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“PERFECT!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vista Surf Club

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Buena Vista Surf Club
Playa Maderas | San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Playa Maderas
Corona del Mar, California
1 review
“PERFECT!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Stayed here with my boyfriend in December 2012. It was fabulous. I did yoga each morning with Kathleen and/or Ashley while he went out surfing for some early morning waves. I took surf lessons with Jordan- who was very patient and a great instructor. We truly enjoyed the atmosphere and getting to know other people at this place. The view from the deck is amazing, the beach is just down the hill (coming up was not THAT great), and the people were what made this place special. That, and the tree houses! It was like we were sleeping in the jungle.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
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249 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Kettering, Ohio
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Buena Vista Surf Club does have a good view and we greatly enjoyed the two couples who served as volunteer hosts. The location of the facility is within walking distance of many stunningly beautiful beaches and a highlight for us was a horseback ride along the beach. The meals (breakfast and dinner) prepared were good as well as being healthy and nutritious. I appreciate the resort's efforts to be environmentally responsible through the use of solar energy and I didn't miss electricity, Wi-Fi or hot-water showers.
But BVSC is NOT picture perfect, and it is certainly not for everyone, so know what you are getting in to. BVSC is very pricey, especially for Nicaragua, but does not include the extra attention to detail that would merit the cost. Let's start with the accommodations. The tree houses are nestled in among the trees but are free-standing, not actual tree houses. They are only partially screened which puzzles me - why bother with ANY screen if you are not going to screen the entire cabana? As a result, there will be bugs and MOSQUITOS which manage to get under the mosquito net to enjoy dinner on you. The shower floor is not sloped to allow proper drainage and as result the entire bathroom floor remains wet for hours after your cold shower. The bed was a bit lumpy, there were only two small pillows and the bed linens were of only average quality. This would be adequate if the price were average, but I expect more high-end bedding in this price range. We were given two bath towels, only one hand towel and no washcloths. We were never given clean towels in the four nights we stayed. Little things could make a big difference here. Higher quality linens and towels and perhaps the small shampoo, conditioner and body wash that most lodgings offer would be appreciated.
I appreciated the meals prepared by the volunteer hosts and enjoyed the communal table. It was fun to get to know the hosts and the other guests and the dinner conversations were always interesting. Breakfast included coffee, tea, juice, granola, cereal, fruit, and either French toast or crepes. Dinners included pasta with vegetable sauce, mahi-mahi, hamburgers and a traditional Nicaraguan meal of chicken, rice and beans. Water was the only drink offered, but beer and wine were available for purchase. Again, at this price range perhaps iced tea and coffee could be offered at diner as well as an occasional dessert.
Finally, we were given two complimentary bottles of water upon our arrival. Additional water was available for sale, but I believe clean, safe drinking water should be provided at no additional cost to guests. I recommend that BVSC invest in the large water jugs with taps that so many other facilities use. This would save on plastic (BVSC is an eco-friendly resort) and allow guests to refill their water bottles.
In conclusion, Buena Vista Surf Club is an average facility with a high-end price tag. Either raise the bar on the facilities, amenities and service or lower the price.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BVSCNicaragua, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Hola,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to review us.
We honestly do appreciate all feedback (either positive or negative) and will always try to use it to improve our lodge.

As we explain on our website, we're not a standard hotel and we're not the right place for everybody. We try to give as much information upfront to make sure that future guests know what to expect and to avoid disappointment. Some of the things you mention in your review are unfortunately more applicable for a 5 star chain hotel in Northern America, than for a small 6 room hotel in Nicaragua.

Our rooms get cleaned every day and sheets and towels are changed every 3 days. We have good quality mattresses and bed linens and we actually have special mattress covers to make the beds more comfortable. Our apologies for not changing your towels and for not putting on the cover (this may have made it feel bubbly?). We agree that this should not have happened of course.

Price is always very subjective, but we do believe that we offer value for money. According to TripAdvisor we're even within the Top 25 Bargain hotels of Central America...

Thanks again for staying and reviewing us and we hope you nevertheless had a great time in Nicaragua.

Marc & Marielle
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

We spent 3 days and 3 nights @ bvsc last month and had a fantastic experience... It truly lives up to all the positive reviews! It is located in a tropical paradise a quick walk to a beach with good surfing for all levels. The communal yoga sessions and meals create a really relaxed vibe; conversations lasted hours after dinner while we watched spectacular lightening over the pacific. If we travel back to nicaragua again, we certainly will come back to bvsc! Thanks for a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

The Surf Club is an amazing place to stay. The tree houses are awesome, each with a nice view and are very comfortable. The views are phenomenal but most importantly the owners and the atmosphere that they have created make this place truly special. The food was outstanding as well. I highly recommend to anyone going to visit Nicaragua. The Surf Club is a 5 minute walk to the beach.

Room Tip: Choose one of the treehouses.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

Our entire trip to Nicaragua was fantastic and staying at BVSC was a highlight. I booked a treehouse and surf lessons as a surprise for my husband and it couldn't have turned out any better! The two young couples who host the hotel as well as the owners take every opportunity to make sure you have what you need and are enjoying your stay. They arranged our transfers from the ferry to the hotel as well as a lovely driver for a day. The food is wonderful and meeting up with the other guests at mealtimes makes for a very enjoyable visit. Very clean, beautiful modern design, attention to detail...they nailed it! You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

... staying here right now. It's as good as I remember from last year and I'll be back for more. Easily deserves its number 1 Trip Advisor ranking and various recent global press mentions. No surprises that they have been busy this year but the exclusive number if guests means it is always intimate and always cool. A cut above.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

After some initial scheduling issues, we were looking forward to ending our vacation at BVSC, hoping that our stay would live up to all the previous reviews. It did and we are so glad we stayed committed to visiting. Our two host couples, Ashley & Jose and Jet & Alex, were lovely and provided us with excellent meals all three days we were there. Both ladies led us in yoga sessions where the monkeys joined us and Jose provided a great surf lesson. The design leaves nothing to be desired and was a perfect place to end our trip.

Only tip: have change available when using Victor for a driver as he never has any :)

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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 Buena Vista Surf Club

Address: Playa Maderas | San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur > Playa Maderas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Playa Maderas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Buena Vista Surf Club is an intimate design eco-lodge at Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur. A unique place for both surfers and non-surfers! Surf or learn how to surf or just enjoy the amazing beaches. Enjoy great home cooked, family style dinners with new friends, do yoga or relax at the 'infinity' sundeck and watch the wildlife from your ‘treehouse’! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Vista Surf Club Hotel Playa Maderas
Buena Vista Surf Hotel
Hotel Buena Vista Surf
Buena Vista Surf Club Nicaragua/Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur

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