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“Luxury truly off the beaten path”

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Hotel La Joya del Golfo
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I make it a goal of mine to sniff out the really unique places to stay. The hidden beaches, the treehouses, etc. And this, this place beats them all.

The short story is that the family that operates this little hotel go above and beyond. The food was all amazing, the best we had on our 2 week trip in Central America.

The room was very comfortable with a queen sized bed, TV and AC. My only problem is that I found the bed a little firm, but all the beds on our trip were on the firm side so it wasn't out of the ordinary and still completely comfortable. I slept pretty well, falling asleep to the sound of the waves.

My husband and I spent the majority of our time lounging in the hammocks and reading, from sunrise to sunset for 3 days; exactly what we wanted to do on this vacation. We took a break on one day to go kayak around the island nearby and Richard also arranged a boat for us to go over to a beach on elsewhere on Meanguera since we couldn't hike (my husband had injured his toe pretty badly a couple days before). It was a lovely beach with soft sand, and I saw rather large reddish lizard.

Back at the hotel, at low tide, Richard showed me some different creatures that hung out there. I got to hold a starfish and a sea urchin (boy does that feel weird, it crawls across your hand), which I had never done before.

The small staff they employ were really attentive and had perfect service. The son (which sadly his name escapes me at the moment) made us some sushi out of fish that was caught that day. That's not something normally on the menu, but we asked if they had any sort of snack or appetizer and he said they had sushi, so we took it! It was great. I was really impressed with their service, that alone would make me return. Not to mention the food...the view...the perfect weather....the remoteness.

Richard also helped us out when we were trying to figure out how to get back from La Union to the airport. His family ended up driving to San Salvador that day and dropped us off for a pittance compared to a taxi. A much more comfortable and pleasant ride as well!

I advise coming for at least 3 nights to truly enjoy it. It's a little bit of a trek to get out there via boat, but so worth it. Out of all of the hotels that I've stayed in in Central America, this is my favorite. Best value, best location and best food.

Room Tip: All have an amazing view, but the honeymoon suite is in the corner with windows and balcony on two s...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Carolyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 - 16 of 33 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2013

We are on an 8 month sailing adventure through central america! So glad we found this little paradise. The hammock view of the boat in the cove while drinking an ice cold beer can't be beat. The family who owns this bit of paradise is happy to see you and bends over backwards to do what they can. Plus, the food is awesome. If I didn't have a boat, I'd stay in the rooms above for a month and write a novel or something. Awsome.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank codysheehy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We just returned from El Salvador. We did not stay at Hotel La Joya however we arranged a day trip through Raul Castro at Dolphin Tours in La Union. It was a wonderful boat ride and a beautiful lunch at La Joya. The staff was most accomodating and the food delicious. We were able to lounge on the deck/sofas until the time to go. This part of the trip was a highlight. I would recommend not only Raul but the restaurant of Hotel La Joya!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank ann v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012

Richard and his family were really welcoming. The room was stunning, one of the best hotel rooms we've ever stayed in, and although not even within our daily travelling budget, when you take this into consideration it was excellent value for money. There was a bath in the bathroom - not had this for the three months we have travelled for. The food was superb and wine of a high quality, which you don't often get in Central America. You can use the kayaks and rubber tubes for free, relax on the veranda with high speed Internet and if you like dogs, stroke Gordo the cute British Bulldog.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DizzaDramaQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

One of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences I've had in several years. Very relaxing and laid back atmosphere. Nice rooms with AC and great views. But no need for AC, the night breezes are all you need. Slept like a baby. Rina and Richard (the owners) were very gracious hosts and made us feel very much like part of the family. Rina is very sweet person and she can cook like a Top Chef, fish, lobster, shrimp and delicious soups. And don't forget to try to their special, marinated Chicken (the size of a youth football) that Richard cooks on the grill. ayayayay, heaven!!!! Richard and Freddie love to take you fishing, and the cost is ridiculously cheap. Richard will whip you up his "special" Pina Coladas, and Freddie's "soon-to-be" world famous Lemonaides are always a real treat. I can't wait to go back and take my friends. If you go, you will surely add this one into your "most memorable trips" section of your diary.

Room Tip: Corner Honeymoon Suite has the best views and cross breezes
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Ed W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2011

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle city life offers, come to Meanguera and you will never stop coming back.
Great weather, beautiful beach, delicious fresh seafood, and wonderful people make this place an unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank everthm007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2011

We stayed here for a week after our Peace Corps service ended. I can't say enough good things about this place. I like getting away but sometimes you get to far away and you end sleeping in some hammock in a shack... The island has all the culture of a typical Salvo sleepy town. This is the only nice hotel(on par with American standards) and there is no chance of you running into a gift shop! I'm not into all the tourist places. This worked out perfect for us!

I've stayed in a lot of hotels al over El Salvador. This is a hidden Gem! A solid 4 star place.

The owner is also the cook. She has a couple of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Her husband fishes everyday. They cook up whatever they caught that day and it is AWESOME! Some of the best sea food I've had..and if your looking for some great typical food she can make that too ..... mmmm beans :)
If your looking for a typical bar and grill this is not what this is ..... it's more of a B&B feel. She'll cook up what they have. She was a wonderful and friendly person.

They do shut off the A/C at night. You wouldn't think they would considering how nice the place is. All rooms have windows facing the ocean so we opened the windows. No big deal. Nobody has A/C in El Salvador and if they do it's not run 24/7..... it's just part of the culture. Go ahead and take in the fresh ocean breeze. :) The owners sent us up frozen mellon drinks EVERY night. The lady and her staff were so sweet.

Although this place is set up like a small pricey hotel it has more of a Bed and Breakfast feel. The owners live on the 3rd floor. They go to bed around 10pm so start shutting things down. There is plenty of light near the ocean to hang out with beers. I think the idea is to do just that ... no yelling or crazy parties. Perfect for me!

The owner is an american guy. I'm not sure he loves having the hotel. He likes fishing A LOT ... so having the hotel helps him do what he loves. Good thing his wife is so very sweet. You can tell she LOVES having guests. She really made us feel at home. She has a few people that work for her to keep everything very clean and running well.

We took an hour hike to the beach on the north side of the island. It was empty of course! Love that :) We had a few children guide us there. The lady at the hotel told us about a friend of hers that lives in a tiny house near the water . She said she could make us fresh fish for lunch if we asked (and if she had any)

We did end up finding the house and just in time for lunch! She was cooking fish over an open fire with rice and beans. She served us and her husband on a small plastic table and sat down with us to eat. We ate fresh snapper for 3 bucks each! The fishing stories from her husband were priceless! Good food and good company!

We pretty much just knocked on these people's doors and had lunch with them. A great travel story and a good example of the attitudes of people on the island.
The people there were so friendly! Honesty I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank finn030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel La Joya del Golfo

Address: Meanguera del Golfo | Golfo de Fonseca, Meanguera del Golfo 3113, El Salvador
Location: El Salvador > La Union Department > Meanguera del Golfo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Meanguera del Golfo
Also Known As:
Hotel La Joya Del Golfo El Salvador/Meanguera Del Golfo

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