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Apoyo Resort
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Reviews (179)
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All reviewshowler monkeysswimming poolfull kitchenhammocks and rocking chairsking bedcable tvrent a kayakview of the lakeenjoy the viewearly morningbeautiful placevillaaccommodationstreesgranadacraterlagoon
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Reviewed 9 March 2008

We spent some time traveling through Nicaragua in August 2007. While I agree with the other reviews in part, I think we were able to overlook a lot of Norome's flaws when we remembered that we were in the middle of the jungle in the middle of a developing country. I think that the staff puts a lot of effort into keeping the property and restaurant well-maintained. Overall, I found it a relaxing (if slightly creepy and eventually boring) place to spend three days.

Like other reviewers, I definitely got creeped out by the sense that there were very few guests besides us there. That, plus nightly blackouts, made me feel very isolated - like I was just sitting there, waiting for something to happen. I don't think this is Norome's fault, as the price range is well above the average Nicaraguan's abilities, so the pool of guests is somewhat limited, and the entire country has an energy crisis and rolling blackouts - it's just something I wish someone had told me about before I made the reservation.

I should mention that there were blackouts every night, in every part of the country I went to and in every hotel I stayed at - the only night where I wasn't sitting around with a candle for a few hours was my last night in the country, at the InterContinental in Managua.

The restaurant at Norome was fine - a decent selection, and I liked the Nicaraguense breakfast. I would have loved more variety, since there's nowhere else to eat. But what I did eat was, for the most part, good.

I think Norome has a lot of promise - if it was in the United States or a country with a good infrastructure and a more mature tourist industry, it would be a top-rate, famous place. Right now, though, visitors should remember that Norome is in a country that's been on a long, bumpy road that's just starting to smooth out.

Overall, Nicaragua is amazing - not a vacation for the weak, but one of the most beautiful, memorable places I've been to. Definitely, go.

Stayed: August 2007
Thank rb15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2008

Norome is the place to stay if you love nature but not camping. You can walk around the lake, or up the road, or hike trails up to the top of the rim. The Laguna is pristine and fun to swim in- the breezes off the lake are a life saver. The best rooms in terms of view are right above the upper pool but they are a strenuous hike from the restaurant/beach area. The a/c in the bedrooms worked great- too bad they don't have fans in the villa's main room. The shower water is a bit salty, but it works. The villas were cleaned daily and I thought the property was fairly well maintained. Not sure why they don't have screens on the windows. The backpacker resort a quarter mile further down the road (San Simeon) had screens and netting. We saw morpho butterflies, monkeys, tons of other butterflies, wonderful birds, and even smelled a skunk one night. We felt very cared for by the extremely nice staff members. Several spoke excellent English. The food wasn't bad- Don't miss the fish soup. I can recommend the fajitas, the pancakes, and manuelitas (crepes). The coffee was not a strong point- sometimes tepid and weak. Only one scorpion in the villa, tiny and probably would not have noticed it if we had not known to look for them. Only saw 2 mosquitoes during an entire 5 days. Norome called Roosevelt, a local taxista, to drive us to Volcan Masaya, Granada, Catarina, and back into Managua. He was an enthusiastic guide and a good driver. Also very patient with our limited Spanish.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank NervousBoomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2007

I stayed here with a friend from Managua who had recommended it. The idea was a winter getaway for me and I could not have imagined a better location. The scenery is superbe with foliage, flowers and wildlife in abundance. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, including the more economical ones. The staff is friendly and attentive. The restaurant serves delicious meals in a gracious, but relaxed ambiance. But most of all, the atmosphere is calm and relaxing. If you are interested in night-clubbing and partying, then this is not the place. If you are interested in a relaxed and relaxing stay in a tropical paradise, then this is an excellent choice.
[--]

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with friends
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1  Thank phil2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2007

My son and I stayed for one night after visiting the hotel last year. We were dissappointed in not seeing their famous monkeys as it was raining when we arrived. The front desk was extremely helpful but no ATM was available. Luckily I was able to charge everything to my room then charged to my credit card. The road leading up to the rooms is annoyingly steep but once we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy an entire villa for ourselves. I had reserved a two bed accomodation. The lights did go out for an hour or so but it's due to Nicaragua's energy crisis. They currently experience brown-outs like California did a few Enron years ago. There were candles and my son and I enjoyed talking and watching fireflies. The pool was OK but the water was a little off color and cloudy. The restaurant food was average but expensive for the area. There are more options at Laguna de Apoyo now but I didn't have a chance to visit them. I agree that Laguna de Apoyo is a nice visit but you'll have a better stay in Granada unless you don't mind a quiet night in the forest amonst flora and fauna. Don't forget your repellent!

