The name Solymar means sun and sea – and these were the two promises initially made by the Perez family when they first opened their doors in the Galapagos Islands to travelers and friends more than 50 years ago. Since that time, Hotel Solymar has blossomed into a luxurious eco-resort which places you right in the middle of Galapagos island culture and wildlife.
The Galapagos Islands archipelago are located about 700 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The islands are home to many species of birds, marine mammals, reptiles, and tropical fish that are unique to this location. As many of our readers know, it was the rarity and unique qualities of these species that led Charles Darwin to the development of his theory of evolution and publication of his historic book, The Origin of Species.
Upon arrival to Hotel Solymar, you are immediately embraced by the warm and unique Galapagos Island culture. Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas soak up the Ecuadorian sun poolside, while regularly going for a swim in the bay that accompanies the property. The combined thirty one rooms offered by Hotel Solymar and the adjacent Isla Sol join the heart and soul of the islands with the service and accommodations you’d expect from a 5-star resort.
One of the most noticeable attributes of Hotel Solymar is its elegant and modern design mixed with quintessential island style. Upon entering the guestroom, our eyes were instantly drawn to the balcony with sweeping ocean views and pristine natural scenery. We were also delighted with the contemporary style which featured a large bed, flat screen TV (which trust us, you won’t be using) and a large desk for managing the memories you’ll be capturing daily.
A full bathroom with hot water and a small armoire with a variety of little amenities also created a comfortable atmosphere for our stay. Attendants had placed our suitcases on luggage racks off to one side, and conveniently placed hooks were ready to hold our clothing for the week. Fresh island air filled our senses when we stepped outside on the small deck and attempted to take it all in.
Once we had settled in a bit, we went outside to check out the public areas where we were welcomed by the warm Ecuadorian sun and our extremely helpful service attendants. The menu included most everything we could want, from paprika seasoned papas fritas (French fries) appetizers to generous portions of surf and turf. In addition, the afternoons bring out a sushi menu that features a variety of fresh, locally sourced sushi that is prepared to delectable perfection.
We enjoyed half of our stay at the Hotel Solymar and the other half in their sister hotel, Isla Sol. This contemporary designed hotel was constructed in 2011 and is breathtaking both inside and out. Our view was of Avenue Charles Darwin y Tomas de Berlanga, where all the activity on the island takes place, and Pelican Bay.
From the cascading waterfalls to the garden themed entrance, stepping into Isla Sol was like stepping into paradise. The staff was beyond welcoming and guided us to the area where they offered tea, coffee, and filtered spring water – all complimentary, of course. Our room came complete with a large walk in shower, comfortable bed, and a complimentary eco-travel water bottle.
After meeting with the hotel owners, Julian and Allison Perez, we understood why this gem in the Galapagos is so popular. Over fifty years of being in business has honed not only the exceptional service we received from every staff member, but influenced the accommodations that offer the best of both luxury and adventure. The Hotel Solymar’s tradition of excellence comes from a family that truly cares about their guests, as well as their experiences they bring home from the islands. From tips about the best day trips, to recommending eateries, to giving directions to the local dive shops, everything that we requested and needed was granted. The friendships that were made with each staff member will truly last a lifetime.
Enjoying the beauty of the Galapagos Islands is something that dreams are made of for most people. That is why you want to include the accommodations of your dreams as well. Isla Sol and Hotel Solymar are the perfect way to achieve this dream. Whether you are visiting for a few days or a few weeks, the adventure, relaxation, and authenticity of the Galapagos Island are fully enjoyable at the Hotel Solymar and Isla Sol in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. Book your own Galapagos Island Vacation now.