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“Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Esencia Nativa

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Esencia Nativa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Zonte
Park City, Utah
2 reviews
“Paradise”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Best hostal and vibes you'll find. Simple, beautiful, and much more than you would expect for the price. A great place to try surfing, get connected with locals doing tours (ask for Luis Rivas), and just generally relax. The owner and staff are all exceptional and the food is reliable and tasty. Go. You won't regret it. I almost don't want to give away the secret.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    33
    18
    10
    5
    1
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6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Honestly, kidney shaped pool, four levels of hammocked heaven, gardens, a fantastic restaurant and all this for $20 a night, $10 per person? Amazing.

Alex, the friendly surf guru has built it all with his bare hands over 6 years and you can still see him working on it most days. Esencia is right on the coast, 1 min walk to a paradise beach (you learn to not see the black sand after a while) and it's just so chilled out in El Zonte. On top of that, it's got great learner waves for beginner surfers.

Stay in Esencia!

Room Tip: We got the cheapest room, which was lovely, but hot. There are rooms with AC if you're happy to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Nice rooms, great staff and food. El Zonte isn't fancy, but clean and laid back atmosphere. Travelers from all over, nice locals. Ask for Rivas (Luis Rodrigo Rivas) for a great tour guide. He speaks better English than you, and is quite educated about history and sites around Salvador.
Surf is great right out front.

Room Tip: best rooms are upstairs with AC!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kevin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
74 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Didn't stay here since I stayed at Horizonte (see my review) but I ate here several times as they have excellent food. If you eat here at night, in particular, bring insect repellent as they abound with the landscaping and plants as well as the fact that El Zonte is near a river. Recommend their pizzas, seafood and while I didn't have it, their desserts are supposed to be fantastic.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Spahkee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here, big rooms, good position and the best food in all our travels in Central America- the pizzas, breakfasts and cocktails are brilliant. I would recommend the upstairs rooms (more modern and lighter than the ones inside the house bit which are not very secu
Make sure you lock your rooms as people come and go all the time here, lots of day visitors and guests staying over night.
Alex the owner is so helpful and lovely and very busy. Its a great price and so is the food but it is a little isolated if you wanted to duck into El Tunco or Punta Roca for surf because if you don't surf sunbaking and reading is all there is.
We felt comfortable in El Zonte, the locals are lovely but be wary if you go to La Libertad, you will need a local to go surfing with and don't leave any belongings on the beach or rocks.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are definitely the go.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bectrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park City
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My 10 year old son and I visited in December and had a great time!! Our first night was in the same building as the dorm, which I don't recommend. It was loud and people were constantly about. We spent the next nights in one of the three rooms upstairs in the building next door. It was lovely, tho sparse. Both rooms have dressers (important to me - I like to unpack) and were kept immaculately clean. The food was AMAZING! I recommend the smoothies and the seafood pasta. Big servings, small prices. At first I was put off by the location. The shuttle drove us straight to the door and all we saw was a dingy shantytown. We never made it to the real town, just hung out at Esencia Nativa and walked the beautiful beach. There are other hotels along the beach that don't overlook a shantytown, but we grew accustomed to it and the folks who inhabit it are lovely, as are those who work at the hotel. The pool looked a bit dirty, but my son spent hours in it with no negative effects. Surf lessons were great! We are beginners and we able to get up and there were lots of experts out there too. If you are looking for a luxury resort or one with ways to entertain small kids, go elsewhere. If you are laid back and like good food, surfing and scenery, as well as super nice people, by all means come here. Bring cash - no credit cards accepted. No wifi either but a guy in the shantytown lets you use his computer for a small fee.

Room Tip: Get an upstairs room in the newer building.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed here two nights recently. The hostel was pretty full on both nights with surfers, groups of international tourists coming from Guatemala and a few local families using their restaurant services.
It is an ideal place to relax and feel comfortable. The restaurant on site offers good breakfasts and snacks and was great to eat dinners. We loved incredible view of the ocean from the upstairs terrace. It is great for hanging around and looking at surfers.
The beach is about a 5 minute walk from the hostel and there are a couple of restaurants within walking distance. The owner is super friendly and a fun to know. The staff, very patient, provides very good recommendations for activities available in the area (lots of it is organized by hotel).
The room, which was big, clean and comfy, has a bit rustic finishing but is functional with a cabinet for your clothes, and couple of a small tables etc. The bathroom was modern and clean. Our floor had a porch to share with two other rooms. It is a welcoming place with a good atmosphere and at competitive prices.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Loren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esencia Nativa

Property: Esencia Nativa
Address: Playa el Zonte | Zonte Beach Km 53, Litoral Road. La Libertad, El Zonte, El Salvador
Location: El Salvador > La Libertad Department > El Zonte
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Zonte
Number of rooms: 10

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