I stayed here for 4 nights, having a few days to look round Nicaragua before a conference.
The hotel itself is not at all fancy, but the service I received overall was absolutely exemplary, well beyond what one can reasonably expect. We pretty-much got a free travel-agent service thrown in, which dramatically improved the quality and enjoyment of our stay.
Having never been to Nicaragua and wanting to fit in some solid touristing during the 3 days we had, (combined with sharing my stay with a guy I had not met previously, who was arriving a week earlier), I asked a lot of questions about timing and transport and taxis and trips and prices. Everything was answered (in English) commendably promptly and fully both before we booked and arrived and during the trip. This was hugely helpful, and most appreciated.
I was picked up at the airport and transported to the door (which really doesn't look much like a hotel - it's in a normal domestic backstreet in a scruffy bit of town).
The room was tidy, mosquito-proof, with a working ceiling fan and power and a nice shower. As it was incredibly cheap this made it excellent value. It was quiet.
The hotel essentially consists of a set of rooms either side of a lush garden courtyard, with a breakfast terrace and foyer. It is small but beautiful. The garden is lovely, the rooms are nice and quiet. Eating breakfast looking out over this is glorious.
Breakfast was a choice of local (rice and beans), strange squeaky cheese, or more conventional cuisine. It was not at all fancy, but excellent value in a lovely setting, and an opportunity to feel just a little bit like a local.
We walked round the corner to the recommended local fish restaurant which didn't look like much with its (neat) dirt floor, but the food was absolutely top-notch - We were impressed.
The location is to the south-west of town, so is actually quite handy for getting out to visit volcanoes or nearby villages, but it's 15-mins sweaty walk into the town centre through either the absolutely heaving high street or the parallel satreet-market. It's, erm, very Nicaraguan - bit of a culture shock for the average European :-)
One day we asked about visting the nearby peninsula with its multitude of islands and a local eco-tour guide was procured. I went on one of the hotel bikes (which was pretty knackered with a rebar pedal, broken gearshift (I managed to fix that) and flat tyres - the hotel doesn't run to a pump, but you just go 100 yds round the corner and a guy pumps it up). My colleague went on the back of the guides motorbike - an odd procession. It seems we were this family's first ever eco-tourists, so the experience was a little random and the language barrier didn't help, but we had a great day out nevertheless: it was great to be dealing with genuine local people devoid of middlemen.
So, I would unhesitatingly recommend this place to anyone who wanted to visit Granada, especially if they value genuine helpfulness and a local knowledge over the 'posh hotel' experience. I liked the eco-sensibilties of the place: the way they deal with local drivers, and tour guides and the fact that bikes are available (They do need to keep them in decent working order though). Visiting a hotel isn't normally something you end up with particularly fond memories of - this place was an exception.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Casa Barcelona is the perfect place to stay in Granada for your holidays or business trips. Our accommodation is clean, familiar friendly eco-and safe. It is also the perfect starting point for countless tours and explore the rest of this extraordinary country. This is a project for Granadian woman who want to provide for themselves and their children and improve their quality of life. Many thnaks to Arpon Flores Family from Spain were the official primary investors funds in this project, Fundation Centro Empresarial Pellas and kindom of the Netherlands provided academic funds resources for our employees. ... more less
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