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“My favorite experience in all of Nicaragua”

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La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 12 April 2012

At first, I was only going to stay for a week, but extended it to two after I got there. I would have liked to stayed longer if my plans would allow. I had best, most wholesome food I've eaten in a long time (at the school and in my homestay). Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and the environment was paradisiacal. The classes really helped to kickstart my Spanish skills, which I needed for my subsequent travels. Most of all, I loved living in the local community. If you want an immersion experience, this is definitely the place to go. Very recommended.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
2  Thank Lynn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Thank you for this lovely review, hope you manage to get back someday!

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Reviewed 9 April 2012

Returned last week from a ten day stay at La Mariposa. The language instruction was great, the sleeping accomodations in the cabana were a dream come true, the food was always the freshest and satisfying, the opportunities for a variety of activities and tours were excellent but what made the experience something to remember for many, many years was the friendliness of everyone that is involved with La Mariposa. I don't dare use names for fear of forgetting, misspelling or leaving someone's out so I'll group folks. The lovely women and man who prepared all the meals in the kitchen and maintained a spotless cooking and eating area despite the many challenges of my group's less than predictable schedule, the men and women who constantly tamed nature around the grounds to make our rooms, trails, classrooms and clean-up facilities so pleasant, the night watchmen who helped us sleep soundly and always greeted me warmly in the early morning, the interns who sheparded us and translated for me on solo research excursions, the men we worked alongside in the gardens and who took pity on our relatively weak constitutions and, of course, our indefatigble language instructors, all of whom could not have been more caring, competent or helpful. The weather, halfway up to La Cancha was a delight this spring. My hat is off to all and I would like to consider all of them my new friends and would be honored if they would consider me theirs.

Room Tip: I recommend the cabana, though it appears rustic, for those who want to stay connected to Nicaragua...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Dear Mike....thank you for mentioning all of the staff who work in the background, like the night duty staff, and sometimes get forgotten. That is appreciated!

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Reviewed 9 April 2012

My stay at La Mariposa Spanish school and eco-hotel was really special, thanks to the visible efforts of Paulette, the owner/manager, the interns who helped us with research projects and trips into different communities and homes, the staff of the Spanish school who taught me more Spanish than I would have though possible in such a short time, the kitchen staff who served up delicious and varied meals throughout our stay, and all the workers behind the scenes who help to make La Mariposa what it is, those who work in the garden producing food, the caretakers of the horses who led members of our group on beautiful rides, the drivers of the cars on our various outings, and everyone else who works there. Based on my experience, I would recommend La Mariposa to anyone wanting to stay in Nicaragua and learn Spanish.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Catherine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Thank you Catharine. We are just about completing the new building so we can start to take more groups for a variety of learning experiences. Glad you enjoyed it!

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Reviewed 3 April 2012

I have dreamed of an immersion experience in Spanish and the Mariposa School and eco-hotel was a perfect fit. I stayed in the cabana with a great solar heated shower and porch. The meals were organic, simple, wonderful, and perfect. The one to one Spanish instruction pushed me and encouraged me at the same time. The best part is that Mariposa is not just another business or non-profit in Nicaragua, they are part of the community. The money goes into the community and the surrounding area has benefited. They are also very knowledgeable and involved with the social and political aspects of Nicaragua. If you stay there, you learn more than Spanish. You learn about your place in the world as well. Don't go if you want a cushy experience that is removed from the country but do go if you really savor travel that connects you with others and the world.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Absolutely! Cushy experience is definitely not our thing (or, it would seem, yours either!). Such a pleasure to meet you.

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Reviewed 2 April 2012

I've just come back from a wonderful month in Nicaragua, including a week at the Mariposa Spanish School. I can certainly echo the recommendations of other reviewers: the great setting, the pleasant climate, the value for money, and the high standard of everything from the food to the language instruction.

I chose Mariposa partly because it was the only school I could find that accepted children virtually year round. It was a great decision. The one-on-one classes meant that my son was kept happily occupied learning Spanish in a kid-friendly way, while I could concentrate on my studies. And, even though he was the only child at the school when we were there, everyone -- staff, teachers, and other students -- made us feel welcome, safe and included. The afternoon activities -- visiting beaches, volcanoes, and nearby towns -- were fun, kid friendly, and all organized by the school so the whole week was really quite effortless.

Highly recommended. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sue K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

I am only sorry you weren't here either the week before or the week after when there other kids around his age! next time.....

