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“Spectacular view from this ecolodge”
Review of Totoco Eco-Lodge

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Totoco Eco-Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Balgue B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
432 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
“Spectacular view from this ecolodge”
Reviewed April 1, 2014 via mobile

The pluses:
-Spectacular view from room, dining room and pool.
-Friendly staff
-This is a true ecolodge and they really walk the talk.
-Nice patio in front of my cabin with a hammock and rocking chairs.
-Beautiful plants and birds abound, the sounds of nearby howler monkeys and countless stars at night.

The minuses:
-Occasional creepy crawly spiders and other insects in the cabin.
-No flush toilets, only the composting variety (which are better for the environment.)
-The room could have been a bit cleaner though it wasn't dirty by any means.

On the whole I thought Totoco was a special place and I would recommend staying there.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank packedandready2go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014

This place is stunning, far better than I had expected. The lodges are very pretty, secluded, fantastic outdoor shower with hot water, and your own private deck/hammock. The view in our cabin was amazing! You wake up and you can see the volcano right in front of you. The toilets are interesting as there’s no water system so you have to use compost. You also get the odd gecko or frog in the bathroom, but this is an eco lodge after all, so I wasn’t too bothered. It was all part of the experience!

The reception/bar area was nice, again great views. There was also an infinity pool which I would sit around to watch the sunset. There’s Wi-Fi but it doesn’t work half the time so don’t rely on it.

Location-wise, it’s great for nature, but I didn’t realise how far out it was. To get to the nearest restaurant/town there was a 30min steep hike to the bottom of the volcano, which was only advisable during daylight. We had to eat at the hotel restaurant most of the time, which wasn’t bad but we wanted the option to go to the local town. In terms of taxis, they were expensive in general around the island so after hours we stayed at the hotel.

All in all, whilst I loved the eco-lodge and its secluded nature, I found the location a bit limiting. The costs of getting to and from the hotel became quite expensive so we didn’t get to do all the things we had planned.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GlobeTrotterNo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
66 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

Marvelous location once the rough road has taken you up to the lodge. Quite unforgettable views and sunset. Good if not exciting food, superlative Margheritas..
Nice cabins close to the edge of the jungle. Very engaged owner, you will understand the ecological direction of the guesthouse from a guided tour with him(you may also meet his adorable family taking that stroll). Recommended!

Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Nihilnisibene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mellieha, Malta
Level Contributor
75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We stayed for 6 nights at Totoco and do not regret it.
They have a nice lounge and restaurant area and a lovely infinity pool.
The meals were fine, given the remote location they even managed to have some variation of the menu, and the service very friendly.
They laundry service was amazing!
We liked our cabin that had solar powered electricity and a gas fired hot shower, good bed.
One time there was a problem with the power capacity of the cabin at night but that was dealt with the next day.
The manager took us on a tour over the property and the adjacent farming operation they also run, very interesting, and also we went with a guide on foot to see the petroglyphs.
Seeing them and hearing the explanations is always of interest.
For the rest we made pleasant car trips over the island.
The side road to Totoco leaves the main road at 11º29'25.2N and 085º31'12.5", there is a sign.
In our period the road up was rough, a car with good ground clearance is preferable, but improvement works are on the way.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AbrahamPotappel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairbank
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We stayed 3 night at Totoco (just my husband and I). I was pretty excited about staying at this property as we have stayed at Eco lodges in Nica before and felt this one was going to be amazing...not so much. When we arrived (after 12 hours of travel), we were greeted by Martijn...the manager. We were told to leave our bags and to go enjoy the last 5 minutes of the sunset on the deck and that after that, we would be checked in. 1.5 hours later.......he was gone and we were still waiting to be checked in. Finally, we asked the bartender what was going on (it was well after 8 pm by this time) and he said he would take us to our room. No tour of the property, no explanation of meal times, no explanation of ANYTHING. Dropped off in our room and left to figure it out. Dinner was okay, but noticed that they served the EXACT same meal on night one and night 3. Leftovers? Sleeping in our room was a nightmare. There is a small power generator of sorts that you can plug a fan in to as it gets pretty hot in Nica. At 2 am, this power strip starts making the most god awful beeping noise. NON STOP. This happened for 45 minutes and we couldn't fix it, so we slept night 1 with no fan. My hubby let the manager know in the morning and he said he would take care of it. Well, Martijn didn't take care of it. 2 more nights of the same thing....alarms going off in the middle of the night for long periods of time followed by sweaty stagnant air due to no airflow from the fan.
On the day of my birthday, we had the manager set up a horseback ride to see the petroglyphs and the coffee plantations. He told us that he would set it all up and let the guide know what tour we wanted to go on. The ride was nice, but that isn't where our guide took us at all. So, unfortunately, we didn't get to see what we paid for.
All in all, we were massively disappointed in our stay here. If I could request my money back, I would.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank holtphotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martijn_Priester, General Manager at Totoco Eco-Lodge, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Dear Holtphotog, having just read your review I want to extend my sincere apologies for not having done enough to make your stay with us enjoyable. I can only assure you that steps have been taken to avoid in future the same incidents you had to suffer. After hearing about the problems with the energy system our maintenance team thought they had resolved the issue but clearly this wasn't the case. I wish we would have known that our repairs had not worked as we would have gladly moved you to another lodge. I encourage you to always communicate any issues you have to reception as it is only then that efforts can be made to resolve them. We have also spoken with the horse rental operator to help them improve their service and we are taking steps to ensure the changing evening menu always offers a new option for our guests during their entire stay. This was already our policy and as such you should not have seen the same option twice. Finally I can only promise you that we do not serve our guests 3 day-old food! I hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Nicaragua more. sincerely, Martijn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK country bumpkin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014 via mobile

