This place has the potential to be amazing, but the borderline rude owners and nickel and dime approach made us feel very unwelcome and annoyed. With the price being double what a average hotel costs in Nicaragua, we expected more.
Pros: Playa Madera is unbelievably beautiful and great for surfing at all levels. The view from the deck is gorgeous, definitely catch a sunset there. The breakfasts and dinners were delicious and the two couples working there were friendly and relatively helpful.
To start with, they claim to be an eco lodge (no hot water, no electricity during daylight, one with nature: e.g. bugs in bed with you etc) but sell bottled water. Why not have a durable, Aguazul water jug for a water cooler instead? And really, potable water for drinking should be included in the nightly price. I shouldn’t have to pay for potable water at the hotel.
At our first group dinner, the owner started off on a rant about how Americans are ruining the Nicaraguan culture since all the Nicaraguans see are a bunch of rich, white, Americans lounging around on vacation. HELLO!! What does she think the Nicaraguans see in her?! A rich, white, European that has two couples that run the hotel (for free, the owners don’t pay them, they just get to stay there for free in exchange for their services) while she plays at the beach with her kids. AND half of their rich, white, guests were Europeans, NOT Americans!!! I found this discussion beyond offensive but did not want to rock the boat too much since it was our first night there.
My other issue with the BVSC is that you are nickeled and dimed for EVERYTHING. I don’t mind paying for beer/soda/snacks, but I do mind paying for potable water. Also, if you want to surf, you have to rent a surf board for $15 a day and then carry it up and down the side of a mountain to get to the beach (5-7 min walk up or down a very steep hill). We decided to rent surfboards at the beach for $10 a day and carry it 50 feet to the water instead. They have SURF CLUB in their name. You’re really going to charge for surf board rentals? A surf lesson I can understand paying for, but not the board rental. And in case you were wondering, the quality and selection of the surf boards at the beach are great for beginners and intermediates. Don’t pay BVSC an extra $5 a day to carry a surf board up and down the steep hill.
I guess that we expected more for the price. If they want to charge luxury prices, they should provide a luxury experience. Oh, and don’t offend your guests.
- 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