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“Absolutely Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aqua Wellness Resort

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Aqua Wellness Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Redonda Bay, Playa Gigante, Nicaragua   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Gigante
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Absolutely Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I was a little nervous about our stay at the resort after reading some of the reviews on here. We got a great deal on jetsetter, so I was hoping it would just be decent for our 4 night stay. It far exceeded all of our expectations.Our villa was spotless and very comfortable. We did not see any bugs in our villa during our stay. It was a hike to the beach and restaurant but was not that bad. The food was outstanding-especially the pizza on pizza night. My other favorite dish was the house salad, everything was fresh and delicious. The staff was friendly and helpful and our tour guide on the zip lining tour was great. The beach was beautiful and very relaxing. Overall a great trip!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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272 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    164
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    29
    5
    10
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My husband and I recently visited Aqua where we staying in a luxury tree house. The staff, the surroundings, the accommodations, the food and drink quality, the yoga instruction... everything was second-to-none. One evening, we hiked over to the fishing village in Gigante where we had dinner at Don Cameron's and met some great people. That evening, back at Aqua, a family of monkeys came to our balcony and drank from our pool, while we sat only a few meters away. Beautiful experience!

Room Tip: I don't think there's a bad room on the property!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Great location! Beautiful beach for swimming or relaxing with a good book. Amazing sunsets.

Rooms were clean, beds were comfortable and the showers warm.

Staff was helpful and helped us coordinate travel from the airport and to our next stop in San Juan Del Sur.

Yoga every morning at 8:30 - our instructor, Amy, was FANTASTIC!

The restaurant was disappointing ... breakfast was good (loved the yogurt and granola), but dinner and lunch menus were limited. They often didn't have many of the items listed, so we found ourselves ordering the same thing over and over. Recommend checking out the restaurants in Gigante for more variety.

Overall a great place to stay if you a looking for a more cushy Nica experience, though was a bit overpriced for what it was.

Room Tip: Rooms by the beach require less steps, however they are a little bit louder as you are near the beac...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Management_AQUA, Manager at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Hi Mrswane,

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us, and hope to see you again in the future!
Thanks for your comments regarding the restaurant. As other guests have noted, we do at times experience problems with the availability of food in our restaurant due to our remote location. During your visit we were also in the process of updating our restaurant menus and providing staff with a series of training sessions to address the new items on our menu and inform guests properly when we do not have a dish available.

One of the main shortage issues was that our previous menu was a bit overly reliant upon ingredients that are at certain times difficult to obtain. AQUA’s new menu does an even better job of utilizing ingredients which can be sourced nearby, minimizing our logistical problems as much as possible. The kitchen staff is also now fully trained in the new menu and updates the wait staff daily on what is out of stock. We are also making our best effort to have a substitute dish available if we are out of something in order to keep our menu as expansive as possible. We look forward to continually improving our restaurant service in the future and appreciate your feedback.

Best Regards,
AQUA Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

This is most of all a great location - fantastic beach and ocean setting, great for swimming, kayaking etc. The jungle setting is also very interesting - birds, crabs, lizards etc...all very cool to see right around your room. The food is also quite good. The staff are lovely and hard working and speak great English. It does, however, have some drawbacks. At every meal at least 2 or 3 things were unavailable (which is not really a problem based on the remote location of this hotel) but the staff MUST be trained to say something like: "Good evening, this evening the following items are unavailable...." Every single meal we would spend 10 minutes looking at the menu, make our decision and then be informed it was not available. It became almost a joke, because half the time, after spending another 5 minutes deciding, our second choice was unavailable as well. Our cabin was INFESTED with ants. We were in the jungle, so this was not all that unexpected, and actually didn't bother us, but I mention it because it may really bother someone else. Each evening we killed hundreds of giant black ants, and lots of smaller ones too (which were sometimes in our bed)....good sport (except when they bite!!). Finally, and everyone else mentions it, we were in a room up a steep hill from the restaurant and beach....and again, it didn't bother us, but I mention it because if you are unwell, unfit, old etc. this is NOT the place for you....you simply couldn't make it to your room. Would I go back - no - but only because I have now been there.....would I recommend this place to my friends....absolutely! (but only to the fit, open minded and adventurous!)

Room Tip: Request close to the beach!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 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.
Management_AQUA, Manager at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Hi Ericthebee,

Thanks for taking the time to join us! We are extremely proud of our enchanting location and are glad that you had the opportunity to see it firsthand as I’m sure you will agree that words and pictures simply do not do it justice. Our guests always comment on the spectacular views, luxurious mountainside villas, and abundant wildlife (particularly the roaming bands of howler monkeys “mono congos”) here at AQUA.

Thanks for your comments regarding the restaurant. As other guests have noted, we do at times experience problems with the availability of food in our restaurant due to our remote location. During your visit we were also in the process of updating our restaurant menus and providing staff with a series of training sessions to address the new items on our menu and inform guests properly when we do not have a dish available. We look forward to continually improving our restaurant service in the future and appreciate your feedback.

We are also aware of the ant issue that you are speaking of as we had another guest who experienced this situation and promptly let management know of the concern. Although our villas do have some native insect life (i.e. ants) that meander in from the surrounding jungle from time to time, we work very hard to keep them clean and insect free. We treat the outsides of the villas with a non-toxic powder that generally works quite well to keep the insects at bay. Recently we had one villa that experienced the ant issue you are speaking of. Specifically, a colony of ants decided to resettle one of their nests close to the villa and attempt to inhabit the residence as well. We immediately treated the surrounding area, cleaned the villa, and took care of the nest. Additionally, we blocked the villa from the rental pool for 7 days in order to monitor the situation and make sure we would not have any future problems.

