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Aqua Wellness Resort
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Reviews (662)
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Reviewed December 8, 2012

this place is super cool...essentially you're staying in private treehouses and couldn't be more removed from society. you're surrounded by the sound of lapping waves, crazy loud howler monkeys and crickets--all of which i loved.

the food was great. all fresh ingredients, locally sourced. get the ceviche. but they were out of alot of items too much of the time. we wanted the fish curry so many nights and FINALLY on the last night they had it. it was worth the wait.

beach is very nice...some days the water was pretty rough...but great for sunbathing. and you're almost always alone. considering the place is so far removed, we kept wondering where everyone was?!

the BUT part of the review...some of which i'm willing to overlook because of its eco-stance:
- no electricity during the day; weird wine cooler in the room but no mini fridge (seemed so incongruous--who's storing 6 bottles of wine and what good is it if the electricity is turned off during the day??)
- it's a trek from the rooms to the restaurant and beach; be prepared for steep steps, and lots of them
- the yoga class was a joke; while i'm no yogi, it felt like an hour of mild stretching at best
- since the place is so small, you get to know the management (or were they owners?), yoga instructor, etc because they're hanging out like they're resort guests. i'm all for friendly service, but pulling up chairs and having drinks with guests seems like it's taking it too far. the impression we left with was they were enjoying the lifestyle of beach living more than managing a resort

if you're willing to overlook the nits i've outlined above, then it's a nice stay.

Room Tip: Request one closer to the restaurant/beach. I think climbing stairs is unavoidable since the place is build into the hill, but it'll be a shorter trek.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank wanderlust_2244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC_Trev, Owner at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Dear ShanuzerNYC,

Cool that you understood what we’re doing at Aqua and we’re happy you enjoyed the stay – thanks for your constructive comments – if you could email anthony.mandela@aquanicaragua.com with specific details or a phone number he could get in touch with you about the management socializing – it’s a challenge to get that mixture of being friendly and interested but respecting guest privacy just right, but while every guest's desire is a little different, we want to make sure all our guests get either the attention or the privacy they seek – a quick call might help us with the nuances.

Thanks kindly,
Aqua Management.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

I really struggled with this review. On one hand, Aqua is lovely. Its location in the canopy is unreal, and the villas are beautiful. The beach is pristine. The spa was outstanding (I was suprised by how much I enjoyed the spa after reading some of the reviews, actually).

On the other, it fell short of meeting our expectations. The overall attenton to detail and service level was lacking. We noticed this immediately upon arrival. The "welcome" at reception was very businesslike... not warm at all (in fact, we felt like we were interrupting the woman who checked us in, she seemed annoyed when we showed up). We did not recieve any explanation or map of the property (which is a bit confusing at first), and we did not receive any literature about the spa or activities (I wrongly assumed that they'd provide this in the rooms). They did not provide cushions on the wood slat deck furniture, so enjoying the beautiful deck and outstanding view proved to be very uncomfortable.

The beach furniture was similarily poor. The chase lounges didn't have cushions and were almost unbearably uncomfortable... and there were very few of them to begin with. Several hammocks had huge holes, making them impossible to use. And many of the other seats (made of rope) had holes or were frayed. I of course realize that Aqua is not a 5-star retreat in a developed nation, so I don't expect service that you'd get at a Aman Resort or a Four Seasons... but for the money we paid, I do expect furniture that is comfortable and usable.

As for the restaurant and bar, we thought it was good. We didn't experience poor service like other reviewers seemed to have. The restaurant and bar staff we had were fine and attentive. The food was also fine -- not outstanding but certainly not bad.

The bottom line is that we did enjoy our time at Aqua. It's a beautiful spot. But, we wouldn't recommend it to others unless some of the issues are addressed. Not to sound strange, but it felt like Aqua was missing a "soul" or is suffering from an identity crisis.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jao1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC_Trev, Owner at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

It’s wonderful you got to enjoy our award winning spa and beach, and had a good experience at the restaurant - and we’re also thankful for your comments on the checkin experience, which we’re looking to improve.
Nicaraguan culture is extremely friendly and welcoming, and we are committed to hiring locally, however it seems sometimes the language and cultural gap may lead to a transactional feeling that we’re constantly seeking to improve. If you have the time and desire we’d appreciate more details if we could follow up with you directly – if so please email Anthony.mandela@aquanicaragua.com.

Due to our location and climate we do acknowledge that we fight a constant battle with the elements particularly in regards to our beachside furniture and lounge hammocks. We apologize that you found a hammock in disrepair. We do have maintenance staff to review our furniture needs on a continual basis in order to make repairs and replacements as necessary and they have taken action on your comment.

Your comment about “soul” doesn’t sound strange to us at all. Aqua is an exceptional location and experience – as we residents also notice and feel about the country of Nicaragua. When everything connects it’s an experience most of our guests have never had anywhere in the world, and we’re thrilled you are tuned into that. We look forward to welcoming you back as we continue to evolve.

