, I really wish you had advised me when you arrived and I could have had the problem fixed. The electrical supply in Galapagos is very finicky, and sometimes it blows certain breakers. A similar problem happened before, but the guests advised me, and we had a problem fixed right away.

Honestly I don't feel the home deserves a 3 star review, we do our best to make things as comfortable as possible. I think that for a 3 bedroom house the price is fair.

This is the Galapagos Islands, it is difficult to control bugs and lizards, and it is a shame that this was such an issue.

All the best to you
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JandL561
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic vacation home!”
Reviewed 12 April 2014 for a stay in April 2014

Villa Opuntia is an amazing home. We spent 5 wonderful days here. The property is beautiful with lots of privacy. We enjoyed wine up on the roof top terrace every night. A true home away from home. An easy walk to town and very close to the entrance to Tortuga Bay. Maria the housekeeper is such a lovely girl and took good care of us. Tatjana was wonderful, answering my numerous e-mails promptly. She set up our ride from the ferry to the house with a tour on the way. It was fantastic! Tatjana also set us up with a tour operator for trips to other islands and they were the best. I would highly recommend Santa Fe Tours to anyone looking for excursions. They are only a few doors down from the house. All in all we would have to say that staying at Villa Opuntia was our best vacation. We would love to go back again. We were very sad to leave this beautiful home.

How easy was it to book 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 comfort of the home, the beauty of the property the privacy
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
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
Management Response
12 Apr 2014
Thank you!! I am glad you had such a nice time and hope you can come back again! Also really happy your day tours worked out with Santa Fe. Thanks again, all the best to you both
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guayaquil
Reviewed 11 March 2014 for a stay in March 2014

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
11 Mar 2014
Thank you JP! I am glad you had a nice stay and hope you can return one day!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Galgals
Providence, Rhode Island
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful Home and Exotic Garden!”
Reviewed 15 February 2014 for a stay in January 2014
1
person found this review helpful

Our stay at Villa Opuntia was amazing. Tatjana (owner ) was so helpful. She arranged for a taxi driver to pick us up at the canal and he was very agreeable when we asked to make two stops to see attractions (Los Gemelos and Rancho Primicias (tortoises)). Tatjana was there to greet us when we arrived at the house. The house is beautiful and unique. It is very spacious and we each had our own bedroom and bath which was very convenient. The rooftop terrace is beautiful and a great place to relax with drinks at the end of active days . The 2nd floor terrace with the hammocks was cool and inviting for those that didn't want to walk up all the steps to the rooftop. The kitchen had everything we needed and Tatjana left a wonderful fruit basket and loaf of bread for us . Having a washer and dryer was a great amenity. Tatjana was very helpful when we called her with problems. There was a general power outage in the town on one night and we didn't have water for the next day . And one day the dryer ran out of gas but all problems were resolved quickly thanks to Tajana. We were so happy she was in the islands when we were there.

How easy was it to book 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: spaciousness and bauty of the home
Liked least: low water pressure and the corkscrew
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • 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
Management Response
14 Feb 2014
Thank you Carol! I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and that you enjoyed the house. Thank you for your patience with the issues with the electricity going out. All the best to you!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
afbucchi
Santiago, Chile
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bottom line: one of the best vacations I've had.”
Reviewed 21 January 2014 for a stay in December 2013
1
person found this review helpful

I have so many good things to say about this place, but I'll stick to the basics.

Coordination: We had a small problem with our reservation at first, but it was solved within a day or two. Tatjana is very straightforward.

Accommodations: The house is really comfortable, well kept, safe and beautiful. It has everything you need. The only problem we had is hot water pressure, but it wasn't so bad either.

Personnel: Both María and Marcos are hard working and honest people-- we didn't get to meet Tatjana.
I just have to make a special mention for Marcos. He is really pleasant and will give you honest advice on almost anything. I recommend you also take tours with him. They are cheaper and he knows his way around.

The island: Santa Cruz has the advantage of being very central and well connected. It's by far the most developed island, and you can organize your trip all through Galapagos from there, easily --given your are willing to pay extra housing, but well worth it.

I've been blessed with a chance to visit some really beautiful places in the Pacific before, and from my experience, I have to say that Galapagos was a surprise. Beautiful, calm and full of life.

Ps. If you go out, stick to sea food.

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: Sea life. But regarding the house, the master bedroom and kitchen.
Liked least: Hot water pressure.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
People with pets
  • 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
Management Response
20 Jan 2014
Thank you for the lovely and informative review, it is very much appreciated! It was a pleasure to have you!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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