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“Best Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur- close to town, but away from noise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort

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Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Carreterra San Juan del Sur, km 139, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
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Ranked #8 of 21 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Charlotte, NC
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Best Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur- close to town, but away from noise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

My husband and I viewed the hotel 2 years ago as a potential vacation home. We didn't buy, but just stayed there during our trip in February. It was even better than I remember. Service was really good, the villa was clean, and we enjoyed dinner at the hotel restaurant; happy hour is 2x1 along with free appetizers. The pool was clean and relaxing. All the employees were friendly and helpful. The hotel is far enough from town for it to be quiet, but close enough to town to enjoy dinners and nightlife. Maria in the restaurant deserves a special accolade because she totally understood customer service! Well worth staying here!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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170 reviews from our community

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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 (47)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Villas de Palermo is a lovely place to stay to relax, and to enjoy San Juan del Sur -- a relaxed, quaint little beach town. The villas are excellent with 1 upstairs bedroom and bath, 1 downstairs bedroom and bath, a spacious kitchen and living area, and a sunny terrace (oh, and a balcony upstairs too!). Each villa is its own building, so you have your own private mini-condo to yourself! If you want to save money, you can buy food inexpensively in town and cook.

The villa was very clean, with the exception of all of the drapes which hadn't been washed in at least a month or more -- filled with dead bugs and stained. You barely wanted to touch them to open or close. The rest of the villa was very clean! But wash those drapes!

The free transport by the hotel to town (between 7 am - 6 pm) is a great asset! To go into town for dinner in the evening, the hotel will arrange for a taxi, which is safe and reasonable. Our driver, Mario, even dropped us off for dinner and then picked us back up at the appointed hour and only charged us at the very end for both rides. We took advantage of the Costa Rica visa-getaway package, which is a deal! Free transport to and from the border -- Guillermo is your guy! He even helps you with your passport stamping!

Our only downside experience was the service in the hotel's restaurant, which leaves much to be improved. Our waitress for lunch 2 days in a row would reluctantly come to serve us, disappear for long periods, enjoy chatting with other hotel staff instead of giving us any attention at all. One day the staff decided to turn the music up at full volume to have a little informal fun themselves at the bar, with no regard for us trying to have a relaxing lunch. It takes at least 30-40 minutes to receive any meal, and it usually comes part cold. Some of the reception staff also need a customer service refresher training to remember that the client should not feel they are bothering the staff to ask simple questions.

We will recommend the hotel, and would like to visit again. But we know now to avoid the restaurant at all costs. Villas de Palermo is a 4-star resort, but gets 2 stars on its restaurant and very mixed reviews on staff customer service.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2011

My boyfriend and I went to Nicaragua in January 2011, and we could be happier with our stay at Palermo. The villa was amazing - hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, nice and cool during the day and night, two porches, and impeccably clean and well appointed. There is even cable TV in case you get a rare rainy day!

The people working at the resort were awesome- they helped us charge our GPS when our rental car didn't work, and were just generally friendly and pleasant. We speak some Spanish, but many of them also speak decent English, unlike almost ANYBODY else in San Juan del Sur. They have movies and books to rent for free, and will drive you into town on a free shuttle for restaurants, shopping, beaches, etc.

Restaurant has good steaks & seafood at very reasonable prices, pool is great, and the views of sunsets from the balconies of the villas and the window in the master bedroom are totally unimpeded and just incredible.

All in all I am super glad we stayed at Palermo and would go back!

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2011

We have been in Nicaragua for the weeding of our friend and booked the Palermo hotel for the New Year night. We booked the hotel directly on the Palermo web site and received the confirmation by e-mail that it's booked. When we arrived, the reception lady said that something went wrong with our reservation and they don't have any room for us. The hotel manager said to look for the other hotel, for the New Year night!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Happy_Kayaker, Guest Relations Manager at Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2011
We agree that your welcome at our hotel was less than perfect. We do apologize for disrupting your New Year's Eve celebrations. We are happy that you were a part of a group and that you were invited to stay with friends in our hotel and sleep in an unused suite in his villa. We would also like to say that you were offered a free night as compensation for the fact that our reservation system showed you arriving on January 1st, instead of December 31st. This doesn't make up for the fact that your reservation was incorrect, but we hope you enjoyed your time in San Juan del Sur after you finally settled in. Sincerely, Sharon Vonk, Director of Marketing, Palermo Hotel & Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sugar Land, Texas, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

