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“Not wellness” 3 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
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Not wellness”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

I loved our tree house, and the setting of forest and beach is gorgeous. However…

They have Wi-Fi everywhere, but no Internet (except up at reception). Why don’t they just run a cable?

The receptionist is a bit inept. He asked us about our transfer three times, needlessly calling us about it in the middle of the night.

As for the restaurant, the staff is quite lethargic, the food is bland (luckily the drinks are good) and the atmosphere sucks. There was an American couple with two screaming brats occupying the restaurant at all hours. Not relaxing at all.

If the food was better and the guests were higher caliber, this place would be amazing!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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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, February 10, 2014
Saludos from AQUA Nicaragua,

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your comments and we want you to know that our management team highly values your opinion. We thank you for choosing to stay with us and are glad to see that you enjoyed our beautiful treetop setting and proximity to the most beautiful beach in all of Nicaragua (ok, so we might be a little bit biased).

We do apologize for the frustrations that you experienced, and while there is never any excuse for less than exceptional service, we do thank our guests for being understanding of the slower and somewhat unreliable internet access that we have due to our isolated location.

We often receive high marks on the cuisine served in our restaurant and are proud to partner with nearby farmers and fisherman in order to serve our guests fresh, locally sourced cuisine with a Nicaraguan flair. We are sorry to hear that the food did not meet your standards and request that you kindly let our front desk or restaurant manager know of any issue right away, so that we can work to quickly adjust and best meet your personal expectations.

We love welcoming guests from around the world to our resort are delighted to help travelers discover the magic of what Nicaragua has to offer. Unplug from the grind and allow the stresses of life to melt away as you soak in the warm pacific and connect with nature at AQUA Wellness Resort!

We hope to see you again soon and wish you the best with all of your future travels!

Kind Regards,

AQUA Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    29
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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
Cambridge, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

Aqua Wellness is a great place to stay if you enjoy delicious locally grown food, eco-friendly rooms, daily yoga classes, and very little people. These are "tree houses", so there is quite a bit of stair climbing depending on where your unit is, but we welcomed the exercise. The beach is pristine and there are kayaks and snorkel gear free for guests to use. The resort is new, so everything is modern and comfortable. The one caution are the screaming monkeys. Yes, they will wake your up at 6am. So if you want to sleep in, bring ear plugs or go to bed early!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

the resort is very expensive for anywhere in the world let alone Nicaragua and is certainly not luxurious. The food and service was good and the bay scenic but the rooms were not well maintained nor were the grounds and beach. Used towels and empty glasses were left out for days without being cleared up. They also made a mistake with our room category and tried to down grade us, so delaying our check in by 3 hours and a lot of annoyance, then tried to charge us extra the day before we left. The place is a fiasco and desperately needs new management.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, March 1, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments and we appreciate your kind remarks in regards to the service on site and the beauty of our location. We value all constructive feedback, and understand your concern. The AQUA staff works hard to ensure that all of our guests leave satisfied and we are sorry to hear that you felt the room and resort quality was not up to your expectations.

We do wish to clarify for our guests that we have a beach guard on staff who cleans the area by the bay each day; however, due to the cycles of the tides and ocean currents (depending on the season), some days the ocean will ‘clean’ itself and deposit a variety of driftwoods etc. on the beach before we are able to take care of it. AQUA has one of the most pristine beaches in Southern Nicaragua (Redonda Bay) and we pride ourselves on caring for our natural resources and keeping the area and rooms clean for our guests.

You mentioned that prices are expensive and that we got the category of your room incorrect. Since we booked the category requested on your behalf by your tour operator, you can imagine our surprise when you informed us that the room was incorrect. We are sorry to hear that the room upgrade you were given on site was insufficient for you!

AQUA Nicaragua has different rooms to meet a variety of budgets. Treehouse rooms are smaller (and more cost effective) and have a queen bed, while our larger luxury suites have a king bed, kitchen, and plunge pool. Please do make sure to explore our site for further details or feel free to call our reservations team at any time for complete pricing information.

Thank you again for leaving us your feedback and we wish you all the best with your future endeavors. We hope to see you again soon.

Best Regards,
AQUA Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

If you are wanting a secluded, contained, charming, romantic place, with very good service, and are willing to pay a premium for it, this is your place.

Aqua Wellness Resort (which is a bit of a misnomer as there really aren't really a whole lot of 'wellness activities') is a 'treetop resort,' with its own dedicated beach, and an adjoining restaurant. There is a charming, local, fishing beach about 15 minutes walk through the woods, that can be traversed easily in day and night.

The service is very attentive, and the rooms are very nice and clean. The restaurant is decent, although not outstanding, and you should anticipate paying close to 80% of US prices (which is far more than you will pay at other Nicaragua restaurants).

Folks have complained about the stairs, which really aren't that bad, although can be annoying as you will have to walk down to the beach for internet service, and then back up if you leave anything in your lodging (unless your room is near the beach).

There are two downsides:

1. The value equation feels wrong. Everything feels just a little bit too expensive, and charged at premium. My girlfriend and I did an hour and a half long guided 'hike,' that was $20 each, while on Ometepe we paid $29 each for a 9 hour guided tour with lunch. Or we were quoted a taxi to Leon at $200, while some locals said $100 or less would be more accurate. For some people that doesn't matter - people can be happy to pay a premium for comfort, but for me, I felt a bit gouged.

2. It is a bit of a resort; in that you are pretty isolated from the locals and you are not really experiencing Nicaragua as much as experiencing nice well tended resort on the pacific. Again, that may be just what you want, and if so, this is a great place.