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Reviewed 2 April 2012

Absolutely fantastic!!! The hotel, although I chose to stay in a home-stay, was very relaxing, beautiful, and full of smiling faces. All of the staff, from the teachers to the cooks and everyone in between were wonderful and always so genuine. The food was mostly organic, local, and always excellent! Paulette the owner, was such an inspiring and kind woman who wants to make absolutely sure that your stay is not only great but also meaningful. If you choose to go to La Mariposa, you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Kalyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Thank you Kalyn for this review! See you again someday I hope.

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Reviewed 2 April 2012

My 3 week stay at the Mariposa with friends was an adventure-filled, delightful, delicious, and educational experience. We stayed in the separate two-story cabin, with access to a solar heated shower, and a clean latrine, scrubbed daily! The Spanish instructors were all friendly, patient, and knowledgeable; the cooking staff, the cleaning and grounds staff, the interns and volunteers were helpful, eager to accommodate our needs, and committed to the principles of the Mariposa. With so many opportunities for sightseeing in the afternoons, it was hard to find the time to actually study the spanish notes from the morning classes, but with so much exposure to the language in the community, absorbing it was inevitable! I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Thank you for putting up a photo of your room in the cabin, looks quite inviting! hope to see you three again someday!

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Additional Information about La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel

Address: De la Cancha, 200 metros al sur, 50 al este | San Juan de la Concepcion, Masaya, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Masaya Department > Masaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Price Range: £15 - £27 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Mariposa is a small, friendly non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, just outside the small town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. Only an hour from Nicaragua's major attractions - Granada, the Pacific Coast, the Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya volcano - and 45 minutes from Managua airport, La Mariposa is surrounded by organic coffee, banana trees and flower gardens. Our cool, green climate (we are 500 meters above sea level - makes a real difference to the temperature) is ideal for studying Spanish! Our conservation efforts - though small scale - have vastly increased our bird population, butterflies and even frogs! We offer intensive Spanish classes in our purpose built classrooms or in outdoor classrooms in our delightful grounds, full of tropical plants and rescued animals. Classes are mostly one on one (max 2 or 3 in a class) and we cater for all levels form beginner to advanced, including specially designed classes for children. We have an extensive library with Spanish study materials and a selection of books in English on Nicaraguan history, development issues etc. We organize a full week (that includes weekends) of activities, including cooking and salsa classes, classes on the history of Nicaragua and a weekly update of what is happening in the Nicaraguan news. These are delivered in Spanish to help with progress in Spanish and with English translation if necessary. On 3 afternoons and Saturdays we offer trips out to local places of interest as well as the Masaya volcano by night, the Masaya markets and artesanias, Granada, Leon, the Laguna de Apoyo, the Pacific beach, Managua, Catarina, the Pueblos Blancos and more! The trips are rotated on a monthly schedule. There are various accomodation options - Students can stay in the eco-hotel (ensuite rooms) or our eco rooms (cheaper). There is a also a large (en suite) family room. Situated about 5 mins from the main school/hotel is our nature reserve. There are now 2 cabins in the reserve, each with two bedrooms, seating area, shower and compostable latrine, private terrace and garden, small kitchen (though you can of course eat all meals at the main hotel) - these are ideal for families with kids who like a bit more space to run around! There are of course a few friendly rescued dogs to keep the kids happy!! We use solar power - for heated water in all of the showers as well as to provide electricity, conserve rainwater,have a number of recycling schemes and have started our own successful organic farm which provides some of the eggs, veggies, coffee consumed at the Mariposa. And much more. We use our income to maximise the employment of local people (currently employing 80 teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff) and undertake a number of projects in the local community. You can opt to volunteer at one of our community or environmental projects, living in a homestay with a local family. Amongst other projects, we are currently offering volunteer placements in the nature reserve, in local schools, with a day care project or with disabled children. You are also welcome to help out the Mariposa workers - whether feeding our rescued animals or cooking up our healthy meals. All of which is a great way to improve that Spanish! We have also recently opened, on another but close by site, a study centre specifically designed to cater for groups of students. We offer an individualized curriculum which can include Spanish classes, activities and classes on the history, culture and environment of Nicaragua. We can also arrange community service work for groups. Accommodation is in two eco built dormitories, each of which has 10 beds (bunk style). The eating/meeting hall is a lovely structure built of straw bales and thatched roofing. Classrooms face a terrace with great views of the Masaya volcano. Meals are always freshly cooked, often using organic veggies from our farm. And of course there are solar heated showers and solar powered electricity. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Mariposa Spanish School And Eco Hotel Nicaragua/Masaya

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