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“Caribbean Paradise”
Review of Sea Star Spa

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Sea Star Spa
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Big Corn Island
Reviewed 2 February 2014

The Sea Star Spa is just what the doctor ordered. It's as relaxing or as adventurous as you want it to be. For me it was a little of both. The beds were great. The Internet was fast. The food and drinks were delicious. The view from the bed and the balcony was amazing. I was able to fully relax and really enjoy myself.

When we arrived on Corn Island there was a taxi waiting for us. He took us to the Sea Star Spa after we had him stop briefly at the Nautilus scuba shop where we setup our dives for the following morning.

Once at the hotel they showed us to our rooms while the staff prepared a huge lobster dinner for us. The mini-fridge in our room was empty, but they had plenty of drinks at the main kitchen to stock it up. They explained that we had a red switch we could turn on anytime day or night and a staff member would be at our door to take our request. I started calling it the "bat signal" and it worked amazingly well. The usual response time was less than a minute. I almost felt guilty turning it on sometimes, knowing that a staff member would come running down to my room as soon as I did.

The staff members were amazing. They really go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your stay is pleasant. The kitchen is great and Kessy will cook up anything you request, especially lobster, shrimp, and fish. Breakfast each morning was great and some days Michael even used a machete to cut open a young coconut for each of us to drink with breakfast... all while we overlooked the waves crashing on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

We did a few days of scuba, a day of snorkeling, and we even rented scooters from the hotel and and cruised around the island a few times one day. The scuba was great, but didn't compare to places like Roatan (IMHO), but it is still worth doing.

The waves in front of the hotel were not small, but we still had a lot of fun playing in them most evenings. The walks on the beach were great, especially at sunrise and sunset.

We had a great time and will definitely stay here again the next time we make it to Corn Island. I can only imagine how great it will be when the pool and other resort-style amenities are complete.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank James T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 - 38 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2014

If the staff here was any more talented, they would be able to levitate. Seriously.

Your every wish is granted with a smile and a desire to make your stay wonderful.

Combine the can-do attitude of the staff with an amazing ocean front room where you fall asleep and awake to the sound of the waves.

Want to go to the beach? Walk out our front door for 20 seconds.

Thanks to all the staff for making our stay soooooo relaxing.

Room Tip: All four rooms face the beach. I am glad we took beach level rooms. The upstairs rooms are more...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

When coming to Big Corn, know that you are getting involved in an island that is remote and has little to offer in terms of entertainment. With that being said, this is exactly what we were looking for.

Do your research and understand that this place doesn't have a bar or restaurant. Other reviews seem to complain about this but I feel like this is their own fault. Do your research! I emailed about a week before and prepped the room.....water, beer and a dinner for the first night we were there. Everything was in place and fabulous.

Kessy and staff were ridiculous. After tons of travel everywhere around the Caribbean, I can say that we have never run into more inviting, nicer people than at this hotel. My husband had a tooth ache from the moment we landed on the island and Kessy wasted no time to take us to the clinic (which was a great experience), wait with us and take us back and STILL make dinner. Anything we wanted, Kessy and staff provided. About 10 minutes after we flipped the switch in our room, staff came to ask us what we needed. We never felt neglected! Please know that they work on tips and to really take care of them for their efforts.

Everyday consisted of whatever we wanted...snorkeling from a boat that pulled up to the beach, dinner reservations that Kessy made for us, lunch on the deck based on our preferences. It didn't matter. We were catered to and felt like these people were our friends. I will never forget the staff and the kindness they provided. I hope one day to return, shake Kessy's hand and start the trip all over again!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank egeorge13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

