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All reviews the owner beautiful view steep driveway the reefs hilly property scuba diving spaghetti the hotel sits an adventure great place stayed nights luis sunset hammocks ocean porch fridge
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Reviewed 26 July 2016

We have spent only one night at the hotel, but we would gladly extend our stay there. The owner, Luis, has arranged a boat tour for us. The room and the bathroom were clean and cosy, and air conditioned, which is not always the case in the area. The breakfast copious, the restaurant serves nice dishes with a twist towards European kitchen. I would highly recommend the hotel. The only suggestion: our room for six people plus sofa bed did not have proper wardrobe, so everything stayed in the suitcase, it could be difficult to manage for longer stays/more luggage.

Stayed: July 2016
Thank andzias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaCatalinaSurfer, Owner at Hotel Sol y Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2017

Dear guest
Thank you for taking your time to give us a nice review.
We are always glad to know people enjoy staying with us,that feels like a prize for our efforts.We will continue to do our best to serve our clients needs.
Also happy you enjoyed the restaurant,we always try to maintain the standard that we are getting know for and so many people have reviewed giving testimony of good experiences
We are truly interested in constructive suggestions from our guests,as they are the ones that can know best about their personal needs,we always try to guess what more we could do to improve the quality of the services we provide.
We also always act on valid or affordable suggestions made by guests,so am glad to say that among many other improvements,we now have some kind of closet or wardrobe in every room.
Thank you again,and hope to have you visit us again.

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Reviewed 5 July 2016

Went with friends here based on recommendations from Trip Advisor. Well worth it, not for those who want the standard hotel, more for the adventurous.. diving or surfing. The owner and his staff were brilliant.. made us feel really welcome and served amazing food even under testing conditions of a power failure. A 3 hour thunderstorm with lighting and heavy rain did not dampen our or their enthusiasm. Great value for money but more importantly treated as valued guests at all times☺

Room Tip: Rooms 5 & 6 for veranda views, and also hammocks on veranda!
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Martin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaCatalinaSurfer, Owner at Hotel Sol y Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2017

Dear guest
thank you for your review.
We are glad that you think it was worth the visit and you felt that this was not the standard hotel,we want to be more then that,and give our guests a true experience.
Power or now power we have an enthusiasm for service,and our small generator helps to keep the basics like running water or a few lights,and watching the summer storm while being well fed can´t be that bad!!:)
You can be sure that we are here to serve and all guests are valuable to us

Once again thank you for your kind words and hope to see you here again in the future

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Reviewed 8 April 2016

Service was very good by the owner before getting in. (if sometimes people dont reply immediately bear in mind that sometimes there are power outages or phone towers not working). I must say that we wer pleasently surprised. Many places look better on pictures than in reality. Here it was the opposite. I think the pics on the website were not so new or just not taken very nicely. The place is beautiful The rooms very clean with extremely comfortable beds. Nice views over the trees to the ocean. The food is very very good. At the time there was Frederick, the german Chef working there and not only did he prepare very delicious meals, everything was done without too much wait. I definitely can reccommend this place

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank GermanMexican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaCatalinaSurfer, Owner at Hotel Sol y Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017

Dear guest
Thank you for taking your time to write such a nice review,its always good to know that people enjoy staying with us.
As you have seen,our place is not conventional,not only because of being on a high hill,but also because we try not to raise people´s expectations too much about what they are going to find here....many people nowadays have very high expectations,most of our guests come from the wealthiest most developed countries in the world and because of the living standards in those countries they don´t really know what to expect when coming to such a remote place in a developing country,and things like finding a bug are for some people lack of proper cleaning,when in fact it is impossible in such a location to sterilize everything so that no bugs would be seen....but then there are people like you that by not having high expectations get pleasant experiences and enjoy their holidays.
your description of our place resumes what my goals are:to provide comfortable lodging,good food and service to our guests.
Just a note for future guests,in this moment the german chef is no longer working with us but I can guarantee our new chef is as good or better then the former one.We have had several different chefs and we always have maintained the same quality,that has to do with hiring only professional chefs and looking for the best ingredients.
Hope to see you here again in the future

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Reviewed 7 April 2016

One must ascend quite a few steps to get to the rooms and restaurant, but once you are there, the view is great! Rooms are quite large and well maintained. The restaurant offers really good food and beverages. Breakfast is tasty. Staff very friendly.
If you want to go to the beach, they will drive you over - saving you the 1.5km walk.
WLAN only in the restaurant.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Jagi2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaCatalinaSurfer, Owner at Hotel Sol y Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017

