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“Perfect.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Soma Surf Resort

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Soma Surf Resort
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Popoyo
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

Top notch staff. Amazing views. Incredible surfing. Best food. Relaxing environment. 5 stars all around. If you're looking for a great honeymoon or vacation, SOMA is it. Second to none in Central America.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dnytny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NYC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2014

NEED TO KNOW:

1) American currency is always preferred here as long as there are no tears in the bills. But unless specified, you will receive change in Cordobas. So bring a lot of small bills for tips and exact change. Everything is super cheap outside the resort (beers are $1.20). Don't be fooled by signs in the airport that say you need local currency.

2) if you want to learn to surf or are still a beginner, I recommend a dedicated surf camp. This is more of a surf lodge. They offer great accommodations compared to what is around but not a whole lot of instruction. If you are an intermediate or advanced surfer, then you may want to bring your own board. Most of their boards are beat up 8ft foamies, which were great for the smaller waves. They did have a 7'6 gun and an 8ft hard top as well. The week I was here, it was almost everyone's first time surfing. Also, the beach is about a 12 min drive from SOMA

3) the Magnific Rock hike and the volcano excursion are worth doing. Just make sure to bring cash as the credit card machines in Nica are often not functioning.

4) The massage is monopolized by one woman named Berri. She does not use a massage table but rather has your head turned to one side on the floor. I'm a body worker myself and this was uncomfortable for me. Other guests thought she was great.

5) internet is available within a 10 yard radius of the office. Not in your room. Disconnecting was fine for me because I was on vacation. Some of the other guests brought work down aka Lame-O!

6) WHAT TO BRING:

A) bar soap: I was not a fan of the pump soap

B) Zinc/titanium sunscreen. The regular stuff won't do the job if your out paddling in the water and sun all day. Leave the spray bottle at home. I'm not a fair skinned person and I still got burned with constant reapplication of 30spf. Thank God someone had the zinc stuff to share with me.

C) aloe. They should sell or provide all this stuff. There is no nearby town to buy it either. Better to have and not need, then to need and not have

D) bug spray. The dry season is a lot less buggy than the green season but I still got bit.

E) surf wax and rash guards. No need for a wetsuit. It's central America. The water is like a bath tub.

Overall, this is a wonderful place to stay if you're coming to Popoyo. As you've already read , the food is amazeballs. Casey and Bill have made opulence out of scarcity. This place is literally in a cow pasture in the wild west. The staff is super friendly, patient and will go out of their way to make you feel accommodated. Eddie and Carlos are the 2 top fixers. If Casey is not around, they'll make it happen.

SOMA (which stand for South Of Managua) would have earned a 5 star rating if:
1) the dogs were kept from barking all night long
2) there was a dresser in the room (lived outta my suitcase for a wk)
3) I was made aware of what was and was not included with the all-inclusive package. It wasn't until the 3rd day that I found out sides and appetizers were extra.
4) Fishing should have been made more available. I inquired but my request fell on deaf ears. Maybe because the other guest didn't express interest or the weather was not cooperating. Still, those should not of been a factors.
5) there were enough guides to bring beginner and intermediate groups to different waves

**Finally, make sure you understand your package. Some guests, myself included, thought the transport to and from the airport was included. Not the case. It wasn't a huge up-charge for me but some people were not happy.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jdfidler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SomaSurf, Owner at Soma Surf Resort, responded to this review, March 25, 2014
Hola Jason,

Thank you so much for taking notes during your stay at Soma to be able to give us such a complete review. It really helps us improve and be able to give our guests the experience they are looking for.

You are spot on we are not a surf camp and do not advertise ourselves as one. We are a surf resort and most of our guests are beginners and are learning to surf, thus we have fun boards and foam boards with hands on instruction and patience surf guides. The advance intermediate and advanced surfers usually bring their own boards. The hard core surfer who wants the 8 hour a day surf session hits the surf camps and there are great ones here. The Soma guests will surf a few hours a day, but they also enjoy doing yoga, fishing, relaxing in a hammock, horseback riding, and doing offsite activities.

Yes, fishing is an activity available at Soma. A menu of all of our activities are listed at our front desk, and in every room. As you know it was very windy while you were here which would not have been a pleasant experience for fishing. If you recall even the locals had a problem getting fish during this time due to the windy conditions.

Round trip transfer was indeed included from MGA to Soma in your all inclusive surfer package as stated on our website. If you recall what was not included was transport for your offsite activity to Mombacho and Granada which you chose to do and was an additional charge.

Thank you for bringing up your confusion concerning what was included in your all inclusive meals This is the first time in three years it has come up and we are happy to help. Soma is located in an indigenous rural community. There are no stores, banks, gas stations, ATMs, etc. All of our food is prepared by hand in the Soma kitchen. We make our own bread, juices, salsas, deserts, chips, etc. It is a 5 hour round trip to get supplies. So preparation is time sensitive and labor intensive. One entree w/ juice, soda, or bottled water per meal is included in your All Inclusive package price. An entree includes a meat/fish/chicken dish with rice, vegetables, beans and homemade bread. If you would like smoothies, appetizers, desserts, or snacks these are extra. We also cater to special dietary needs. All of this is on our website.

Thank you for your comment on the barking dogs. This is another first comment which we take seriously so we will be sure to look into that matter.

