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“Little Morgan runs an awesome, friendly, beautiful place.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Little Morgan's

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Little Morgan's
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Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
New Orleans, Louisiana
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Little Morgan runs an awesome, friendly, beautiful place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

We had a great time at Little Morgan's. The staff was very friendly and the grounds are beautiful and full of butterflies. There are also a pig, kitten, and a couple dogs around. We stayed on the bottom of what is essentially a 3-story treehouse, where the second floor has a hammock and the top floor has a beautiful view. The staff was friendly and attentive, and LIttle Morgan is a great guy who really cares about his guests. It's also a relatively easy bike ride to Ojo de Agua.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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138 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boquete, Panama
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

Little Morgan's is a fun hostel with a lot of charm. It's located right on the lake with a great view of both the volcanoes. There's plenty of stuff to do in the vicinity of the hostel, and the friendly staff will happily help you out.

Their menu is a bit pricey, but the dinner special they do every night is really tasty and pretty big. A really nice hostel, just remember to bring plenty of cash, as nothing around accepts card.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 2 nights based on recommendations from people met on my travels. We wanted to climb volcano de conception and stay somewhere we could have a bit of a drink also. The staff were very friendly and took care of all our needs, like making fresh coffee for us at 4.45am before our trek.

Rooms were basic and there's lots of bugs but that's to be expected when you're staying in the forest! Great area for chilling and watching the sunset onthe treehouse dorm.

Word of advice: the power rum challenge is serious business! There's 4 shots per drink and the mixer is like rocket fuel!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

As a solo traveler and more an observer than an all-out participator, it took me a bit to get into the swing of things at Little Morgan's: but after that, everything was pretty good. I arrived fully aware of the rustic and party-hostel reputation of LM. The former I found to be overstated; if you've ever gone camping in your life and not hated it, you'll be quite at home. As for the latter - I stayed up drinking the three nights I was there, but not nearly as late as a lot of people did, and certainly did not feel obligated to stay up til 4am. I wouldn't recommend the dorms right above the bar if night-sleep is what you're into, but the casita I was assigned was farthest from the bar (toward the road) and you'd have no idea there was a party going on from there. I have a really hard time sleeping in general, so it was really nice laying on the hammock on the casita's front porch at 6am watching the morning rain come down.

During the day, the friendly young staff was more than happy to arrange any activities guests were interested in (so if anyone tells you that you can't go to LM's and also go hiking or rent a motorcycle, they're lying) and really seemed as though they wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. Morgan was awesome and full of stories and information, and Little Morgan himself may well be one of the coolest kids you meet on your trip. You won't be able to cook for yourself, and the menu might be a wee bit pricey compared to other places in Nicaragua (but nothing compared to, say, SJDS or Granada) but I still managed to come out under budget. Also, if you're willing to break the backpacker budget for a night, I reeeeeally recommend going up to El Zopilote for their pizza night. So good.

I mentioned that I had stayed at Little Morgan's to quite a few people on the road who were heading south, and many responded with, "Oh, that's the party hostel, right?" which I found to be a bit unfair. It's one of those places that can be whatever you expect it to be. If you're the type who enjoys a sprint of relaxation and socialization in the jungle from time to time, you'll probably have a great time. My stay at Little Morgan's was brief but memorable; who knows if I'll ever go back down the Nicaragua way, but I'll be sure to recommend it to anyone else heading that direction.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Not into looooong detailed review? Skip most of the reading and check out PROS-CONS-ADVICES & RECOMMENDATIONS at the bottom ;)

Overly fussy? I would suggest to go somewhere else than Little Morgan’s as you might not appreciate the beauty, serenity and the pleasures this iconic place has to offer and deprive somebody from the opportunity to stay there as they receive guests on a first come basis. This also goes for people hysteric at the sight of spiders as you might see one or a few (none are menacing or dangerous > they are harmless). I still would recommend to stop in the evening for drinks to check out what you are missing on.

