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“Amazing experience and hospitality”

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Buena Vista Surf Club
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 15, 2014

We just returned from a (too short) three-night stay at the BVSC. We have traveled all over the world and this was one of our favorite experiences. Thanks so much to our amazing hosts Marielle, Marc, Flora, and Bart! The property is well designed and outfitted with just the right amount of taste and quality while not sacrificing the off-the-grid, no-wifi, no phone and TV experience that we were looking for. Our bags did not arrive in Nicaragua until 36 hours after we did, and the hosts did such an amazing job of helping us with everything we needed until they arrived. We loved the yoga in the morning and the surf lessons as well. I would say that the experience was made better because the other guests at the hotel (there were only 10-12 total guests) were easy going and interesting. Because of the intimate setting (shared dinner and breakfast tables) I suppose a grumpy or obnoxious group could spoil the mood, but I don't think that sort of traveler would want to be here anyway. We can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Matthew J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 - 78 of 323 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2014

We had high expectations coming here - maybe too high after reading all these fabulous reviews. We were greeted by the "volunteers" - a young couple from holland (where the owners are from) working there for free and giving surf and yoga lessons (at extra cost).
The two dogs, that had ripped apart a monkey the week before (they were telling this really proudly) apparently only bite the locals and monkeys (which we were told right away)
The wooden deck is really nice, but apart from that I didn´t get a romantic, hideaway feeling. Our room was not a treehouse but a normal cabin right next to the main hangout, the woodendeck, there is no hot water, the lightbulb didn´t work - but overall it was nice and clean.
When we arrived all they seemed to care about was the outstanding balance we owed them. Also, dinner was at 7.30pm and breakfast at 09.00 am. We asked if we could do breakfast earlier but no. 09.00 am with everyone else. You sit down with the whole group and it is "family style", the volunteers were trying to entertain the whole table and the conversations were really not our thing. If I didn´t know I was still in Nicaragua, I wouldn´t be able to guess - this place could be on the californian coast just as well (there is nothing in the hotel that shows their local roots)
They were always after their money, after they had asked us for the 3rd time within one hour I told them honestly that this group vacation style was not our thing at all. The volunteer was really nice and said she understood, she said that if they could find a replacement for the 2 more nights we had booked, and fortunately they did.
The food was really really good, they made lasagne for dinner.
In bed, we found a huge cockroach, but thats just normal in Nicaragua.

So the next day when we picked up our luggage we met the owner, who was trying to give us such a hard time that we booked something we didn´t pay for etc. I didn´t understand how that was necessary, but I just ignored it. Also, he said the outstanding balance was 180 USD even though it was 15 USD - when I noticed he was really upset and then recalculated really grumpy. Just a weird place. All the local people in town also told us that they had bad experiences with the owners.

Room Tip: room 1 is right next to the wooden deck and all the people, I wouldnt recommend it
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank JeanetteFu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BVSCNicaragua, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2014

Hola,

Thank you for your review and we always appreciate all feedback.

You seemed to have read all our reviews, so I guess you could have known about the family style dinners, which get mentioned in a lot of them (there's even a few ones in German mentioning it..).

We're not trying to hide anything or make our place look better than it is. We're trying to do a good job and make sure everybody has a great time here (We're sorry about the lightbulb...).

Unfortunately we can't please everybody and we're sorry to hear it was not your type of place.

Please know that our dogs have never killed a monkey!

We're glad that you asked around in town for our reputation, but we're not sure why that comment was necessary or an addition to your review...

We hope you enjoyed your time in Nicaragua.

Marc & Marielle

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

I booked 8 nights at BVSC recently based on reviews from this website. The pictures do not lie! In fact, the photos do not do justice to the beauty and scope of this place. I came with high expectations and left more than impressed! Like many have already said, Marc and Marielle are incredible, sociable hosts/owners and have done one hell of a job building this hotel. The current live-in hosts, Flora and Bart are amazing as well! They do a great job of integrating with the visitors and you end up feeling as if you are all there together as friends. We had great times together!

