Should you be dreaming of a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands you can thank me now for finding the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil (pronounced Huay-a-keel). Being the detail driven traveler that I am, (others might have a different term for it), I researched long and hard to find the best hotel to stay before and after our trip of a lifetime to the famed islands that inspired Darwin.
We had decided to add a three night stay in the Galapagos Islands to our two weeks of adventure in Peru. With such a short time frame planned for the Galapagos, it was vital that the launching off point be smooth.
I worried more about this stay than any other in the itinerary. A smooth transition off the mainland of Ecuador would be vital. We did not have an extra day, let alone two, to deal with any travel issues.
Months before our departure my question filled emails flowed to the staff of Oro Verde. “Can you please confirm (for the third time) that the airport transfer is included? How will we know the driver? Are you sure you can get us back to the airport early enough the next day? Can you store a suitcase for us?
Each query was patiently and enthusiastically answered by the staff at Hotel Oro Verde within hours. I loved this hotel before I set foot in it.
What sets Oro Verde above other hotels?
Rated by Trip Advisor as #2 of 55 hotels in Guayaquil, you know there must be special things happening at at the Oro Verde.
Airport Transfer Included
After a harrowing sprint for our flight connection in Lima we arrived in Guayaquil with adrenalin high and nerves frayed. There stood the Oro Verde driver with a sign bearing our name and a big smile. It has not always been our experience that just because a hotel says a transfer is included that it actually happens. That the cost is part of the stay makes it an extra bonus.
I was exhausted and completely relieved as he shook our hands and then pronounced our name correctly. Not a big thing but a rare and delightful occurrence when it happens.
Super sized rooms
Opening the door to our hotel room in Oro Verde a few things ran through my mind. Is this massive room really meant for us? (Turns out all the rooms are incredibly spacious, even the smallest ones.) Everything is so shiny. Was this renovated last week? (Turns out all the rooms have recently been renovated.) Are those fresh flowers? (Yes turns out they are in every room and throughout the hotel.) Basically everyone is special, not just me.
More features of the various rooms can be found here.
Complimentary welcome drinks and mini bar
I did my best not to squeal with delight as we were handed the coupons for our complimentary drinks in the hotel’s bar. More smiling staff who perhaps recognized my crazed ‘I-believed-I-was-going-to-miss-my-Galapagos-trip-by-missing-my-plane-in-Lima’ look. They kindly and efficiently directed me to the bar.
In the rooms the soft drinks in the mini bar are free. Are you kidding me? Most hotels charge the equal of a deposit on a college education for anything out of the mini bar. I thought how much families with kids would love that feature.
Free and Fantastic Wifi/Internet Access
Those of you follow our travels will know of my elusive search for WiFi and the fact that I can be often found standing on tables or crawling around the feet of the front desk staff in search if internet access. No matter how service oriented staff are, I have never found any that are amused with my behavior.
Almost worse are hotels that charge for WiFi, claim they have it only to find that it is accessible on the third Wednesday of the month between 1 and 2 pm.
At Oro Verde the WiFi worked instantaneously and everywhere throughout the hotel. Without exaggeration, and I am somewhat prone to doing so, but in this case the internet worked better than in my own home and absolutely everywhere in the hotel. After two weeks of searching for a connection in Peru I was celebrating with smart phone and lap top in hand.
Buffet Breakfast and Five Restaurants to Choose
When booking a hotel one of the first features I look for is breakfast included. There is a small window between my eyeball popping open and my cranky empty stomach making an appearance. At Oro Verde breakfast could keep you fueled for an entire day with it’s huge tables and vast variety of healthy choices.
For dining options from the formal to the casual, anything can be found at Oro Verde. From the French Le Gourmet to the Swiss Le Fondue to the traditional Ecuadorian food of El Patio to the casual Gourmet Deli, all tastes can be accommodated. I will admit we were found in Bar El Capitan celebrating our arrival with free snacks to go with our welcome drinks.
City Oasis in the midst of Guayaquil
Guayaquil is a thriving business center with a population of over 2.5 million people. Tucked just inside the Oro Verde is a surprising oasis of calm. Included in the stay is a fitness center, wet-spa with sauna, whirlpool, steam room and outdoor pool. After two weeks of hiking and cycling in Peru a blissful discovery.
Super Service at Oro Verde Guayaquil
I had fallen in love with the service at Oro Verde long before our bags were packed. No matter how many confirmations I asked for a quick and courteous reply came back. They kept telling us how much they were looking forward to seeing us. I thought they would want to strangle me on sight.
Many hotels have great service. It would be hard to survive in the industry otherwise. So what puts Oro Verde at the top? Besides the prompt and friendly replies that began months before our arrival and continued through our stay, it was the extras that stood out.
When I went to book our airport shuttle for departure our names were already on the list and high lighted in yellow. I imagine the third email got the yellow treatment. In the evening we received a call to confirm our airport time.
When we wanted to explore a nearby park the staff gave clear instructions on safety, as one should think about in any larger city, and what not to carry with us. The staff coordinated a licensed taxi and translated for us to the driver to wait for us to ensure our safe return. The feeling we had was that it wasn’t just a job to have hotel guests. They truly cared about us. Even obsessive, travel detailed me.
Hotel Oro Verde is located on Avenue Nueve de Octubre, one of the main roads in downtown Guayaquil, with easy access to Guayaquil’s international airport. For more information on the hotel or to book your Guayaquil getaway click here.
Disclosure: Thanks to Hotel Oro Verde for their photo contributions which can be seen by scrolling over photos in the galleries. We were guests of Oro Verde Hotel Guayaquil however all opinions are our own.