Stayed: August 2007
1  Thank Pmramirezjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2007

The Norome resort was to be the last destination of our Nicaragua package (4 days in Granada, 4 days in San Juan del Sur, 4 days at Norome), a package trip we booked through an agency. After stellar accommodations in Granada (La Gran Francia Hotel) and in San Juan del Sur (Pelican Eyes Resort), we were looking forward to Norome. It had high marks in both the Lonely Planet and Moon Handbook travel guides, labeled both "swanky" and a "class act." Our experience could not have been further from those descriptions.

Upon arrival, our rooms were not ready so we made our way to the lakeside restaurant. It was buzzing with activity including a large wedding party that had stopped by to take pictures from the dock and a slew of backpackers who stopped by for a meal. We had envisioned a peaceful dining experience next to the beautiful lake like our guidebooks described, but it was a noisy mess. After waiting a long time for a waiter, we flagged one down ourselves and ordered. Our meal arrived 55 minutes later. We are not overly critical of food and can easily go with the flow. But our grilled chicken was red and raw on the inside. They took it away (without apologies) and returned 25 minutes later with a cooked version, but by then our appetite wasn't so great.

Back at the front desk we asked about other restaurant choices but were told we would have to take a taxi into Granada, about 25 minutes away. We asked about an ATM, but again were told to go into Granada. One of us had a stomach bug and needed a pharmacy, but again, you guessed it, Granada was the only option. We asked when the spa opened, but was told it was closed indefinitely. Our recreational activities were limited to a few banged up kayaks for $10/hour and a swim in the lake with a pebble "beach" about three feet wide.

Finally the four of us boarded the tram-like vehicle for the trip to our room. We had asked for two rooms close together, but ended up far apart in what seemed like a completely empty resort. As we struggled to get our luggage off the high tram in the rain, the driver just sat and watched. Immediately I noticed the weeds--they were everywhere, nearly obscuring the slick walkways. Inside the room, we noticed the WiFi didn't work (only available near the gift shop, we later discovered). We called the front desk (one of us speaks Spanish fluently) and asked for rooms closer together, even if we had to upgrade to a pricier option. They said they would look into it. Our building was a bit creepy--we had a small room at the far end of a long, long building. At the other end of the building was a similar room, but it was filled with mattresses. The remaining middle part of the building (the majority of the structure) was a living room-like space, mostly empty and apparently never used.

We walked a weedy trail to our friend's room, which had the exact setup as our building. Their room had a sign taped to the door saying that it was unsafe to keep anything in the room, except if it was locked in the small armoire using the key provided by the front desk (which was not provided, by the way). Since their large sliding bathroom window did not lock or even close all the way, this was a bit of a concern. They also pointed out the shower nozzle which was fitted with a device straight out of Frankenstein's lab. It was heating coils that plugged into an outlet a few inches above the water, apparently the way they provided hot water. And they call this swanky?

Meanwhile the rain continued to fall while we waited for the call from the front desk, hopefully telling us they found us rooms together. As we waited I noticed a glint on the floor around our luggage--a large pool of water was streaming in from under the front doors which had no weather stripping. The pool flowed under our luggage and soaked it. Then we noticed more water flowing from under the baseboards--in two spots.

At this point we decided to leave Norome and stay in Granada. As one of us explained this to the front desk, we chatted with a few others in the lobby area. All had the same impression of Norome as we did--creepy, not maintained, bad food, poor service. One couple stayed only one night (they had booked three) and were checking out.

Later in Granada we took a half day tour that took us to an overlook with a fantastic view of the same crater lake where Norome was located. If we had to do it all over again, we would have simply opted for a quick tour of the area rather than a stay at Norome. Our guide even told us that Norome was not what it used to be.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Peru77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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