Echoing other reviews, the food was AWESOME! I eat quite a bit and was concerned that the portions would not be enough for me. On the contrary! I filled my stomach at every meal with more left over. The communal meals were a great way to meet the other guests (I was traveling alone). Bart's surf lessons were great. The beach was fantastic. Excellent surf. My room was super cozy with a spectacular view of the jungle with the ocean in the background. A day trip with the group to Hermosa Beach was a ton of fun!

I travel a lot and this was definitely one of my greatest travel experiences! You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: They all looked quite nice. I stayed in number 1. There were great views of the jungle and ocean. I...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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4  Thank RBerecky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2014

Andrew and I had been looking forward to this portion of our Central America trip for a very long time, not only did Buena Vista blow all our expectations away but everyone we happen to meet at the Lodge and in the area, made it even more special. Bart & Flora were our hosts alongside Marc and Marielle, what a hilarious, amazing team, everyday was super enjoyable with all of them, great conversation and incredible food, really incredible food! :D We loved it so much we extended our stay and they were extremely accommodating with that, we also enjoyed a day trip to Playa Hermosa with a bunch of guests from the lodge and had an absolute blast and yoga with Flora on a few mornings, probably the best way to start the day! I would ignore or laugh at the negative reviews of Buena Vista, definitely small minded, non travellers! :D We will be back again, without a doubt in my mind! Thanks again Marc and Marielle, you guys have done an amazing job, cant wait to meet again, keep in touch. Bianca and Andrew :)

Room Tip: We stayed in treehouse 4 and it was superb! and stayed in the Casita
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BiancaAndrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2014

San Juan Del Sur was not our favorite destination... Buena Vista Surf Club saved the day! Staying here is like staying at the ridiculous beach house of the coolest friend you wish you had. The property is spectacular. Our room was wonderful, with an amazing view of the ocean. The hosts... we can't say enough wonderful things about the hosts. Bart, Flora, Liam, Carla were unforgettably warm and welcoming. The meals are terrific (breakfast was the highlight for me.. the crepes!!) We took advantage of all the offerings. The surfing lessons, the yoga, the horseback rides on the beach. A+ for everything.

The only negative - the walk/drive up the hill was a drag.

Room Tip: We had bungalow 1. It was perfect. Great view. Closest one to the main house. We didn't see...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

We stayed in the beach house for four days with our two children, (4y old and a 4 month old). The house is spacious en light. The views from the deck are beautifull, pictures cant describe it, especially the sunsets. The house has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a nice kitchen with everything you need. The doors to the deck has some small gaps, so some small insects will get in, but what do you expect, your a long way from the hilton! There is no problem if you use a net. I went to go surfing with liam, he gave me some good pointers to get up to the board in no time. Down the beach are 3 small bars where you can have a meal and a drink. The drinks we had there were good, the food wasn't that great. You can also have a meal at the surf club itself.
We had a great stay at a wonderfull location, it is a bit remote, but worth the trip, you will see the wildlife , and if you are lucky a whale or dolphin, from your deck. For us it did feel like paradise.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank Danny R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I stayed at buena vista for 5 nights which was an amazing experience. Liam, Carly, Jesse and Kent were great hosts (and solid cooks as well) which, combined with such a nice beach nearby and morning howler monkeys, made for a fantastic holiday. thanks guys!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
2  Thank Stuart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Surf Club

Address: Playa Maderas | San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur > Playa Maderas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Price Range: $90 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Buena Vista Surf Club is an intimate design eco-lodge at Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur. A unique place for both surfers and non-surfers! Surf or learn how to surf or just enjoy the amazing beaches. Enjoy great home cooked, family style dinners with new friends, do yoga or relax at the 'infinity' sundeck and watch the wildlife from your ‘treehouse’! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Vista Surf Club Hotel Playa Maderas
Buena Vista Surf Hotel
Hotel Buena Vista Surf
Buena Vista Surf Club Nicaragua/Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur

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