We would like to emphasize that your infestation experience was highly uncommon and also let our guests know that if they happen to have a similar occurrence, to please let the front desk know as we will relocate you immediately.

Thanks again and we hope to see you again in the future!

Best Regards,
AQUA Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Just came back from staying here for four nights during the New Years holiday with my family. This place is a hidden gem that has yet to be discovered. Although it does have its pros / cons.
First and foremost if you are going to stay at this hotel, be ready to WALK ALOT of stairs and be isolated.

PRO: RELAXATION AT ITS FINEST. You come here to relax and not think about anything else but the beauty and virginity this place beholds.

CON: Being a very well traveled person and addicted to fine dining I must admit that the restaurant needs ALOT of improvement, considering the 'status' Aqua is trying to have of a luxury resort. Half of the time they didn't have something on the menu and it got tiring after 4 days to have such a little variety of meals, not only that but the food was not good quality, (only the breakfast).

PRO:The YOGA was absolutely great it was a lot of meditating/stretching/downward dog etc. you don't have to be a pro to do it which was great and the VIEW was absolutely breathtaking!

CON:This place is absolutely beautiful it just needs a vision of more creativity. They need to have more outdoor activities, maybe a platform in the middle of the bay or even an inflatable water trampoline/slide in the bay for children/teens/adults. They should also have night activities maybe a bonfire night.

CON:Another thing that needs improvement are the beach chairs, laying on those wooden chairs killed my back till I asked the pool guy to bring me some cushions that were randomly thrown somewhere.

PRO: The manager Nathalia was such a sweetheart. She has great energy and is a wonderful person to work with! She definitely made the New Years celebration fun!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management_AQUA, Manager at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Hi TravelGirl,

Thanks so much for your comments and for taking time to stay with us during your vacation as we most certainly appreciated having you here. You noted a few highlights of your visit including daily yoga atop our open air elevated beach-side platform and relaxing tropical ambiance- we couldn’t agree more!

In regards to the concerns you noted in the restaurant, we invite you to take a look at the above 2 posts for more information regarding what occurred and the steps we have taken to work towards fixing the issues. Our management team is also researching the cost for new beach-side furniture including the evaluation of several different possibilities.

We are glad you enjoyed our unique location in one of the hottest up and coming travel locations. AQUA is indeed a hidden gem but likely won’t remain so too much longer as we continue to enjoy welcoming more and more guests to our site each season. We are also benefiting from a new road that is being built directly to our doorstep which is almost complete and has continued to ease travel time for our guests.

We hope to see you back in the near future and wish you the best of luck with all of your endeavors!

Be Well,
AQUA Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I just got back from 8 nights in Nicaragua including 4 nights at Aqua Resort. Our time at Aqua was very peaceful. A few comments:
-Aqua is isolated--nearest facilities outside the hotel are at Playa Gigante--20 minute walk during light hours. The beach is basically private and great for swimming and kayaking (free of charge at the hotel).
-Rooms: Aqua rooms are nice. We stayed in a cheaper smaller villa, so no pool or much extra space, but more than adequate. Nice shower. Rooms have wine fridges--so try to bring some with you. There is no place to buy wine anywhere near the hotel and restaurant selection is more than limited. The room got very light in the morning: there were no blackout curtains.
-Yoga classes: 8:30 am Mon-Sat (why no Sunday?) with 4:30 pm on some days. I only made it to afternoon class. the setting is spectacular. The class was mostly stretching/meditation. Morning class supposed to be more rigorous.
-Surfing: surfing options at the beaches nearby. Can be organized through hotel or you can just walk to Gigante, rent a board ($10/day) and carry it yourself to the next beach.
-Food: Aqua has 1 restaurant. The breakfast is fine if not cheap ($30-35 for a couple on average) if it's not included. Lunch and dinner prices are around $15 for an entree. This is fine for a resort restaurant. What is not fine is that half the menu was consistently unavailable. It became hard to find stuff to order. Food would take a long time to arrive. Staff is pleasant, but there is definitely no sense of urgency :). We tried to eat a late lunch on Playa Gigante, which has lots of options.
Overall, I would recommend Aqua as long as you are looking for a relaxing break.

Room Tip: We stayed in a cheaper room close to reception: a bit more walking (nice excercise) but quet.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

My family of four (husband, myself, son age 14, daughter age 11) stayed here for two days after a week of climbing volcanoes and other adventures in Nicaragua. We immediately relaxed upon entering this beautiful resort, which consists of about 25 small wooden houses built on stilts and other scaffolding in the side of the mountain, overlooking a small cove bay. The restaurant and bar are at the very bottom, on the gorgeous, secluded, white sand beach, and the reception area is at the top. The bungalows traverse the hill, making for much climbing to get anywhere. The atmosphere is extremely tranquil, but you are indeed isolated from anything. The resort offers trips to numerous spots on the western side of the country, but most are at least a two hour drive each way. Best to do your touring from a different locale, and come here to just chill out, do,yoga, eat well, and enjoy the peace and quiet. The bungalows are really nice, well equipped, and extremely clean. The restaurant is good, and serves all locally grown food - everything was very very Fran, including the most flavorful greens I have ever had. You are provided with a local cell phone that is preprogrammed to call the reception and the spa, so you do not have to walk all the steps. Yoga on the beach is outstanding.

Room Tip: Beach from if you want to avoid all the stairs.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 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 Aqua Wellness Resort

Address: 1 Redonda Bay, Playa Gigante, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Playa Gigante
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Gigante
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aqua Wellness Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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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Also Known As:
Aqua Wellness Hotel Playa Gigante
Aqua Wellness Resort Nicaragua/Playa Gigante

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