Howard Johnson, Guayaquil

In the past we have stayed at the Sheraton here in Guayaquil. When searching for hotel rates about a month ago, the Sheraton was way out of our budget – at over $300 a night when you included taxes and service charge.  I just can’t justify that much money for a hotel room for the night. So Joe continued our search and found the Howard Johnson. It is located in the same area and came out to $110 per night.

Guyaquil 8.7.2013 001 (7)The room is spacious, it has a great king-size bed with beautiful linens, a TUB in the bathroom which is a must for someone who has not seen a tub in over three years and a very nice restaurant with different cuisines.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (7) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (9) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (11)The room has WiFi, a safe deposit box, a blow dryer and even an extra blanket and pillow, oh sorry it also has a flat screen TV with a zillion cable channels to choose from. The mini-bar was filled with cold beer, water and fruit drinks and they had a fine choice of snacks at a very high price. The room service menu had many options. All rooms are non-smoking actually the entire building is non-smoking.

Guyaquil 8.7a.2013 002

Guyaquil 8.7a.2013 005It is a special place for us to celebrate my applying for Social Security.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (30) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (29) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (12) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (14) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (15)It is located almost right next door to Mall del Sol and this area also has a great food court in a park type area next door to the hotel. The airport is nearby and the hotel has a shuttle service to pick you up and take you back to the airport as well as a flight monitor with the airlines schedule on it right in the lobby of the hotel. Several newspapers from Guayaquil and Quito are available every day along with the Miami Herald in English.

Everyone on staff has been more than helpful – we have felt right at home here for the last few days.

Is It Heaven or Is It Mall del Sol, Guayaquil, Ecuador?

We have spent many hours over the past two days in the Mall del Sol. After a few hours of walking we take a break and go to the food court for a cup of coffee or a coke. Just a few photos of some of the goodies we found at the food court.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (50)Yes, donut holes, from Dunkin Donuts…just a few.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (5) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (2) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (3) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (6)What are you craving?  We only went for the donut holes…they were excellent! There is a Tony Roma’s and Noe Sushi which is an excellent restaurant – we’ve been to the one in Quito.

Mall del Sol is located almost directly across the street from Howard Johnson hotel so it is very convenient for anyone planning a nice shopping trip to Guayaquil. You step out the side door of HoJo’s and walk thru a maze of great looking restaurants and bars, pass the Sheraton and take the walking bridge over to the food court of the mall. Takes less than three minutes and is very secure with guards everywhere you look.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (41)In the beginning when we moved to Central America and saw armed guards we were a bit nervous. After living outside of the US for over 7 years, we now like the extra feeling of security.


Sushi – How Could We Resist?

We have been Sushi deprived…honestly the last time we had it was when we were in Guayaquil several years ago. The hotel we are staying at has sushi from 1pm until late probably 10 pm from Monday – Friday…we could not wait.

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Guayquil 8.5.2013 (27)It was wonderful, do you know how you can tell?

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (28)Yes, we may even go back for dinner tomorrow ordering the same thing! We did enjoy two different miso soups before our sushi arrived.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (21) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (23)The restaurant is very modern with all black and white furniture and accents.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (17) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (24)

US Consulate, Guayaquil

We have visited the Consulate here in Guayaquil a few years ago about Joe’s social security. Today was my turn. The Embassy in Quito handles the submission of the paperwork to Social Security but you can turn in your paperwork in the Guayaquil office. It was the most painless process that I have had with any government agency in many many years. They only accept Social Security paperwork between 8am and 11am Monday thru Thursday in the Guayaquil office. So we were on the road by 8am this morning and at the checkpoint outside the building before 8:30am. After having our belongings searched, removal of the battery from our cell phone and being wanded we were searched a second time inside the building and had to go through a metal detector. We had most of our belongings put in storage and were on our way to the second floor to submit the paperwork.

The entire process took less than 10 minutes.

We walked across the street to the Hotel Oro Verde to their exquisite bakery for a breakfast of cappuccino and almond croissants.

1157_13053104580012591456_STD 3259921955_d31e01c86a Hotel Oro VerdeHonestly the best experience with a government office in my memory and the most beautiful pastries I have had in all of Ecuador, it was a great morning. Sorry I did not take my camera as we were going to the consulate – the above photos are from the internet but give you an idea. This place is a must try as the baked goods are just so darned good.


Guayaquil Founders Day – July 25

This weekend has been very busy with many folks visiting the beach and spending all night outside our apartment. It started pretty early on Friday and late yesterday afternoon when it looked like most of the crowd was staying Joe saw an article that today is Founders Day in Guayaquil. In looking on-line I found that July 24 is a holiday as well with Simón Bolívar’s Birthday.

I had never seen so much purple in my life, I have no idea who or what these folks were in Salinas for but as they walked down the beach they were singing and seemed to be having a great time.

The tent message translates to Queen of the Birds and the flags are Ecuasal which I think is the salt manufacture here in Salinas. I only saw a young lady there once during the entire weekend not sure what this set up was all about.

We don’t normally see cargo transports  – only tankers out in the queue waiting for their turn at filling up with some form of oil product. This was a huge cargo ship and this morning it is still waiting in line.

Plastic Gloves: The New Dining Experience

While in Guayaquil on our evacuation trip we went to the Mall del Sol Shopping Center, located directly across the street from the Sheraton. They have an overhead walkway that takes you from the front door of the hotel to the upstairs food court. While walking through the food court we noticed many people wearing those clear plastic gloves while eating.

What is that all about?

Sorry this picture is out of focus as I was trying to do this without the diners noticing.

We loved the Sheraton – nicely run. Everything was exceptional from the staff to the magnificent breakfast buffet. We will be going back soon.