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“Vacation in a rural slice of paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Soma Surf Resort

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Soma Surf Resort
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Vacation in a rural slice of paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

I came here with a close friend for three nights and we had a wonderful stay. I arrived a bit under the weather on my birthday, but Casey and her staff still made me feel well-celebrated and took us to a great yoga class that day. Surfing and boxing with Bill was a lot of fun, and one of my favorite activities was horseback riding on the beach and then watching the sunset from a hill...what gorgeous views! Things seem to be tough for this part of Nicaragua right now - the country was in an extended drought - but as Americans, Casey and Bill seem to be very knowledgeable about the local situation and are taking steps to help. We took a tour of the local communities with Eddie and appreciated the insights that we gained from this trip. Otherwise, the food was delicious, we had fun hanging out with the other guests, I got a fantastic massage...I definitely recommend this place :) As a note, it is quite remote so if you are looking for an action-packed night, this is probably not the place for you - it is more of a place to go to bed early and wake early to take advantage of the waves and all the other great outdoor activities in the region.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ksk12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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209 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

This place was amazing. Bill and Casey went out of their way to get us there with no issues and while we were there, every experience we had was positive. Nicaragua is gorgeous and I'm so grateful to Casey, Bill, and their entire staff for everything. This is destination is a must. Stay at Soma your entire trip!! You won't regret it. We hope to be back next year ( heck- every year!!)

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ashly_Miller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin,TX
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

Spent a week surfing, reading, relaxing, boxing ,yoga, massage, and swimming. Gourmet cuisine and wonderful dinner conversation with this niche hotel's eclectic global clientele around the dinner table. I'm afraid to talk about SOMA because this jewel of paradise might be overrun with seekers.
It seems the El Nino current has extended the dry season in Pacific Nicaragua so there are no rain or bugs this summer. Enjoy it while you can! Go for it now! You don't have to wait for the dry season to begin again in November. Weather is in the eighties and cloud cover shields the sun while surfing is great. No wet suit needed. Water is clear and perfect temperature. Beaches are deserted.
Staff was gracious, flexible, accommodating, and dedicated to your pleasurable vacation.
The website photos accurately depict the beauty and elegance of the resort. Go now before it gets crowded. An unbelievable bargain comparable to another local resort charging $600 a night but just 25 % of that at SOMA with meals included. Do it!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank traderdocmw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

After 3 nights in Granada, it was a fun change to be in Popoyo. The Soma property is beautiful, and Bill made us feel right at home. The food is cooked by chefs in-house and was excellent. It is worth nothing that this is not a resort on the beach where you can just walk to go surfing or to local restaurants. However, Bill was extremely flexible - he drove us to the beach for surfing lessons and dropped us off by the beach to walk to Mag Rock and picked us up when we were ready. We really felt like we were staying at a friend's house - very comfortable, well taken care of, and good conversations. It also helps that the setting, the rooms, and the pool are all absolutely beautiful. We stayed at Soma off a recommendation from a friend, and after staying there we keep telling everyone how amazing it is. I have never felt more content and relaxed. You need to go!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank emilylc85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2014

I had a great time at Soma! I spent three nights there in June of 2014 and had a great time taking surfing lessons from Bill - and got pretty good by the end! I also enjoyed horseback riding, swimming in the pool, and the local community tour. I highly recommend exploring the local community and going on a tour. Eddie gave us the local community tour and did a fantastic job. The food at the resort was great, and Casey and Eddie were very hospitable hosts. Their dogs were fun to play with too. The only downside to the resort is that it is owned by Americans, not Nicarauguans.

Room Tip: Our casita was great
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Meg492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Collins, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

After a long internet search for a beach focused vacation, we were lucky to run across Soma. Soma Resort is a little piece of heaven; beautiful, clean, amazing staff (we miss you & thank you for everything), friendly pets and unforgettable food. Casey and Bill are a genuine, down to earth duo who instantly make you feel like family.

Soma can be as low key or as active as you want to make it. We took full advantage of yoga on the beach, horse back riding at sunset, volcano trips and learning how to surf. I cannot say enough good things about Soma and the Soma family. Already planning our return in November.

Thank you for the amazing memories
~ Sierra & Lauren

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Sierra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

Yes Soma ticks all of the boxes, perfect location, spacious bungalows, ecologically friendly design, immaculately clean, delicious food, fantastic staff HOWEVER...

