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“apoyo is a gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Apoyo Resort & Spa

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Apoyo Resort & Spa
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Laguna Apoyo Reserve, Catarina, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Miami, Florida
1 review
“apoyo is a gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

The staff was excellent, cordial and friendly. The place is beatiful and relaxing. Food was good, but limited choices. The room was large, clean, needs sat tv. Overall love the place and people

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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100 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    45
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    14
    9
    6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
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English first
Berkeley, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

The Villas at Apoyo is located near Granada, considered the most beautiful city in Nicaragua, and, for many, the most beautiful in Central America. It's a refuge and an oasis .... surrounded by trees, howler monkeys, birds, and situated on a crater where you can swim. Along with the stunning natural sights is the fact of the warm and friendly reception staff (Oscar, Rodney, and Carlos) and the lovely restaurant staff (Maria, Kenny). I went by myself and was never lonely. And there's lots of available sightseeing if you have wheels or get a guide. Ask for the staff to contact Ismael Bendana to take you around- he's a certified local tour guide and is a treasure. And did I mention that it's quite luxurious (without being "showy")?

Sallie in Berkeley/Albany, CA

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Miami Springs, Florida
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

Imagine a well-equipped, modern, spotless and tastefully appointed two room villa with three bathrooms, a kitchen and a large common area, with a wall of sliding glass doors leading to a slate porch and deck suspended on the side of a forested sloping volcanic crater that overlooks a deep and crystal clear crater lake...rustic, well-kept landscape set it in a nature preserve with all manner of chirpy rainforest birds and (well-named) howler monkeys and squirrels...now you'll know why my three friends and I spent hours just sitting out there and soaking in the vibe. As night fell, we had a Jurassic Park moment, wondering when the T-Rex would appear. One night we cooked and dined out on the deck, and the rest of the time we ate at the grill by the upper swimming pool. Faultless and non-intrusive service, very customer-friendly, delicious meals, and the yogurt/granola/fruit breakfast was yummy, after eating so much ubiquitous beans and rice everywhere else. Be prepared for some serious stair climbing or steep terrain hiking, unless you want to call reception and they'll send a cart for you. One day we set out around the lake and walked to "The Monkey Hut" ( a hostel/bar/watersports place) and if I'd had more time, I'd be exploring every path!This is a great spot for r'n'r, kayaking, hiking around the lake and thru the forest paths, swimming, star gazing like you wouldn't believe and bird watching. Bring a good book, or borrow one from the bookshelf in the reception area, as the TV reception isn't the best. The wi-fi was fine, and they provide bottled water as well. There are two pools, a little tienda for snacks, other recreational amenities that I never used because I found it so difficult to get out of the hammocks and rocking chairs and pools, LOL. It was hard to believe that we were a short ride from Granada because it was so unspoiled!!! We found the prices comparable (per person) to just about everywhere else we stayed, not unreasonable, and the service was super. The new management is working diligently to build up the reputation and accommodations of the Villas, after some sort of default and unpleasantness with a previous entity, and I want to send them a shout out for providing us with the best three days and two nights of our whole trip!

Room Tip: We loved our lake view, but many neat villas had forest views as well...depends what you prefer.
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

... but it's definitely not. Getting there was a disaster, by driving ourselves, the road signs coming from the Granada-Managua road are not correct, mentioning wrong distances and it's former name, which made us go back and forth along the lake, wondering how and when we could have missed it (or a turn).
Yes, the location is great, stunning views over the lake, in the midst of jungle and flowers. But the place was empty, the night we arrived we were the only guests and it feels kinda creepy when the restaurant staff is kinda waiting for you. On the other hand, you wouldn't want the place to be packed, 'cause otherwise that noisy polluting diesel car would run constantly up and down the mountain. Besides that, pool and restaurant capacity wouldn't be enough if the place was full. The latter won't happen quickly, as half of the villas were by no means ready to have guests in them anyway.
Our room (actually, the two story house) was adequate enough. When we dragged the sitting furniture out, we could enjoy our terrace and the lake view. The big kingsize bed was only so-so comfortable. The most bizar thing in the house was that we were made to count the kitchen inventory upon arrival and made aware of the price list if anything broken or missing.
Think management and staff are really trying (yes, everybody is very friendly), but they should wait charging top prices (we paid more here than in any hotel in Nicaragua) unless the resort is up to par with what they're trying to sell you.
There are some lovely B&B's along the lake (not the former part of this hotel, which is a dump) but both earlier on and further down the road. Would, unfortunately, not recommend The Villas.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
granadagal, General Manager at Apoyo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Gentlemen,

Thank you for your review of the Villas.

Yes, we know we are a work in progress and we have been working diligently towards improving our product one villa at a time. We have restored and refurbished over 42 private homes, villas and apartments. More than enough to create a potential run at the bar during High Season ! I understand your confusion about the name change and I agree that we need to ensure we seperate ourselves from what the resort was formerly - that is closed and abandoned for over 3 years. But you have to admit, since you stayed two nights and did not chose to visit one of the hostels you mentioned along the lake, there must have been something endearing about us to capture your attention? Was it the prompt and courteous attention of our staff? Was it the natural beauty of the Crater Lake or the Howler monkeys playing in the jungle? Was it the peacefully quiet serenity of your surroundings, or the healing waters of the volcanic lake? If this question were given to me, I might have included the killer Nachos and Mojitos at the pool bar!

We consider any constructive comments as an opportunity for improvement. And there will be improvements made after every Trip Advisor review. You have my word on that. Thank you again for allowing us to serve you both. While you say you would not recommend us, I invite you both to stay with us again and witness the postive changes your comments have created as my personal guests on your next visit to Nicaragua and The Laguna de Apoyo.