Jason, again thank you for taking such copious notes during your stay at Soma. We will be sure to look into all your comments Bill & Casey Morton & the Soma Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2014

My wife and I stayed three nights at Soma Surf purely based on the reviews, and recommend the same for anyone considering Popoyo for vacation. We loved the privacy of the resort and the staff's willingness to do everything in there power to make our trip whatever we wanted. We don't surf, so that limited the activities available to us, but Casey took us to a yoga compound and helped us find Mag Rock for a couple sunsets, as well as a unique, but massive beach and tidal pools just five minutes (2.3 kilometers) away. While we weren't out and about we thoroughly enjoyed the resort grounds. Unfortunately, we were unaware of the severity of the dry season, so we were disappointed in the lack of greenery, but the irrigation within the resort provided some of the unadulterated color we were looking for. As for the accommodations, the rooms were much more impressive than the pictures suggest, but the most comfortable spot is the hammocks located on a covered platform at the resort's highest point.
Aside from the service provided by Casey, Bill, Eddie, and Carlos, the best asset for Soma Surf is their kitchen. Every meal was phenomenal, original, and fresh. Servings were appropriately proportioned and combined some American comfort with the Nicaraguan flair we were looking for.
We highly recommend this resort, and hope to return in the future.
Tips for those considering:
As long as you're adventurous and have a decent sense of direction you are safe renting a car. We rented a Toyota Yaris and were fine (though it was rough and we did dent a steel rim), but would not do that in the rainy season. If it is the rainy season (May-October) get an SUV/truck, or just get shuttled by Soma. Speaking of rainy season, it will dramatically effect the scenery. Outside of irrigated areas, the entire country is virtually dead in late winter, early spring. Also, be a dog lover. There are dogs on property who are a part of the family, but you'll feel part of the family before you leave, too, so you'll see why.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ArkansasExPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

This is a beautiful, small hotel with lovely views of the hills near Popoyo beach. The room (bungalow) was elegant and roomy with a great bathroom (bring everything except soap). Casey and Bill are very simpaticos and can organize very many great activities for you (we surfed, took very enjoyable yoga classes in the jungle, went on a truly incredible horseback ride in a deserted beach, hiked a nearby volcano -that's the one activiity that maybe can be missed-, visited Granada, boxed and got an experience of a massage by Berri, somebody who really understands bodies). The food is good, the staff very, very, very nice. If you're staying more than three days, get a car; you'll have more freedom. The whole area is a few years away from development, which makes it a very rare jewel: the beaches are fantastic, so is the landscape and the few gringo buildings are surfers' hostels and Soma.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank campanelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland
Level Contributor
204 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

This is our 2nd visit to Soma, and it didn't disappoint. The things we enjoy most about Soma and what brought us back are the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that the area is not yet developed or populated. There are few places you can travel to where you'll find amazing beaches with no hotels and few people out enjoying them (we never saw more than 10 people on the beach).

Despite the fact that Soma is located in remote southern Nicaragua, the accommodations are high quality (great beds & bedding, large bathroom, air conditioning); fresh amazing local food (on par with that of big cities) and a wide variety of activities - from surfing with individual guides, horseback rides on the beach or just sitting by the pool enjoying a Tona. The staff at Soma is exceptional - we experienced great service throughout our stay..

We would recommend Soma as a great location for those who want to explore an area explored by few and those who are looking for a location to just relax.

Room Tip: Any of the bungalows are great - very roomy, comfortable, large bathrooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Debbie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

After a bumpy ride along a dirtroad, you go uphill, and there is Soma (South Of MAnagua, for those interested in the name). Soma is a truly beautifull resort based on a hill. The cabana we rented was really big, and nice. It had enough room to accomedate us, as family of 4, without beeing packed together. The pool is nice to cool down and relax. The best things about Soma are the excellent food, and the owners. We tried almost everything from the menu, and we loved each and everything of it. Bill and casey really make you comfortable, and help out when you want to go somewhere.
It is a bit remote, and a4x4 will help you get around (and if you dont have a car, like us, they are moe then willing to help you ) but that also makes it totally relaxing. We had a wonderfull time, and will go back!

Oh, and then i didnt even mention the beautifull, empty beaches, with the most beautfull sunsets you'll see in your life.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Danny R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

There truly are no words to describe our experience at soma. My boyfriend, his best friend and I arrived at soma after a long flight from Los Angeles. We were greeted at the airport by the fantastic Eddie who always wears a smile and comes prepared with hurricanes ( the most amazing drink you'll ever ingest) after the two hours car ride (which went by fast because of the colorful scenery) we arrived at soma. At first glance I knew it was going to be one relaxing vacation. The grounds are impeccable, the pool is pristine, the staff was friendly and most importantly the resident animals were ready to curl up with us on the hammocks. This review would be ten pages long of I said everything I loved about soma but in a nutshell here it goes....
-the food is beyond delicious. I have never consumed such fresh and flavorful fare in my entire life ( and that's coming from someone who lives in Los Angeles... One of the culinary fronteirs)
-the rooms are modern, comfortable, beautifully hand crafted and spacious.
-the daily activities left is exhausted and eager to try more the next day
-the staff became like family... We think of them often. They deserve an award for perfect hospitality.
And last but not least... Casey and Bill, I can only hope that our short four day friendship turns into a lifelong one. We could not have asked for better hosts. You are both so willing to go above and beyond for us and for that we are so grateful.
We will return to soma again in a few months. I would recommend this special place to anyone who wants to get back to their roots.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hilrose89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soma Surf Resort

Property: Soma Surf Resort
Address: Playa Guasacate, Popoyo, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Popoyo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Popoyo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soma Surf Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy world class surfing, expert surf lessons, guided surf excursions, yoga, natural hot springs, tidal pools and more. Soma has a full service restaurant serving fresh fare with a distinct flavor using natural ingredients where you will truly savor the "farm to table" experience. Enjoy our infinity pool an open air rancho with hammocks, free WIFI plus many more amenities. We are a resort sustainably built with a portion of our proceeds benefiting local charities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soma Surf Resort Nicaragua/Popoyo

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