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“Best Hostel in Central America. Hands Down”
Review of Casa De Olas

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Casa De Olas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Cam to this place on a tight schedule as a friend had told me we MUST stay here, we ended up staying a week and cutting out other parts of our trip. From the moment you step into this place you feel like you belong here, the friendliest of service, very comfy rooms and a view to die for. i must admit the draw card is Buzz the Crazy Spider Monkey! what a legend, just dont bother her when shes eating... at least i have a scar to remember her by! Just beware if the owner Shane is down from New York on his holiday, He can drink... if you come to San Juan Del Sur you HAVE TO STAY HERE!

Room Tip: Book Early! this place is getting more and more popular by the Day!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kaneread12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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284 - 290 of 425 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2013

I went to Nicaragua alone, following my surf instructor from NYC for lessons, reticent on what to expect.
Received such a warm welcome - instantly connected and fell in love with Carla and Fred. It's impossible not to to feel like you're a part of the family - the personalities, the hospitality, the communal meals, Fred's terrible sense of humor - I'd prefer to spend the holidays with this crew than my own family....
It's absolutely one of the best vacations I've ever had - so sad when I had to leave and go back to reality.
I've already recommended to all of my friends and hope to return!
Love you guys!
s.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Suzanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Casa de olas was very nice. Not the best place, not the world's cleanest, and no hot water. But the location is perfect, with a wonderful view. At first I wasn't too keen on the idea of staying outside of San Juan del Sur, but it turned out to be a positive thing. It was nice to be able to retreat, and it's easy to get down to town with help from the the hotel or the neighboring hotel's cars. But it is definitely too far to walk down to town. They also arranged trips to the beach and helped with everything else. Very nice guests and all hung out a lot together. The staff was great. I recommend it warmly to young people who rate pleasant company and fun activities higher than hot water and spotless cleaning.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Klara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed here through Barefoot Surf Camp and it was really lovely. It's newly built, the view of San Juan Del Sur is spectacular, it felt indulgent (and totally amazing) to have a pool right outside of our room. The private room was clean (and cleaned daily!), the bed was very comfortable, the plumbing was good, overall we were very happy with our 5 night stay.

It wasn't unusual to be sitting around the bar and hear someone call out, "B! Book us for another night!!" as I think most people stay there for longer than they plan.

It's a very social hostel, but it doesn't cross the line to being a crazy party hostel (the place next door has that covered). They do family style dinners, movie nights, games and have lots of drink specials, the place really lends itself to meeting new people and just having a great time. If you do want to party, they're happy to get you lubricated at their little bar, then at 11pm there's usually a mass exodus down into town. It's quiet after 11pm for your sleeping pleasure.

The major downfall of this place is that it's a bit of a journey into SJDS. Whenever the owners head into town they'll offer a ride to anyone that wants to go, and you can get taxis back and forth, but it's a bit of a hassle. This also means that getting food is a problem. They serve breakfast and supper at an average price, and we did usually eat there simply for the convenience, not because we particularly wanted to. I felt we missed out on exploring more of San Juan Del Sur and all the little restaurants there because of our isolated location.

But the friendly nature of the owners, staff and everyone staying there, plus the comfortable accommodations made it a great spot. My partner absolutely loved it, and if we return to Nica we'll most likely stay at Casa de Olas again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank McKinnley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Ok so I was a bit lucky: Two Japanese girls staying at Casa De Olas came up with the idea, and helped make it happen. But incredible sushi for $7, packed with fresh fish and shrimp and topped off with rice pudding for dessert? This is just one way this hostel (and owners Fred and Carla) goes above and beyond to make your stay a memorable one.

We also had grilled fish, lasagna, chicken wings and sausages (for Super Bowl night, shown via beamer) and the night I arrived they threw a birthday party for a guest, complete with massive cake and piñata (Buzz the monkey -- adorable, but she's a wild animal with teeth approach with caution -- was eating lollies for days after). The family-style dinners mean you will meet people (from all over the world) almost immediately.

