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“Weather's hot, showers are cold...”

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La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante
Ranked #20 of 43 Hotels in Granada
Madison
1 review
“Weather's hot, showers are cold...”
Reviewed 29 January 2008

We recently stayed at La Gran Francia - from Jan 14th to Jan 17th - and in general we enjoyed our stay. The biggest drawback was that there was NO hot water during our entire 4 day, 3 night stay! The hotel staff was very friendly, but could only tell us that there was a problem with the generator that someone was going to fix "tomorrow". I'm told the problem is fixed now, but I'd double check if you're thinking of booking in the near future and a warm shower is important to you.

Otherwise, I would recommend staying at the Hotel Colonial. It's considerably cheaper than La Gran Francia, was recommended to me by a native Nicaraguan friend (unfortunately it was full when we were in Granada), and looked nice when we stopped in to take a look.

Also, if you're looking for tours, stop by the Paxeos/Va Pues office that's right in the Parque Colon. Henry was an awesome tour guide and offered the same tours as the hotel desk at much better prices.

  • Liked — Close to Parque Colon, restaurants, etc....
  • Disliked — NO hot water, not much going on at the hotel
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MadisonGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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447 reviews from our community

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Coronado, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
214 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2008

We just returned from an 8 day stay in Nicaragua with 3 nights at the beginning of the trip at La Gran Francia & then 1 night a the end. We booked tours & transfers through the hotel ( they were a little more expensive) & they did an excellent job, making us feel almost like family. The first 3 nights we stayed in the El Duque Suite & while beautifully decorated, it was very dark. The last night we were in a Junior Suite & much preferred that room. The unfortunate part of our stay was that the hot water heater was broken & they could not get a part to fix it so we never had hot water. Also, I agree that the hotel is noisy but it is a fabulous location with wonderful views of the cathedral & Mombocho. We thought breakfast was good. The manager, Barbara, made booking of everything very easy & our driver Renee was great. Both tour guides, Alejandro & Elvis did an excellent job.

  • Liked — location & historical appeal
  • Disliked — No hot water
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Saltspringsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2008

We stayed at this hotel for a 2 nights and celebrate New Year.
Great historical place with colonial decor. Nice big rooms, good food, great location - right on the main square. We particularly liked a balcony of the restaurant as we spend a lot of time seating there watching people. If I will ever go back to Granada I would stay at this hotel.

  • Liked — History and location
  • Disliked — I like everything
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MarinaToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ONT
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2008

La Gran Francia is a wonderful hotel and your best option for Granada. Centrally located, secure, impeccably clean and knowledgeable, helpful and friendly service.

The plunge pool is a treat after a hot day of sight-seeing. The bar and restaurant are quite nice.

The rooms are spotless and some are quite large.

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
Thank happytraveller12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkshire, UK
Level Contributor
194 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 311 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2008

We stayed here for 8 nights as a base to tour Granada and environs after a stay at San Juan del Sur - see separate review.- influenced by the No 1 ranking at the start of 07 when we made our travel plans.

The good-
The venue- It lives up to expecations in terms of internal (excl El Duque) and external decor and venue- we enjoyed being right on the plaza central (subject to the noise factor at night of course- pack you ear plugs!!!!!!!).
The waiting staff on the whole quite charming and eager to please- until "bed time" at least as the bars/restaurants shut at 10 pm - sharp- last orders often 9.45.
The food -lunch time light snacks good and evening meals pretty good- tho' probably double the price of the rest of Granada's restaurants that we tried. Breakfast dead average- better to go out to the square.
The upstairs junior suites are light and reasonably spacious- no separate sitting area per se however so set a "reasonable size room" as your benchmark and you won't be disappointed, Balconies small but at least somewhere to sit with a sundowner/ room service last order when all else is closed and watch the world go by.
By UK Prices it's pretty good value for money nothwitstanding what follows- but don't forget the IVA and propinos.

The dead average-
The swimming pool = large hot tub, located in the hallway right outside the downstairs rooms, so that the water from those happy to swim in this location splashes onto the polished tiles & creates an interesting obstacle course on returning to a downstairs room - presume health & safety hasn't reached Nica hotels yet....
Little use made of the courtyard so no outside sun (or shade) terrace atall to lounge in.

The deeply disappointing -
Zero evidence of any management- on an 8 nt stay (that is probably exceptional as hotel seems able to fill itself with wedding events and 2 nighters) I would however expect some meet and greet from a manager- no sign thereof, and when we asked to speak to them when various supplies ran out were unable to.
The "top "El Duque suite we had booked for the duration (and were unable to change due to pretty full occupancy) is in fact a large dark dank bedroom on the ground floor with a useless (and empty ) box room between the bedroom and equally dingy and dilapidated bathroom- tepid water, shower in disrepair- and no chance of opening the doors to let light in as this is directly on the street , thus also horrendously noisy.
Whilst happy to go with the flow (even on NYE) if 10pm is bed time in Nicaragua, thus bars all shut, we were pretty aggrieved to be told we couldn't access the upstairs sitting area after 9.45, (due to 10 pm water shed) albeit a wedding party was using the hotel function room until midnight plus... so as residents we had the pleasure of hearing other (non residents) cavorting at pretty mega decibels whilst we were confined to our room, with thre dubious pleausre of listening to them from across the road whilst trying to sleep!!!!

