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“Awesome Prices, Great Family” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Monkey"s Island Ometepe

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Monkey"s Island Ometepe
San Francisco | Mérida Altagracia, Isla de Ometepe 18., Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Awesome Prices, Great Family”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

This place isn't too easy to get to, but once you're there it's pretty cool. The menu prices range from $1 to $5, and everything we tried was delicious (especially the fresh made pineapple juice. $1. whoa.). The activities are really good and inexpensive too. We hiked up a volcano, swam in the lake, kayaked to monkey island. If we had more time we would have done some horseback riding and mountain biking too.

One thing some people in our group had a problem with was having ants and bugs around... probably to be expected in the rural setting, but good to know ahead of time. The sheets were all clean and they're weren't any bedbugs or anything, but don't be shocked if there's a spider or two around.

All in all, a really cool place in an awesome location, great for just hanging out on hammocks as well as for doing some more active stuff. The dad and sons that run the place are pretty cool people too (and the sons speak really good english). Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a cheap, good hotel on ometepe.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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56 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    29
    16
    4
    1
    6
See reviews for
4
21
8
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

Off the beaten path and away from the nosiy crowds. Family owned Monkey Island offers charming service, great homestyle cooking, free kayaking, direct access to beach, and basic but cozy rooms at budget prices. We ended up staying 3 days longer than planned. Certainly an authentic Nicaraguan experience and worth every penny.

Room Tip: Hot showers for a few bucks more.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

I stayed in the Monkeys Island hotel in August, for one week. The island is located near Merida, a small village on the Ometepe Island. The hotel is isolated from the village and provides a lot of privacy.
The hotel is run by a local family and the staff is very friendly and attentive. Some of staff speaks English.
The hotel has access to a magnificent private beach, where the guests can use kayaks (for free) to explore the nearby coasts and islets inhabited by monkeys.
Also, the hotel has a really nice garden, hammocs and view of the lake. Since it resides near rain forest, it is often visited by butterflies and birds and you can even hear the monkeys at nighttime.
The staff offers 8 hour hikes to Volcano Maderas and 4 hour kayak tours to the river. And the food is great, too: fresh and delicions. They grow their own rice and beans.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Franklin, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

I am so surprised to read some negative comments about that place. I had been to Monkey Island Hostal 4 times in the past 3 years and I had never experienced any of those bad reviews. I can only say that Jacinto and his family are more than hospitable, honest, the food is great, the setting is gorgeous and the prices are right. It's staying with a real Nica family on beautiful Ometepe. This is no tourist trap at all. I strongly recommand this place to anybody who like to have a nice, quiet, simple and relaxed holiday on Ometepe.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
210 reviews 210 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

The rooms at Monkey's Island are very basic and small (the kind that you only stay in to sleep, but no more), but we were attracted by the great reviews in LP and some of the travel portals.

At $15 it’s an ok value and cheaper than the popular Hacienda in Merida town.
It's quite a walk outside of Merida (10-15 mins) but we decided to go there anyway. The owners (Mom and Pop) were very friendly and we had a good feeling about the place.

Upon checking we were also offered to use their canoe for 4 hours a day (2 people, 2 hours each, or 4 hours together) this was a nice touch, considering that the Hacienda Merida rents them out at $5/hour. It's a short trip to the two monkey islands but be careful about the aggressive spider monkeys. They have attacked people.

We were the only guests beside a long term Gringo that pretty much lives there. We loved the quietness of this place and the restaurant is comfortable and airy. The family is friendly.

Dinner was big, very tasty, and reasonable value. When we asked for the bill that evening, we just got told that it was $33 for the room and dinner. Our own rough calculations were less than that but figured it would be tax and tip added. When asking one of the sons (the one that speaks English) for the price in Cordoba we got suspicious. He told us that the exchange rate is C22.60; but everywhere else in Nicaragua at this time it is C22 straight, he insisted that C22.60 is the correct rate.

We paid in dollars and went back to our room. There we tried to figure out the math how they got to $33. So we went back to ask for a receipt and the other son was there. He didn't know the amount and couldn’t find his brother. Then the father came who said that he had given his son the change for the $28.50 which was the correct total. We explained that we were told by his son that it was $33, which we paid exactly that amount. At this point the son returned and the father appeared upset about the situation.

We don't know if the son is cheating his parents or if the whole family is involved in this episode. Anyway the father gave us C100 back, which is pretty much equivalent to $4.5 that we were overcharged at an exchange rate of C22 per $1.

One more strange thing: Just after dinner the son knocked on our door and asked us to recommend their place to other travelers, this was before we asked for the detailed bill.

It's worth coming here to eat, but be warned to ask for a written bill.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bern, Switzerland
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2011

We stayed the second time in 2010. When we've been there in 2005. there were 4 rooms in a wooden with corrugated iron roofs. We felt in love with that place imediately. Such a calm, nice place and specially the family is very nice. We stayed longer than we planed. We practiced and learnt alot spanish, enjoyed the food and the swimming in the lake.
in 2010 we were surprised how much changed. They made a big effort. A lot of beautiful new buildings, nice trees, much more choice in menus (even european food), a shorter track to the lake (1 min). What stayed is the low price an the very nice family (one guy even remembered us, after 5 years.
We went guided to the volcan maderas, which was a strenuous but nice walk, rewarded with a great view at the top.

Room Tip: Its worth it to take a Double Room. best deal
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  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rijswijk, The Netherlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2011

For me it was the third time visiting this hotel. Back in 2005 it was even smaller than it is now, with all rooms built of wood, but I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and the location. Nowadays it has grown a bit, the wooden buildings have been replaced by stone and concrete ones but the atmosphere is still like living with a Nicaraguan family.

It's quiet out there, it's local life. The hotel is surrounded by nature and has a lovely small private beach a little more down hill. Rooms are basic, some with a private shower, and I always slept very well on good matrasses.

The family is very friendly and once you got to know them a little better it will feel like being part of them. For sure I absolutely don't recognize the stories about scams etc. told in some of the reviews above. Those things absolutely don't fit together with my experiences and the fact that in the Lonely Planet of 2007 this hotel was mentioned as 'the most recommended business by readers in this book'.

So if you feel like experiencing the real Island life of Ometepe I would recommend you to go to Monkey's Island Hostal. Try the hammocks, have a good swim and enjoy the atmosphere and the very good food.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Monkey"s Island Ometepe

Address: San Francisco | Mérida Altagracia, Isla de Ometepe 18., Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Isla de Ometepe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
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