Be aware of a couple of things;

Did you know that the average wage for the locals is between $5 and $8 a day. This is just enough money for food and fuel to get to work. This is NOT enough money to build a proper house with concrete walls not plastic, and a paved floor, (not a dirt one)
This wage does not (as Casey claims on her website) provide enough money for DECENT shelter, and medical needs.

Also the owners can be very pushy and want guests to spend all their time (and money) enclosed in their resort. This is fine if you wish to have that kind of holiday. However if you wish to see a little more of the area, on your own....you have to work it out yourself as the owners want you to eat and surf when and where they want.

I had to ask a local if there were any good authentic Nicaraguan restaurants to go to. I was recommended a restaurant called Yolandas in Limon which is about a 10 minute drive away and it is amazing! Now that is what I call supporting the local community!

Soma is stunning, so enjoy your stay as you deserve it!

My only advice is if you have been pleased with your stay, then it is thanks (in a large part to the low payed local workers)

If you wish to leave a tip I highly recommend that you give it DIRECTLY in the hands of the chef who cooked your wonderful food or the cleaner who made everything immaculate.
DON'T leave tips in the hands of the hotel owners/managers as this money seems to get lost along the way to the staff! This applies for most of the hotels in the popoyo area!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dr Lex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SomaSurf, Owner at Soma Surf Resort, responded to this review, 7 June 2014
Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback on your stay with us 4 months ago. We take all feedback seriously and are always striving to improve the Soma experience.

Yes, you are correct. The legal minimum wage for the average Nicaraguan worker ranges between $5-$8. Unfortunately, Soma is not part of the government of the “Republic of Nicaragua” and does not have the legal power to change the country’s minimum wage.

All Soma's employees are paid 40 to 400 percent over that of the national minimum wage. Soma's monthly contribution of 50% for each employee for their national health insurance program, double time pay for all national holidays worked, paid holidays for those holidays not worked, and 5 days of paid vacation and Christmas pay earned for each month worked adds on an additional 46% to their total basic salary . That is why the positions at Soma are so sought after and that is why we have earned such high ratings, which you so graciously gave Soma perfect scores on: “perfect location, spacious bungalows, ecologically friendly design, immaculately clean, delicious food, and fantastic staff”. Employees who are not well treated and not well paid are usually not happy, do not perform their jobs well and would not be able to give you the level of services that you enjoyed during you stay.

Good working conditions, a low stress atmosphere and tips are another big reason why employees enjoy working here. Tips are paid directly to the workers twice a month. Some clients prefer to pay the workers directly, however this is not always possible as they might be off the day the client departs. In that case, normally the client requests that the tip be put on their final invoice and distributed to the workers. This is a similar practice to the US where one puts their tip on the restaurant bill and it is divided between the kitchen and restaurant staff. Nothing more nothing less.

Soma is one of the few hotels that encourages their clients to explore the area and the country. It is one of the few places left where one can see horses roaming freely, working ox-drawn carts, or walk through a herd of cattle in the middle of the road. This is why we have devoted an entire page on our website to additional activities and off-site excursions and why they are listed in a Soma activity book in every room.

Soma is located in the middle of an indigenous community with no stores, banks, ATM’s, gas stations, and few local restaurants. We always suggest other restaurants in the area to our guests none of which are within walking distance. We realize every guest’s restaurant expectations are different and unique. Nicaragua is a third world country with different standards. Many times when a local restaurant is suggested and visited by the client comments we receive are the lack of service, the time it takes to get served and disappointment in the quality of the food.

We totally understand the in-depth knowledge you must have gained during your 5-day stay in regards to national Nicaraguan industry standards for wages, providence and alcadia legislation for Nicaraguan workers, local business practices, and most importantly the inherent cultural and traditional characteristics of the Nicaraguense people. Your newly acquired information must far outweigh our seven years of living, working, teaching, training, volunteering and employing people from our indigenous community in rural Nicaragua.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Soma Surf Resort

Property: Soma Surf Resort
Address: Playa Guasacate, Popoyo, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Popoyo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Popoyo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soma Surf Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy world class surfing, expert surf lessons, guided surf excursions, yoga, natural hot springs, tidal pools and more. Soma has a full service restaurant serving fresh fare with a distinct flavor using natural ingredients where you will truly savor the "farm to table" experience. Enjoy our infinity pool an open air rancho with hammocks, free WIFI plus many more amenities. We are a resort sustainably built with a portion of our proceeds benefiting local charities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soma Surf Resort Nicaragua/Popoyo

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