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“Relaxing place!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Sabalos

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Hotel Sabalos
Boca Sabalos, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Boca Sabalos
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
308 reviews 308 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
395 helpful votes 395 helpful votes
“Relaxing place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Hotel Sabalos was a very pleasant place to spend two days. We were the only guests in the hotel during these two days, and I was actually feeling so bad for this very nice hotel that they did not have more clients during the holiday season.

Caution when getting there: If you have your own car, make sure you take the correct turn in La Azucena. It is not marked!!! We went on a very rough road toward Los Chiles before we realized it was the wrong direction. It is always good to ask, ask and ask again if you are on the road to Boca de Sabalos.

Positive aspects:
The place was so very nice that you did not notice time pass when you were staring into the Rio San Juan or reading in a hammock while listening to the waves hitting the wooden stilts of the hotel with every passing boat. Admiring the sunset on the dock was also very peaceful. In the evening lying on the dock listening to all different creatures and observing the star-filled sky was just fantastic.

The night manager, Mercedes ( a guy who used to be a school teacher) was very knowledgeable about ecology and everything else in Nicaragua (& rest of the world for that matter). He would join us on the dock and show us a prehistoric fish, a caiman or a hiding crocodile. He told us the history of the hotel and about many other things in neighborhood. The two young women Mariela (day manager) and Angelica (assistant) also were very nice and were ready to help us any which way they could. It was very nice to see the all-female-boat-crew come to pick us up at Boca de Sabalos and take us back when we left.

We did not meet the cooks, but the food was very good. We were able to vary the items on the menu according to our needs. The place allowed us to sit back, relax, and enjoy a little town that lived on the river. We had the opportunity to take a tour to see a cacao plantation and factory, but we did not do that. Instead we crossed the river Sabalos on a little boat and took a long walk up to the village, which was interesting. People in the area were very friendly.

Our hotel room was very clean, and there was a double bed and an extra bed for a third person. There was a fan, and hot water. Everything functioned in the room. We had our own dongle so we did not even ask about hotel Wi-Fi. The prices of the room and the meals were very fair. Breakfast was included in the price of $42 per night.

Negative aspects:
The room was very small for two people and we could hardly turn around in there. During day time the room was a bit hot. On our first day there was loud music around 6 a.m. in the neighborhood. Of course, this was not the fault of the hotel. Apparently they had previously sent the police to this crazy fellow who played very loud music at all odd hours disturbing the hotel guests. But, apparently right after the police left he turned the music back on. Luckily we were tormented by this only one morning for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

We had a great time at the hotel Sabalos and I recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to experience a town on the river in Nicaragua while enjoying the hospitality of the nice people in this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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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43 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hannover, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Mariella, the hotel manager, speaks english. Everybody is friendly and helpfull.
We had the best meals of our entire journey.
The place is nice, clean and cosy.

You just can hop in the river from the balcony of the hotel. In every moment you can see different birds, fishes and caymans!

The breakfast is included in the hotel rate! The coffee is served in a big thermos coffee pod, so that it feels a little bit like beeing home :-)

It is a quiet place to relax. Beside relaxing there are good opportunities for different tours. We had a cacao tour with Julio, an english speeking guide. It was very interessting and familar on the plantage.

Or you take place in one of the hammoks and enjoy the pangas passing by on the river.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

This is the champion of my heart, who knows, it is about how your heart resonates and it can be very personal for each, but here in this place is where I felt felt the most of Nicaragua.
I really did not want to come to san Juan river, as I live in a river, rio dulce guatemala,and my river is for me the best..Nevertheless ,for all the inconvenience of long hours of travel, I would go back again and again.
It is not only the feeling of being deeply connected to the river, but the warmth of Mariela, Mercedes and Angelica was outstanding!!!
Wild, untamed, remote,,,the river is spiritfull here, it beats, it whispers and it sings!
A hotel supposed to be mainly for a clientele of sport fishing,,,and they have forbidden to fish in the river,,, ooops, but sorry, no need to go fishing if you want to know this place.The town is colorfull and cute as can be and El Castillo is a trippy experience, and they have tons of activities to do here.Of eight hotels in Nicaragua, and i am talking of very good hotels, this was the one with more soul, and the warmth was sublime.

