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“A uniquely beautiful eco-lodge”

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Buena Vista Surf Club
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 6 July 2011

After long 15hr+ trip from NY with delays, we arrived just before dusk. The infinity deck left me speechless. Definitely more than worth it. We were shown to the treehouse, where we spent 4 nights. This experience was so close to nature, yet comfortable in the chic and simply designed treehouse. We were looking for a quiet and fun trip. This place offers both. We preferred the lack of travelers during the rainy season. Fewer guests and surfers. You'll fall asleep to the amazing sound of thunderstorms and wake up to howler monkeys, birds and waves crashing. It's quite an experience. We were also impressed by the lushness of the jungle.

The owners, Marc and Marielle were preoccupied by the birth of baby Jack for most of the time we were there, so Inne and Matthias graciously hosted our stay. I can just say now that they are super hospitable and wonderful company. Inne is knowledgable, friendly and a terrific cook, her other half Matthias is a patient/great surf teacher with a unique sense of humor. They were so accommodating and friendly. They truly were one of the best parts of our trip. Breakfast was a feast: Toast, eggs, French Toast, Crepes, Fruit, Yogurt, Cereal, Granola, Coffee, Tea, etc. Dinner was a gourmet meal made with local vegetables, meat or fish. Yum! These meals make the lodge an even better value. Other than Inne's meals, lunch at the taco place on the beach is so fresh and great.

The location of the surf lodge is a very short hike to the beach. It did us plenty of good! The beach is so clean and great. Getting out of the lodge can be complex and expensive, as it takes 30 mins just to get off the bumpy/unpaved road. The locals are also super friendly. We've had some awkward and hostile experiences in other countries and Nicaragua isn't spoiled by tourism yet. The whole pace of area is very slow and calm.

Good to know:
Cold showers only, but in hot weather it's fine.
No electricity from 9a-5p, but you don't really need it because there's sun & charge your batteries at night if you have to.
Bring your own toiletries.
No safe in room, but there is a trustworthy staff and a safe in the main building.
Easily accessible bar with beverages and snacks with reasonable prices.
You're in the jungle. There will be bugs! It's all part of nature.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nogareaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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170 - 176 of 323 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2011

My wife and I stayed at Buena Vista Surf Club for three nights and loved every second of it. To begin with Playa Maderas is a beautiful little beach, very popular with tourists and locals from San Juan del Sur alike. The hotel is located just a short walk up the hill from the beach and boasts, hands down, the best food and stay there is to be had anywhere in the vicinity.

Our hosts, owners Marc and Marielle, and their lovely helpers Matthias and Inne, were extremely nice and hospitable people. The four of them are also in charge of food preparation which is a massive bonus as we did not have a single meal here that didn't blow us away! Not only on taste, but freshness, quantity and quality too - things which are generally a little harder to come by in Nicaragua.

The amazing food is an excellent pairing for the ideal beach conditions and hours spent in the wearisome surf. You need to build up a serious appetite in order to handle the delicious food that gets served up here. With a seriously fun and tiring surf beach only minutes away, this should not be a big problem! We hired surf boards each day we were there right from the hotel, they were in great condition and always waxed. Marc and Marielle are both surfers and can offer an array of advice regarding anything beach, ocean or surf related. This also becomes super handy when you are standing at the lodge deck checking out the surf conditions of the day, Marc was always excellent at letting us know when the conditions were right and as a result we seriously got our surf on (despite being almost complete novices).

The accommodation is wonderful and very luxurious for the price tag. Each cabin is beautifully crafted, nestled among the trees and super tranquil. The layout and design of the cabins, the whole hotel really, is perfect for beach goers. You will find showers and wash taps exactly in the right places and the floor materials are perfect for the conditions also. The clever roof and ceiling design means you never get too hot in your room, negating the need for air-conditioning and sacrifice being physically part of the ocean breeze and bird sounds ambiance. The lounge area is superbly comfortable and makes for an ideal hangout in-between surf sessions.

Despite being one of the most luxurious and interesting lodges we had stayed in anywhere on our travels, the best part about Buena Vista Surf Club are the people! What is even better is each meal is had together, guests and owners, which means you get to socialize with these lovely people each time you are enjoying their fine meals. Service is excellent when it is always so near at hand and the conversations are heaps of fun.

We would not hesitate to return again and are confident if they continue with what they do now, Buena Vista Surf Club will stay the number one place to stay at Playa Maderas for a long time to come.

Room Tip: All the rooms are best!
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank RoundTheBendProject
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2011

My husband and I stayed at BVSC for our weeklong honeymoon and every detail was perfect. The treehouse itself was incredible - clean, simple, eco-lovely! The view was unparalleled and we watched many storms roll in and out from under the palapa roof.

Unbelievable freshly cooked meals (more food then you could ever possibly eat) served overlooking the sea and jungle. Massages in our treehouse, sunset yoga sessions on the massive infinity deck and frisbee golf with new friends. Everything was amazing. And Nige couldn't believe the surf, he's still talking about it.

The hosts were most welcoming, knowledgeable and fascinating dinner convos every night made our trip extra special. They really do make you feel like family.

We recommend BVSC for anyone looking for a unique, relaxed, romantic experience! We loved every minute - thank you Marc, Marielle, Matthias and Inne :)

Room Tip: We loved treetop cabin number 4 !!!
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank bronwynkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2011

The service from both the owners and operators was great. Super accommodating and make you feel welcome as a friend as soon as you arrive.

