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“Good experience, overall” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Bearded Monkey

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The Bearded Monkey
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Avenida 14 de Septiembre, Granada, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Granada
Monroe, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Good experience, overall”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

We spent our last two nights in Nicaragua at the Bearded Monkey. The hostel itself has this great, big, commons area with a garden courtyard, tables & chairs, a bar, bookshelves etc. This is a great place for backpackers.

The happy hour at the bar is a great deal, and has some seriously tasty drinks. Try the Nicaragua "national" drink (can't remember the name--but it's blended orange, and guava juices with rum, and it is AWESOME).

The staff was super friendly, helpful. Also there was free internet/computers in the commons area--which is always a welcome site.

My friend and I were given a room in the "Hidden Monkey" part of the hostel, which is disconnected from the main building --kind of dingy, and very quiet. I wasn't particularly fond of this spot, and would recommend trying to get a room in the dorms--more fun, more going on, etc. But it was private, and quiet, if that's what you're looking for.

One rather strange piece of advice; bring a travel/pocket mirror if you ever think you might need one. There wasn't a single mirror in the bathrooms/rooms. Also a word of warning: the beds were insanely uncomfortable, and the rooms were hot. But whatever, it's Nicaragua-- and it was around $6/each per night, so really I can't complain.

Like I said a good experience, overall.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2011

As previous reviewers have stated, the beds here are BAD. I've stayed in over 50 hostels in South and Central America and these beds win the award. Mattresses are paper thin and the pillows resemble a less than half empty bag of wool. Plus noise at night is not controlled. bunch of people came in at 3am and sat around talking loudly and playing music right outside the dorms, nothing was done about this despite the presence of a night worker.

Internet is turned off at midnight, for reasons unknown to me.

I wont be staying here on my next visit to Granada and I wont be recommending it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Lloydminster, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

We shuttled to Granada our first night arriving in Nicaragua and without making reservations anywhere decided to try the Bearded Monkey. They had no privates available but we grabbed a dorm room for $6/night as we were only staying 2 nights. First impressions of the hostel were good, the centre courtyard is beautiful with hammocks/common area and seemed to have a good vibe. Our dorm room had 5 bunk beds with a few ceiling fans. When we grabbed the only bunk left however, the folded sheet on my bed was dirty - looked like mud or dirt on it! The 'mattresses' are tiny little foam pads (Really for $6 I'm not complaining about this but they were seriously almost transparent!) My boyfriend and I grabbed the foam from the top bunk and tried doubling up our foamies and slept on one bunk together to try and be more comfortable....we could STILL feel the wooden bunk underneath us!
The communal washrooms are at the back of the hostel with basic showers (cold water)
The location is pretty good, we walked everywhere and never used a taxi, even at night we felt comfortable.
Staff was nice at best, compared to other hostels we stayed at. Not overly friendly or talkative. Didn't try the food but it was nice that they had a fridge with water/gatorade for purchase.
All in all this is an ok budget hostel.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Durban, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2011

At the bearded monkey, the private rooms are in a separate building a couple of doors down the street. There are no staff on duty there, just a security gate with a spring to keep it shut. The bars on the gate are easily bent out the way meaning that anybody has access to the private rooms at any time of the day. Coupled with the fact that a private room is a concrete box with 1 set of un-barred louvre windows (glass slats), 1 electric socket and a fan (so you can either have a fan or charge your camera/ipod..) and 1 bed with a 2 inch thick foam mattress, means you have a security nightmare. It is so easy to take the panes of glass out of louvre windows that they are basically big burgler catflaps. And there's no form of locker at all in the rooms, so either you carry all your stuff around with you all day or spend all day hanging out in your room to stop people stealing it (which several worried groups of people were doing the day we were there).

It is funny reading through previous reviews, because we also experienced no water. Everyone who wanted to shower, brush their teeth or use the toilets had to walk down the street to the main bearded monkey place (where the dorm rooms are) to use facilities there. So even though they've had the problem for months, they haven't done anything about it.

It also looks like the crime problems have not been looked into at all, as funnily enough the night before we checked in yet another private room was cleaned out of all its contents while the people staying in it had popped out to grab some dinner. They passed us in the doorway on the way out and gave us a friendly warning. Since then, everybody we've met on road who stayed there had their own stories about things being stolen from the private rooms, it looks like its an almost daily occurance.