I love Totoco. Just the view would be enough, but it's got great rooms, a lively bar and terrific food. Staff very helpful and friendly. It's a unique place to stay, and very environmentally aware which also helps the feel good factor.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank IguanaPhile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

We didn't read many reviews before we booked this place, but all of the ratings were high. Now that we have stayed here we thought we should give our two cents.
First off, the staff was very friendly and help full, and the bar/restaurant area was nice and chill.

The car ride in was a bumpy treat. One that we did not want to do many times! Because of this we felt very isolated. We like to go to different places to eat and drink at night to enjoy the culture. Instead we felt like there was no options. There was one restaurant a couple km`s away but we didn't want to walk up that 1,5km hill in the dark.
So instead we were left with the only meal they provided, which was a set three course dinner in either meat or vegetarian. We tried it the first night and unfortunately didn't find it satisfying. Onion soup, with grilled chicken and garlic sauce. The meal was very bland. Is just ashame to only give one option when you have no more options..
The pool too was filled with cloudy water and dirty too. We didn't even want to go in and never saw anyone else using it either.
Now to get to the worst part. The room didn't even have a proper roof on it! It was made out of palm leaves with huge openings all over so that any type of bug, spider, Cockroach and who knowes what else can get in when your sleeping. The bug net around the bed want that comforting since it had holes in it and almost every bug we saw was inside the net.
I guess all in all, for the most expensive place on the island we were very disappointed. At the very least all we ask for is as decent roof over our heads. I've slept in cheap hostles and felt safer. Here we barely even slept at night.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Leenie127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martijn_Priester, General Manager at Totoco Eco-Lodge, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Dear Leenie127, after reading your review I just wanted to express my sincere regret that we weren't able to provide you with a satisfactory experience. Generally speaking we get very positive feedback from guests regarding the food and both the onion soup and garlic chicken are normally amongst the most popular recipes! Equally, the palm-thatch roofs are normally a popular feature since they are aesthetically pleasing, a local renewable material and very cool in this hot climate. I appreciate our product may not be everyone’s cup of tea so to speak but I still want to assure you we are taking your comments very seriously and will be using them to further improve. I hope the rest of your stay in Nicaragua was more enjoyable. sincerely, Martijn
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Totoco Eco-Lodge

Property: Totoco Eco-Lodge
Address: Maderas Volcano, El callejon publico la palmera, Balgue, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Balgue
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Balgue
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the edge of a pristine biosphere nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife and a cloud forest above you, the Totoco experience is pure comfort in pure nature. Guests can stay in one of our custom designed private lodges all made using local materials and labour. Each lodge enjoys a private garden setting and offers spectacular views of Lake Nicaragua and active Concepcion Volcano. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Totoco Eco Hotel Balgue
Totoco Eco-Lodge Nicaragua/Isla De Ometepe - Balgue

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