Dear guest
thank you for your review.
We are glad that you enjoy our views at the top of the hill and think that alone is worth the climb up the stairs,most our guests think the same,the views,peace and quiet and nice breezes are the reason I chose to build Sol y Mar at such a steep hill,even knowing not everyone would enjoy the climb,this is an out of the box place for sure,but after people get on top they never want to leave again.
Thank you also for your nice words about our staff,rooms and food,we make our best effort to provide good accommodations and food and always help the guest in whatever needs they have.
Its true we drive our guests anywhere around Santa Catalina for free and think you refer to playa Estero when you say we will save the 1,5 km walk,but want to mention that Santa Catalina beach is only 600 meters from our hotel so you can walk there in under 10 minutes (6 or 7 at a normal pace).
Also want to mention that the reason wlan is only at the restaurant and swiimming pool areas is because there are no phone lines in santa catalina,the only internet we get is from the cell tower and not so fast,so by having wi-fi at only one location it has a good speed,if we divide it and send it to all the rooms it would get too slow.hopefully in the near future we will get better service and will be able to put wi-fi in the whole property
Once again thank you for your kind words and hope to see you here again in the future

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Reviewed 16 March 2016

This hotel has an amazing view over the ocean and might be your best option in Santa Catalina if you want a hotel with a pool and a decent breakfast in the morning. The only thing is that Sol y Mar is built on a mountain. If you have a lot of luggage (like we did) it will be a heavy workout fer sure before you reach the reception at the top. However, a part from this, it was a nice hotel. We never tried the restaurant at night but it provided both a pool table and a ping-pong table for free use during the day which was nice. Clean rooms with AC and television. The only complaints we have are the lack of hot water in the shower and that the front desk/restaurant was unmanned during the day, which meant that we had to walk down the hill to buy drinks/food during the day. (This will not be a problem for you if you have your own car and/or are planning to be gone for the day) AND, for all facebook-lovers, the Wifi is terrible. The wifi connection is pretty bad all over Santa Catalina, so do not expect to have much done over the internet during your stay in this town.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sandra_toivio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaCatalinaSurfer, Owner at Hotel Sol y Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2017

Dear guest
Thank you for taking your time to review Sol y Mar.
We always take clients comments seriously either good or bad,in your case I see you had a good time here and enjoyed our beautiful views.even if you point some down points which every place will have,but am going to discuss them one by one so other potential guests get more information and to say that we already found solutions to most issues you mention :
1-The hotel is indeed on a steep hill and there are many steps coming to different terraced areas of that hill where we have the cabins,restaurant and swimming pool.We have a 4 wheel drive car permanently here to bring the bags up to the rooms as well as personnel to help you with this.The only times people bring their bags up is because they arrive really early as was your case (check-in time is 2pm and we have guests arriving before noon all the time) .Every time that happens guests find our reception closed and no one around,as the reception building is by the main road and all the buildings are up the stairs.Such was the case with yourself so our personnel was busy doing check-outs and finishing cleaning up breakfast.We only have someone waiting for guests at the reception after 2pm and only when there are reservations.So a lot of walk-ins and early arrivals have ended up like yourself carrying their heavy bags up the stairs which is not pleasant anywhere and even less in the midday sun in the tropics (ouch!!).For that my apologies,we are a small family run business and do not have personnel enough to have a 24 hour reception.
With the solution of that in mind already ordering a sign telling people that if reception is closed they will find someone by our workers house (which is about 50 meters from the reception in the same level at the bottom of hill) or if not up the stairs but that they should leave their bags by reception and they will be safe so they don´t need to take the bags up the stairs or even around the property.
One of the many dreams/projects we have is to build an elevator that will bring people´s bags up the stairs,until there we have the sign.
2-the lack of hot water was a recurrent complaint as our water system is independent but was planned before we expanded from 4 to 9 rooms so we had not enough water pressure to make the water heaters work properly for a few months.Am very please to say that in May 2017 we solved that problem and all the rooms in the property now count with an unlimited supply of hot water in the rooms.
3-Internet.As you very well say,the fact that our wi-fi is not the best is beyond our control,am going to explain what we have so you and future guests that read this understand better where the internet or lach of it come from in Santa Catalina.There are only suppliers trough the cell phone companies and there are no commercial plans with unlimited or high speed internet.All we have is a tiny private use modem to give wi-fi in a small area,and every time we consume 800 mb of data we must open the device,take a chip out,put it inside a cell phone,charge another $5 for 800mb from a scratch card and put the chip back on the phone.This makes for periods when there will be no internet because we are not aware that all the data was consumed and even when we find out there is no data there is still 10 minutes or so to do the whole process of recharging data and restarting the modem.So yes,that can be frustrating for people coming from areas with better internet service...
The good news are that the main communications company in the country is installing cable connections to all that want it within the months o June to august 2017,the surveys and contracts have been made,so the internet will be unlimited soon at Sol y Mar and other businesses in the Santa Catalina area.Things take longer in the tropics but its coming:)

So hope to have your visit again so you see for yourself all the improvements we have made and also so you can try the food at our restaurant that is always good as you can see by the many positive reviews we have had.
Best regards

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