Don't believe the hype. Nice hotel but far from being 5 star / wonderful / deserving of The Best. Has lots of faults and rests too heavily on having a nice courtyard and lounge area. I prefer to have a nicer room and good service than a stunning courtyard.
Can tell immediately that Convento needs lots of attention just from coming towards it: the wall surrounding the hotel is all cracked dull paint. Makes it look decrepit and abandoned. Bathroom looks the same: cracked paint, missing/cracked tiles, old shower head that drips, etc. Has been a long time since Rooms got an update and are in need a makeover. Grant it instead, you get amenities: plasma TV, small fridge, air condition, bottled water, towels are good, wifi, security guard at the front of the hotel - these are the things you pay for.
Service is slack. The Reception table is there but never manned, so if you want anything you have to knock on the door, which they then often appear as if an interruption. For a few questions I did get a very simple "I don't know" and I needed to prod to ask if they could find out! Most often at breakfast, I got my own coffee, and so forgot a refill, though they are so quick to pick up your dirty dishes. Every 3rd/4th day I had to tell them they were out of a food. The "Do Not Disturb" sign for housekeeping doesn't function as they will still knock to ask if they can come in (or if you are out as I was, they will just come in and clean anyways). The bell boys that man the front ARE friendly and helpful. Overall very cold and impersonal.
For the price they charge, it's a rip off.
El Convento rest on the laurels of having a great courtyard and being #1 so continues to provide the "extras" meanwhile totally forgetting the basics.
To be exceptional and at the cost, very very high for Leon, the quality all around needs to reflect it. Simply not worth the money, it's a fine hotel, just overpriced.
While in Leon: eat at Bar-Baro and Pan y Paz. Mediterraneo is good as well. Go up to the roof of the Cathedral for the views, check out The Mercado, the museums are worthwhile: Ortiz Art Museum, Ruben Dario House Museum, Museum of the Revolutions (quite small, good if you have a good, everything in Spanish). Nicasitours.com has some different types of tours
Lots of Spanish Language schools here, but skip Dariana! Nice people but not teachers, at all! Many of the student here I spoke with had the same ill fortune. I am all about supporting the locals, but then go to the Mercado, pulperia, etc,
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel El Convento is located at the heart of the city of Leon, Nicaragua, on the site of the former San Francisco Convent. Its colonial buildings and lush gardens offer a unique atmosphere which will make your stay a very pleasant experience.The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms, conference and banqueting facilities, a cafeteria and a gourmet restaurant which is considered by many to be one of the best in Nicaragua.Whether you are visiting Leon for business or pleasure, Hotel El Convento should be your first choice! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Convento Leon
- El Convento Hotel Leon