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“Very Unpleasant”
Review of Hacienda Merida

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Hacienda Merida
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 1, 2010

The place has an endless amount of rules which takes away from you being able to enjoy your vacation. The owner is very arrogant and thinks he is a know it all. It is hard to get away from his opinions since he is always around. He also does not treat the staff with very much respect. If you know Spanish the staff is very friendly. Some are school aged children since it is cheaper labor. The location is good but out of principle I would never suggest staying here. It is also a very expensive place in regards to the surrounding area. Finally, the owner acts as if he does a lot for the community, however, this is not true. Just ask the locals.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank chrismc45543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 - 209 of 247 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2010

I spent four nights at Hacienda Merida. As it was the Christmas holidays, they only had dorm accommodation available for a few nights, and then had private bedroom available thereafter.

I quite enjoyed the dorm; it was uncrowded and the bed was clean. I was even able to arrange the fan so that it blew over me.

There were no real mosquito problems (which I cannot say about the area around Playa Santo Domingo), the ambience was relaxed and friendly.

The dinner buffet is good value - nothing to rave about, but the food was quite decent for a buffet. I never tried the breakfast buffet but there desayuno tipico (eggs, gallo pinto and a square of cheese) was decent and I really enjoyed their huevos rancheros.

Hacienda Merida does not have its own guides but rather there is a guides union located just outside the hotel. Some of the guides can be a bit persistent but are generally well mannered. When one guide tried to tell me that I had hired him when in reality I was going with a group and he introduced himself as being "your guide", when he was not, he readily and without complaint acknowledged that he had not been engaged.

There are all sorts of horseback riding opportunities (I went to Playa Santo Domingo and Ojo de Agua), as well as hikes . Vulcan Maderas is challenging - be aware that it is slippery (at least in December) and is a scramble up.

Kayaking is great, but the Istia River is really more of a swamp than a river - but that means that there is a good selection of birds and wildlife.

The staff were friendly; the owner is friendly but cannot be at anyone's beck and call. When he has the time, he has a lot of information.

Sometimes the staff will erroneously bill you for another table's order - just review the accounts daily. The staff will readily correct any erroneous entry.

I would definetely come back here. Note well that if you want to use local island buses to get to the hotel, you should arrive at Moyogalpa by no later than 3:30 p.m., which means you should take the 2:30 ferry from San Jorge.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank bopenyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2010

Stayed for 2 nights in a private room with private bathroom, and a hammock in the balcony. The accomodations are basic but adequate, you cannot expect luxury here. If you're looking for a fancy hotel with A/C, do not stay here. You hear everything in the adjacent rooms as other people have said, but it goes with the atmosphere of simple accomodations. Found 1 tiny spider on our bed but otherwise insects did not bother us. The owner sprays hormonal-based treatments on the property to keep the number of insects low. We stopped for lunch one day at the hotel Villa Paraiso, and the insects in the outside restaurant were bothersome. We didn't have that problem in Hacienda Merida.

The owner Alvaro was very pleasant and easy to talk to. He is involved in many projects to help the children of the nearby community. The food was adequate and abundant, and we had a great time talking to other guests during breakfast and dinner time. There is no hot water, but it was so hot in the island it didn't matter. When we arrived, had to ask them to clean our bathroom, but they cleaned it right away. This is a place to relax and enjoy the island in a basic setting. We enjoyed the quiet location, close to nature, away from the main port, very close to San Ramon Waterfalls and Volcan Maderas, and it is easy to bike or ride horses from this location.

I would love to come back and stay for longer.

Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
Thank ben_from_philly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2010

The flyers and website for this place are misleading, you think you are going to arrive at a place that will help you plan your days, and give you helpful information about the area. However, you feel more like a bother when you ask questions.

Location: Beautiful, but hard to get to and once you are there. you are there.

Rooms: Quaint, cute, but like someone said you can hear your neighbours breath

Common Area: Not a ton of comfy places to hang out, plastic chairs and cement benches... and an uncomfortable vibe from workers and even travelers, probably feeding off the owner's arrogance.

Food: Not the greatest and if you are last in line at the buffet there are slim pickings.

Likes: Monkey Island, especially at feeding time. The employees that fed the monkeys were amazing. Also liked the dock.