It leads you to ask what sort of management runs the place? Well, you can see in the reviews he says if you have a problem, come and ask him. We did that - after a night of little sleep and barricading ourselves into our room, we approached the manager on checkout as soon as the front desk opened to complain and request a reduction in the ridiculously overpriced rooms (they would have been overpriced even if there was water and security, but we thought they were taking the mickey without them). He was having none of it, did not give a damn about the lack of security and said the water isn't his fault it's the cities fault that there's no water. The final cherry on top was when, in his broken english he basically told us to stuff off and that "we can't cater to *perfect* travellers like you". I said to him on parting that I'd leave an honest review on tripadvisor, and so here I am.

We've been travelling through central america for 6 months now, have stayed in nearly 50 different hostels and this had by far the worst security and the most pathetic management we've experienced. It was also the most over priced for what we got by a long way. But there were some upsides to the hostel - the dorm rooms there looked fine and reasonably priced, the setup of the main part of the hostel was great around an old colonial courtyard and there is proper security in the main part too. So if you're after a dorm bed, stay there with pleasure. We didn't eat there, preferring to explore the town and eat out, so I can't comment on the food except to say the prices looked a bit high for what we saw coming out the kitchen (the bar was also rather on the expensive side too, with prices roughly 40% higher than the hostel we stayed in in Leon). Oh and if you want to bring in your own drinks, they have signs all over the place proclaiming that they are also a public restaurant and bar and so if you do bring your own stuff in, each bottle will have a USD $5 corkage fee applied to your tab. Take that as a warning that you musn't bring alcohol in and that literally anybody off the street is welcome into the establishment. And as a final word of warning, just please, please, please stay away from the terrible, overpriced, dangerous private rooms!

Room Tip: Go for a dorm, stay away from privates.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Granada, Nicaragua
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

We stayed here for one night as it was recommended from lonely planet. As we checked another backpacker told us his room hadd been broken into the night before and had everything stolen, we still decided to stay anyway as we had already paid. At about 5am we woke up to someone trying to break into our room while we were sleeping. About 30 mnutes later they tried to break into another girls room who they'd been watching and knew the girls were in there and awake. Very dodgy. Rooms and beds were small and Ok, shower didnt work as "there was no water left'. Probably the worst place ive staryed throughout all my travels in south and central america. We didnt stay in the dorms but our friends did and had no problems maybe just stay away from Private rooms..Location was pretty good.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

Security, What security.

What a shambles of a hostel. As we arrived a girl had just had her bag (containing 2 Camera's, passport, ipod etc) stolen from reception. She tried to ask the receptionist to call the police but was told they wouldnt do anything at that time and they were never called. For some crazy reason we still decided to check in, we were only planning on staying one night and thought how bad can it be. We checked in and were taken to their annexed building the Hidden Monkey. We were soon to realise it is only hidden to the staff and security at the hostel. That night (friday night) we went out for some drinks in town. We were only out for 2 hours between midnight and 2am. When we returnd we discovered that the whole of our room had be ramsacked. My friends bag was slashed open and his Laptop, Camera, money, phone and day pack were all taken. My Ipod, camera, wallet, phone, bag and other items of clothing etc were also taken. The main gate to this building had had one of the bars bent open then the perpetraitors had reached through and opened the door from the inside. Once inside all the rooms have padlocks on them, so it is very easy to see which one will have nobody inside, as you cannot lock yourself in with padlocks. On each room (except one I think) they have windows with slatted glass which couldnt be easier to remove to climb in to the rooms, which is what happened.
The problem is not that this happened, obviosly this was extremely unfortunate and upsetting, but it is that when we arrived we were not told their were no lockers in the rooms in the hidden monkey we were not told that the hostel had a safe behind reception to put all valuable items in. I'm not sure if this was due to the ignorance of the staff member working at that time or whether he neglected to tell us this as he had something more to do with what happened that night. He didnt seem to bothered when the girl had had her bag stolen from under his nose in reception and was far from helpful in trying to call the police for her.