Room Tip: Well of course the rooms that face the river!!!
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  • Stayed October 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
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south wales
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

We stayed just one night at this hotel. It is in a lovely setting with a large terrace overlooking the San Juan. The staff were friendly and the food was ok. The room was basic but comfortable. The hotel offers a range of trips but we did not partake In any as we were in transit.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is by far the nicest place I saw along the Rio San Juan. The staff couldn't be any more attentive. While I was there most of us were fishing through Phillipe. SO it felt like a nice fishing lodge. There are a ton of activities to do in there area besides fishing. My wife and I went on the Caiman tour which was great and Mariella helped us set up. Basically whatever you need she can help you with. I would go back again in a second.

Room Tip: Make sure you close you door before you turn your light on at night.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We traveled here with our 3 children, ages 7,9 & 11 from Costa Rica. We missed the boat in San Carlos so we ended up spending the night there. That wasn't ideal. We couldn't find a decent place to stay. Ended up in 2 separate rooms in a hostel. We got up early and finally boarded a fast boat to Sabalos at 10. My point: don't miss your boat. They get full and then leave early. Get there as early as you can.

When we arrived at Hotel Sabalos, we were greeted warmly and shown to our rooms. They have rustic charm and are very clean. Our friends were staying in the room next to ours with a 2 year old and we didn't hear them at all, as long as we kept our bathroom door closed. The beds were comfortable. Pillows were on the big/poufy side for me. The fan in our room was terrible. It just didn't send out air into the room. It churned it but didn't blow. Not a big deal, we still slept great. I never heard caimans under the hotel.

The food was good, but after 3 days choosing from the same menu, I must say I got a bit bored. Again, not a big deal. I wasn't there for the cuisine.

The great things about this hotel are:
The view
Relaxing in chairs or hammocks with the breeze keeping u perfectly cool
The caiman tour
Renting a kayak and cruising the river
Kids swimming in the river
Seeing monkeys while cruising the river
The rooms were cozy

This was a once in a lifetime experience. We will surely all remember it forever.

  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

It took a lot for us to make it out to Sabalos. We started the day in Arenal, Costa Rica. Agua Trails (see my review on their page) took us to San Carlos, Nicaragua, where we boarded a public boat for a 2 hour trip to this hotel. It was SO WORTH IT! What a serene, peaceful, relaxing place to be. The hotel sits out over the beautiful San Juan River (and the rooms aren't open air like their neighbor- makes things a little more comfortable). We caught the best sunsets of our trip from their wonderful patio. There is no TV, no internet, no phone- just you and the river... makes for a couple of great days of relaxation!

They set us up with an incredible full day tour of La Reserve Indio Maiz, as well as El Castillo Fort. We saw tons of wildlife, and really enjoyed the overall feel of this special area. The tour guide they hired for this trip was wonderful. They also offer a night-time tour to see the Caiman in the area- we didn't have time to do it since we had to get up so early both days, but it sounded like it would be a blast.

And the food. Wow. Our first night, my wife ordered the fresh fish (Guapote). Out comes this huge whole fish covered in diced vegetables, in the most amazing sauce. My wife (who doesn't eat much) polished off the whole thing, and then proceeded to order the same thing the next night. My only caution- eat early. Because you're right on the river, there are lots of bugs. The later it gets, the more there are. They have a couple bright lamps to divert them, but they still ended up getting in my drink on more than a few occasions.

If you haven't considered adding a trip up the Rio San Juan to your stay- you should. Tourists haven't realized that it has gotten much easier to get here over the past couple years, and once they do, it will become much more crowded (and likely more expensive). It's worth the extra travel.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Sabalos

Address: Boca Sabalos, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rio San Juan Department > Boca Sabalos
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Boca Sabalos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Also Known As:
Sabalos Hotel Boca

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