Royal Palm HotelSanta Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
The Royal Palm Hotel is an exclusive and secluded hideaway located in its own 150-hectare land reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island – about 20 minutes from the main town, Puerto Ayora. The hotel had a much-needed renovation in 2013 and is now back on top form.
The accommodation comprises three suites, each with their own patio gardens and hot tubs, and a number of private villas discreetly spaced out in the grounds of the property offering sea views. There is an outdoor swimming pool near the restaurant/bar area, as well as a spa and gym. A range of exciting day excursions into the National Park on Santa Cruz and to other neighbouring islands can also be arranged.
Despite the tropical-sounding name, this is not a sea, sun and sand beach-front hotel. Rather, the Royal Palm is a charming retreat from the heat of the coast and a comfortable and relaxing place to stay surrounded by nature, whilst being pampered by top notch service and excellent food.
At certain times of the year – notably August and September – the highlands of Santa Cruz are prone to mists. The open fires in each room really come into their own in the evenings at this time of year to create a cozy, magical atmosphere.