We arrived at Aqua intending for this to be the peaceful and tranquil end to our two week vacation in Nicaragua. When we arrived, we were impressed with the layout of the resort and how the units are built into the hillside. I had requested a beach unit since I was aware of the many stairs and wanted to avoid the climb multiple times a day. About a week before we arrived, we received an email from our travel agent letting me know that Aqua was offering to upgrade us to a penthouse unit on the hill. When I asked WHY are they offering this, the travel agent did not respond to my question ( I don't know if he didn't ever ask?). I refused the upgrade since I wanted to be close to the beach. After a few minutes in our room, we heard a brawl/fight break out on the private beach with the most vulgar language shouted. Two young men in their 20's were in a fight. We quickly realized that we had stepped into a destination wedding in which we were one of the few guests at the resort who were not part of the wedding. They had a drunken bachelor party the night before, hence the day after, hungover, frat boy behavior. At first, my husband and I thought maybe it would be OK, but we quickly saw how the place was over-run with the wedding and the wedding guests who had taken over the bar, the restaurant, all the beach chairs, etc. By four in the afternoon, they were setting up their electric guitars, drums, amplifiers, microphones at the restaurant/bar and giant bonfire for the beach! I was like..uh...this is NOT what we expected or imagined for our peaceful "wellness" vacation. I went to management and told them I thought they had an obligation to inform us that there would be a destination wedding on the four days we were there. The management agreed that this was a problem between them and the reservation system (??), and asked us what we would like them to do. I asked that they compensate us for the night, that they refund us for the remainder of our pre-paid stay, and that we would like them to help us find an alternate resort of equal quality. The manager talked to our travel agent, and we were moved the next morning to Morgan's Rock. I also complained that we would be unable to have dinner in the restaurant since it was taken over by the rehearsal dinner party and band. The manager offered us a private meal on her deck at the manager's residence. It was lovely and far from the beach noise, but when we returned to our unit, even with the doors and windows closed, we could hear all the loud rock/reggae music and the walls were thumping. It was like being in the middle of a club. UGH. It all worked out very well in the end, because Morgan's Rock was lovely, we were the only ones there, the room was MUCH bigger and MUCH nicer, the beach was larger, the atmosphere more private, and the restaurant meals were included rather than the very expensive meals offered at Aqua. (We had lunch and dinner there on the day we stayed, and the total cost was about $100 for the food and 4 beers- the quality was good, the quantity was generous, but the price is high for Nicaragua). Although I appreciated that the management handled the situation, I would probably not return after comparing it to Morgan's Rock, which I think is overall a better value. I learned a lesson in this: ask if there is a destination wedding at a resort before you agree to go there. Oh, and I asked Morgan's Rock whether they have destination weddings, and they said they do, but they require that the wedding book all the rooms and they close the resort to anyone not included in the wedding. That seems like a reasonable policy, but at the very least, one should be informed of a wedding since the experience is totally different when you step into a noisy, private party. Some small details at Aqua we noticed: the safe in the room was difficult to use, lights were burnt out, and the room is very small. We also shared a deck with a penthouse unit that had a small pool, but the pool was not for our use. If our neighbors had kids splashing about in the pool, it would have definitely impinged on our privacy. The deck in our unit was so small, you could not fit two chairs and walk around them.
- Also Known As:
- Aqua Wellness Hotel
- Aqua Wellness Hotel Playa Gigante
- Aqua Wellness Resort Nicaragua/Playa Gigante
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a luxury eco-resort with a focus on wellness. The yoga platform overlooks our private beach in protected Redonda bay. Accommodations are well appointed luxury treetop villas built with a dramatic vantage over the bay, full kitchens, private plunge pools, teak + Balinese showers and wraparound decks. ... more less
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