So four out of five is my rating. It is perfect; if this is your type of place....

Room Tip: It is worth being close to the beach if you can be.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 5
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
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a week in December 2013. We had an amazing time and would DEFINITELY recommend Aqua!

ROOM
We stayed in Mono Congo and loved the space / layout. It was a Forest View Luxury Suite with a Pool. We had two separate spaces - the bedroom, bathroom and shower areas were in one villa, and kitchen was across the deck, on the other side of the plunge pool, in another villa with plenty of space and top of the line appliances. Smart to separate the kitchen (food) from the bedroom with a bunch of critters running around.

In general, the higher up you stay, the better the views you have, but the more stairs you'll have to climb to get to and from the beach, restaurants and yoga. We stayed closer to the top, almost at the same level as check in. There were a lot of steps, but it was great exercise. If you have trouble with steps, knees, hips, etc. and are planning to spend most of your time at the beach, stay closer to the bottom. Otherwise, the steps are a great work out!

One other thing to note, we did lose power one night (due to outages thru the electric company). We had no lights/hot water in our room, but the rooms closer to the beach (and the restaurants) ran on a generator when the power went out, so the people staying down near the beach and restaurants didn't notice the issue. We didn't mind much, since it only lasted one night. If it had gone on, I believe there were a few open rooms, so we likely could have moved. A busier time would have kept us stuck in the no power / no hot water rooms. We did get a free couples massage (and I think a discount on the rate that night), so the resort did a great job taking care of us through a situation they could not control. They also provided flashlights for us (we brought our own as well), but I did wish they had also provided a lantern of some sort.

BEACH
The beach was awesome. The resort is small, so there aren't a lot of people around. There were times when we were the only people on the beach. There is plenty to do - kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling, a few guys went spearfishing while we were there, some people saw baby turtles hatch at night and make their way into the water (so mad we missed this!), and we watched the most AMAZING sunsets.

RESTAURANTS
The food was surprisingly great. My boyfriend eats any and everything, so he was happy. The fish was really fresh, the ceviche was his favorite, and all the chicken and beef dishes were good. They had a lot of different types of local and international cuisine. We saw the same menus everyday, but there was a lot to choose from - big breakfasts, fresh juices, big salads, small plates/snacks, entrees... I am a super picky eater, and I was really happy with all of the meals.

ACTIVITIES
This was the one part you have to be careful about. We spent half of our time at the resort and half the time taking the recommended excursions.

We went zip lining and to San Juan del Sur del one day which was really fun, and I thought worth the money.

We went to Ometepe one day, which was the trip we were most excited about, but for some reason, we were underwhelmed. We didn't follow the itinerary, so we didn't get to hike and see what we heard were some of the best parts, so we were disappointed. Instead we walked around a lake, which was random, went to a lunch, which wasn't great, then we did go to Ojo de Agua, which we felt was a bit of a tourist trap.

Our last excursion was "Sport Fishing" with Captain Rob. This was disappointing as well. I realize you can't guarantee a catch, but we stayed fairly close to the shore and only caught one small fish in 3.5 hours. I thought we would head further out and catch more, which didn't happen. We did see three whales though, so we were super lucky. And Aqua cooked up the fish we did catch, which was delicious. For the price of the excursion, though, we were disappointed.

SERVICE
The service was awesome, and everyone who worked there was super nice and friendly. Couldn't have asked for a more accommodating staff.

Note about the CRITTERS
This place was crawling with animals and bugs. We are not big bug fans, but you have to understand what you are getting yourself into - you are in the treetops! So expect to see lots of creepy crawlers - spiders, ants, frogs, crickets, crabs, lizards, snakes, etc. In terms of animals - monkeys climbing all around!

Overall, highly recommended!

Room Tip: For great views and if you don't mind the steps, stay higher up. If you're planning on spen...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fitchburg, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

This resort was very beautiful, well kept and very luxurious. We were very impressed with the views, our room as well as the food, they were all top notch. We would recommend this resort to anyone, it was great.

Room Tip: Try to get a room closer to the beach, as many of the rooms are quite a ways away, but the entire pr...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Aqua Wellness provided a great romantic retreat and exceeded our expectations. Furthermore, the people of Nicaragua and the Country are just as impressive. Aqua Wellness does a great job of promoting health, rest, comfort without sacrificing luxury. Some of the pros/cons:

Pros:
-The treehouses are very nice and unique. Monkeys will climb onto your porch and in the trees right near your windows. A very cool experience.
-The food is good and fresh. You can tell the ingredients being used are high quality by the flavors and satisfaction with each bite.
-The staff is very warm and welcoming. Everyone smiles and greets you.
-The spa has beautiful views and the massages were very relaxing.
-Yoga platform provides great views while performing yoga.
-The beach and service on the beach is great.
-Tours offered are plentiful and can keep you busy for multiple days. We did the Granada and Las Isletas tour which was worth every penny. Ask for Emer as your guide, a very nice man with a great personality and very knowledgeable of the country...we learned alot.

Cons:
-I wish there were a few nighttime activities (fire on the beach, dancing, etc.). It gets dark early (in january at least) and after dinner you are on your own to find things to do.
-After a long day of flights it is hard to take a 2.5 hour drive from Managua to the resort, if you can afford it I would recommend taking the helicopter if it is offered.

All in all a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone. We will be back.

Room Tip: Alot of walking. If you cannot handle lots of stairs, get a beach front villa. We are very active...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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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