Nicaragua Travel Guide
Fall TV is almost here, and the unstoppable Survivor returns on September 15, this time in Nicaragua. Our sister site, Jaunted, has some of the scoop on the hotel where the crew are said to be shacked up, but we also learned some more, uh, colorful details about the Pelican Eyes Resort from The Miami Herald.
Namely, that the hotel was mostly known for its colony of feral kitties who used to jump up on tables and steal guests' food. Then there was something about monkeys who liked to bite and—now the Survivor crew is on site—the "24-hour frat party" behavior that deposits crew members in the pool.
To be fair, the Herald columnist was trying to scare Jimmy Johnson, who's in this season's cast. But that's not the only Survivor: Nicaragua hotel news we have for you. After all, when there's a Reality TV show, there's always a hotel package just seconds away ...
We’ve been telling you for a while now that Nicaragua is going to be the next jet-set destination, but we’ll admit that decent hotel options are still a little limited. That is why we paid attention with such interest to the news that the country’s first all-suite beach hotel, the Orquidea del Sur, is now open at surfer-friendly Yankee Beach near the coastal colonial town of San Juan del Sur. Not only that, but there is also a special half-off promotional rate until the end of the year.
It might not be an A-list destination yet, but Nicaragua is getting more and more attention from the travel press, and that’s only going to increase now that its first boutique hotel, the Hotel Contempo, has opened outside the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.
The hotel has only 18 rooms in three categories. Standard rooms all have plasma TV’s, high-speed internet included, safe boxes, and Travertine marble bathrooms with wood accents and “relaxation system” showers. We don’t know what that means exactly, but it sounds soothing. The Contempo rooms also have DVD players and a whirlpool Jacuzzi, and the Junior Suites have all that plus canopy beds, “gourmet bathroom products,” a private telephone line, WiFi, and individual A/C units.
Truth be told, though our hotel geekery spans the globe, a few pockets of the world exist where we're lacking in comprehensive stalker-like intelligence like, say, Nicaragua. So we think it's swell when the New York Times goes ahead and dives right in to those spots for us.
This weekend, the NYT reviewed Nicaragua's Victoriano Hotel, the former private home to Hope Somoza, former dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle's widow. The hotel opened a year ago after careful restoration and boasts 21 rooms — including a Mark Twain suite — and Pacific beachfront.
With all these overwater bungalows on the brain, we realized there's another sort of on-the-water hotel. It may not sit on stilts just feet above the water, but Casa Iguana looks out over the Caribbean from it's perch on Little Corn Island, in Nicaragua. High on a cliff, it's a only a few steep steps down from Casa Iguana to the sandy and often deserted beach below.
We stayed at Casa Iguana awhile back, and though it's under new ownership, much remains the same. As the hotel likes to brag, the island offers:
No cars... No phones... No worries... No Jet Skis... No movie stars... No cocktail umbrellas.
And no sky-high prices, we might add. The hotel has 12 cabanas, one of which is enormous and sports its own solar water heater, outdoor shower and huge veranda. Rates start at just $25 a night for a basic cabana like the one pictured above; the grand cabana usually goes for $80. Not bad for a one-minute walk to the beach.