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“Overpriced, needs updating”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel El Convento

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Hotel El Convento
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Leon
Certificate of Excellence
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
272 reviews
130 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Overpriced, needs updating”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2012

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,

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kareny13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adminconvento, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, May 11, 2012
Dear Ms. Kareny13:

My name is Victor Hugo Sevilla, I am the General Manager of Hotel El Convento. I am very sorry to read your review of Hotel El Convento.

We would have very much liked to hear your comments while you were staying with us, so that we would have been able to take any corrective actions and make your stay with us a much more pleasant experience.

You might be right in mentioning the cracked and dull paint in the walls surrounding the hotel, but then in the last few months we have been undertaking a series of works to update and renovate the hotel (changing floors in the bathrooms and the restaurant, rewiring of courtyard electrics, changing regular lightbulbs to led technology, new stock of towels and linens for all rooms, etc.). In fact, scraping and painting of the exterior walls started last week. I hope you will understand that the hotel cannot close down completely while renovations are being made, so we have to do this little by little.

As to the comments regarding your room, you stayed in room 22, which has not been renovated, nor has it received any specific maintenance out of the ordinary since your stay. I have personally been to room 22 after reading your review and I must say that there are absolutely no missing or cracked tiles in the bathroom, nor is the shower dripping. The only fault with the bathroom is that a small area at the bottom of the bathtub has started to peel, and I will immediately assign someone to correct this problem.

We gracefully accept reviews and comments from our visitors and guests, and when there has been something in need of correction, we have made the necessary adjustments, since we believe that constructive criticism helps us to improve. However, there is no reason for us to accept a comment that does not reflect the reality.

You did stay with us for 14 nights, so that makes me wonder why you endured a situation that, from the comments on your review, seemed very unpleasant for you! And I do wonder too, why you stayed with us for 14 nights if you thought we are "overpriced" and "a rip off for the price we charge", as you mention in your review.

Once again, had you complained about this while you were still with us, we would have done everything in our power to correct any problems (changing you to a more appealing room, talking to our staff, etc.). In the few times that we have had complaints from our guests, in 12 years of functioning, I have made myself personally available to discuss the problem and give it an immediate solution, and you would not have been the exception.

I am open to discuss any further comments you may have regarding this issue.
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334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
238 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2012

What a lovely way to start my trip in Nicaragua. This hotel was impeccably clean and quite interesting with its various antiques throughout the hallways and lobby area. True to the theme of being a former convent, there were religious icons throughout, with the piece de resistance being a huge ornate altar in the lobby. I hesitated to give this hotel an 'excellent' review with its less than warm staff and slow service to get a drink at the restaurant by the courtyard. (The courtyard, by the way was fabulous with gorgeous flowers and beautiful birds) The food, however, was very good (and completely safe to eat - including ice) and the buffet breakfast very nice. Hotel el Convento is conveniently located - within walking distance of the heart of Leon where you can visit the cathedral and park. Be sure to visit the indoor market (just byond the cathedral) with its incredible array of meat stands, fruits and vegetables, housewares, etc. This is where the locals shop and is best visited first thing in the a.m. when Leon is waking up. There is also a supermercado (supermarket) a couple of blocks from the hotel. You can stock up here and find inexpensive goodies to bring to the folks back home. I highly recommend this hotel for its location, decor, cleanliness and safety.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelingfun101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2012

Beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. Gorgeous gardens, large clean rooms, decent bathrooms, staff offer polite service, very safe. Just watch out for the 'voluntary' tip that's added onto the final bill - not too sure it really reaches the staff.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jessw1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adminconvento, General Manager at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, May 3, 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,
We really appreciate your comments about our property and about our service. Every day we try to maintain the same quality for all our guest and this comments show us that we are doing a good job. I just wanted to confirm you that the voluntary tip that are asked at your check out reach all our staff. Our policy is to add all these amounts during a month and the slip it to all the employees, even to those that do not get in contact with the client (gardeners, laundry, etc).
Best Regards,

Víctor Hugo Sevilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2012 via mobile

Great garden, great food. Since we were not staying at the hotel, they told us we could not see the other areas.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Fausto012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
58 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012 via mobile

Wow!! What a nice hotel. The rooms are spacious and very clean. The decor is very beautiful: ceramics and lots of antiques are spread all over the place, it's almost a museum in itself. The staff is ok, but I have seen more welcoming pepole... The breakfast is very good, lots of choices and the room in which it is served is facing the interior garden. The location is good.

Stayed February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lady_Betsie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2012

I doubt El Convento was quite as swanky when it housed nuns: today it has been lovingly restored and still retains some Catholic touches. The courtyard is beautiful, with a babbling fountain in the center; rooms are arranged around the perimeter. I lucked out and was given the capacious room 32, with a lovely king-size bed and a sitting area to boot. The room was clean, although there were quite a few ants crawling around the bathroom and one of the walls. This hardly bothered me: we are in the tropics after all, and I'm guessing that El Convento is the best hotel Leon has to offer. The location is great -- a few blocks to the Central Park and the staggeringly breathtaking Basilica. And the hotel is very secure and safe. The breakfast buffet (included in the price of your room) was decent -- nothing especially impressive -- and you can sit at a table overlooking the courtyard and fountain. Though it does not rank among the best hotels I have stayed at in Central America, I would recommend it to the discerning traveler visiting Leon.

Room Tip: Room 32 is grand -- in scale and spirit!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PHDSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schenectady, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2012

We splurged on this hotel after having a bad experience at another hotel (in another city) the night before, and we are so happy we did. The setting is gorgeous, and the rooms are clean and large. The staff was exceptionally helpful, and even though we did not have a reservation we were greeted and treated well, our bags were stored securely until our room was ready, and we were welcomed with a refreshment and felt free to relax in the beautiful lobby. The public areas of this hotel are like a museum, filled with amazing works of art. It's a great location as well. Highly recommended!

Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank getaway28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belsky C, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel El Convento, responded to this review, March 24, 2012
Thanks for yur comments. We hope to visit us in your next trip to Nicaragua!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Convento

Property: Hotel El Convento
Address: Two Blocks West From Parque Central | Next to San Francisco`S Church, Leon, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Leon Department > Leon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Leon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel El Convento 4*
Number of rooms: 32
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

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