I was a tourist in Nicaragua the week of April 9 - 16, 2012. I rented a car at Managua Airport and traveled to Leon, Las Penitas, Playa Maderas and Granada. I stayed at Hotel Colon in Granada the nights of April 13th, 14th and 15th. Around 8:00 p.m., on April 14th, I went to dinner at Hotel Dario. I had a salad, filet mignon, wine, and expresso and ice cream for dessert. The bill arrived and I disputed an extra $5.00 charge. This verbal dispute went on with my waiter and manager for about five minutes. When I arrived everyone greeted me in English, but when I was disputing the charge, no one seemed to understand or speak English. During this heated verbal exchange, the restaurant security guard walked over to where we were speaking but he did not speak or indicate to me that I should do anything. I paid the bill, including the extra $5.00 and left.
About 30 seconds later on the sidewalk in front of Hotel Dario, I was grabbed from behind by this 6 foot 4 inch security guard and beaten in my kidney area four times with a nightstick. You could see rage and hate for Americans in his face. Then, another hotel employee named Carlos (who has a reputation as a bully in town...) came over and they both picked me up, dragged me to the lobby of the hotel, threw me on the floor and handcuffed me extremely tightly with Smith and Wesson handcuffs!! I must add at this point that I am 5 foot 8 inches, 145 pounds, 59 years old with a condition likened to multiple myeloma, I’ve had a brain tumor, and I have an artificial shoulder. At no time during my interchange with the hotel/restaurant employees did I ever physically threaten them, nor did I have any weapon of any kind on me. Unlike my younger days, I cannot remotely defend myself as my right arm does not work.
Fortunately for me, the Granada police were called and rescued me from this mayhem. The handcuff key did not work and it took them an hour to pry the handcuffs off my already swelling and bloodied arms. I have bruises in my kidney area, spine, and both arms and I have consulted with my physician to make sure there is no permanent damage to my kidneys.
I did NOTHING at all to provoke a physical beating other than expressing my extreme displeasure at being overcharged and the guards apparent hatred and disdain for American tourists. The police were very kind to me, called a taxi for me after they took the handcuffs off and even shook my hand as they wished me well.
I have traveled all over the world to 149 countries and NEVER have I been abused or frightened like this in my whole life. This restaurant holds itself out as a four-star establishment, yet, I have been treated better in third world countries where there is no running water and in places I've toured such as Cuba, Ethiopia, Iran, Syria, Yemen, West Africa and North Korea where one might think there was a penchant for possible brutality.
There is NO excuse for such a savage beating when the worst that can be said about me was that I hotly contested the overcharge with words, not gestures.
This incident has been reported to the US State Department and the US Embassy in Managua.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HOTEL DARIO is UNIQUE FIVE STAR HOTEL IN GRANADA situated in the historical center of Granada, on the famous La Calzada Street, and only 100 meters away from the central park, Hotel Dario is an elegant neoclassic building from the 19th century. The hotel offers guests a tranquil and private environment, we are a gay friendly. The grounds include beautiful gardens, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, gym and business center. For dining on the premises, guests can choose from the El Tranvia Restaurant or from the Chocolate Coffee Shop. El Tranvia Restaurant is a small but charming dining room located within the main hall of Hotel Dario. The restaurant has been refurbished but remains true to the style of the colonial mansion. The specialties of the restaurant, where food is served with four to seven pieces of cutlery, include meats, seafood, international gourmet food and authentic Nicaraguan dishes. Beyond the elegant cuisine, guests can also expect a variety of wines (including local, Spanish and Chilean offerings), as well as professional and attentive service. The Chocolate Coffee Shop is the in-house cafe at Hotel Dario. Visitors to the shop can enjoy the best coffee in the city of Granada, as well as a variety of other exotic drinks containing coffee and chocolate. Fresh fruit juices, smoothies, milkshakes, cocktails, and a wide selection of the best national and international beverages are also offered at the Chocolate Coffee Shop, in addition to casual bites including sandwiches, snacks, salads, light meals, and fine deserts. All our rooms have A/C, International TV-cable, direct access tel., Private bathroom, safe deposit box and hair dryer. We also offer our "Tranvia" restaurant with International Gourmet Cuisine and our coffee shop "Chocolate" with fine pastries. The facilities include our swimming pool - jacuzzi, gym, internet + (WIFI), laundry & room service, concierge and 24hrs. Reception + security. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dario Hotel Granada