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Reviewed November 30, 2012

First of all, name is deceiving as this is no resort and pictures on their website paint a much nicer picture. After 4 nights in Granada we decided to spend 3 relaxing nights in Aqua. It was an adventure just getting there and not in a fun way. Half of the road from Granada to Aqua doesn't exist and we felt bad for our driver's car. Upon requesting a hair dryer on our first night, I was told that one of the other guests already has it and they can try and get it for me the next day. There is only 1 hairdryer in the whole "resort"!?! After I complained that I needed one now, not tomorrow, they were able to find me one somewhere. There is a wine cooler (?) instead of a little fridge in the room so you can't properly cool off anything in it except of course if you want wine but then again there are no wine glasses in the room. There is a coffee maker in the room but no coffee cups. Two of the lights (one in the room and one on the little balcony) were missing bulbs. It was pretty dark in the room and especially outside after the sunset so bring a flashlight. The food at the restaurant was tasty most of the time and portions were big but every day they were out of something on the menu (like white rice or salad!?!). Prices in the restaurant are high as you have no other options but to eat there. Service depended on who you get, most were nice, lacking in english though but some waiters seemed annoyed. We were prepared for the many steps and when I called to see where our room was located after booking thru expedia, they were unable to tell me on the phone, and of course we were put in one furthest from the beach (182 steps). The beach is beautiful and that was the highlight of our whole experience at Aqua. We are not planning on returning there again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ana L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC_Trev, Owner at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

Aqua is an eco-resort and it seems not the experience you were looking for. We’re interested to learn how you heard of us in Granada and what expectations were set for you there – if you could email Anthony.mandela@aquanicaragua.com we’d really appreciate it. We’re requesting an update to the descriptions on Expedia to make sure they clearly inform guests of the experience we have at Aqua.

While the roads are still in progress, construction is slated to be complete in January and we’re very excited that progress is sweeping through the country – it bodes very well for Aqua and the pacific coastal beaches in our area. For guests looking to avoid the roads, there is helicopter service available directly from your flight connection in Managua – reservations can handle those requests directly.

Best wishes
Aqua

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Reviewed November 26, 2012

The tree house was in the canopy, monkeys had coffee with me each morning. The beach was one of the best I have ever been to. The spa was great. The yoga platform is the coolest in the world.
You can't drink the water. The power goes out every day or so. The hotel staff is annoyed that you are there. It is 2 and a half hours by mostly dirt road to get there from Managua.
I would go again.

Room Tip: Be ready to go up and down alot of stairs.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank LVSherpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC_Trev, Owner at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

LVSherpa – we’re looking forward to seeing you back again – Anthony.Mandela@aquanicaragua.com can help you with planning your next trip. He’d also like to hear more about which staff left a less than positive impression – if you have time to email him directly we’d appreciate it – he’ll also try to guess your identity based on the guest data.
Thanks,
Aqua

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Reviewed November 26, 2012

The people of Nicaragua are wonderful and friendly, the country is charming and the land is full of adventure. Although Aqua had incredible rooms and adequate facilities, the service from all but a few employees was awful.

Aqua's setting is spectacular as it overlooks el pie del gigante and a private beach which is both safe for families and intimate enough for couples. Its treehouses are scattered throughout the forest like no other resort we've visited and it is clear that a great deal of workmanship, quality and design went into the resort creating a very relaxed environment. Its unfortunate that their management assumes that these qualities alone will make for an unforgettable trip. With the exception of Emer (excellent tour guide), Ernesto (surfing) and a few of the other employees (including a gardener who took time to fix a flat tire), the overall service in key areas of the resort was very poor. Reception was nowhere near 'receptive', meals took literally hours to serve in the restaurant and even those who owned timeshares in the resort were complaining regularly about the service.

The developers of the 'resort' stayed near us for the last three days entertaining business colleagues. Upon their arrival, the service just got worse as the limited staff spent their time tending to the needs of their owner. To their credit, management is apparently turning over, but other locals suggested that the issue isn't management, its the owners commitment to developing a memorable resort.

To top it all off - not once in 6 nights and 7 days at Aqua did anyone ask us if we were enjoying our stay. Not the signature of a place we will return to anytime soon.

Room Tip: Beachfront is essential if you don't like stairs.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank BrockAnderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC_Trev, Owner at Aqua Wellness Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2012

BrockAnderson, thanks for calling out some of our employees who delivered exceptional service, and your comments about reception and restaurant wait do not fall on deaf ears -- we are rolling out POS systems this week to streamline workflow and reduce wait maximum wait times.

Anthony.mandela@aquanicaragua.com would like to follow up with you directly if you are able to email him.

Aqua Management

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