As an American was fun to hang out with Europeans for breakfast and dinner. The food was excellent. It was included in cost of room and was so good with plenty of it. Wide variety of eclectic dishes. So yummy.

Room was really cool, well designed treehouse with ocean views and a fan. Feels like you're right in the middle of the jungle but still comfortable with mosquito net. Don't forget bug spray. Laying in bed listening to howler monkeys and watching the fireflies at dusk was amazing.

Located on a hill overlooking Playa Maderas. 5min walk down hill to the beach where there's a bar and fish taco restaurant. Great place to be a beginner surfer with mellow waves and the hotel's good selection of rental boards. Hill feels a bit steep on the way back up with the board but totally doable and in line with all the great exercise you're already getting.

Best part, this place has the coolest deck I have ever stood on. It's flat wood surface extends out from the main lodge right out into the jungle tree tops and seems to end at the oceans horizon. You can literally sit on the edge and watch surfers on the waves far below. Sunsets are amazing here. Get comfortable with a glass of cold wine in one of their oversized bean bag chairs and listen to the jungle go to sleep and watch as the sunset unfolds all around you. I know that sounds cheesy, but its really that good.

Only thing this place could benefit from would be a small dipping pool under the deck or somewhere on the property to cool down in, but not sure how doable that is and with no known pools at any of the other lodging options around it doesn't really matter, you've always got the ocean 5min walk away and a couple of different outdoor showers to get wet in.

This is a very very special place that I would totally recommend to anyone.

Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank buckross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2011

I have to say I was hesitant at first and I had 50 questions, but my partner and I decided to go out of the box and we are so happy we did!

It is by far one of the most unique experiences since we had never stayed in a treehouse before. But just as everyone writes it was one of the best trips we had. They cook the most amazing meals and you get chance to meet so many friendly people. They are close to one of the best surfing beaches in Nicaragua called Playa Maderas. I had surfed before but I am not good by any means.

You can get a surf lesson from Marc or Mattahias (both are stellar). Don't be intimidated by the name (BVSC) you don't have to be a pro surfer... i promise.

We stayed in a treehouse for two nights and then the beach house for two nights. Both were great. We did have a bit of a heat spell when we were there (May12-15th) which is typically the start of raining season so it was very warm at night.

There is a pretty steep hill that you have to walk up when you come from the beach, but it was truly an experience that I will never forget.

When you leave you will feel like you are leaving family.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Angenyc21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

I was there to end a long trip through south and central america and I couldn't think of a better week to end my trip with!
A high quality bed in a well designed hut, from which you have great views on jungle and ocean. Once you are woken up by the sounds of monkeys and parrots, an amazing breakfast is waiting for you. Playa maderas is a really nice beach, and I spend all week there trying to learn some surfing. Marc gave me a I really nice surf lesson and I could already catch some waves the second day - as a beginner. Unfortunately I couldn't compare the surf skills of Marc and Marielle since she was about to give birth of their first baby. I didn't seem to bother her in any other way, she cooked delicious meals every night which created perfect conditions for great evenings with the hosts and other guests. I played a lot of family games with the hosts, which also included a really nice belgian couple.
BVSC is the perfect combination of fun, rest and comfort in a beautiful designed, jungle located eco lodge. Promised myself to get back there!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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Thank rutger123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2011

Marc and Marielle have created a really special environment at Buena Vista Surf Club. The treehouses are clean, spacious, comfortable, well maintained and offer such a unique stay perched within the forest (...waking up to howler monkey calls!). The deck/main lodge is a great focal point to begin and end each day over amazing food prepared by Marielle (or occasionally by Inne). The atmosphere and social interaction that develops over the common meals is great. Each evening felt like a dinner party with 10 of your closest friends.

The deck itself is a great place to relax, have a glass of wine, watch for monkeys or look at the break. We spent one evening doing yoga on the deck as the sun set over the ocean. What an experience!

The beach is beautiful, with a great beach break for our level of surfing (complete novice) although there were plenty of skilled surfers there as well. It was rarely crowded. We received instruction from Matthias who was more than patient and encouraging.

Any time we asked for advice, or to book an outside excursion (finding the shuttle to San Juan del Sur...easy and close, fishing, canopy tour, arranging a yoga instructor, etc.), Marc and Marielle had plenty of local knowledge and would go out of their way to set it up for us. This included excellent advice on hotels and shops in Granada at the end of our stay in Nicaragua.

Marc and Marielle (and their helpers at the time Matthias and Inne) make you feel like part of their family. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Buena Vista Surf Club, and would definitely return and/or recommend it to friends!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank imdoig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Surf Club

Address: Playa Maderas | San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur > Playa Maderas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Price Range: £66 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Buena Vista Surf Club is an intimate design eco-lodge at Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur. A unique place for both surfers and non-surfers! Surf or learn how to surf or just enjoy the amazing beaches. Enjoy great home cooked, family style dinners with new friends, do yoga or relax at the 'infinity' sundeck and watch the wildlife from your ‘treehouse’! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Vista Surf Club Hotel Playa Maderas
Buena Vista Surf Hotel
Hotel Buena Vista Surf
Buena Vista Surf Club Nicaragua/Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur

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