The hostel did manage to call the police for us that night but nothing much happened at that point. This could have been due to the officer being slightly tipsy and therefore refusing to give me his name for identification. We were taken to the Police station the following morning to provide a report and then they followed up at the hostel by taking finget prints etc. All the time this was happeneing we were never made aware of what was happeneing, the manager had never made any effort to introduce himself to us. We eventually found who we assumed to be the managed sitting at the bar on our return to the bearded monkey.

The worst part of all of this is that nothing was done that day to try to secure this bulding from a repeat attack. The panes of glass were never replaced in our room and I had to bend the bar back in to place on the front door myself. The following day the ''Administrator' identified himself to us and appologised for our loss and the fact that he had been off all weekend (without someone to cover him) and only returned that morning. When questioned about why this was alowed to happen in the first place and about the lack of interest from staff and the lack of effort with attempting to secure the building afterwards and with what he planned to do in the future with regards to preventing similar attacks, he was far from convincing with his answers. When I suggested changing locks on doors to those similar to yale locks so people wouldnt be able to see if the room was empty or not, and to putting bars on the windows, he seemed to think this was going to be too expensive to do. I also sugesseted the hostel utilized the other doors on the entrance to the hidden monkey which remained open 24 hours a day and he replied by telling us that a lot of people leave without returning keys implying that it would again be expensive practice to do this (They already charge an $8 key deposite). There was also an issue with somebody living in the room next to the front door and noise but I failed to see how this door could be any noisier than the mental gate already in place.

The whole situation was dealt with unprofessionally and insensitively (we had lost over $1000 of belongings but no one seemed to care). There was no hint of any compensation or good will from their part. Infact later that day, one of the receptionists was shouting at us because we hadnt checked out by 12pm and the time was now 2pm.
I have travelled for over 18months, spent a lot of time in a lot of hostels, NEVER had a problem with anything like this before and i would absolutely recommend not staying at this hostel if you value your belongings and travelling experience. Yes it is faily cheap but for similar prices and beter sevice and SECURITY i highly recommend looking elsewhere.

The hostel made one nice jesture and that was offering to take my freinds bag to be sown up where it was slashed. Upon its return my freind filled it up and it immediately split again, then the manager locked it on a cupboards for him until he was ready to leave but when that time came nobody in the hostel had a key for this cupboard (which was empty beside my friends belongings). We waited for the staffs lack of effort in contacting the manager for an hour and a half until we could wait no more as the buses to Managua were due to stop running soon. Due to this I decided to open the locker myself via my own means, but not causing any damage to the lock or surrounding door, allowing us to finally leave Granada the the hellish weekend we had encoutered. The poos cleaner didnt seem to pleased by this but i appologies and tried to explain i was left no choice and nobody made any effort to help us out.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2010

Stayed here because lonely planet reccomended it. The place to stay in Granada. I never saw so many people check out of a place so fast. The mattresses were nothing more than 2 inches of foam on wooden boards. Prison inmates have better living standards than this. The bathrooms were a nasty eyesore. The food was bland and over priced. The lady working the bar was mental and needs professional help. Save your money and frustrations and get a better place. Granada is a wonderful city. The bearded monkey is by far the worst place I have ever stayed in my travels.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
beardedmonkey, Gérant at The Bearded Monkey, responded to this review, January 28, 2011
It's a pity you did not ask to talk about your bad stay in our hostel. Actually, we do have a classic turnover for backpacker hostel so don't be afraid of 15 check-out everyday. I can assure you that a huge majority of our clients is very satisfied of their stay.
Thousands of backpackers spent nights in the bearded monkey and they seem very thankful leaving the hostel.

Don't be shy next time and speak with the direction when you have this kind of problems.

THE DIRECTION
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Additional Information about The Bearded Monkey

Address: Avenida 14 de Septiembre, Granada, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Granada Department > Granada
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Granada
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A bedrock of Granada's backpacker scene, The Bearded Monkey is both a chilled and relaxed hang-out but with a friendly and sociable buzz. Friends and strangers alike lounge around carefree in hammocks and swinging chairs whilstA range of accommodation options are available here. Three spacious dormitories with a total of 30 beds provide the bulk of them, priced at $6 per person. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Bearded Monkey Hotel Granada

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