Regards,

John-Marc Gallagher
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Alabama, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

My Nicaraguan friend recommended we go here for part of two days and stay one night during my one week stay in the country. I was extremely pleased with the entire stay. It was charming, comfortable, and beautiful. The people were very nice. The resort is built up the side of the slope from the road that is several yards from the water's edge, to much further up the slope. We stayed in one of the apartmentos close the the resort headquarters hut and the road (specifically we stayed in apartmento # 5, which I'd recommend). The headquarters hut had very dependable and free wi-fi, and although they said that was the only place it could be picked up, I got it on my iphone in the apartmento too some of the time. The air conditioner in the room was very strong, there was a kitchenette (which we didn't even use), a large container of filtered water, a nice bathroom, and TV. Our TV had two channels of movies that they would play from the front desk by request - there was a list of options in a book in the room). But who wants to watch TV here other than at night! As I recall, the cost we paid was about $150 but included all meals and drinks. By American standards that is one crazy deal especially considering the beautiful setting! The slope is steep (there are roads the resort has built of stone that run up and around the slope). But you can call the headquarters hut to pick you up in a transport bus/atv thing thing to take you up to the restaurant on top or back to the headquarters hut anytime you wanted and they were usually pretty quick. The view from the restaurant at the top was extraordinary day and night, as moonlight illuminating the laguna was awesome. On the first evening we went down to a different facility on the water and rented a paddle boat for $5 per 30 minutes and went out in the water. The next morning I got up early and watched the sun rise over the laguna, while the water splashed on the shore at my feet, some chickens scratched nearby, monkeys were moving in the trees, and the whole scene was just mesmerizing. I also took time then to walk up the slope to the top of the resort and enter onto a dirt trail that winds even farther up the slope into the forest and then reconnects to the another part of the resort roads. The trail goes through a protected national forest and was interesting too. At one point a monkey making noise did sound nearly like some cousin of the Smoke Monster from LOST behind me... but the monkeys make much louder noise than I'd expect from pretty small monkeys, which was amusing. The walk probably took 25 minutes or so and was a great experience in itself, even alone (my friend had zero interest in this little expedition). I would love to go back here, and if I were not so eager to see as MUCH of the country as possible and had been just looking for a place to relax for a number of days, this place would have been great for that too. They asked at the end if we'd leave feedback on tripadvisor and I told them I would when I got back. I was happy to do so because it was such a great experience.

Room Tip: We stayed in apartmento #5 and it was great. They also had lots of villas of course, but all we want...
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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.
granadagal, General Manager at Apoyo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Wow! What a review! From all my staff I humbly thank you for recognizing their efforts. The Villas at Apoyo is truly a special place and when someone enjoys it as much as we do, it makes all our efforts worthwhile.

Looking forward to serving you and your friend again in the future.
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Managua, Nicaragua
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

I spent two nights recently at the Villas.

The resort is a very nice place, well located on the lake, and up the hill, with a lovely bar/restaurant and swimming pool up the hill a bit and with a beautiful view of the laguna and over to Granada.

Our deluxe villa was very nice, two big bedrooms, communal area, very large terrace with an excellent view and three bathrooms.

Although I really enjoyed my two nights there, the place did feel that a bit of a face-lift is needed. As said, the villa was nice, but did feel a bit unloved in places, with a few doors that didn't quite close properly, a few bits of crumbling paintwork here and there and televisions which don't work.

Good place, but it is expensive, and I'm afraid to say I was not convinced that it is worth all that money. I think though, with a bit of work going into improving the villas, it will be.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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granadagal, CFO at Apoyo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 7, 2012
Thank you so much for your review. I am happy you enjoyed your stay. I also appreciate that you did notice that improvements are still being made to the property. We are working hard to improve each villa and ensure everyone's stay is a pleasant one.
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Portsmouth
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

this is my favorite place to vacation, and I've travelled here for the past 7 years or so. The view from the pool by the grill restaurant is about the prettiest I know. There are families of monkies in the trees, beautiful birds, and relaxed elegance in the villas. Service is good, and you can travel to Granada, the Massaia Craft Market and the volcanoes easily. This is the perfect place to recover from your hectic life and breathe in nature. The food is good at the restaurant, but there are two others nearby if you want to venture out.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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 Apoyo Resort & Spa

Address: Laguna Apoyo Reserve, Catarina, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Masaya Department > Catarina
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Catarina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Apoyo Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Villas at Apoyo, tucked unobtrusively in the hillside overlooking the Laguna, are some of the most unique hotel accommodations in Nicaragua. We offer 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas and apartments, some with fully equipped kitchens, to accommodate whatever size of group you may have. The Villas are situated in the dry tropical forest of Nicaragua which is home to Howler monkeys and a variety of tropical birds.The Grill, a small restaurant at the upper pool, has a variety of fresh and healthy foods. Try the Nachos Grande or the Chinese Chicken Salad while enjoying a beautiful view of the laguna. New at The Villas at Apoyo is our 5-station, Low Ropes Challenge Course. The Challenge Course was built to encourage participants to grow at both the team and individual levels. Our Low Ropes course focuses on communication, problem solving, and leadership. Every member must participate in order to complete the five tasks, and in doing so, inspires confidence in each other. Our hopes are that these skills will be carried by the participants to be used in their daily lives. We also have a new Game Room near the pool area so our guests can emjoy a game of Billiards, Darts or enjoy one of our many boards games. For your convenience, food and beverage can be served from The Grill. A new addition to our services is a fully equipped convention center with seating of up to 150 persons. This is a great location for sales seminars, company meetings as well as social events. ... more   less 
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