Based on the more recent reviews and sight unseen, I'd recommend that unless you are passionate about staying in a historical icon, you try one of the TA higher rated hotels - especially one with a proper pool and /or lounging area that will allow you some R&R in between tours that are commonly only half day.

All that said, we realy enoyed Granada and the ambience (noisy tho it may be) and loved Nicaragua and the people we met- it just seems a shame that (I presume) offshore & out of sight owners are exploting a national asset, and not trying to provide more employment by actually providing services tourists want.

In terms of local recommendations, agree that el Zaguan is good food- as long as you don't mind the duelling guitar players vying for your attention and tips- El Club is good for snackettes and drinks - El Tercer Ojo nice ambience and food- the cafe across the road from la Gran Francia (el Lindo/Rindo?) very friendly and later opening times than la GF.
Ometepe a fab tour and well worth an early start to get the 7. 30 ferry (not sure the accomodation there is that special to stay), the canopy tour is not to be missed and enormous fun.
We also did Leon staying overnight in El Convento- again suites there are a must. Leon has great volcano/lake views, but not as much to enjoy as Granda unless you like churches and museums.

In summary, would certainly recommend a visit and drinks/dinner and even a stay if you can get a light junior upstairs suite in Gran Francia, but just hope the management will try and improve the standards here before it slips any further down the rankings......

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Noise and laissez faire attitude to resident guests
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fussy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2007

Stayed here for 2 nights in october. i would echo the other reviews, it was a very nice hotel, the breakfast was great, very filling!, and served just off a beautiful garden. Stayed on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the road. Didnt eat dinner but it looked nice, we went for dinner at Zaguan which was just 2 blocks away - which was fantastic. We booked a canopy tour and Mombacho tour through the hotel the same morning, and had no troubles with this. One suggestion - we did call ahead to book a taxi from the airport, they quoted us $50USD for 2 people, we called oro travel and arranged one ourselves for $30 (we paid ahead of time), and the driver and car was great. May have received a beter deal with the tour if booked directly - but we didnt have the time to organise this. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jessie12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
132 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2007

We booked two rooms at Granada's La Gran Francia hotel as part of a package trip to Nicaragua offered by Capricorn Tours. It is one of the more "expensive" hotels in this colonial city, but comparatively speaking it's about the same as what one would pay at a nondescript Holiday Inn in the U.S. Our package deal rate was &75/night, and the regular rate is around $95 - $100/night. But this place is gorgeous and worth every penny.

The location can't be beat. It sits just off the corner of the town's main square (we heard the hotel has just purchased an adjacent building that actually sits right on the town square, and plan to expand their facility). From the hotel you can walk just about anywhere in town--restaurants, shops, tourist offices. Even the lake is not that far on foot.

The structure itself is a renovated colonial building, and the owners did not spare any expense in the makeover. The handmade tile floors, antiques, and rich wood detailing truly give a sense of what it must have been like to live an opulent lifestyle back in the colonial days. The hotel is accessed through a simple passageway that soon reveals an open interior courtyard featuring a small, but very refreshing, swimming pool. All 21 rooms (on two floors) open into this area. Some rooms have balconies, although not the ones we stayed in. The rooms themselves have bold tile floors, ornate wooden beds and armoires, and hand-painted sinks. If you love creature comforts, the air conditioning is nice and cold, and the television gets many channels from the U.S., including CBS, NBC, and Showtime. Both of our rooms had windows facing into small, light-filled courtyards, although these spaces were not accessible.

The staff is comprised of young, friendly Nicaraguans who were extremely accommodating. Most were fluent in English. They suggested restaurants, tours, and even brought us an iron.

The hotel also includes another colonial building directly across the street. This houses the restaurant where we had our breakfast each morning which is included in the nightly room rate (the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, and though we did not eat here the food looked great). Breakfast is served in beautiful surroundings-- under a loggia overlooking a small garden. There were plenty of items to choose from, including pancakes, eggs, french toast, as well as a Nicaraguan-style breakfast.

Presently there are rolling electrical blackouts in Nicaragua due to a lack of electrical power (due to be fixed by 2008), but La Gran Francia has generators that kick on if the power does go out. The only way we knew the power was off was that out bedside clock would blink and the cable TV would go out.

We liked this hotel so much that after staying here three nights, we returned later in the week for three more nights!

  • Liked — architecture and interiors
  • Disliked — low water pressure in one of our showers
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Peru77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante

Property: La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante
Address: Esquina sureste del Parque Central, Granada, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Granada Department > Granada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Granada
#10 Romantic Hotel in Granada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located right off the main square of the historical colonial city of Granada, La Gran Francia is a splendid ancestral building whose existence historians argue dates back to the years immediately following the founding of Granada, in 1524. This architectural jewel was restored during the decade of the 1990's, recovering the majesty and splendor of its heyday and today houses our hotel restaurant, bars and banquet hall facilities. In two distinct and centric settings, La Gran Francia Colonial Hotel offers its guests a total of 35 air-conditioned rooms, with all modern comforts and amenities. At La Gran Francia Colonial Hotel, you will be able to enjoy the best of Nicaraguan hospitality and the rustic elegance of colonial Granada. La Gran Francia has been recommended by Conde Nast Traveller and Samantha Brown from The Discovery Channel, among others. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Gran Francia Granada
La Gran Francia Hotel Granada

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