Our family and friends attended our daughter's wedding at Palermo in late November, 2010. The resort's villas and facilities were beautiful and designed perfectly to capture spectacular views overlooking San Juan del Sur Bay, including the gorgeous sunsets. The villas are terraced into the hill so that all have those great views. They were impeccably clean with full kitchens and amenities that lacked nothing. In the evening, we did see bugs on the walls which was disconcerting, but they seemed to disappear in the daytime and were never an issue in our beds or clothing. They are an eco-friendly resort, so that is to be expected. On our first afternoon, we had a family of howler monkeys in the trees just up the hill from our villa who came out and gave us quite the verbal greeting. The daily breakfast buffet at the resort's restaurant and pool area was delicious as was all the food we had there. Very good value for the money spent! Our daughter's wedding was handled with the utmost attention to detail, from the resort staff to the waitstaff. Every request was accommodated cheerfully and quickly and it couldn't have been more perfect. Kudos to Sharon and Harry, Guillermo, Freddy, and all the rest that made certain everything was taken care of. The only thing that could have been improved was the path lighting to our rooms. We were in Unit 25 (almost at the top) and it was a very dark and steep walk each night. We had brought our flashlights, which were definitely needed. I hope we have another chance to visit Palermo and will highly recommend it to others. We now have the perfect answer to the question, "Why Nicaragua?" Palermo Resort, of course!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Palermo over Thanksgiving weekend for a wedding and couldn't have been happier with San Juan Del Sur and Palermo Resort. The Villas are spacious and well maintained and the view is breathtaking. Expect a bug or two during your stay, the hotel is eco-conscious and does not use chemical spray. In my opinion, this is part of the charm and to be expected when you stay in the rain forest. The staff at Palermo were fantastic, they helped us with every request and were extremely accommodating. They put up with our large and raucous crowd, even keeping the bar open late for our group. The staff will drive you into town pretty much whenever you ask and are very helpful with recommendations for activities and beaches to go to. If you're going to SJDS I highly recommend securing a taxi to take you to one of the nearby beaches; they far surpass SJDS beach and the ride there is just as much of a highlight as the beautiful beaches. We were sorry we were only able to stay in SJDS for a few days and would definitely recommend it to others.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2010

I cannot say enough about how wonderful Palermo is. I had my wedding over Thanksgiving weekend 2010 on the lawn at Palermo, followed by dinner and reception around the pool. We had 54 guests joining us from the U.S. and Europe. I planned the entire wedding over email and phone calls and was thrilled with the way it turned out. As others have conveyed, the setting at Palermo is unparalleled. Words can't do justice to just how breathtaking the scenery, the grounds and the sunsets are. The free-standing villas are beautiful and spacious and our guests were extremely happy to have so much more space and privacy than they would have in a hotel room. The staff at Palermo is fantastic - Guillermo and Freddy the bartender were our favorites but everyone is extremely accomodating.
I could not have asked for a better wedding - it was absolutely beautiful, the food was delicious, and the staff went out of their way to make sure everything ran smoothly. All of our guests had an absolute blast.
Whether you're coming on a vacation getaway or considering having your wedding here, I definitely recommend Palermo! Thanks Sharon!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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Additional Information about Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort

Address: Carreterra San Juan del Sur, km 139, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#4 Family Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Palermo Hotel and Resort is located in San Juan del Sur, a city that bridges Costa Rica and Nicaragua on the Pacific Ocean. The hotel features 50 villas, flexible in-room work spaces, full-kitchens and room service, wireless broadband connectivity throughout the property, as well as both large and small, air-conditioned conference and meeting spaces. Terraza de Palermo Restaurant and Bar offer a dramatic dining experience overlooking the tropical pool and sunsets into the Pacific Ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas De Palermo Hotel And Resort
Villas De Palermo Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Villas De Palermo Hotel & Resort Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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