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We had never heard of Hotel Oro Verde until Ecoventura, the company that operated our cruise to Galapagos, recommended the Guayaquil hotel for our pre- and post-cruise accommodations.

Lobby and reception desk
Lobby and reception desk
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

The hotel's free airport shuttle picked us up at the Guayaquil airport after we arrived on our Copa Airlines flight to Guayaquil from Toronto via Panama City. Driving time for the hotel shuttle was 15 minutes between Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (code GYE) and Hotel Oro Verde.

Five-star hotel

The marble and wood lobby of Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil is decorated with art, leafy palms and bouquets of huge Ecuadorian roses. On check-in, we received coupons for free welcome drinks at the bar.

The five-star hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Amenities, ranging from a fitness center and swimming pool to a hotel spa and business center attract guests of the U.S. consulate and international airline crews on Guayaquil flights.

Celebrity guests

Hotel Oro Verde has attracted many celebrity guests, including Bill Clinton, George Bush Senior, Martin Luther King III, Julio Iglesias, J. Lo's husband, Marc Anthony and Olivia Newton-John.

Jorge Morales views Gold Book.
Jorge Morales views Gold Book.
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Jorge Morales, director of sales, marketing and PP.RR for Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil, showed us the hotel's Gold Book (Libro de Oro). He opened up one of the large leather-bound volumes, filled with famous signatures.

On one page, we saw Olivia Newton-John's autograph with her "Nice to be here!" note. The signature of Bill Clinton was on another page of the Gold Book below his note: "Thank you for the wonderful hospitality." Martin Luther King III wrote: "You have a wonderful hotel."

Hotel restaurants

When Prince Charles visited Galapagos in 2009, Hotel Oro Verde's Le Gourmet Restaurant catered the meals for his private flight. "It's the best restaurant in Guayaquil," says Jorge Morales.

The award-winning Le Gourmet Restaurant serves French cuisine. Hotel Oro Verde's La Fondue restaurant specializes in Swiss food, like raclette and fondues. Next to the lobby, the Gourmet Deli sells coffee, deli sandwiches, salads, pastries and homemade chocolates.

Chocolate fondue at La Fondue restaurant
Chocolate fondue at La Fondue restaurant
Photo credit: The Leading Hotels of the World

Buffet breakfast

Café-Restaurante El Patio serves Ecuadorian food and international cuisine in a casual setting. Our pre- and post- Ecoventura Galapagos cruise hotel package included a substantial buffet breakfast at El Patio.

The buffet included juice, fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, made-to-order omelets, plantain balls, deli meats, cheeses, pancakes, bacon, tamales, French toast, plantain with cheese, quiche, chicken and potatoes. We could choose from an awesome selection of fresh breads (e.g., oregano, banana, rye, walnut) and pastries (e.g., croissants, pain au chocolat) to accompany our coffee and tea.

Hotel packages

Oro Verde Hotel packages include the buffet breakfast. Hotel packages range from family getaways and spa packages to corporate business travel packages.

Club Floor

Guests in the 16 rooms of the Club Floor have the option of El Patio's breakfast buffet or eating breakfast on the executive floor.

Club Floor receptionist and sign
Club Floor receptionist and sign
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Besides larger rooms, the Hotel Oro Verde Club Floor offers afternoon tea, an open bar from 5 to 9 p.m. and business services such as photocopying, receiving faxed documents and loan of laptop computers.

Broadband Internet connections

All 230 rooms (including 43 suites) in Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil have unlimited high-speed Internet access through WiFi and cable as well as data jacks for computers and fax machines. If guests didn't bring their laptops, notebooks or iPads, they have 30 minutes of free Internet access on Business Center computers.

All rooms offer additional amenities, including hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, terry cloth bathrobes, large flat-screen TVs, mini-bars and in-room safes. The smoke-free rooms, restaurants and bar ensure clean air for all guests.

Green certification

Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil is green certified by Smart Voyager. "The lights and air conditioner go off when you remove your room card from the slot by the door," explains tour and travel sales manager, Lorena Garay.

Oro Verde Hotel in Guayaquil
Oro Verde Hotel in Guayaquil
Photo credit: The Leading Hotels of the World

"We recycle paper, glass and plastic and donate the proceeds to community projects. We use natural gas for heating and low-flush toilets. Water pipes are copper, rather than PVC, which keeps water hot and uses less energy. Double glass windows help block street noise and heat."

Hotel Oro Verde history

According to Jorge Morales, the luxury Guayaquil hotel began in 1978. It is part of a five-hotel chain which includes Oro Verde Hotels in Cuenca, Manta and Machala, Ecuador, as well as Unipark Hotel in Guayaquil.

"Hotel Oro Verde was the first five-star hotel in Guayaquil," he says. "The name Oro Verde means green gold. It stands for bananas, a major Ecuador export, in addition to oil (black gold).

Guayaquil tours

Hotel Oro Verde concierges advise guests to use a taxi to tour Guayaquil. Attractions include Cerro Santa Ana, near the traditional neighborhood of Las Penas, the Cathedral, Church of Santo Domingo and El Malecon 2000.

The Malecon is a beautiful three-kilometer-long walkway along the Guayas River. When we were there, it was filled with hundreds of families enjoying ice cream in the playgrounds and gardens.

Hotel shopping

For shopping in Guayaquil, Mall del Sol offers modern stores. Hotel Oro Verde also has boutiques selling folk art, designer jewelry and Panama hats (made in Ecuador).

The address of Hotel Oro Verde is Nueve de Octubre 414 and Garcia Mareno, Guyayaquil, Ecuador.


Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil: www.oroverdeguayaquil.com

The Leading Hotels of the World: www.lhw.com

Ecuador Ministry of Tourism: www.ecuador.travel

Copa Airlines: www.copaair.com

More things to see and do in Ecuador