This hotel is a beautiful tropical oasis. The location is at the end of a gorgeous, clean beach and very private. The staff are excellent - professional, informative, prompt, friendly and go way beyond expectation to make your stay comfortable. The rooms are the best you will find on the island. There is an amazing view from each room. Large sliding glass doors open out to a large balcony just above the sand and waves. The rooms are very nicely furnished with comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms with hot water and separate toilet and a kitchenette area with refrigerator. The hotel has a backup generator so when the island power goes down you will continue to have lights and AC. The breakfast is delicious with real maple syrup! As for the review about no food or drinks - they brought any drinks we wanted and kept our refrigerators stocked well. They were very prompt in answering our "red switch" requests - 5 min or less and breakfast came promptly every morning. They arranged an amazing vegetarian Italian dinner for us at a restaurant on the other side of the island and when I left my sweater there they picked it up for me the next day without me even asking. They called taxies to take us to several places/restaurants and we never had an issue finding great food to eat. Definitely think this is the best place to stay on Big Corn! The hotel is still under construction, but the area that is done is wonderful and you don't see the construction area at all from the rooms.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TedRachelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

We visited Sea Star and Spa a year ago, and since it was still under construction much might have changed since our visit. But the reason for why I enjoyed my stay was because of the beautiful, luxurious rooms and the impeccable and personal service (from both the guys in the staff and the owner). And that can not have changed because of the construction (on the contrary - the hotel is probably even more beautiful today).

The rooms have a wonderful view over the beach and ocean (even from the bed). In the morning we just hit a button and the attentive staff brought us breakfast to the room. It is very peaceful and calm since the hotel is the only hotel on the beach and it is on the less developed side of the Island. We usually prefer to stay near other hotels and restaurants, so for us it wasn't perfect. But if you're in search of tranquility, this is perfect for you. It took about 20-30 minutes to walk to the other side of the Island. Someone below wrote that they do not have drinks or food available, which is correct. We solved that "problem" by going to the local shop and buying everything we wanted, and then storing it in our fridge. We had problem with our water, but they did everything they could to solve that problem, and even the owner who was in Canada, made sure that everything was okey and that we got compensated. They truly did everything in their power to make our stay perfect! There are not many places who care or try that hard.

We visited both Little corn and Big corn - and I personally prefered Big corn because it had more to offer and see.. but both are lovely and worth a visit! Nicaragua is one of the most hospitable and welcoming countries I've been to (we never felt unsafe), and has much to offer. (DON'T miss the volcano island Ometepe!)

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank HannaGabrielsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

I have been to Sea Star every year since it has opened and have never had a bad experience. We have always been impressed with the personal service and the friendly staff. They go above and beyond to make sure you have and enjoyable stay. So I thought the last review was a little unfair. It is really only a 30 sec walk to go ask for help or information if you need anything and someone is always willing to help you out.
My husband and I enjoy the beautiful view from the deck and the almost private expanse of beach with its white sand and warm water. He usually takes his boogie board out first thing in the morning before I am up and catches a few waves. Then he comes in and we order something to eat. We never get tired of the view and the warm ocean breeze and the peacful feeling of seclusion.
I have never written a review before. Maybe because we didn't want it to change too fast, or maybe because we were waiting until it was completely finished. But the last review prompted me to speak up!
This is a place that makes you feel very comfortable and first world in a country that is not anywhere nearly as developed as our countries
If you like warm ocean water, snorkeling, or scuba diving. You will be amazed at what this island has to offer. There is also fishing available which the staff will help to organize for you . Catching a baseball game and cheering for the south end team is always a fun afternoons as well.
If you are looking for a clean comfortable place to stay while you are traveling through either Big Corn or Little Corn island you will not be disappointed with rooms available here. I think they are the nicest on the island!
She has come a long way in the past few years and has done a very good job of accommodating people while still in construction phase. People were asking to stay in these rooms before she was finished that is why she started renting. The construction is behind the building that you stay in and doesn't hinder your stay or view in any way.
I have enjoyed watching the progress and can't wait to see the finished product when the pool and the spa part are fully functional!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank debwell_56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2013

This will be a difficult review to write, because the staff is so nice and well-intentioned, but I owe it to the Trip Advisor community to be straight and paint the picture of our experience and share how our visit played out. Also, this is the first time I feel that the Trip Advisor community had let me down.

We booked three nights here last July for my fiance, myself, and my future step-daughter. They had arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the airport and took us straight to the property. upon arrival, we walked through the ongoing construction project for the pool and bar area and descended the stairs to the entry to the room that was through the front sliding door. The room was gorgeous and spacious and looked straight out onto the beach area.

