It had been over 25 years since I last came to my home country of Nicaragua. I was faced with many unknowns when I planned my trip; and the only known fact was that I would be arriving in Managua on 01/01/2009!!
I had read many reviews for various hotels in Managua on TripAdvisor and so I decided to narrow my list to a few hotels (Hotel Los Robles, El Gran Marquez, and La Pyramide) and take a gamble upon my arrival. Upon my arrival I asked my taxi driver which hotel he had heard of or suggested (out of the 3 on my list) and informed me that he had heard really good things about El Gran Marquez and he did know that many travellers have requested to be taken there...so, I took that feedback and decided to stay at El Gran Marquez and I am VERY GLAD I did.
Now, I arrived on New Years Day and unbeknownst to me, almost EVERYTHING is closed...and that meant many family run hotels. I was nervous because I did not make a reservation (I was flying off the seat of my pants) and didn't know if there would be availability at the hotel or if it was even open...Luckily the hotel was open and with one room to spare.
The first thing I noticed about the hotel was how clean and well maintained it was. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with luscious greens and colorful plants. The building itself is a vibrant color with a refreshing courtyard straddled by breezeways on either side. The hallways are furnished with "mimbre" furniture for your relaxation pleasure. There is also a small pool for lounging or cooling off. The dining room faces the pool/garden and is an open space, which makes their COMPLIMENTARY breakfast very enjoyable.
The rooms are basic and simply decorated and come with air conditioning. The bathroom I stayed in was nicely sized with a very comfortable shower. There is daily maid service and the rooms, along with the common areas are kept extremely clean.
The staff, where do I even begin?? The owners (Cesar and Patricia) were marvelous individuals with one goal in mind: keeping their guests happy and comfortable. I appreciated their friendliness and willingness in assisting me with travel excursions/suggestions for the remainder of my trip. Their "customer relations" person was always ensuring my comfortability whenever she saw me lounging in the hotel: asking me if I wanted a beverage (BTW: they keep a fully stocked and very well CHILLED beers and sodas) or a snack.
The location of the hotel is perfect. It's about a 15-20 minute drive from the airport and it's centrally located in Zona Hippo (sp?) close to a few dining establishments, coffee shop, bakeries and probably a 5-10 minute stroll into the main street/busy part of the city where you can find a supermarket and a plethora of other restaurants, either authentic or American or some other cultural variation. The hotel itself is nicely situated in a residential area in what appears to be an upper-class community (per Nicaraguan standards, I'm assuming).
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Nicaragua, especially coming to a hotel as accommodating and comfortable as El Gran Marquez after a day full of sightseeing and long excursions. I am already planning my next trip to Nicaragua and have booked my reservation with Patricia. To think that it took me 25 years to return and now I cannot wait to come back...it's a beautiful country with beautiful people!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.