If you are reading about Little Morgan’s on TripAdvisor, its probably because you’ve heard about this place from word of mouth and/or read about it in a guide book or blog and with reasons.... You are in for an unique experience, a ‘must’ on the backpacker trail or vacationer alike. Get to Rivas and/or take a taxi to the port San Jorge, get on a ferry (40-60 cordobas) then ideally pair up with other travelers and haggle for a taxi direction Santa Cruz (deal it at 20$ or less) or take the not so frequent and slower bus (15-20 cordobas). Expect a 30 to 40 min cab ride from Moyogalpa port or less if arriving from San Jose. The ‘lakeside resort’ is remote in a adequate way and you will be walking distance for climbing the Volcano Maderas, from Santo Domingo beach and a bike or horse ride or even a walk away from Ojo de Agua (swimmings pools fed by a fresh water source). You can not leave the island without at least getting to the mirador of Volcano Maderas if a full hike is not for you.

After 9 months traveling from Mexico to Panama as a female traveler in her thirties, going to Ometepe was magic and my stay and whole experience at Little Morgan’s is definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far. Love at first sight. I thought i would stay only 2-3 nights but i left the island after 3 weeks only because i had to.... It was in a way vacations from traveling...

While i admit i chose this specific “hostel” knowing, after several recommendations, i could have lots of fun there, especially at night, it would be a mistake to simply qualify it as a “party hostel”. The land is strategically located and designed as to offer privacy and easy access to the lake with stunning views of the Volcano Concepción, the beach and of course Lake Nicaragua. The setting is simply gorgeous, the vegetation, trees, flowers... If you go in the rainy season, you will not only see the scenery changing every day but hopefully will have the chance to marvel at night at the spectacular light show in the sky and all around courtesy of rain storms. The numerous travelers awaking prior/at 7am to climb one of the volcanoes mean not everybody is there to simply party while some others might even prefer to make the climb at night especially for Concepción. At time, i felt i was alone on earth but always overall at peace admiring the landscape and connecting with nature.. I meditated almost everyday at different spot and never got disturbed. I spent countless time in the numerous hammocks (near the dorms, my casita or at the communal area aka restaurant/bar) relaxing or reading and also by the lake for a swim or reflecting on life and my travels. Be careful when entering the lake as it is rocky for the first few meters then you can swim away. You could also climb to the mirador of the treehouse type dorm for the sunset or an incredible view of the volcano. The ambience is so relax when sitting in the resto/bar. I have not only laughed on and on but also had numerous deep - profound - at times life changing - one on one discussions with travelers, the crew, expats and locals whom all made my overall experience at Little Morgan’s unforgettable. Or i would take my morning coffee at one of the tables with partial view of the lake and simply be grateful to be there.

Don’t be surprised if you see plastic dinosaurs or plasticine on one of these tables...
The place is named after the irish owner 6 years old son’s : Morgan...better known as Morgancito or Little Morgan’s as both his dad and grand father are called Morgan. If you are there on the weekend, you should have a chance to meet him. Such a cool & brilliant kid. I miss playing with my nephews and friends children so i quite enjoyed having him around....

If you do like to have fun, don’t even question where to stay in Ometepe - go to Little Morgan’s. On arrival, you will be greeted by the friendless and probably the coolest crew you will meet on your trip. Speak with them about ‘your needs’... Drinks are gigantic and efficient. Try the Power Rum. They offer 3 format of beers, bottles of wine, rum but unfortunately for me the vodka in Nica left to be desired. They also have 2 drinking challenges. One of them is free after a 4 nights stay. I have tried but never finished it. I’m getting too old for these games ;) At last, it seems i behaved.. Once you reach ‘Essential Energy”, you are in for some surprises.

There is a pool table... and louder music at night. Bring your ipod and ask if you can play your own playlist. The overall vibe is super-friendly, relax and make it so easy to connect with travelers from around the world. Obviously, the atmosphere changed each day-night accordingly to the guests but Little Morgan’s crew would always make up for it.

