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“Def the place to stay in San Juan!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Buena Onda Backpackers

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Buena Onda Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Def the place to stay in San Juan!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

We stayed here for just 2 nights but even after such a short time, we felt so at home here. The hostel is more like a big house which you share with other travellers and has a great communal area where you can all hang out and share your experiences of the day. It's so chilled out and has the most amazing view of the bay. Baba, the owner , makes you feel so welcome and has put so much effort into making the place awesome! It is still a work in progress so there is still a bit of work needed but it is up and functioning extremely well, considering he hasn't had it open for all that long.

It is in a quiet area of town but is in a safe area and all you have to do is ask. It's about 4 minutes from the main square- not a mission at all. The beds are comfy, considering they are only foam mattresses on concrete.

If you want a break from all the usual busy, hostel vibe, come here, you def won't regret it!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravellingMe81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    193
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Regina, SK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2012

Positives: Very chill environment, Baba is a super nice guy, rooms were simple, beer was cheap, the view was stunning

However, we found a few things to note that might effect some travelers decisions.

We arrived in SJDS at dusk, and although the map was good on the website, walking from the bus stop we missed the sign for the entrance, as it was not clearly marked. Also, the street the hostel is on is not lit at night, which made us personally a little uncomfortable. There is also no reception/door bell, so we had to wait for someone from upstairs to notice us outside We were told it was a safe street/neighborhood, and did not have any problems. The hostel is a little off of the main drag, and in addition the rooms windows were not screened (or even covered at all - in the bathroom). The bed was a thin piece of foam on concrete, and there were large amounts of dead insects by our second night (ant poison? not sure.) You also need your key to get *out* of the hostel's main entrances, in case of an emergency, you would need your key to get out. The kitchen was also quite unkempt, and the garbage was not changed regularly.

All of that being said, we were in one of the downstairs/main floor rooms, and we heard glowing reviews of the upper level rooms.

I want to be clear, I'm not saying "don't stay here" I simply want to inform travelers of some of the things we noticed during our stay. If you have no problems with the points listed above, you'll have a great time at Buena Onda Backpackers.

Room Tip: Maybe try to get one of the rooms upstairs, we heard they were quite nice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bryce K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

We booked for 3 nights and stayed for 5. A brand spanking new hostel just the right distance away from the centre. The rooms are all large and airy, and upstairs there is a lovely communal area with hammocks and chairs with a small kitchen (probably with the best view in town!) Baba is a lovely guy, very welcoming and laid back. Book ahead.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank waterbird22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2012

I stayed at Buena Onda for eight nights in early February and it might just be the best hostel experience I have had in roughly 20 years of travelling. Opened just a few months ago, it is clearly a labour of love for its French born owner. Baba was the consummate host...friendly, knowledgeable about the town, and always willing to go the extra mile for his guests. Plus, he is an absolute treat to just hang out with and shoot the breeze. The view from the outdoor common area was stunning, and the icing on the cake. I highly recommend this place to any and all!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Patrick N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2012

This is the best place in San Juan del Sur by far. My boyfriend and I have been traveling throughout Central America for several months and the rooms, cleanliness, price, view, facilities, location and hospitality make this one of the best places we have found during our travels. Baba, a young Frenchman, opened the place recently and has done wonders. It is very well constructed, modern, clean and the perfect location.

We stayed in one of the top floor teak-wood rooms; we had a very comfortable, brand new bed with open air windows and a very nice private bath. In most hostels in Central America, you just tolerate the rooms and hostel knowing you won't be spending much time there, but over and over we stated how we did not want to leave! Most of our time in San Juan del Sur was happily spent in Buena Onda. Between the beautiful ocean view, comfy hammocks and rocking chairs, and the view of the stars at night from our bed, it was an incredible place to just relax. There is a nice terrace with views over San Juan del Sur and the bay -- and with the breeze it stays quite cool for such a hot city.

I would recommend this place to anyone -- friends, family, parents, retired, etc. It is perfect for all ages and all desires. There is a kitchen that is clean and well organized for guest use. There is a small bar that includes ice-cold beer that is run on an honor tab system. Baba also has a stereo system set up where you can plug in your own USB or iPod for music while you relax and the hammocks and read or have some drinks at night. I could say a lot more -- but it was incredible and Baba just made it that much better. He is sincere, laid back, friendly and willing to give you any advice about the area that you need. Stay here, period.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ShanKG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2012

Buena Onda Hotel is a steal for the price. Inexpensive, clean, and beautiful. Located just 5 blocks from the beach, it has beautiful views of San Juan del Sur. The rooms are large and comfortable and the showers have nice water pressure. The proprietor, Baba, is a welcoming host and will tell you to just keep track of what you take out of the refrigerator and pay him when you depart. Guests have access to a kitchen with burners, griddle and fridge. Baba's house special is a pound of grilled lobster tails, rice and salad for twelve dollars. Absolutely incredible, best meal I had while in Nicaragua. This is one great place to come back to after a long day at the beach or exploring the hillsides of southern Nicaragua. Will never stay at another place in San Juan, this place is perfect.

Room Tip: Rooms on the upper floor are larger and for two people with one bed. The rooms on the lower floor a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Noel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schaffhausen, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2012

We spent a few days in an upper floor double room. The hostel is new, very clean, inexpensive and nicely constructed and furnished. Additionally, the friendly atmosphere made us feel very comfortable; almost like home. So we spent a lot of time in a hammock or rocking chair on the terrace where you can enjoy a drink and the awesome sight over the town and the sea.
The hostel offers free use of the kitchen and beers at a good price. The short uphill walk from the town center to the hostel is easy and definitely worth doing for the scene and ambiance you get for it.
We highly recommend Baba's Buena Onda Backpackers! Loved this place!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katja G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buena Onda Backpackers

Property: Buena Onda Backpackers
Address: Barrio frente sur, San Juan del Sur 99999, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 74 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful, calm, and welcoming space for travelers. Enjoy the amazing view from the rooftop terrace and have a drink in a hammock ! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Onda Backpackers Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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