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“Not pleasant”
Review of Derek's Place

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Derek's Place
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not pleasant”
Reviewed 3 July 2013

We immediately felt misled by all the positive reviews upon arrival. We'd read a lot about Little Corn and excitedly booked the two story house (which is really a one story house with a sweltering attic where people hit their heads on the low ceilings and lie in their beds awake) at Derek's place for a few nights. The walk is as advertised—a long way from most of what's on the island. The little beach there is nice. But basically nothing else was as the other reviews suggested. Maybe this place is good for diving? We heard it had the least expensive dive set-up on the island. We didn't stay to find out.

Anyway, to flesh out our experience: When we arrived, Anna hurriedly showed us the house, the lengthiest part of our welcome being a demonstration of the tedious door-barring security system and an admonition to hide our valuables, because otherwise someone would see them and break in and steal them. She also told us to open the upstairs windows, which would help with the bugs at night. Additionally, she told us that many of the lights were out, but she'd send Derek back to fix them (why this hadn't been done before we arrived was a mystery.) We unpacked and waited for the communal dinner at eight, since we didn't want to hike back to town in the dark and we were tired from the day of traveling. Derek eventually came by and fixed some but not all of the lights. We took "showers"—which involved scooping harvested rainwater from a bucket over our heads with a bowl.

At about 7:30 we went over to the "living room," which is a covered area by the kitchen. Derek was on his computer. His parents were visiting, on their computer and reading. His brother was there, too, sleeping in a hammock. We had brought books with us but expected some kind of greeting, or invitation to have some water or buy a beer, or anything in the way of salutation. No such thing was forthcoming. Eventually we just sat down and read. After a little while I stood up and asked Anna about water. She pointed to a cooler in the corner. Then I asked about other drinks. She explained how all that worked as if the question were an annoyance.

The communal dinner was awkward and far too expensively priced for what it was. We retreated to our accommodations and suffered, sweating on the old spring-loaded bed, bugs swirling around our inadequate mosquito net set-up for a number of fitful hours. We made it through just one night before having a difficult conversation with Anna about our unpleasant experience, at the conclusion of which she required us to pay for all three nights although we were only going to stay for one—my wife had made up her mind that we would leave the island if Derek's was the only place available to stay.

In any case, I'm not inclined to write negative reviews, but based on our night's experience, I really couldn't recommend this place to anyone. Your money will be better and more pleasantly spent at Little Corn Beach and Bungalow or Casa Iguana, in my opinion.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank Ybanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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144 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I found Derek's place on the Internet and booked my wife and I for a long weekend stay. We were met at the dock by this very talkative young man with a wheelbarrow. We loaded our bags and off we went.... There are no vehicles on Little corn, which is a blessing, so what we were told was a 15 min walk to the hotel turned out to be more like 30. I was a little upset at first when our 15 min stretched into a lovely walk across this beautiful island. Arriving at what a appears a first look to be a assortment of little shacks, turned out to be cosy Robinson Crusoe's style huts, made with local and recycled materials;walls made from rum bottles. Reception by Derek was friendly and very casual, a welcome change from other dive outfits I stayed in the past. Food was ok for the first day or 2, but one tended to wonder off to the village to seek a wider variety of vittles...
I came for diving my wife snorkeling which was ok not great at least the places I went to. Shallow dives and I was often with a dive class. Lots of fishes and so so coral...
Final recommendation....I would go back at the drop of a dime anytime....

Room Tip: All cottages have beautiful oceans views .....no ac just mother soothing sound of the waves...what m...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MogioMakassar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2013

We stayed at Derek's for 6 nights with our toddler and loved it. It is the most magical location on the island and felt like a very unusual and special spot with beautiful beaches on either side.
The huts are gorgeous and comfortable (but not at all fancy - no hot showers - but this is pretty standard). Derek and Ana were welcoming and helpful - and the communal meals were relaxed and interesting - most of the guests were working for NGOs in Nicaragua and so had tales to tell.
There were a couple of downsides....it is pretty pricey - the food is more expensive than many of the other restaurants on the island and can be a bit hit or miss. Some of the meals were excellent (coconut shrimp pasta especially) and there was always a huge delicious salad, but others were pretty average, which rankles a bit when you are paying $8-15. If you're an early riser coffee/breakfast doesn't start until 8, which felt like a bit of a wait.
And the other thing I would say is bring earplugs! The roosters get going around 3.30/4am and if you're a light sleeper its a bit of a pain.
But overall we loved it and would highly recommend it. We visited most of the other places to stay on the island and felt this was the most original and special place to stay and we were really pleased we had chosen Derek's.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LauraIoloWil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2013