Surprise #1: I was clear when I booked the room it was for three, but when we arrived, they only had the room prepared for two. Not a problem, they were able to retrieve an additional bed and got it set up shortly after our arrival.

Surprise #2: We had been traveling all day long, driving from Granada to Managua, then flying to Big Corn Island. When we arrived at the Sea Star, we were tired, thirsty, hungry and ready to relax and enjoy a cocktail or a beer or soft drink. The problem was that they did not have anything to drink-not even a can of soda. Nor was there any food on the property.

It was then that Kessie explained how things "worked" at the Sea Star. He explained that they did not actually have anything there, but could and would get virtually anything we wanted-food, drinks-activities-Internet-ANYTHING. We just needed to flip the little red switch and someone would come and take our order. He further explained that they did not have food, but would shop for us and prepare anything we wanted He even offered to do the cooking himself. If we wanted food from a restaurant, he said, we could just tell them what we wanted and they would go get it for us. I asked him if there was some sort of guest book that detailed the services and had menus from some of the local restaurants and he stated that there was a gust book, but that he was not familiar with what was in there. I found that guest book and there was no information about local restaurants or menus to order from. Again, not a big problem, we could just go on the Internet and research it.........

That brings me to surprise #3- INTERNET. They have it, but you have to request it and then they have to go track down a modem and get it set up. It is also very slow, so not very useful.

So we flipped the red switch for our first two requests: something to drink and Internet. It took 30 minutes for someone to respond to the call light. It then took another 60 minutes for the drinks to arrive-two bottles of beer and a bottle of soda. I am certain that because it was a special request, someone had to drive to town to buy the drinks and bring them back to us. It also took 90 minutes to get the Internet set up. By then we were really hungry and anxious to get something to eat. The Internet was so slow that we gave up on trying to find restaurants or menus to order from. We quickly realized that if we were going to eat that night, we had to take it on ourselves to get it done. It sure it would have taken hours to get dinner if we relied on the staff-30 minutes to respond to the light-15-20 minutes to discuss what we were hungry for, what they could prepare, etc-an hour for someone to run to the store to shop for food-another hour to cook and prepare-you get the idea. We finally decided to just wing it and walk to a local restaurant.

Earlier, we had asked them about the scooters they had available to rent, but no one could tell us what the price was. Again, this was apparently a special request that had to be researched. We finally got the answer to our question about 90 minutes after we had inquired-too late for us to rent and take off on our own in the dark in a strange place we had never been to. We had also inquired about a map to the island. Again, we were told that they could get one for us, but that they did not have one. I mentioned that it would be really helpful for us to be able to get ourselves oriented and determine where to go for a meal.

By this time, it was night time and dark. As we were walking down the dark gravel road, one of he staff drove up to us and gave us a lift to the closest restaurant which was about a mile down the road. He dropped us in front then drove off. When we walked to the door and peered inside, the place was completely dark except for a small dim light by the bar with two people huddled around. We decided not to stay and caught a taxi to the center of town about a 15 minute drive away and found a decent restaurant to eat at. On the way back, we stopped at a local market and picked up some provisions to make our stay more comfortable.

So the next morning, we were excited about having this wonderful breakfast they talked about prepared for us that is included in the room rate. we flipped the red switch at 6:30 to make sure we would have breakfast early and so we could get an early start on our first full day on Corn Island. By 7:30 no one had come to our door yet. I began to question in my mind whether the switch had to be up or down for the call light to go on, so I began flipping it both directions. Still no one came. By 8:30 we had visions of our day slipping away from us since we had no idea when we would eat and did not even have any activities lined up for the day. Fortunately, I had brought some instant coffee and had some bread from the market, so we had that for breakfast. By then we had had enough of the Sea Star.

Ultimately, we then decided that the Sea Star was not a good fit for us and decided to leave after one night and find another place to stay. We had only three days on Corn Island and did not want to gamble that things would improve. As we were leaving, they were extremely apologetic about not responding to our call light. Apparently, it had malfunctioned and they never saw it come on. We left and went to another resort that had a restaurant and bar onsite. They also had snorkeling gear to use with a nice beach right in front to go snorkeling and swimming.

