I was at Maderas in February, and while this place isn't for everyone, it is great at what it claims to be and shouldn't be chastised for what it NEVER claims to be.
If you want to relax, meet some awesome fellow vacationers (more so than "travelers"), network a bit, be close to the beautiful Playa Maderas beach (not a simple thing to score!), even do some work from your trip, need a bit more comfort than budget hotels in Nica offer, you will LOVE Maderas Village.
If you want the AUTHENTIC Nicaraguan experience, where you're amongst locals, experiencing the local culture and cuisine, want to do everything on the cheap along with other backpackers- then this is not for you. But then again, they don't advertise/market themselves as some "authentic Nicaraguan experience", and for that - good on them. It caters to mainly North Americans (25-40) who just want to get away and relax a bit, meet some fellow peeps. They deliver on what they advertise. I met some really nice people there. The communal vibe is awesome if you're a solo traveller. It's not quite a resort, and it's not quite a hostel but has the party/social vibe that some hostels offer.
The owners/management was great and while some people in these reviews rag on them for their "treatment" of the local staff they've hired, they employ at least 20 locals, and treat them very well. They give a fair bit back to the community, and I saw no rudeness towards staff, who are working in the open kitchen, next to where we all hang out.
I had a 10 day vacation, backpacked for 6 of it, and wanted to relax at the end of it, and not think about much. This was a great way to wind down my trip. I wanted to stay a few more days when it was all said and done.
One small note: The dorm I stayed in was in the main lodge, which can get a bit noisy at night. If you want a good night's sleep, and are two, better off to get something private outside the house.
The place isn't as cheap as other options in the country, but no prices were unadvertised. I knew it all going in.
If I'm looking for a relaxing few days in a fun environment, I would totally go back.
- 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