Hilton to open a hotel in the Galapagos Islands in July
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If you are looking for somewhere different to burn your Hilton Honors points, we have the hotel for you. (This assumes that the recent opening in the Faroe Islands isn’t wild enough for you.)
In July, Hilton’s Curio Collection brand will launch on the Galapagos island of Santa Cruz.
This is not your typical Hilton Group hotel. For a start, it only has 21 rooms.
This is not a new build property. It is a conversion of the Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel. Unsurprisingly, it will be first international hotel brand to open in the Galapagos and will undergo a refurbishment before joining the group. The new name will be “Royal Palm Galapagos, Curio Collection by Hilton”.
The hotel will retain its current ownership and management, who will ‘maintain the property’s storied commitment to sustainable, responsible travel’.
To quote Hilton:
“The existing Royal Palm Galapagos hotel immerses guests into a pristine natural environment on Santa Cruz. The island is one of the most important within the archipelagos and is home to Tortuga Bay, the Charles Darwin Research Station and a port for ecologically responsible cruising.
Secluded on a 160-hectare estate in the lush Miconia Highland Forests adjacent to the Galapagos National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the hotel is sheltered within a valley between two extinct cinder cone volcanoes and features nine areas of geological interest from craters to lava tunnels.
Sustainability is at the epicenter of the hotel’s ethos and woven into the hotel’s operations, engagement with guests and the community. Royal Palm Galapagos is the only hotel with a Miconia and Escalesia Reforestation Program and a Rain Harvesting program helping to ensure the destination remains resilient for generations of travelers to come.”
The hotel consists of 21 casitas and villas built around the existing natural environment and is designed to echo the style of an Ecuadorian hacienda. As well as a pool, spa and fitness centre, it claims that guests can “experience one-of-a-kind wildlife encounters from green turtles to beautiful birds“.
Intriguingly “the hotel features the only fine dining restaurant located inside a cavern within one of the property’s lava tunnels. This once-in-a-lifetime experience gives guests a glimpse of the incredible forces that created the archipelago, while they enjoy a tasting menu inspired by local culture and ingredients.“
We have covered Galapagos travel before on HfP.
Here is a review of the Finch Bay Galapagos hotel, submitted by a reader as part of our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ series.
We also ran this article on how to use Avios to get to the Galapagos. Unfortunately, this was reliant on using LATAM, which left the oneworld alliance in 2020. It has not rejoined an alliance but has close ties to Delta – now a shareholder – and Virgin Atlantic via a new codeshare deal. It is possible that LATAM redemptions will eventually be available using Virgin Points.
The Royal Galapagos hotel is not yet bookable on hilton.com, but the press release is here. The current hotel website is here.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (April 2023)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)