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All reviews hacienda puerta del cielo masaya volcano other guests active volcano the owner outdoor shower zip lining tour guide every meal beautiful country honeymoon suite eco lodge off the beaten path dirt road one of a kind natural beauty national park
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Reviewed June 25, 2012

We stayed 3 nights in June with our two daughters. The hacienda and the surroundings are beautiful but what really made our stay so memorable was the kindness and enthusiasm of everyone working there. They treated us like family. Luis took us around and helped us discover his beautiful country. Emilio, the chef, made fantastic Nicaraguan dishes and did not hesitate to get up very early the day of our departure to make us a special breakfast. Eder brought some delicacies from his house in town for us to try. Juan Carlos and Eder even played bananagrams with us one evening! JC, the owner, shared his family history . We learned so much about Nicaragua and its people, thanks to all of them . This is what travelling is all about.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BrigitteandAidan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

My girlfriend and I recently stayed at the Hacienda Puerta del Cielo. It is certainly a beautiful lodge and the casitas are very well appointed. I especially liked the outdoor shower. The Hacienda is situated on top of a hill overlooking one of the many volcanoes in Nicaragua and its lake. It truly has beautiful views with natural landscape that has been augmented with plantings and an organically shaped pool enhancing the breathtaking views.

The hacienda has been open for a year and a half. When my friend and I stayed there we were hosted by JC Espinosa, one of Espinosa brothers, who normally live in Florida. His wife and he were running the lodge during our stay. They did their upmost to make our stay comfortable and show us the various sites. The rest of the staff is very young and try to take care of the needs of the guests. It is still a learning curve for much of the staff. What they lack in experience they make up in their need to please.
The hacienda calls itself a spa, but brings in people to handle spa services. Nothing can be done spontaneously. Once you arrive at the hacienda you have to stay there as the road to reach the lodge from the small town of Masatepe is cut through a mountain and is not advisable to walk down to the small town.
If you are looking for a quite vacation and want to stay in a secluded hacienda with six rooms this is the place for you. If you’re looking for more action I would recommend staying there for a few days and breaking up your trip to Nicaragua between the beach, staying a few days in Granada or visiting Ometepe.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Susayn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 22, 2012

Dear Susan:
It was both our pleasure to have had the opportunity to share with you our beautiful lodge and show you our Nicaragua first hand. As you pointed out, some of our staff are still a bit inexperience but as you noticed, they make up with their eagerness to learn and please our Guests.
As an eco lodge, we are firm believers of sustainable tourism. To that end, we are providing training on an ongoing basis to make sure that our Guests are attended properly. We are proud that our efforts are changing the lives of our employees by helping them develop new skills in this new arena.
As you know, we are 1300 meters from a pave road and our access is by now legendary on Trip Advisor given its rustic nature. We keep making improvements on our road to the point that it is almost ready for small cars to access. Lately, our guests are hiking to our little neighboring town of Masatepe and have found the experience, to be a relaxing and unforgettable one.
Given our location, we have had a hard time getting spa technicians to come and live at our location. But I am pleased to report that we have assembled a team of technicians that will take care of all the spa needs of our guests. They still would like to go home after their services are rendered, but with a little planning from our Guests and us alike, we should be able to provide all services without a hitch!
Hope to see you again in our little piece of Paradise and share with you other parts of our beautiful country.
Until next time!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at the resort the first week of June and couldn't be happier about our experiance. When you arrive you are treated as family in a bed and breakfast type of way. The staff is there to help you with anything you need, even if its teaching you how to drive a stick! The resort is pretty isolated so its best to make plans to do the hiking, grenada tours and other adventures with the staff because getting around on your own can be difficult. But the isolation is part of the charm of the place. You can lounge in the pool, or lay in a hammock and feel the stress of your daily life melt away! The food is great and they cater to any need you may have. We took a day trip to deep sea fish and brought back our catch (4 Dorado or Mahi-Mahi) and they cooked them that night for us!

The country in general is beautiful and the people are all friendly. A trip to Nicaraguga is more for the adventurious type of person that is ok being the only tourist around for most of your stay there. Make sure to request a local Tona beer! They are tasty.

