Many travelers who are connecting with Galapagos cruises use Guayaquil, Ecuador as an overnight prior to their Galapagos flight the next morning. For class, style and convenience, as well as one of the best values in Guayaquil, it’s hard to beat Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil.
An affiliate of Worldhotels, Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil features 236 recently refurbished rooms and suites defined by hardwood, marble or tile floors, along with plush bedding topped off with down comforters. Spacious contemporary bathrooms add to the luxury. I enjoyed an upgrade to the tower where I had two televisions, bedroom with lounge chair, and a living area with a sofa bed and desk.
Free Wi-Fi is available in the rooms and at hotspots throughout the hotel. Expect to find a 50-inch LCD TV, free minibar with two bottles of natural water and two sodas, and a coffee maker. A big plus is the 24-hour room service.
I was particularly thrilled with the hotel’s non-smoking policy, as this can be a rather gutsy stance for a South American hotel, where the smoking population is a higher percentage than in North America.
Less than a 15-minute drive from Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport, the 5-star Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil is also close to the Guayas riverfront, known as Malecon 2000, only 0.9 miles away. While daytime strolling is fine, it is best to limit night walks to about a block around the hotel. Catch a taxi for anything further, as the hotel is located within the commercial and entertainment district of Guayaquil.
But why would you want to leave a 5-star Ecuadorian retreat, as the hotel is a haven for amenities and great dining. Guests of Oro Verde Guayaquil can enjoy a full-service spa, outdoor pool, and well-equipped gym that includes a Jacuzzi, polar pool, Turkish bath (steam room), and sauna. A variety of massage services are available for a fee.
Hotel Oro Verde has the business traveler covered with more than 23,000 square fee of special event space, three meeting rooms, and a Business Center. Free valet and self-parking are available, as is a complimentary airport shuttle that operates 24 hours around the clock. A multilingual staff at the front desk is on hand and is another reason international travelers are attracted to the hotel.
Take an adult beverage break at the El Bar Capitan, an English-style bar featuring live music, cocktails, craft beers, and imported and local wines. Guests receive a coupon for a free welcome drink.
Dining options abound within the confines of the hotel, including five onsite restaurants to choose from. El Patio Restaurant serves Ecuadorian cuisine with light international dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. The breakfast buffet is also served here, with an ample selection of fresh fruits, breads, omelets to order, and freshly-squeezed juices and hot-brewed coffee. My breakfast was complimentary and included in the room rate. However, I needed to present a coupon given to me at check-in.
For dinner, enjoy dining at La Fondue Restaurant where you can feast on Suisse specialties or indulge in haute French cuisine in a more elegant and formal atmosphere at the award-winning Le Gourmet Restaurant.
If you are looking for something lighter, try the Gourmet Deli where you will be tempted with a tantalizing array of sandwiches, pastries and salads. Plus, there is always 24-hour room service available if you choose to dine in your room.
Several nice retail shops are located within the hotel on the ground floor, serving up Ecuadorian chocolate, jewelry, art, and souvenirs.
Review and photos by award-winning writer/photographer Karin Leperi, who was hosted one night at the property for purposes of review and as a precursor to a Galapagos cruise on Ecoventura’s Letty.