Holiday review by Mr. Eric Stelfox

Name: Mr. Eric Stelfox

Date of trip: 19/01/2017

Number of people: 2

On the Grace we spotted a large pod (over 100) of false killer whales/other dolphins and the captain changed course so that we could follow them. After a short while Rafa said he was going in the water with them and asked if any one wanted to join him. I jumped at the chance and after a short zodiac ride Rafa and myself were in the water with them. Whilst we were enthralled with them, they totally ignored us! All of the other passengers on the Grace were Americans. On four separate occasions over dinner we were quizzed about the queen's relationship with Prince Charles and our view of her possible abdication. They are totally besotted by it and know much more about it than we do.

  • Patio Andaluz

     

  • King room at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Courtyard restaurant at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Artwork at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Grace Galapagos yacht at sunset

     

  • Outdoor seating area on Grace

     

  • Grace Kelly suite

     

  • Drinks and meals on deck

     

  • Grand Hotel

     

  • Bedroom at Grand Hotel

     

  • Grand Hotel outdoor pool

     

  • Grand Hotel lobby

     

  • Balcony view at Finca Rosa Blanca

     

  • Bedroom at Finca Rosa Blanca

     

  • The gardens at Finca Rosa Blanca

     

  • Aerial view of Nayara Gardens and Arenal volcano, Costa Rica © Nayara Gardens

    Aerial view of Nayara Gardens and Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

  • Lunchtime at Nayara Gardens in Arenal, Costa Rica © Nayara Gardens

    Lunchtime at Nayara Gardens in Arenal, Costa Rica

  • Pool at Nayara Gardens in Arenal, Costa Rica © 2017 Miles Photography

    Pool at Nayara Gardens in Arenal, Costa Rica

  • Deluxe room at Nayara Gardens, Arenal, Costa Rica © Nayara Gardens

    Deluxe room at Nayara Gardens, Arenal, Costa Rica

  • Parador Resort and Spa

     

  • Relax on one of the terraces at Parador Resort and Spa

     

  • Go hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park from Parador Resort & Spa

     

  • Premuim plus room at Parador Resort and Spa

     

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Tribes Overall:

The Galapagos trip was to celebrate our ruby wedding and was everything we had imagined and more.

Tribes Service:

The suggestion of celebrating our ruby wedding on the Grace was inspired.
On a negative note we felt that the description of some of the activities in Costa Rica were slightly exaggerated.

Guides:

All of the guides were very good but special mention must be made of Rafa on the Grace who was exceptional.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

All of the hotels went out of their way to point out their environmental policies and there was a tendency to re-use plastic water bottles but as you say difficult to tell.


The places you stayed

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz

Ecuador

'Quirky' 2 storey room. Excellent restaurant.


Grace Galapagos yacht at sunset

Grace

Galapagos Islands

Classic old style yacht and just perfect for celebrating our ruby wedding.
On the downside we did a couple of all night sailings which were noisy and the food was not up to the standard we have experienced on, albeit slightly, larger boats.


Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel

Ecuador

Large city centre hotel with very friendly staff. Ideally located for the Malecon (a must see) and the Cathedral, Excellent restaurant with possibly the oldest guitar trio in the world.


Balcony view at Finca Rosa Blanca

Finca Rosa Blanca

Costa Rica

We loved this hotel. The only pity was that we were only there for such short period of time. Beautiful room and the restaurant has great views over San Jose and fantastic food.
(On the negative side wake up call and porter never materialised.)


Lunchtime at Nayara Gardens in Arenal, Costa Rica © Nayara Gardens

Nayara Gardens

Arenal

Lovely hotel and grounds. Room was fantastic. We thought the restaurant and wine bar (there is no bar as such) were on the expensive side.


Parador Resort and Spa

Parador Resort and Spa

Costa Rica

Another fantastic room with a large wrap around balcony. Restaurant is excellent (although 2 out of 3 bills were initially wrong). Probably saw more wild life here than in the Manual Antonio national park, sloth and toucans in trees no more than 10 yards from our balcony.
The Mangrove river trip is a must do.