This was the best place we stayed on our trip to Nicaragua. We were in Nicaragua for an adventure and we found it in this property. The grounds are the most beautiful on the island and the beach is the cleanest and nicest. There are coral reef formations 10 meters from the beach where you can do some great snorkeling. We saw a lot of fish, stingrays and even a turtle. We stayed in a bottle house over to the side of the property that was comfortable and quiet (except for the roosters that start singing at 3am, bring earplugs and you'll be able to sleep through it). The beds are firm but comfortable and the ocean breeze keeps you relaxed and cool at night. I slept very well here. The huts can definitely be considered "roughing it" but we had a bathroom and shower (the shower is a refillable tub from which you scoop water onto your body, it worked great and was open air which added to it's charm). The huts have decks out front with seating and a hammock. We sat for hours at night staring up at the stars (the stars are unbelievably beautiful). You need a flashlight if you want to around at night. Derek's has some solar lights around the property, but if you want to stroll to the beach in the evening or go to town it is pitch black. Dinner was ok, but breakfast was great. Fresh eggs, bread and fruit and DELICIOUS coffee. The best coffee of our trip. Anna is really nice but clear and honest about the realities of the island, safety and the rustic nature of the accommodations. We liked her a lot. Derek is mellow and makes you feel at home. The prices are good, but they aren't correctly posted on Tripadvisor or anywhere except for Derek's official website so go there for the correct information. Just stay here. It's the best.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelandCoffee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

Hi, after lots of time looking at where to stay I picked here and I am gutted I didn't get to stay. I was on Ometepe when I heard my dad was going downhill fast and had to leg it back to the Uk. It took me two days and he died the day after I returned. As you can imagine this was expensive and I had to cancel 10 days of accommodation including Derek's. They said they would refund if they could re-let the cabana. I was not hopeful at all....I mean it's there livelihood and even if someone had taken it, I wouldn't know and they would have got double. But they refunded me! I had to come on here and say a heartfelt Thankyou.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Clem A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2013

If you can stomach the ride over to Little Corn then you know once you arrive that it's the real deal. We made a mistake in our planning of what day we were to arrive. I would recommend you arrange a guide to take you or have Derek's people meet you at the ferry drop off. The first trip over can be daunting for first timers. Its a hike over to the other side but once you arrive the ocean Breeze will find you. So many positives about this place it's hard to knock it. The cabins built with care and concern in a great setting. Having the only dive shack on this side of the island right at your doorstep was a plus for me as i had some of my best diving of the trip. The wind was strong and constant during our stay but once we accepted that, it was actually a blessing. We decided on Derek's after the reviews and pic's on T.A. So we knew what to expect with the meals/concept. A nice way to enjoy other's company and was good for us as it forced us to be social with others which is sometimes difficult when travelling and sticking to yourselves. The quality of food/meals was the only area of disappointment for us, but really didnt bother us as we wanted to check out what others had to offer. Carlito's fried chicken came recommended and just down the beach a spell we found it to be very tasty. Derek and his people were a true joy and they have built themselves a beautiful piece of authentic paradise. I cant imagine it staying a secret for long as developments on the island i am sure will change this place. So hurry and get it in. some vids and pic's can be found. scuba: http://youtu.be/YtOLjmIDv_I
Nica slideshow: http://youtu.be/f3bHO-95vCc

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank kitch1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We stayed 4 days at Rincon Casita and loved Derek's place.....the location, the snorkeling, the breezes, and beach. The food was plentiful and good, and sitting family style with Anna and Derek's guests was nice for different conversations, but for variety we did have to do the walk into town, or to Peace Love farm around the pennisula, but the walk back in the dark was even cooler with the noturnal crabs, fireflies and other critters coming out. As others have stated--a very Robinson Crusoe feeling being off the beaten path....the early morning wake up call from the roosters and dogs (4:30 am) got a little old, since we couldn't make our own coffee until the kitchen started serving ~7:30.

All in all, just the kind of stay we were looking for, but definitely not for everyone. Stay at Derek's if you want the rustic/authentic feel of Nica, and the best area of the island.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FrugalFisherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Derek's Place

Property: Derek's Place
Address: 54214, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Little Corn Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly eco-oriented hotel. Solar panels and windmills. Right on the beach, 15 minute walk through the beautiful tropical foliage. For those seeking quiet and tranquility at an affordable price. Welcome, one and all! Snorkeling, restaurant with wood-fire oven baked food, and nearby horse-back riding. Have a good day and a wonderful stay! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Derek`s Place Hotel Little Corn Island
Derek's Place Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

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