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“1st Hostel in the World Serving Sushi Dinner for $7” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa De Olas

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Casa De Olas
2.5 of 5 Hostel   |   Lot 6, Las Escaleras, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“1st Hostel in the World Serving Sushi Dinner for $7”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Ok so I was a bit lucky: Two Japanese girls staying at Casa De Olas came up with the idea, and helped make it happen. But incredible sushi for $7, packed with fresh fish and shrimp and topped off with rice pudding for dessert? This is just one way this hostel (and owners Fred and Carla) goes above and beyond to make your stay a memorable one.

We also had grilled fish, lasagna, chicken wings and sausages (for Super Bowl night, shown via beamer) and the night I arrived they threw a birthday party for a guest, complete with massive cake and piñata (Buzz the monkey -- adorable, but she's a wild animal with teeth approach with caution -- was eating lollies for days after). The family-style dinners mean you will meet people (from all over the world) almost immediately.

The staff -- a mix of fellow travelers stopping off for a few months -- are all incredibly friendly and welcoming. Ie, no clicky division that can often happen in these atmospheres.

The pool is big enough to swim laps in and delivers fantastic views of the surrounding hills.

If you want to go to town, Olas runs a free shuttle three times a day (11am, 1pm, and 3pm, 10 min ride) which is very convenient. Or, you can pay a few dollars and take the more frequent shuttle (every two hours) from the hostel next door.

The Olas bar closes fairly early, so you can still get your beauty sleep. As another traveler noted, this place fills up and does not take deposits so best to book in advance and confirm before arrival to avoid a) no bed for you b) shuffling around to accomodate those with reservations.

Beds are comfortable (real mattresses not foutons) and towels are free on request. Filtered well water is also free, a convenient perk.

Take with you: A headlamp (power outages happen), books for lounging material.

Leave behind: Any sort of Diva sense of entitlement. Most of the bar/management staff work for a place to sleep, ie for free. So say please and thank you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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273 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    225
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

After travelling through South and Central America for the last 4 months, this was without a doubt the friendliest, safest, most welcoming overall the funnest (in a relaxing sense) hostel I stayed at. And that is comparing it to over 20 other hostels. Being Australian, I felt at home for my 2 weeks, Fred and Carla (the two Aussie owner) are lovely and are both so full of life, and are genuinely there to help you when you need it.

The family dinners are a must, every night the best cook in San Juan Del Sur cooks a lovely fresh meal and the Casa de Olas family at the time all dig in. And a great breakfast too.

The bar is really cool and low key, nothing rowdy but good fun with cheap drinks, and the best bartenders in San Juan! More importantly it is a relaxing vibe so the bar closes at a reasonable hour to allow the guests to sleep which I think was great, and there is a shuttle service to town provided so for those that want to get their party on it's super easy!

Lovely clean dorms and private rooms which surround a beautiful lightly heated pool overlooking the pacific ocean, the sunset here is phenomenal!!

I could go on for pages and pages about this place, but if you go to San Juan, you should definitely try stay here, or if it's full go up for a drink whilst watching the amazing sunset.

Niall

  • Stayed January 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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Basel, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

I planned on going to Nicaragua only for a couple of days, but in the endI got stuck here, like a lot of people do, for 2 weeks! First of all, the rooms are really nice, the infinitiy pool and the view are amazing and the owners are really welcoming, it feels like a second home. They organize delicious family style dinners and offer a drive to town (Casa de Olas is located on the hills, you can't walk SJdS) whenever you want. And best of all, Buzz, the house-monkey!
I had an amazing stay in Casa de Olas and I would definitely recommend it to everybody!!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Cork
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Came up from San Juan del Sur for a few days of peace and quiet, and found this gem. Run by Aussies who are great hosts as well as the great staff, this place is a must. Only a few mins from San Juan if you need to go to town, it is quiet, secluded and beautiful. Buzz the monkey was a lovely touch, and the infinity pool at sunset is unforgettable. The food available is dinner which at $7 is reasonable and always good and fresh. Free breakfast and coffee is also included. Shuttles to all the beaches go daily, as well as night trips to see turtles! I went back to stay a second time! Will go again!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

I took my wife for her 30th Birthday and what a great choice! The staff was so friendly, they are the BEST! They even went out and bought her a piñata to celebrate. The sunsets make you never want to leave. Everyone was great and helpful. Casa de olas is my new home when in Nica. I can't rave enough about them. You guys ROCK, see you in June.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 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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Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

This is hands down the best value for money accommodation in Central America. Fred, Carla, Belinda and Buzz are awesome hosts and made our stay in San Juan a highlight of our travels through Central America. (and a little shout out to the awesome Cole, Luke and Holly as well). Perfect for backpackers looking for a place to relax and unwind and feel at home. We originally turned up for 1 night but after 11 days we only left because we had to fly back to Australia. If I could give 6 out of 5 I would. If you go there make sure you get a bit social and talk to other guests, don't hide in your room and keep to yourself. But don't go there if you love to get super rowdy and be an idiot... it'll ruin the awesome vibe for other people.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Brooklyn, New York, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I arrived at casa de olas and the staff and owner were great! Friendly people and great food. I love the concept of eating together family style. Plus this was great to meet new friends. I would say the best part is Buzz! Where can you find a place with a monkey. It was great that they drove you into town and it was just a five minute drive and getting back is easy! This place is fun and you feel like you are at home! The view and the pool is amazing!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Casa De Olas

Address: Lot 6, Las Escaleras, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 53 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa De Olas 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de Olas is a unique place to stay. While some would consider us a hostel others consider us the ultimate B&B. We have dorm accommodation (an 11 bed dorm and six 6 bed dorms) for those traveling on a budget or in groups. We also accomodate the traveler looking for a little more comfort and privacy with private Queen rooms. All rooms have en-suites with Tropical Showers. (Note that when we say tropical shower we mean that the shower is not artificially heated and comes naturally from our well).We are a short drive or 5km walk (remember we are on a hill and not everyone likes walking hills) to San Juan del Sur beach. We want to be sure that this is clear :). We have an amazing view over the bay and town that provides epic sunsets. We think staying a little out of town is the best way to experience SJDS and the surrounding area including beaches, rain forest and Lake Nicragua.We have a shuttle service that runs at designated times each days, if you would like to travel into town outside of these times please let our staff know and they can advise how best to do this. We provide a free breafast for all guests. We also serve dinner 'family style' which means everyone sits down together for dinner.Safe travels and we hope to see you soon!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa De Olas Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Casa De Olas Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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