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“Mixed feelings...”
Review of Hacienda Merida

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Hacienda Merida
Certificate of Excellence
Utila, Honduras
2 reviews
“Mixed feelings...”
Reviewed 26 June 2011

Owner: While Alvaro comes across as arrogant, he is mostly harmless. If you don't want to be subjected to tales of his benevolence towards the island and surrounding community, then don't plan on spending much time in the common area. As the owner's family lives directly off the common area, the cries of his newborn and 3-year-old can be a detriment to your relaxation. On one particular night, his 3-year-old threw a tantrum in the common area involving persistant door slamming and scream-crying. While I'm not critiquing their parenting skills, and you certainly can't blame the 3-year-old, it was a bit distressing that nothing was done and that she was left to carry on in this manner for nearly an hour and a half.

Staff: The local staff, including the main desk attendant, Darwin, are pleasant, professional, and eager to help. I did, however, get the impression that the owner views his staff as his own personal help (he neglects to thank them when they bring him his daily meals).

Value: If you intend to stay for a few days and really plan on using your time to adventure, it may be worth your while to pay the 15 USD cost for a bike/kayak (which allows you access to these amenities for the duration of your trip). Otherwise, opt for some of the cheaper options located near by (although anything "near by" is still a bit of a walk in this secluded part of the island). We thought the price of the quad/dorm room we stayed in was fine, and we did not have to share with any other travelers during our stay. Personally, I think the high cost of some of the amenities is an effort on the owner's part to recoup the cost of some of his more expensive investments (expensive and imported bike components, kayaks, and a 16,000 USD sail-boat that no longer works).

Sleep Quality: Unfortunately we did not get much sleep during our stay. The beds were clean and relatively comfortable, but the corrugated plastic skylight served as a drum for the nightly thunder showers. The mosquito nets do not actually wrap completely around the lower bunks and did have a few holes, though they seem to fix them as they become aware of them. Unfortunately, my girlfriend became a feast for the mosquitos, though I was luckily unbitten. Power outages at night meant no fans which made the rooms pretty steamy, though not unbareable (see conclusion for thoughts on this).

Conclusion: Ultimately, I would recommend this place if you're working with a bigger-than-backpacker budget, though you will likely find better rates elsewhere on the island. I would not recommend this place, however, if you are inflexible as a traveler. If you're the type to get bent out of shape over a power or internet outage, then you probably shouldn't be traveling in the third world. ;-)

Cheers, and safe travels to all!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DiveForLife00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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English first
Hagerstown, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2011

after visiting nicaragua several times, i have to say that i fully enjoyed myself. the propery was clean and comfortable. Yes there were alot of rules however most were for the benefit of the patrons and the other patrons. I fully intend to return and hope to stay longer in the future. Kayaking was great and for one price had the kayak for 24 hours. The owner is very full of himself however he has the good of his people and their country first.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vixenfox23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2011

Hello all,
I am writing this report as i am really pissed with the poor servive of Hacienda Merida.
First of all, the hacienda merida is located in quite a remote area.. When you get there, you only have the next bus on the morning and taxi would cost you 25$ to get back.
The rooms are ok, except that when it rains, you're soaked.. The roof is not waterproof.
The food is extremely expensive and pretty basic and they'll charge you an 15% tax extra on your bill when yuou check out. Only option, go next door, food is great and half the price.

Hacienda Merida staffs are not helpfull at all and the only thing they do is advising to take a guide.. Which of course guides are all at 25$+15%tax. They even say that they'll throw you out of the hotel if you climb volcano madeiras alone as it is so dangerous. I have done it alone and the path is clearly marked and a lot of people are doing it alone, other hotels help you.
Renting a bike is 15$+15% tax, on all the island is 4$ a day... Kayak same..
I forgot something in the hotel, i called them 20 times to ask them to give it to someone heading to costa rica.. All tjhe time i had to reexplain the story again. I finally ended up buying me a new charger.. They are just useless.
If you want to do a kayak trip, do it on a daytrip.. Go there with a bike and other hotels will rent you the kayak cheaper and the guide will be cheaper too... I was told the guide were the kids from the hotel, so they were not that knowleageable for the 25$+15% tax extra charged...
Best hostal is zopilote, other side of the island,
Enjoy Ometepe, that's such a great place!!
Ben

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nosyben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2011

A hostel that knows it has a captured market. The rooms were cheap, clean and ok but everything else came at a cost. Food was average and expensive for Nica; the kayaks were $5 per person per hour; and the many rules and demeanour of the staff made the place feel like a strict school camp. Better off around the volcano in Santa Domingo.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank nobleglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2011

We had a great stay here. Yes, there are many rules posted, but none of them are out of line and most are for your own safety. It's located right on the lake, so the view is perfect, and swimming and kayaking are very convenient. We found everyone to be very helpful, and the owner was friendly and seemed to chat with everyone. Breakfast and dinner were ample and delicious.
Also, there are free computers for anyone to use so I'm not sure why someone says they were charged for wifi.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank p4tr1ck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 February 2011

We went here as we wanted to climb Volcan Maderas and do some canoeing. When we arrived we were greeted by a grumpy woman... who doesn’t like tourists? Indeed, NOT friendly at all! As the private rooms were all fully booked (lucky escape?), we were offered dorm beds in a 6 and 10 bedroom dorm. What a shock, only looking at the dorm (for 6) made me feel claustrophobic...and it looked completely run down... & for US$ 6.00 EACH! Definitely not the place where I would like to spend my holidays. Shame really as the location is great, with beautiful views on to the lake. Anyway, we went next door to Rancho Merida, where we had a small private room (you could hear next door’s fan though) for US$5.00 each. The people there were very friendly and helpful and the food in the evening was good. They also had some great hammocks in the garden! Unfortunately next morning, the telly was on full volume (playing children’s cartoons) in the restaurant area, so we decided to go back to Hacienda Merida for breakfast, which was very tasty. Obviously we did not see the private rooms and stay the night, so our rating is purely based on what we saw and experienced, when we checked it out.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NicaFan2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London UK
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2010

Disappointing, run-down with a down-at heel atmosphere. Decent value for money but in need of a major facelift. And the notices telling guests what to do and what not to do would make even London Transport blush!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BackInLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hacienda Merida

Property: Hacienda Merida
Address: Merida, Maderas Volcano | Ometepe Island, Rivas, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 61 Speciality Lodging in Isla de Ometepe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Formed by two volcanoes rising in the middle of the lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is a true paradise that offers visitors a unique and fantastic experience. We welcome you with spectacular sunsets, various outdoor activities, untouched wildlife, beautiful views of both volcanoes, hotel dock, direct access to lake Nicaragua and to highspeed internet. it is the perfect place for a calm yet thrilling and definately unforgettable vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Merida Hotel Isla De Ometepe

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