Set amongst a well-manicured sandy courtyard, dotted with hammocks, brightly-coloured flowers and lush greenery, are a number of wooden cabanas that form Hotel Bambu. In stark contrast to the mania of Canoa’s weekend streets filled with visiting locals, this is a little hideaway, where you can sleep soundly, relax in a hammock and enjoy a well-made cocktail at sunset.
Undoubtedly, Bambu has one of the best locations in Canoa. Situated at the far east of the long beach, its position allows for uninterrupted and uncluttered views of the beach, ocean and surrounding cliffs. You need only take a few steps off the doorstep to land your feet in soft, white sand.
WHAT THEY DID GREAT
There is no better place to be siting at around 5.30 p.m, with your happy hour cocktail in hand watching the setting sun cast an orange hue over the entire beach.
By day and night, Bambu offers a quiet and relaxed setting for guests. Whilst its restaurant and bar is a popular place throughout the week, we were able to relax on our own balcony away from others when we didn't want to join in or simply craved a little calm.
Bambu is also a green-focused hotel. They have a fantastic initiative where you will receive a free cocktail if you collect a bag full of litter from the beach - the beach was pretty clean whilst we were there so some people must be taking advantage of this!
Additional extras such as the TV room and pool and ping-pong tables provide alternative ways to unwind and socialise after you're done with your cocktail or don't fancy the beach.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
We had a toilet in our room but still had to use the communal bathrooms to shower. Unfortunately, they were not terribly close. Whilst we do not mind shared bathrooms, having to walk down the stairs, through sandy gardens and up two flights of stairs only to walk back and un-do all of your hard work in the shower was a little frustrating - particularly if you are paying $40 a night, a price that would normally guarantee you a full bathroom in your room.
Situated on the top floor of a wooden cabana, our room reminded us very much of a very grown-up tree house. A large, incredibly comfy and well-constructed bed (with mozzie net) positioned to take-in early morning views of the gardens through our large glass doors.
We were lucky enough to be given a room with our own balcony, complete with table, chair and the ubiquitous hammock - a perfect place for an afternoon siesta after a hard day at the beach!
VALUE FOR MONEY
Whilst the cabins and rooms with balconies are a little out of a backpacker's budget, the option of a private room with shared bathroom for $25 for two is certainly within the grasp of almost all but the most frugal and is reasonable for the coast of Ecuador.
However, had we paid $40 for our room (the advertised rate) we would likely been a little disappointed - for this price, one would at least expect a full bathroom and a few more homely touches.
Although there is no kitchen on-site there are plenty of cheap eating options in town for those wanting to keep costs down; if you do eat at their restaurant though, their portions are HUGE!
With a variety of rooms to suit almost any budget, Bambu provides a more pleasant environment for the average backpacker - particularly for families or the older traveller. Whilst we can imagine that during high season it is full occupied, during our stay it was perfect for those who wanted to enjoy Canoa's beautiful beaches and have somewhere to unwind.
ROOMS, PRICES, AMENITIES AND CONTACT DETAILS
Cabins start at $50, rooms with private bathroom (only toilet and sink) and balcony are $40 and basic rooms with shared bathroom at $25. All prices for two people.
Hot showers, restaurant, bar, book exchange, multiple hammock areas, TV room, sea views, Wifi, pool and ping-pong tables.
Our stay was provided free of charge so that we could experience Hotel Bambu. As ever, all photos, opinions and spelling errors are our own. For more information on why you can trust our reviews, click here.
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