From the moment I switched my search from Costa Rica to Nicaragua I knew I was on the right path, the path that led me to Orquidea del Sur.
I was looking for a place where I could take my managers and thank them for there efforts, bond as a team, and gain some insight and direction of our growing company. We got all of that and more.
Robert worked with me in the months leading up to our time there to plan activities, make suggestions on training and team bonding activities. It was really perfect, and so easy as he acted as our personal concierge in arranging things on a local level.
Here are things that were planned for us by Robert
Day 1 - Relax and get settled (the massages he arranged in the afternoon were awesome and pricing is very attractive). That night a trip to town with the escort of Luis and Harald which made us feel secure. The politely waited with the trucks until we were done and brought us safely home.
Day 2 - Quading (which includes a side trip to race up and down the sand beach) together with a stop to zip line in the middle of the day, was the perfect way to start the trip.
Day 3 - In-service with training exercises that Robert facilitated helped lay the foundation and provided insight into how we operate as a company. That afternoon was the playoff game so Bob set us up in his personal space so we wouldn't miss the game. We had expressed interest in Nica style food and that night it was arranged for us to go to Rancho Tere for a Nica Style feast - It didn't disappoint. I highly recommend it over any place in town that we ate the entire trip. YUM, be sure to order the quesadillas (they are more like empanadas, but delicious non the less)
Day 4 - Ometepe trip. Robert arranged for everything from breakfast sandwiches and coffee for the road, transportation and guiding, lunch on the island with supper waiting when we got home. I would recommend this as an overnight trip in hindsight as it is a very big time commitment to travel there and back (the ferry ride alone is almost 2 hours each way). We saw a museum, stopped at a mineral spring, and went to a preserve.
Day 5 - Robert arranged for Luis and Harald to take us to the Rivas Market to gather ingredients, which included a special trip to a farm when we couldn't find what we wanted at market, then finishing at the fish market before we headed back to the house to start preparing our feast. When we arrived we were greeted by Sara and her team at the ready to assist, clean, and give pointers on local ingredients. They also did all the dishes....while we were driven to the preserve a few miles down south to watch the baby turtles come out of the sand and swim towards the ocean by moonlight. Truly a zen moment
Day 7 - Robert led us in an exercise that saw us write our company mission statement. His insight and direction where key in helping us obtain our goal.
Day 8 - Sailing!! Bob presented us with two options - the catamaran or a traditional sail boat. We made the right choice going for the all day trip with Kenny and the crew on the Catamaran. The day ended perfectly with the sun setting as we were about to enter the harbor. Luis and Harald to use to Pelican Eyes for a drink (that's all we had because prices were high and service was low), but they took us to a hole in the wall with killer food that was $5US for a delicious plate of food and 2 beers (I love Nica Style).
Day 9 - Chill day, with surfing lessons at Hermosa Beach and later massages again. For the evening we had a traditional feast and Bob and Joanne arranged for local musicians and dancers to come in and set us up outside on the deck for dinner and a show.
Day 10 - Luis personally drove one of our group that had to depart early to Managua while the rest of us went to Chilamate Ranch to ride horses. We were rewarded with a spectacular sunset ride on the beach. We had to rearrange our desired itinerary to get the sunset ride as it is tide dependent but well worth it to be able gallop through the surf at sunset.
With the exception of quading and the sailboat all other items were rolled into our final bill with prices not changing from original quotes, and no additional "fees".
And when we weren't on an activity we were chillin in the awesome infinity pool waiting for the sunset.
Rooms are very clean, spacious, very comfortable, and well appointed. Which is perfect for sleeping (since that's all I really used it for). Wifi is strong throughout the house and property.
I have not directly talked about the service or the food, because I wanted to save the best for last. We as a company operate restaurants and catering operations and essentially provide food and service for our livelihood. I believe this qualifies us on knowing what great is and the ability to pick up on the finer points of service.
Since Service is defined as "An act or a variety of work done for the benefit of others" - then every person that works for or is associated with Orquidea del Sur has its definition nailed. They really do get it.
Junior at the bar had a way of showing up just as you finished your drink, and patiently waited into the wee hours of the morning til the last person went to bed. Rooms were cleaned daily without you even noticing, coffee is waiting outside your door when you wake up, and everyone is always busy doing something to keep the place immaculate.
Changes to plans and special requests where met with "no problem", "let me take care of that for you".
And the food....So three of us are chefs and at every turn the food was top notch. They quickly learned specific likes and dislikes and made adjustments along the way. Sara does and excellent job in the kitchen. The ribs were awesome, so were the shrimp (more like lobsters), and fried rice. One morning some of us had a little travel bug and voila, chicken soup and lite salad was offered for lunch.
It really was the little things that showed through, the effort they put forth on the details and a genuine sense of caring about our enjoying our experience that set them apart from other places we have traveled.
The AQUA TERRA Culinary team sends a great heartfelt thank you to the entire Bob, Joanne, Sara, Luis (you are the Man!), Harald, Junior, Gabrielle, Julio, Cesar, Eddie and the entire Orquidea team for taking such good care of us. We look forward to coming back.
Oh, and hi to Alejandra (Go Niners!), and Chili, Chiquita, and the Gato
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Orquidea Del Sur, a casually elegant tropical boutique B&B for the discriminating traveler, has 5 well appointed suites (kitchenette, hot running water, air conditioners and fans), each with a porch and spectacular view of the Pacific shores of Playa Yankee, a premier surfing beach. Immaculate gardens flow around, two infinity pools, connecting waterfall, rancho, conversation fire pit, and the main house’s conversation lounge, dining, billiard, and library areas. An incredible collection of venues to relax and enjoy, in the ambiance of your own tranquil and secure resort, the perfect mix of sun, sea and sky that will encourage you to sit back, enjoy, and create the experience of a lifetime. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Orquidea Del Sur Hotel Playa Yankee
- Orquidea Del Sur Nicaragua/Playa Yankee