In the afternoon, they usually would play movies on the TV screen and/or some reality shows or sports.

I truly wish i could have stayed longer. It was so hard to leave. It felt like home from the very first minute...

.ACCOMMODATION

I stayed in a dorm and in my own little very stylish & private house aka ‘casita’. The mixed dormitories are unique with a treehouse design and fit the overall lake-side jungle resort vibe.

Both the dorms and casitas come with a table where you can hang out with friends, some chairs and hammock(s) to relax on a nice porch. All the furnitures is custom-made.

Big lockers for your backpack and valuables in the dormitories. I first wondered if the dorms would get hot at night without fans, but it was quite airy when i slept there. Don’t forget to check out the view from the mirador...

Unless on a tight budget, if you are more than two traveling together, i would get a casita but the dorms concepts are quite cool even if somewhat more cramped. Do ask to see all the casitas available before making up your mind.

Huge wood cabinet with lock in the casita. Shelves. Side bed table. Hooks & pole in the bathroom. Towels. 4 large windows to allow more natural light to get in.. And with the breeze, it’s definitely less hot inside then outside if you choose to take a siesta in your bed in the afternoon. You can also put a lock on the outside door of the casita. I chose not to and had no security issues but its at your discretion. I think you could borrow padlocks... if needed.

.NOISE

If you worry about the music at night, simply chose the more remote dormitories/casitas and avoid the last option available, the dorm above the bar. I had no problem sleeping the nights i chose to go to bed earlier except one but i was sick with a persistent cough and my casita was the nearest from the bar.

.BEDS

Dorm & Casita: Comfy, clean sheets under a well designed mosquito net in a rectangular format - not the claustrophobic kind, okay pillows.

I have noticed at least one double bed in a dorm. I had a double and a simple bed in my casita with a powerful fan. I believe there are different other configurations as well.

.SHOWERS

After so many hostels with tiny and sometimes filthy bathrooms, both the dorms and casita extremely spacious & cleaned showers were heaven. Excellent water pressure.. but no surprise here no hot water. 2 (or 3??) toilets cabins near the resto/bar and also a lavabo and a shower near the most remote dorm if i’m not mistaking.

.FOOD

No access to the kitchen as it is for the restaurant/bar.

Free coffee. Breakfast is not included but some great & healthy selection as per my taste.

At the beginning of my stay, they were no food available in the afternoon but this changed after the arrival of Kathi who prepares yummy lunch options.

Dinner is kind of a family dinner type. The menu of the day is written on a board (including a vegetarian option) and you simply write your name if you want it or else there are few other options always available like burgers or salad. Dinner time is not constant but time flies anyway in such great company... Quite a big plate for me alone - i would have always shared it if traveling with another girl. I ate there most nights and only the spaghetti bolognese was disappointing and should be renamed in my opinion.

Snacks, well, they are lacking of options, only crackers, hopefully this will change... Stock up somewhere else. There is a little store at the intersection of the roads on the right side.

Water > you can drink the tap water-no problem. Ask the staff to give and fill you a glass or you bottle.

Make yourself a favor and eat at Cafe Campestre in Balgue either lunch or dinner - try the chicken curry or home made, fresh of the day, pasta, most ingredients are from organic products (20-25 min walk on the left side or the staff sometimes organize a shuttle to get there) and at Maria’s comedor (3-4 min walk on your right once at the road)... cheap excellent food (open from 6am to 8pm). There are also pizza nights at El Zopilote, expectations were high with the impressive brick oven but the way too salty cheese ruined it for me.

.TRANSPORT

Shuttle taxi: Staff will arrange this for you. Request ideally the day-night prior your departure. I used it to get to Moyogalpa and paid 4$ (originally asked for 5$). Note: the shuttle was full.