I would only recommend this place to someone who intends to hike meridas, however, I bet if you search you could find a much better place than this one.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dig-ible_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2009

I live in Nicaragua, so I know what the hotels here are like. I stayed at Hacienda Merida in April 2009, and I had a very unpleasant experience. Therefore, I would NOT recommend staying at this hotel.

-- The staff was very unpleasant. They rarely smiled and did not go out of their way to help me.
-- The food was mediocre, and the service was horrible. I had to wait at least an hour to get my food each day. Even when there was a buffet, it was always late and of poor quality. I tried to find other places to eat, but there is only one other hotel in the area, and it's up a steep hill, so I only went there a few times.
-- The walls of the rooms were paper thin, so I could hear everything my neighbors were doing. I heard someone in the room next to me sneeze and it sounded as though they were in my room with me.
-- Power went out at the hotel for several days while I was there (even though everyone else in the area had power, so not sure what was going on.) I live in Nicaragua, so I'm used to power outages, but usually the owner will use a generator in the rooms. The owner of Hacienda Merida only used a generator in one common area, so it was extremely hot in the rooms since we couldn’t use the fans.
-- The owner was very rude with me and other guests. He practically bit my head off whenever I asked him questions about the power outage. Also, I saw the couple in the room next to me sit outside their door for over an hour while the owner made them wait to check in.

Overall, a very bad experience on many levels.

Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
2  Thank rayanne17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2009

my boyfriend and I spent 3 nights at Haceinda Merida during off season. We loved our breezy second story room with a hammock on the porch and a nice shower. We loved the food, which is fresh and veggitarian friendly. we also loved how approachable and hospitable the owners Esther and Alvaro were. They do alot of important work within the community and staying here really feels like a sustainable tourism project. The were also preparing to host a brigade of Veterinary Medicine students to come to the community and neuter and care for all the stray dogs in town, as well as treat community livestock.
We did feel a little isolated but that is b/c the roads are so trecherous on the south part of the island that it was very hard to go anywhere and a taxi usually took atleast 1 hr to go anywhere and costs about $30, so we did activiites that we could get to through kayak or bike or our feet. The hotel rents both bikes and kayaks for a reasonable rate, though I hear you can rent bikes cheaper at the hostel down the road.
Haceinda Merida was also the first place we stayed in Nicaragua that imposed a travelers tax of 15%, they additionally charged us a credit card processing fee of 4%. Those taxes and fees really jacked up our bill at the end. This ended up being our most expensive part of the trip, but I would say it was worth it. I think I would have maybe liked them to be more transparent about these fees on their website.
As I said, we were there in the off season, but it still felt very quiet. For one of our nights, it was clear we were the only guests. I'm surprised by this. I think tourists must go to Santo Domingo b/c there are more hotels and a beach. But, the beach is nothing great. I don't think the beach is even remotely one of the highlights of this beautiful island. From Merida, we were able to get to the Vulcan Maderas trail as well as the waterfall trail in 30 minutes by bike and we were able to kayak to the islands river that is full of wild life, as well as kayak to monkey island in under an hour. Seems like everywhere on the island is going to be remote b/c of the roads, so I'd rather stay in the place that has non-road access to a good number of outdoors attractions.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jackiemcd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2009

I arrived at Hacienda Merida looking forward to a relaxing exploration of Ometepe and was sure the Hacienda would of course be helpful. I arrived after an hour 20 minute taxi drive and the hotel staff merely took ny name, when I asked questions they handed m,e a green norebook that has all this history but no details about navigating the bewildering array of signs. Like with whom do I sign out a kayak, where is the waterfall, how to I use their internet. All this was answered by other guests. The owner Alvero is alternately friendly and aggrssively unhelpful, if you indicate jis signs are not clear he gets irritated. Several guests and I bonded via complaining about his lack of hospitality.
I had a beautiful room, the food is adequate, the coffee terrible

Stayed: August 2009, traveled solo
1  Thank mray2b1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda Merida

Address: Merida, Maderas Volcano | Ometepe Island, Rivas, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 61 Specialty Lodging in Isla de Ometepe
Price Range: $17 - $28 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Formed by two volcanoes rising in the middle of the lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is a true paradise that offers visitors a unique and fantastic experience. We welcome you with spectacular sunsets, various outdoor activities, untouched wildlife, beautiful views of both volcanoes, hotel dock, direct access to lake Nicaragua and to highspeed internet. Hacienda Merida is the perfect place for a calm yet thrilling and definitely unforgettable vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Merida Hotel Isla De Ometepe

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