Great Trip! Highly Recomended!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Reba C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

My husband and I spent four nights at the Hacienda in May. We purchased our stay through Jetsetter, where they frequently run deals. If you're on the fence about a trip here, check out SniqueAway and Jetsetter to see if a discount is available to tip the scales towards "yes." This is a special, well-run, aesthetically impressive resort and absolutely worth the travel time to Central America. The staff are friendly and the owners go above and beyond to accommodate their guests. The location is perfect. Other reviews discuss that stuff so I'll focus on my particular pre-trip concerns and impressions.

My concerns before arrival:
-the meaning of "green" season and what that meant for my tan as well as bugs;
-safety (are we in danger of being kidnapped?)
-health (can I drink the water? do I need shots?)
-small resort (8 or so rooms) can mean ghost town or stuck with weird people.

What I know now:
-"Green season" means lush vegetation and the occasional, quickly moving, intense storm. We spent an entire day lounging at the pool and spent the other days on excursions. I was never rained on. More on bugs below.
-Ignore the naysayers. You are safe. Granted, as with anywhere, don't wander around by yourself at night. Keep an eye on your purse/wallet, and don't flash diamonds. But the resort is totally safe, as were all the places we visited on excursions.
-The tapwater at the resort is perfectly clean. You can ask for alternative beverages or bottled water if you don't trust me, but we never had a problem. We did not get any shots and emerged healthy.
-The kind of people who choose a small ecolodge tend to be cut from the same cloth. We had a blast hanging out with a group of folks about to embark on a medical mission. They were med students from Chicago, about our age (20s), and one girl was from my home town. We ate our meals and went on excursions with another couple of professional 20-somethings from NYC. You also have the option of dining by yourself and going on excursions alone, so the other guests really shouldn't be a concern.

Other things to know:
All-inclusive does not include beverages beyond your coffee and juice with your meal. The alcohol is very reasonably priced, but expect to pay for it. Also, while the employees are good about offering you bottles of cold water to take along on excursions, these are not free. You will be charged for them. I gave all of mine away, assuming they were provided gratis. Nope.

Bugs. There are bugs. You are in a jungle. There was a 6 inch centipede on my pillow one night. This isn't a hotel for the prissy traveler. The resort sprays and really tries to keep the bug invasions to a minimum. However, the screens in our casita's windows ended about 2-3 inches above the window frame, leaving a large gap for things to crawl in. But for this gap, we would have left our windows open every night. We also tried not to leave our lights on at night so as to attract more bugs but this meant no bedtime reading. I doused myself in bug spray religiously and suffered maybe 2 bites the whole time. Don't let bugs stop you from visiting the Hacienda, just expect to encounter them.

Food. The food is superb! We devoured all of our meals. It's a great opportunity to sample a variety of Nicaraguan food. However, everyone gets the same meal (absent allergies I think; we eat everything so I don't know how they deal with that). And you need to show up relatively close to their set meal times. I suggest you ask when meals will be served because no one communicated this to us. It's a small enough place that you'll notice if it's dinner time as long as you're not in your room, but I like to plan ahead.

Excursions. The resort's website lists a handful of excursions. The owner personally escorted us through ours, and clearly knows the best way to spend your limited time in Nicaragua (and the best places to eat). See other reviews for details of these trips. We loved the boat tour of Lake Nicaragua and hiking the Mombacho cloud forest. The town of Caterina was really cool. We were less interested in cultural activities like the pottery museum in Granada and passed altogether on a folklore performance at the National Theater. Just not our cup of tea, but I'm sure older visitors would love this stuff. My point is that there's something for everyone, you just need to pick activities that suit your interests.

If you're looking for an inexpensive getaway that's off the beaten path, - but expect beautifully-designed accommodations and delicious food, the Hacienda is for you. I wouldn't send my high-maintenance friends here, but if you can deal with some bugs and dirt roads, do yourself a favor and spend 5 days at the door to heaven.

Room Tip: Casita Bela is on the end of the property. It's a 30-second walk to the pool and lobby but you get the most privacy.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Kdempster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 22, 2012

Thank you for your candid review. Your review added a lot of information that future Guest will find invaluable! Hope to see you again in our little piece of Paradise.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

This place is just a dream come true. You will go back. There is no words to really describe how u feel once you get there. I was there for my birthday. It was a private party w family and friends. Service was awesome,food was delicious,and peacefull. Go you won't regret it!!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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1  Thank Lating14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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