The staff -- a mix of fellow travelers stopping off for a few months -- are all incredibly friendly and welcoming. Ie, no clicky division that can often happen in these atmospheres.

The pool is big enough to swim laps in and delivers fantastic views of the surrounding hills.

If you want to go to town, Olas runs a free shuttle three times a day (11am, 1pm, and 3pm, 10 min ride) which is very convenient. Or, you can pay a few dollars and take the more frequent shuttle (every two hours) from the hostel next door.

The Olas bar closes fairly early, so you can still get your beauty sleep. As another traveler noted, this place fills up and does not take deposits so best to book in advance and confirm before arrival to avoid a) no bed for you b) shuffling around to accomodate those with reservations.

Beds are comfortable (real mattresses not foutons) and towels are free on request. Filtered well water is also free, a convenient perk.

Take with you: A headlamp (power outages happen), books for lounging material.

Leave behind: Any sort of Diva sense of entitlement. Most of the bar/management staff work for a place to sleep, ie for free. So say please and thank you.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Mairi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

After travelling through South and Central America for the last 4 months, this was without a doubt the friendliest, safest, most welcoming overall the funnest (in a relaxing sense) hostel I stayed at. And that is comparing it to over 20 other hostels. Being Australian, I felt at home for my 2 weeks, Fred and Carla (the two Aussie owner) are lovely and are both so full of life, and are genuinely there to help you when you need it.

The family dinners are a must, every night the best cook in San Juan Del Sur cooks a lovely fresh meal and the Casa de Olas family at the time all dig in. And a great breakfast too.

The bar is really cool and low key, nothing rowdy but good fun with cheap drinks, and the best bartenders in San Juan! More importantly it is a relaxing vibe so the bar closes at a reasonable hour to allow the guests to sleep which I think was great, and there is a shuttle service to town provided so for those that want to get their party on it's super easy!

Lovely clean dorms and private rooms which surround a beautiful lightly heated pool overlooking the pacific ocean, the sunset here is phenomenal!!

I could go on for pages and pages about this place, but if you go to San Juan, you should definitely try stay here, or if it's full go up for a drink whilst watching the amazing sunset.

Niall

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank Niallash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I planned on going to Nicaragua only for a couple of days, but in the endI got stuck here, like a lot of people do, for 2 weeks! First of all, the rooms are really nice, the infinitiy pool and the view are amazing and the owners are really welcoming, it feels like a second home. They organize delicious family style dinners and offer a drive to town (Casa de Olas is located on the hills, you can't walk SJdS) whenever you want. And best of all, Buzz, the house-monkey!
I had an amazing stay in Casa de Olas and I would definitely recommend it to everybody!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank swissmiss_333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa De Olas

Address: Lot 6 Las Escaleras, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 73 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range: $11 - $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa De Olas 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de Olas, is a unique place to stay, blending the best of Bed & Breakfast, hotel and hostel together to create the Casa de Olas experience. We are situated on a hilltop over-looking the town and bay of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Our location provides endless views over the Pacific ocean with spectacular sunsets nightly. Casa De Olas is designed for the more discerning backpacker and budget travelers who are looking to find an oasis of luxury at affordable prices. In total we have 10 rooms and can accommodate a maximum of 75 guests at any one time. We have dorm rooms that can accommodate from 4-6 people with one room housing 14. Casa de Olas is designed for those traveling on a budget or in groups. All rooms are spacious with en-suites. We think staying a little out of town is the best way to experience all that San Juan del Sur and the surrounding area has to offer. Australian couple Fred and Carla are your hosts bringing a wealth of knowledge from their native land with a long resume in the hotel and restaurant industry. Fred and Carla are warm and always ready to give a recommendation. Take a look at our website, TripAdvisor and Facebook pages to find out more and we look forward to having you stay with us soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa De Olas Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Casa De Olas Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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