Here are my final thoughts:

First-Think of this as renting a condo in a remote part of the island. There are no shops or restaurants anywhere near. There is no food or drinks there. You are isolated. It is just a beautiful room in a remote part of the island. Although very willing, staff are not prepared to provide anything. Everything-Food-Drinks-Internet-Information-is handled as a special request and takes a lot time to get done. Our experience could have been much different with some preparation. Had we had known this in advance, we would have had the taxi stop at a store along the way and picked up our own drinks and food and been very happy. We could have also prearranged drinks, activities and meals with staff before our arrival.

Second-With a little work, the staff could make this special request system perform much better. They could keep a small selection of beverages on hand to be able to at least offer newly arriving guests, some kind of welcome beverage. They could put some food menus in the guest guide from local restaurants. They could put the prices to rent the scooters in the guide. They could also provide information on local tour operators in there so guests can find things to do. For example, We were told that we could order food from a restaurant and they would get it for us. However, they had no information about restaurants or menus to look at. We needed Internet to be able to research that, but there was no Internet for 90 minutes and when we did get it, it was not helpful. At least if there were menus, we could have ordered dinner right away.

If they had information on their own scooter rentals, we might have been able to rent and take off on our own before dark. but because they did not, it was too late for us to take off later in the evening. I simply cannot understand why there was no anticipation of what we would be wanting or needing upon arrival. It was if they were completely caught off guard by literally everything we asked for. Could we really be the first guests to ask for a map of the island?

Lastly-The topography of the shoreline is very steep. The waves break right at shore. It is not an ideal place to swim or play in the water. You cannot surf because of the break being at shore. You are literally in very deep water and swells just a few meters from the shoreline.

I give this place three stars only because it is a beautiful room and the staff is polite and well-intentioned. However, they were un-knowledgeable and unprepared. They've been in business for some time. Why is it that they had never addressed any of these issues prior to our visit? For us, this was just not a good fit. Had we had our own car and stopped by a store to stock up on provisions, it could have been an enjoyable visit, but we were expecting a resort experience. After a long day of travel, we were expecting to arrive at the "resort", get a drink and relax on the beach and then have dinner. In order for that to have happened, it would have required advance planning. Calling this property a resort is completely misleading in my opinion. It is a room on the beach with staff and that is it. Someday if they ever complete the pool and bar and have food, it could be really nice.

I am very grateful for them graciously patching up my step-daughter later in the day after we had checked out when she was riding in the area and dumped her motor scooter and scraped her leg. But I am also sadly disappointed that they were unable to find her gold ring that she had left in the shower stall earlier in the day.

I am mystified about all of the rave reviews here in Trip Advisor. It was based on these reviews that the Sea Star was my first choice of where to stay on Corn Island. Obviously, those visitors must of had a different experience than we did, but none of the reviews mentioned anything about the place not having any food or drinks available. That piece of information alone could have made a huge difference for us. It is my intention in this review to paint an accurate picture of what this place is and what it is not so the reader can determine if it is a good fit or not. I also hope the staff while take some of my criticisms and use the information to improve the customer experience.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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12  Thank riosalsero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ladyseastar, Owner at Sea Star Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2013

Sea Star Guest, I want your vacation to be the best it can be, and it starts in the planning stages. I do my best to answer all of your questions and if you feel Sea Star is not right for you, I am happy to refer you to other wonderful places on the island, of whom the owners are also good friends of mine.

