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“Booked For 13 Nights Stayed For 1” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Derek's Place

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Derek's Place
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54214, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Nanaimo, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Booked For 13 Nights Stayed For 1”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

We spent a fair share of time researching places to stay on Little Corn and made the decision on Derek's Place. We booked the Bottle House as we are a family of four. Our kids are 8 and 10 and were really looking forward to our holiday.

We took the 10am panga from Big Corn and when we arrived at the dock on Little Corn there was someone waiting with a wheel barrow for our luggage. There were two other couples as well and the walk was horrendous it was more then a 20 minute walk and I've never been covered in as much mud as that day. People were slipping and falling in the mud, it was horrible.

When we finally got there we were shown our cabana by Anna and was informed not to put anything in the safe attached to the back of the door as any key worked in it and one if her cleaning staff had stolen the previous day. She said she dealt with it, but still not to put anything in there. I asked her about getting something to eat as my husband is diabetic and she sounded annoyed and said that there maybe some granola and yogurt, but lunch was being prepared. I must admit lunch was good but do agree with a couple of the other write ups that the meals were over priced. As for dinner they serve it at 8pm??? I'm sorry but like I said my husband is diabetic and we have kids who are in bed at that time, I can't eat a meal at 8pm myself. Turns out that our kids weren't even allowed to eat with us they had to eat with Derek and Anna's kids and were feed Mac n cheese my kids said was kraft dinner which they don't even eat at home.

We got up early and attempted to walk into town along the beach but only got maybe a quarter of the way by beach then had to go back up to the trail. Once in town we realized how much was actually in town food wise and accommodation wise for a fraction of what the food and accommodations where at Dereks so after a good breakfast at The Shack By The Sea great pancakes and French toast made from coconut bread we made the trek back to Derek's packed up our stuff went and squared away for our food and drinks for the one day. Anna seemed annoyed but they got our money for ten nights and we only stayed one. We just wanted out, we ended up getting a room at Los Delphine's hotel right in town and found some great deals at restaurants for meals. Rosas for breakfast 3.00 US dollars for a full breakfast including coffee or tea and fruit.

Take our advice along with the other reviews to stay away. The locals on the island are super friendly. Derek and Anna are not locals and don't make you feel welcome at all and you have no say in anything it's their way or no way. Don't do it it's your vacation not theirs! If you do want seclusion you can walk to any beach on the island you don't need to be under someone else's rules for your holiday.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

We finished our 3-week Nicaragua holidays here. This was the best we could do. Derek's Place is beautifully located on the northern shore of the island and we always had a cooling wind that made the sleep here the best in our whole holidays. We were one couple and 2 friends traveling together, so we rented the biggest house (beach house) that in my opinion is also the most beautiful one. It has a spacious living area, a large kitchen, 2 small sleeping rooms upstairs (very low ceiling as it is directly under the roof... this is actually something that not everybody might like, but you can ask Derek and he will give you a additional mattrass that you can place in the large living room and sleep there if you prefer) plus two very large terraces outside. This house is located only a few metres from the shore, so you are living super close to the beach.
The food is very tasty and plenty. We prepared breakfast most times on our own in the kitchen, as some of us are vegetarian/vegan and most breakfast dishes that were vegetarian included eggs. But anyhow you could enjoy a fruit plate or some bread with self-made marmalade if you prefer (or all the omelettes and other eggs that were available). Lunch was actually the best food in my eyes, at it was cheaper (8 Dollar) and plenty. You can eat as much as you want, as all the dishes are placed on the table and you can just take whatever you like. Dinner is more expensive, but normally also more fancy with grilled meat or fish. If you prefer vegetarian, they always do their best to offer you something extra vegetarian, but mostly I was happy and satisfied just to leave the meat/fish aside.
The place itself is somehow magical. It is overgrown with soft green grass, some half wild parrots are living here together with Dereks dogs, cats and chicken. The beach is beautiful and inviting for a swim and best of all: There is a diving center on site with the most lovely diving instructor you can imagine. After having had a dive for the first time in our lives, my husband and I decided to do the padi open water course here. This was the best decision we could have made. The course is a little bit more expensive than in the big diving centers in the village, but we had the instructor Missy all to ourselves. Here are no big groups. We also saw her several times going out with the boat only with one additional diver. And we did our course always only the two of us and her. She is also a person that seems to live for the diving sports like noone else I have met. She was super passionate and also very serious about us learning all the important security stuff. We felt super safe with her and to dive with her and to experience her beautiful and joyful nature was a gift. Thanks again for the beautiful time! So if you want to dive or learn diving: do it here in "the little dive shack by the sea".

