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The Royal Palm in the lush highlands of Isla Santa Cruz is the finest luxury hotel in the Galapagos Islands, and developing something of a reputation as a celebrity haunt, with the Prince of Wales and Brangelina (entourage included) recent guests.
There are 21 casitas and villas in total, all with custom-made furnishings, Wi-Fi, air-con and Jacuzzis. The villas are dotted around the hotel gardens and the casitas form part of the so-called Royal Fountain Circle with verandas looking out over the island to the sea beyond. In addition, the super swanky Villa Escalesia is a private residence with four bedrooms and an additional annex that is perfect for children. The villa has its own walled garden, pool-side bar, infinity pool, whirlpool, steam bath and sun deck.
The hotel restaurant and bar share an elegant conical roofed central building separated by a central fireplace. Guests can enjoy all-day dining and more formal evening dinners with Ecuadorian specialities and an emphasis on fresh fish. The wine list contains many of the best names in Latin America wine-making.
When not exploring the other fascinating islands of the Galapagos, guests can enjoy the onsite facilities including tennis courts and table tennis or explore the best preserved lava tunnel on the island which is on the estate. The hotel can also arrange riding, mountain biking and walking excursions and also diving, kayaking, surfing and snorkelling trips.
Exploring the Galapagos by boat is a pretty amazing experience, but for land-lubbers or anyone wanting a nice combination, a stay at the Royal Palm dovetails perfectly.
Ollie, Original Traveller