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“A popularity contest with a nice staff and no fans”

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The Maderas Village
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Let me start by saying that I am probably not the demographic that Maderas Village is targeting. I'm NOT in my twenties, I HAVE traveled (and lived) abroad, I DO speak Spanish and I DON'T live in Brooklyn. That said, if you are in your twenties, have limited foreign travel experience, don't speak Spanish and live in Brooklyn, you will be in heaven. It's like you took the L train far enough to 90 degrees and a beach!

Maderas Village is 30 minutes more or less uphill from San Juan del Sur. There's a beginner-ish beach to learn to surf after walking down the hill 5 minutes. This beach is 100% populated by Westerners, 96% Americans. There's a great taco stand on the beach where they like to charge you more than the 10% tip that is advertised on the menu.

So Maderas Village itself is a community environment. It's all open air. The lobby/dining area is where folks check their Facebook on their Apple computers and order medicore and overpriced food from the staff. You have to opt out of dinner if you don't want to eat at the Village - it's served family style and there is only one choice.

Rooms come in either dorm style, penthouse and cabins. The penthouse has a beautiful view and a private hammock and patio area. Even with the penthouse though, you can hear (and be heard) throughout the whole location because there are only screens without an option to close. One thing I did notice was that there were no fans throughout the whole property. That would have been really great. All cold water too but comes with the territory. Rooms are kept really clean - no bugs! and trash and laundry is done on a regular basis.

I will say that the staff is really nice - all Americans/Canadians. They're constantly checking up on you to see if you are being served. I have nothing against the staff, they really did a good job. I guess I was disappointed because I wanted an authentic Nica holiday where I felt really far away and I could practice my Spanish. Maderas Village doesn't pretend to be that so if you are looking for a place to stay that's more or less a hostel and want to be in the comfort of Americans talking about advertising and solar panels, this is the place for you.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
11  Thank nycbuttercup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 - 79 of 147 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2013

Had an incredible 4 nights at Maderas Village in late January. There is the perfect amount of everything - and nothing - to do all at the same time here... surf, yoga, disc golf, hammocking, horseback riding, bonfires, reading, chatting, lazing and beach adventures... The days and nights are wonderfully long. The staff are amazing and and always around to help make sure you have best time possible. The kitchen serves up great food morning till night whether you want a snack or are fueling up for a big day (or night) ahead. There's also great local spots to eat, including the best fish tacos and lobster you might ever have in your life, and arguably some of the best pizza in the world. It was the perfect getaway for us and we defiitely wish we could have stayed longer... it's easy to get swept up in this beautiful place that is full of whatever kind of adventure you want to make of it. Hope to be back sooner rather than later. :)

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great but the penthouse has a spectacular view and the casitas and cabanas have...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Kiran727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I spent a week at Maderas Village and essentially had one of the best travel experiences staying there. It's a great place to relax, chill, and be happy about doing absolutely nothing. That said, there are still a lot of activities to do including surfing, yoga, frisbee golf, day trips to other beaches in San Juan. The property itself has an epic view of the pacific and many memorable sunsets. I would highly recommend this place to 20-30 somethings looking for a place to unwind and re-energize.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Jeremy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

I'm not that good with my numbers, but I think I stayed longer than I planned, and it all slipped by so wonderfully easy... Everything I needed for a restful retreat was right there, good company, good food, awesome cats, a couple of goofy dogs to make you laugh, cold beer, an incredible open-breezy yoga studio and resident yoga instructor, and an energetic (!) crew that runs the lodge!

From random acts of entertainment to fully organized excursions on boats, horses or to see the turtles, the whole team at Maderas Village pitches in to make sure visitors become family, and family become friends... For a unique, wonderful experience I would highly recommend a few months at Maderas Village! If not, at least a few nights or a week to soak it all up.

I stayed in a couple of the dorm rooms as I was a solo traveler, then opted for a hammock on the deck. The staff were very accommodating and allowed me to choose what I wanted for my visit. I ended up there several weeks and really felt that I was welcome as part of their family at the village. It was a great time and I will return. Try to be there on Wednesday for Pizza Night, and try to get to Tarrangas Restaurant for the lobster, just ask the staff...

Room Tip: Private casitas or penthouse suite are most popular for couples.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Fraser K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I travelled to Nicaragua on my own for two weeks with the majority of my stay at Maderas Village, upon a recommendation from a friend. Not really knowing what to expect but looking for some relaxation and adventure this seemed like the right fit. Upon arriving at the hotel I was greeted with a beer and given a tour of the place I would soon call home. The days that followed I was welcomed with open arms not only by the staff but also by many of the guests (many of whom return on a regular basis). Staff are friendly and well informed about the area and more than happy to help guests in whatever way they can. Food was local, healthy and delicious and prepared with love by the kitchen staff. My room was clean, simple and provided exactly what I needed within my budget. The main house comes alive at dinner where everyone comes together to enjoy delicious food, a few drinks and to share their stories from the day. The Beach is a five minute walk away, with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. High quality massages and yoga offered on site. Oh and there are two dogs that make this place like no other, Murray and Papaya create an ambiance no amenity could ever offer. I would definitely recommend staying here:)

Room Tip: Many different types for room for all types of travellers and budgets.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank AndyJeanS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

The Maderas Village is one of those places that you wish you could spend your entire life. From surfing to yoga and every other relaxing thing between, this place will put you in a zen-like trance.

It's an incredibly social place with a friendly and happy atmosphere. The staff are great!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TommasC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Maderas Village was the most beautiful spot I've ever been to for sure. Secluded on a hill in the middle of the jungle, the architecture, rooms, food, views, and comfort will take your breath away. I've never been somewhere outside of my home with so many relatable people. The owners and employees do a fabulous job making everyone feel right at home. Most of the travelers who visit are all like-minded and are here to relax, surf, make friends and hang out. One of my worries as a solo traveler was safety but it wasn't an issue at all here. I plan to return in the near future. Thanks guys! Seriously couldn't have asked for a better way to start my 3 month trek in Nica.

Room Tip: The dorm area was an excellent deal
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Kelsey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Maderas Village

Address: Maderas Beach, San Juan del Sur 230492, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 72 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range: $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located at Maderas Beach, about 20 minutes outside of San Juan del Sur. We offer a three daily meals, either a la carte or as part of a pre-fixe menu. We are like a boutique hotel, but less pretentious. We love people who want a place to surf, read, debate, and do yoga daily; who want to lose themselves in a place, and find themselves in the people. We offer tailored packages for short-term guests and very reasonably priced rates for people planning to stay longer than 3 weeks. We are not in Lonely Planet or other guidebooks; we like having to be found. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Maderas Village Hotel San Juan Del Sur
The Maderas Village Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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