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“Good scenery, but depressing inhospitable staff”
Review of Derek's Place

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Derek's Place
Reviewed 9 August 2013

The place looks very pretty and I don't want to take away from that, but the reviews on this site are very misleading.

The hotel is run by Ana and Derek, and you will eat with them at their table for most meals (place is secluded). Which would be fine, except for the fact that they are extremely negative, very angry depressed people. Seclusion they have, but you can tell they are not happy. Ana gets angry at pretty much everything anybody does. She's a very bad communicator, expects you to obey her rules, even though she doesn't tell you what any of them are. She is clearly very depressed and angry, and it's sad, but also not good to watch her take it all out on her family and her guests by belittling everyone and giving angry stares. The negative energy is infectious and always palpable when she is around. It usually revolves around money etc...they are the kind of hippies that act like they are very chill and laid back but are very uptight when it comes to money and will treat guests very poorly if they are not getting every last dime from them (tours, boat rides, laundry, prcey meals)

Keep in Mind, this is all VERY important because you are basically living with them and there is no other communal space other than their living room (the cabanas are tiny). They make you feel like you are intruding on their personal space when you eat meals with them, even though you are paying for the meals and they are incredibly overpriced for the region (although the meals were tasty). Derek is a good cook, and probably a better person than Ana, but he has clearly spent too much time around her negative energy. He acts like he's your daddy at the dinner table which is very awkward.

Steve was a breath of fresh air, he is more positive, and actually tries to talk to guests and make them feel comfortable.

p.s. - if you fail to heed this warning, well, so be it...

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Joe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 July 2013

Loved loved loved this place. Been telling all my friends about it. Costa Rica and Panama have their perks but Nicaragua is a gem and this place might be the best one. A truly rustic, low key and unique destination. We slept well, and ate well. How can you beat fresh fish caught right off the coast of the island. The bugs are not an issue about 90% of be time because of the constant ocean breeze. My expectation for the diving accommodations were exceeded, they had better equipment than anyone else I have dived with in the Caribbean, the night dive was stunning! Derek an his wife made us feel like family.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank Natalie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2013

When you leave Derek's place, you'll feel like you're leaving home. It's absolutely the place to stay if you're really looking to enjoy the island in its natural form.

My boyfriend and I stayed here for one week, and both agreed that we were so glad we hadn't stayed in the touristy feeling places like beach & bungalow. There's something hypnotic about the grounds...bouncy grass, chickens milling about, local kids playing by the ocean, complete seclusion from the rest of the island, and a strong sense of community among the guests who stayed there -- something I thought I wouldn't like, but actually came to love. Come to think of it, most of the things I thought I wouldn't like about the place, were actually the things that made the experience so special. The showers are buckets, from which you pour bowls of water on yourself, an after-beach ritual that made my showers at home seem rather overdone, to be honest. The wind was strong, but unnoticeable After two days on the island, and a blessing at night to ward off the heat and Mosquitos. The family dinners were delicious, and though I thought this would be obnoxious to have to eat with other guests, it actually inspired a lot of human moments between people who would have otherwise remained strangers. The trek to town, which we did just about every day, can be done either by beach or jungle, and came to be a great reason to explore the island and take in the scenes around you. The walk at night seems long and a little scary (crabs, spiders, rogue jungle chickens), but became somewhat of an adventure, especially after a few shots of rum in town. The occasional roach in the cabin became just another moment in which to relish the realities of island life. Ana and Derek are great people who have crafted a life for themselves and their children on a tiny island. They take a few days to get to know, but once you do, you realize that your experience at Derek's place is a direct result of their genuine desire to share their little piece of home with their guests.

Walk twenty minutes on the beach, and you'll be in town. Walk five minutes the other way, and you'll be on the best white sand beaches the island has to offer. Bring a flashlight, bugspray, sunscreen, flip flops, and a bathing suit. You won't need anything else.

What I appreciated most was the fact that they left so much of the place undone. That is to say, they didn't try to force the place to be something that would appeal to your average American tourist, instead they made it comfortable, but let the island's beauty steal the show. Our experience there was magical, relaxing, and truly special. I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who is looking to really get away from it all.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
7  Thank Melanie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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9  Thank Ybanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank MogioMakassar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank LauraIoloWil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank TravelandCoffee
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

Address: 54214, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Little Corn Island
Price Range: £8 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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