Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The best luxury resort on turtle island

The only luxury resort option you should consider when going to Galapagos Islands is Pikaia Lodge if you decide to stay on land instead of on sea.  Some of you reading this post may suffer from sea sickness like me and this resort is really heaven send.  Again, because we are in South America, service and food standard isn't the same as what one can find in Asia or Europe.  With that said, there is plenty to like at this resort.

The architecture of the resort is really quite special.  It's located on top of a hill so you get a nice panoramic view of the area.  The rooms are basically divided into two parts.  One part has bed and living room area and the other part consist of a large bathroom with a walk in closet.  While I know my suite is very luxurious for Galapagos standard, there were a few odd decisions that the designer made.  One is the shower glass is quite small.  It protrudes about 3 feet from the wall.  So every time I take a shower, I have to put bath towels on the floor outside of the shower area otherwise the floor would be flooded with water.  Clearly the designer of the bathroom uses bath tub a lot more than shower as anyone who takes showers daily would have designed the shower area differently.  Another odd choice was to have a small circular dinning table tucked right at the corner of the living room.  The only way to get in and out of the corner is basically move one of the free stand alone arm chair out of the way or if you wear size zero jeans.  Lastly, the spa is very small.  It felt like an afterthought.  I think there was only one or two treatment rooms.  I got a massage once and I felt the whole set up was kinda chintzy and not luxurious.

The food at the hotel was good.  It was not Michelin star level good but it was a good resort food in a Four Seasons way.  If you stay at plenty of Four Seasons before, you know exactly what I mean.  The service at the restaurant was very good.  They try to accommodate you the best they can in terms of limited choices.  I thought the food manager was trying very hard and it definitely showed.  I appreciate her service very much.

There are plenty of things to see.  Depending on how long you stay, they have a whole calendar set up where you get plenty of daily activities and then some.  You are never bored.  I would say typically they take you to an island to see iguana or sea lion etc. in the morning, and then in the afternoon they take you to snorkel.  Pikaia Lodge provides the whole set up so you don't need to bring a wet suit or snorkel gear.

Pikaia Lodge has their own boat which from my understanding is quite luxurious.  Each room gets their own cabinet with a private bathroom.  If you get seasick easily, I would ask for the cabinets on the top.  I wouldn't exactly call the interior of the cabinet luxurious.  I would say it is functional.  Good thing is you have a charger next to bed so make sure you bring your phone chargers as there is plenty of photo ops once you land.

The biggest draw back of staying at Pikaia Lodge versus a cruise boat is that everyday you have to trek in and out of the island.  To go from the Lodge to ferry terminal, it takes about a good 45-50 minutes.  Then once you reach the ferry terminal, it takes another 20-30 minutes to get to Pikaia I boat.  So essentially you are spending three hours daily to trek back and forth before you even see anything!  If you are on a cruise, then obviously you bypass all that.  So it's really a decision of how easily seasick you get and if you need a large space to relax in.  My understanding is that the highest end of Galapagos Islands cruises are still not that luxurious (compare to what you get on Pikaia Lodge).  The only way to get something comparable to Pikaia Lodge on a boat would be bring your own luxury ship.  But obviously that would be very costly.

Overall, this is not the most luxurious stay I ever had at a resort.  With that said, I do think this is the most luxurious option available on Galapagos Island and I would not hesitate to recommend this place to friends and family.

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