Bike: if you are ok to walk few min, i would say to rent a bike from one of the several locals offering rental as its a bit cheaper. Otherwise still cheap at 6$/day or 1.50$/hour.

Motorcycle: I never regretted as much not having my driver permit. For 25$ or 30$ (15$ per pers if you are 2), you can rent one for the whole day. Best way to discover the island and i heard it is recommend to get to the waterfall....

Horses: 6$/hour. You can ride on your own, or go with a guide and ride along the beach to get to Ojo de Agua per example to spend the afternoon and have the guide bring them back so you don’t pay a whole afternoon rental and use another transport mode to come back.

Local Buses: They are not frequent, ask the crew for the schedule, but with the right timing are money saver.

I took 2 of them. One from Altagracia to get back to Little’s Morgan. There are buses going to 2 different directions. If you take the one to Balgue, ask to be dropped in front of the hostel. If you take the one going to Merida/San Ramon, get out at the intersection where the roads to Merida/San Ramon and the road to Santa Cruz/Balgue meet.

I took another bus, this time from Altagracia to Moyogalpa. I was out of luck, i went to the ATM and it was out of money after the withdraw of a fellow traveler so i had to head to Moyogalpa which is further away. No complaints, it allowed me to connect with locals for 15 cordobas i think...

Ferries: Ask the crew for the schedule

.GUIDE

I recommend hiring, Alexis, the reliable and friendly local guide connected to the hostel. The hostel don’t take commission so you will pay him directly. He speaks great English, was informative, have a great sense of humor and was quite patient with me. He even landed me boots and refused that i cleaned them. The “tour” are cheap. . I was lucky to have him all to myself...

You can also go fishing for 3hrs with one of the younger local guy on a boat then you will have the possibility to cook your catch on an outdoor grill.

.THE CREW

At the time of writing, there were an Australian couple (Annette & Jack), the beautiful ladies: Kathi (German) & MJ (also from Australia i think) and Charlie (UK) with his constant smile -
all of them working on rotation. I admit sometimes it was confusing to figure out who is working and who’s not when they are all sitting and hanging with the guests but stand at the counter or ask any of them what you need and you will be put in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong... it is fabulous to have them hanging with us... This place would have not been the same without such a cool crew.

They ARE the most friendliest and down-to-earth staff i have got to meet, very informative and always ready to help unless you expect them to predict what kind of weather it will be the next day ;). People watching is a fav hobby of mine and i would see them going from table to table, drink, chat and play game and ensure no one is left alone. At least one of them participated to each drinking challenges. They will also often hang out with guests on their days off and tag along with you to go to Ojo de Agua or try a restaurant.

The least you can say about the owner Morgan is that he’s quite a character and a charming, friendly host who also knows how to have fun. I personally just liked all the irish i have met on my trip so far and Morgan is not an exception. Based on numerous discussions with locals, staff, expats and my own experience, he’s an overall good good goooood person, truly appreciated by the majority. He made this little paradise possible (from scratch) and make sure to help the community. If you have the occasion to party with him, i bet he will show you some “self-defense techniques” and share some incredible stories.

The local security guys at night were very nice and discrete. They would watch over you if ever you couldn’t make it to your bed and finally opted to stay in one of the hammock for the night.

They were expanding-adding a section to the bar/restaurant when i was there and the local workers were all very smiley & polite. I got to practice my limited Spanish and them their English at a few occasions.

I should also mention Raul, a local artisan who comes at night to sell beautiful hand-made fairly priced jewels.

.PETS

There is 2 dogs (puppies). Cody is the black one, and the sweetest dog i’ve ever met. We became great friends and he would quite often escort me on my night and morning walks.
And Danger Mouse, a newly arrived puppy, you will absolutely want to cuddle her.
There is also a cat who shows up sometime at meal time and to get affection...