What happened to this guest, when so many others are having great experiences? I have been working to see what went wrong. When making a reservation at Sea Star, 99% of the guests book with me via email. I always respond with the email, as it also states in my website, details such as “my construction rate is $100/night per couple, as the pool and spa are not yet complete” In fact, this is the email:
..............“Thank you for your interest in Sea Star Spa, Corn Island. I do have availability for these dates. My current rate, as the pool and spa are still under construction, is $100/night per King Cabana based on double occupancy. This rate includes a daily breakfast served in your room or on your veranda. I can add up to 2 singles for an additional $15/night each.
I also started a promotion in May that was so successful that I am making it permanent. If it rains for 4 hours during the daylight hours (6am-6pm), your stay that night is half price. I want everything to be a positive at Sea Star; and I don't want a little rain to let anyone down. I loved to hear about a positive reaction to rain rather than letting it ruin your day.
Construction has been halted until I return in mid December. The construction site of the pool and spa is in behind the 4 luxury suites and does not interfere with the serenity of the accommodations; as, they are built into the hillside and face the ocean. All you will see and hear is the waves of the sea.
I have attached a sheet of frequently asked questions for your assistance.”...................

Unfortunately, this guest made his reservation via telephone to my Property Manager while I was in Canada and he did not send me an email. I have since rectified this with my Property Manager to ensure ALL guests confirm with me with an email until construction is completed. Perhaps if he knew the pool and spa are not yet completed, and that was important to him, he would have changed his reservation.

If the pool and spa are not done, why stay? The 4 luxury suites face the sea and have a full front sliding glass door with hotel blackout curtains. When I treat myself to stay in one, I sleep with the doors wide open all night. I am on the "breeze side" which means no mosquitoes or sand fleas. The white sand beach is priceless. Depending on the time of year, the beach can have surfing waves excellent for belly boarding fun (available at Sea Star) or no waves at all which is perfect for floaties and swimming laps. My 3 little grandchildren have played in these same waves in months such as Feb, Apr, Jun, Oct, Dec. Each suite has A/C, Satellite, 32" Flat screen TV, DVD players, 3G internet sticks (purchased usage) ceiling fans, mini bar (stocked to client preference), coffee maker, kettle, with complimentary coffee and tea, hot water shower, complimentary shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, room safes, fuzzy robes, attendant light for anything at all.

The attendant lights have been in service for my guests since March, 2011 and I have not had to replace a bulb yet, until unfortunately this one instance. The other 3 are still going strong and we have incorporated a process to check the light on the side of the building prior to checkin to ensure this will not happen again.

The routine in the morning is: we ask you to flip on the attendant light when you awaken. The morning host will come down with 2 coconuts and straws and a platter of fruit. He will take your breakfast order. (The favorite is usually the Cinnamon French Toast made with fresh baked coconut bread). Breakfast will be specially prepared for you with fresh natural juice and brought to you as quickly as possible.

My staff is always willing to assist with arranging tours, scooter rentals, meals delivered in or meals to other restaurants, night club evenings out, evening beach bonfires, Rundown afternoons, hikes, fishing excursions, diving excursions, and countless stories to keep you in stitches. In fact, 99% of my guests have left feeling like they made friends and can’t wait to come back and visit. I have had several repeat guests, staying 2 and 3 times already, some for several weeks at a time.

I have several reviews on tripadvisor all great, but this one. I am saddened by the latest review; but, I believe in my staff and I stand behind them 100%. We are new, yes. Is it a learning process, yes. All you need to do is ask us and we try our very best to make it happen. Everything you see in the rooms are because some guest suggested “it would be nice”.

I would love for you to experience Sea Star for yourself and see how wrong this review is; but, if you decide to choose somewhere else, I wish you the best vacation on Corn Island and please stop by anytime for a tour. My staff loves to give tours to anyone that would like to see.

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Additional Information about Sea Star Spa

Address: | Long Bay Beach, South End, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Big Corn Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Big Corn Island
Price Range: £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A tranquil stretch of white sand has four luxury cabanas facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The cabanas are nestled in the lush tropical hillside, offering guests alluring hospitality. Welcome to ~Sea~Star~Spa~ Corn Island, Nicaragua.~Sea~Star~Spa~ property is located on a tropical paradise island that Nicaragua has done their best to keep as their special secret. No larger than ten square kilometers, Big Corn Island is lush with exotic fruit trees, coconut palms and surrounded by white sand beaches. The year-round 30 degree temperature makes this island the perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing and other water sports or just relaxing on the beach. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sea Star Spa Corn Islands, Nicaragua - Big Corn Island

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