Room Tip: The beach house is the best, spacious and airy.
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

This was my boyfriend and my first trip to Nicaragua and we really couldn't have stayed at a better place. You take a ferry from Big Corn Island to Little Corn Island and then it's a bit of a hike through a jungle path to Derek's Place. Just when you begin to think that you may have made a horrible mistake, you start to hear the waves against the shore and the dirt path widens out and your gaze settles on the grouping of charming cabanas that is Derek's. Ana greeted us right away and showed us around the place, showing us our cabana (a charming two room hut with a surprisingly comfortable bed, electricity, plumbing, and a small porch with hammock and chair). Derek's is set a bit away from most of the other hostels on Little Corn Island which was both an asset and a drawback. It felt more remote that way and the two of us being in our early thirties, we didn't really fancy hanging out with the backpacking kids that were staying at the other hostels on the other side of the island. It felt like a real "get away". The beach that was steps away from our cabana had so little foot traffic it felt like our own private beach. The only drawback to the remote nature of Derek's was that at night as there are few streets or street lights on Little Corn, it gets pitch black and the dirt paths that take you to the other side of the island were a little daunting at night. Overall we loved the entire stay. The last night we were there we had a nice long chat with Derek, Ana, and a friend of theirs. Overall great place perfect for couples, friends, or even small families.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topanga, California
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We loved Derek's Place, though we think it should be Derek and Ana and Lola and Suraya's Place - an amazing family, delicious healthy food, and simple cabins by the beach surrounded by nature and the sea. If I had to plan this trip again, I would spend all my time right here! This is the perfect destination for anyone who truly wants to get back to nature, but not for those who need internet, hot water and cell phone service on site.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
new york
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

The place looks very pretty and I don't want to take away from that, but the reviews on this site are very misleading.

The hotel is run by Ana and Derek, and you will eat with them at their table for most meals (place is secluded). Which would be fine, except for the fact that they are extremely negative, very angry depressed people. Seclusion they have, but you can tell they are not happy. Ana gets angry at pretty much everything anybody does. She's a very bad communicator, expects you to obey her rules, even though she doesn't tell you what any of them are. She is clearly very depressed and angry, and it's sad, but also not good to watch her take it all out on her family and her guests by belittling everyone and giving angry stares. The negative energy is infectious and always palpable when she is around. It usually revolves around money etc...they are the kind of hippies that act like they are very chill and laid back but are very uptight when it comes to money and will treat guests very poorly if they are not getting every last dime from them (tours, boat rides, laundry, prcey meals)

Keep in Mind, this is all VERY important because you are basically living with them and there is no other communal space other than their living room (the cabanas are tiny). They make you feel like you are intruding on their personal space when you eat meals with them, even though you are paying for the meals and they are incredibly overpriced for the region (although the meals were tasty). Derek is a good cook, and probably a better person than Ana, but he has clearly spent too much time around her negative energy. He acts like he's your daddy at the dinner table which is very awkward.

Steve was a breath of fresh air, he is more positive, and actually tries to talk to guests and make them feel comfortable.

p.s. - if you fail to heed this warning, well, so be it...

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

Loved loved loved this place. Been telling all my friends about it. Costa Rica and Panama have their perks but Nicaragua is a gem and this place might be the best one. A truly rustic, low key and unique destination. We slept well, and ate well. How can you beat fresh fish caught right off the coast of the island. The bugs are not an issue about 90% of be time because of the constant ocean breeze. My expectation for the diving accommodations were exceeded, they had better equipment than anyone else I have dived with in the Caribbean, the night dive was stunning! Derek an his wife made us feel like family.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

When you leave Derek's place, you'll feel like you're leaving home. It's absolutely the place to stay if you're really looking to enjoy the island in its natural form.

My boyfriend and I stayed here for one week, and both agreed that we were so glad we hadn't stayed in the touristy feeling places like beach & bungalow. There's something hypnotic about the grounds...bouncy grass, chickens milling about, local kids playing by the ocean, complete seclusion from the rest of the island, and a strong sense of community among the guests who stayed there -- something I thought I wouldn't like, but actually came to love. Come to think of it, most of the things I thought I wouldn't like about the place, were actually the things that made the experience so special. The showers are buckets, from which you pour bowls of water on yourself, an after-beach ritual that made my showers at home seem rather overdone, to be honest. The wind was strong, but unnoticeable After two days on the island, and a blessing at night to ward off the heat and Mosquitos. The family dinners were delicious, and though I thought this would be obnoxious to have to eat with other guests, it actually inspired a lot of human moments between people who would have otherwise remained strangers. The trek to town, which we did just about every day, can be done either by beach or jungle, and came to be a great reason to explore the island and take in the scenes around you. The walk at night seems long and a little scary (crabs, spiders, rogue jungle chickens), but became somewhat of an adventure, especially after a few shots of rum in town. The occasional roach in the cabin became just another moment in which to relish the realities of island life. Ana and Derek are great people who have crafted a life for themselves and their children on a tiny island. They take a few days to get to know, but once you do, you realize that your experience at Derek's place is a direct result of their genuine desire to share their little piece of home with their guests.

Walk twenty minutes on the beach, and you'll be in town. Walk five minutes the other way, and you'll be on the best white sand beaches the island has to offer. Bring a flashlight, bugspray, sunscreen, flip flops, and a bathing suit. You won't need anything else.

What I appreciated most was the fact that they left so much of the place undone. That is to say, they didn't try to force the place to be something that would appeal to your average American tourist, instead they made it comfortable, but let the island's beauty steal the show. Our experience there was magical, relaxing, and truly special. I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who is looking to really get away from it all.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Derek's Place

Address: 54214, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Little Corn Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly eco-oriented hotel. Solar panels and windmills. Right on the beach, 15 minute walk through the beautiful tropical foliage. For those seeking quiet and tranquility at an affordable price. Welcome, one and all! Snorkeling, restaurant with wood-fire oven baked food, and nearby horse-back riding. Have a good day and a wonderful stay! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Derek`s Place Hotel Little Corn Island
Derek's Place Little Corn Island, Nicaragua - Corn Islands

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