.NOTHING IS PERFECT

There were at time lots of mosquitos & sand flies. LOTS in capital letters. It seems to vary a lot with the weather & seasons and this is not under the control of Little Morgan’s staff. Bring insect repellent. I dislike this stuff so was not wearing any and only got bitten in the 3rd week. There were also several short power outage all over Ometepe. Nothing too annoying as the hostel has a generator. Finally, you can not rely on the wifi. It might work or not.

.PAYMENT

They accept cordobas and USD. Ensure to bring enough cash. There are ATMs in Altagracia or Moyogalpa if you run out. They work on a tab system which i find practical. Food is a little pricey for Nica but portions are very generous and having all under the same roof makes it up for it.

*PROS

- They serve bacon ;) (comfort food i missed from home)
- Excellent Location (Secluded but walking distance Volcano Maderas, Santo Domingo Beach, Ojo de Agua, Walks to Petroglyphs)
- A billion dollar view
- Easy access to the lake to swim
- Stylish Unique Accommodations (Dorm or Casitas), Restaurant and bar on the same propriety
- Very spacious and clean showers with pressure
- Great laid-back atmosphere > easy to meet other travelers
- Friendly, down-to-earth and helpful staff
- If you want to have fun & party at night > you can & will
- If you want to rest, relax or wake up early to do tours > you can
- No commission and easy access to tours & rentals (motorcycle, horses, bike)
- Drinks are huge & efficient
- Tasty food w. vegetarian option - family type dinner
- Tap Water is potable
- Well designed Mosquito Net
- Table Pool
- Music at night
- Movies on TV in afternoon
- Lockers
- Security guard at night


*CONS

- Unreliable WIFI
- No access to kitchen/Breakfast not included
- Mosquitos (They don’t bite but at time, there is a lot at times)
- Limited local transport


*ADVICES & RECOMMENDATIONS

- Don’t hurry
- Bring all the cash you need (Cordobas or USD)
- Be prepared for mosquitos if its the time for an invasion and accept the situation. Be ready to see spiders and possibly scorpio (i haven’t seen one in 3 weeks but never know). I was NOT wearing insect repellent and was only bitten a few times in the 3rd week...
- Chose one of the more remote accommodation if you worry about noise at night time
- Hire Alexis as a guide and climb the Maderas volcano or at least climb to the mirador (must-do), you won’t regret it
- Rent a motorcycle (must-do) to visit the island or head to the waterfall
- Rent horse, bike or walk and spend an afternoon at Ojo de Agua
- Walk to the beach - Santo Domingo
- Try the food at Maria (see food section above)
- Try the food at Cafe Campestre (see food section above)
- Open up, schedule some relaxation time and have fun.
- You might have a hard time to leave, be flexible

Room Tip: Worried about noise? Choose more remote accommodation
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I didn't stay there, however, I spent 4-5 nights in a row there, and the atmosphere was great, and everyone else who was staying there really liked it, too. The food was delicious, the people who work there are really friendly, and they play great music at night. Also, the location is good. It is between Balgue and Playa Santo Domingo, and it is located between the two volcanoes on the island, Concepcioin and Maderas, both of which you can climb with a guide.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Had a great time at Little Morgan's. The first private room we were in was a bit blah but we moved to an awesome little hobbit hut. The dorms and bar area are super cool, hand built and feel like you're in a treehouse. Good family meal every night, great owner and people working there, walking distance to the beach and a little rocky area on the water at the property. Pool table too! Internet was down which was a bummer but there was a place up the road we went to. No reservations so kinda hit or miss but highly recommended! Xmas party was super fun :)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Little Morgan's

Address: Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Little Morgan's is a beautiful place on the lake. With a range of accommodation options from private casitas to dormitories it can accommodate any kind of traveller. The unique natural style of the buildings makes this place feel like an island paradise. A bar and restaurant with pool table is open until late with great food and fun times. The mirador is an amazing place to relax and watch the sunset over the volcanoes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Little Morgan`s Hotel Santa Cruz
Little Morgan's Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua - Santa Cruz

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