First impressions of Totoco was good - facilities, food etc, but it was not long before that changed.
Staff and owner was helpful in recommending activities for us, but what they didn't tell us was that it was all on commission - and not a very small one either. It's clear that they have certain deals with certain operators, which is up to 25% more expensive than if you would ask around. And you definitely should, because it's a good selection and very easy to set up and book. It was very strange of the staff not to letting us know that there are other and much cheaper options that you can book on your own.
Another thing was prior to arriving at Ometepe. We called Totoco to as how much a taxi from the port to the lodge was, and their quote was 25% more than what we agreed when getting of the ferry. According to the staff at Totoco more or less all taxis was around the same price, but it was evident they have their own 'friends' - drivers that are on commission for the hotel.
The third disappointment was when we tried to book a canoe-trip. We are spanish-speaking and had got a phone number in San Jorge for an operator in Ometepe that was supposed to be good. When we were about to call them and make reservations for the following morning, the staff at Totoco offered to make the call instead. We accepted it gladly and was impressed by their sense of service towards their guests. What they didn't tell us was that just by having them make the reservation, it was going to cost us another 20USD per person. Extremely poor information towards the guests and we were obviously annoyed with this, and in the end we cancelled the canoe-trip due to feeling cheated by the hotel.
A third example of their inconsequence was when we asked if it was possible to rent a motorbike or scooter for one day. They said that there was only one type of motorcycle available on the island, so we declined and went for a bicycle tour instead. After we had been biking around for a bit we discovered several places where motorcycles and scooters of different types were being rent out. My idea is that they didn't want us to go to another place, which would mean the hotel would miss out on commission.
Hotel itself can be recommended, clean and very beautiful, but make sure to book your activities yourself, because the hotel will try to make money off of you without even bothering to inform you.
- Also Known As:
- Totoco Eco Hotel Balgue
- Totoco Eco Hotel
- Totoco Eco-Lodge Nicaragua/Isla De Ometepe - Balgue
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the edge of a pristine biosphere nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife and a cloud forest above you, the Totoco experience is pure comfort in pure nature. Guests can stay in one of our custom designed private lodges all made using local materials and labour. Each lodge enjoys a private garden setting and offers spectacular views of Lake Nicaragua and active Concepcion Volcano. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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