We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Natural, Comfortable, Convenient, Enjoyable - Best Value in Town for a Resort”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort
Ranked #10 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
GreenLeadersBronze level
San Francisco, CA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Natural, Comfortable, Convenient, Enjoyable - Best Value in Town for a Resort”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

We stayed here for over a month and enjoyed it immensely. The grounds are well kept, but still natural feeling, the staff is very friendly and the resort blends top notch attentiveness and responsiveness with the easy, unhurried pace that you want in a place like this. The restaurant was once run by one of the best gourmet chefs in Nicaragua and it has retained the presentation and flavor that he instilled there. Every meal was enjoyable. We taught the bar staff how to make ice-coffees, which they wrinkled their noses at, but eventually got quite good at.

I think the most universally enjoyable aspect of this place was the people. From the front desk to the guard gate, to the groundsmen and shuttle driver - everyone was friendly, easy to ask a question or just to shoot the breeze with in my poor but improving spanish (thanks to the fact that this whole part of the world has only partially adopted the English lingua franca.)

The pool was clean, the views were amazing from the upper two rows of rooms, the yoga platform we enjoyed frequently under the instruction of excellent US and local teachers and the free shuttle to and from town was quite a perk. The low cost of everything only adds to the feeling of value and enjoyment. This place also has the most thorough maid service I have EVER experienced. Our cleaning person would arrive and spend up to the three hours cleaning each day. We got spoiled leaving our dishes in the sink and clothes on the floor only to find everything in its place on our return. Of course there is a little more to clean here during the rainy season with the bug invasions and dirty shoes but without fail the place was good as new each day.

The units themselves are really well done with nice finishes (but there was a little to be desired on the "fit" raising the electricity bill if you choose to use A/C), decorations and a sufficient collection of appliances, utensils and dishes for a family of four. I accidentally drank the water from the sink the first week mistakenly remembering that it was filtered but did not get sick (did not get sick at all during the whole month here, actually) despite the roughly two gallons I gulped down each day to allow the sweat to pour out while cycling (great road quality and great mountain bike terrain out the back door door), hiking (also out the back door) or hanging out at the pool where I was more likely to enjoy a Victoria served ice-cold or brought down from our own refrigerator.

If I had to find a fault it would be with the Internet service which, despite the management's attempt to provide redundancy was often down and always slow at 500 kb/sec. But each unit did have its own wireless router with free service. The whole town's Internet and electricity for that matter was often down while we were there which we was told was becoming much more infrequent after recent regional upgrades.

Room Tip: The middle row of condos are the best with views and without the last steep hike! Units 16-18 are al...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Devin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

318 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    188
    86
    24
    11
    9
See reviews for
121
92
10
10
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Central Coast, Ca
1 review
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Our family just came back from a great trip to SJDS, staying at the Villas for 6 nights. They were super clean, in a great location, with very helpful staff. We loved swimming in the pool each afternoon and meeting other friendly people and families enjoying the laid-back Nicaraguan lifestyle. It was nice to have the free shuttle available to get you into town and the front desk was great at helping to organize activities and day excursions as needed. Overall, a very relaxing, wonderful place to enjoy a vacation!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lmsteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

The staff was awesome. Some of the best service I found on my trip. Really good food and nice pool area.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Drew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

I stayed at the Villas with 5 of my girlfriends for a long weekend. We bought 2 Groupon deals for 2 villas and had MORE than enough space (there was 6 adults...plus a toddler). The food at Palermo is great, and the pool is lovely. We joined the yoga class on Friday morning (it is held right off of the pool - amazing way to start the day), and then just walked over for a full day of food and lounging by the pool. The following day we rented a boat, and went to a lovely secluded beach for the afternoon (highly recommend). Overall, this far exceeded any of our expectations - villas were clean, well maintained, and spacious. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and the Groupon deal made this trip even nicer! Would recommend for couples, groups, and families.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Finnylynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2012

My new husband and I were really excited to spend our honeymoon at such a beautiful place. We had looked through all the pictures and the views looked amazing. We arranged for transportation from Managua through the hotel. We specifically requested for a shared van service, which we were told in an email would be $65 for two people. We got to the hotel in what we thought was a shared van. When we checked our account with the hotel later on they told us we used a private hotel van and were charging us $250 for round trip transportation even though we had asked a person at the front desk, Max, to cancel the transportation back to the airport for us. Upon checking out, the woman at the front desk, Maria Luisa, called him on the phone in front of us and it baffled me to hear that he told her we had never told him anything!
We specifically spoke to him over the phone using a security guard's phone and when he asked whether we still needed the transportation to Managua we told him no. How funny that he doesn't seem to remember this. His English appeared to be fairly proficient. I myself speak Spanish and would often make sure everything was understood in Spanish.
As far as the shared van service versus the private hotel van service, there clearly was a lack of communication between whoever is responsible for making transportation accommodations and the person who speaks to the guest. As far as the person at the front desk, Max, there's no other way to understand this than that he's lying---unless he completely forgot somehow? While checking out Maria Luisa talked to another supervisor and they were able to take off the charge and only charge $65 for the trip from Managua to the hotel.

These aren't the only problems we had with the front desk. From the second day of getting there we were really excited about booking different activities to do around San Juan del Sur. Maria Luisa suggested we do a sunset tour, a canopy tour (ziplining) and surfing lessons which she was more than happy to make reservations for us to do. We decided to do the sunset tour, snorkeling, and the canopy tour. When we checked back on whether the reservations had been made Maria Luisa said the Sunset tour people were not responding and hadn't confirmed, the snorkeling was not possible due to the water being cloudy and she hadn't contacted the canopy tour company. Rather than wait on the Sunset tour company to respond, after not answering for a while, we instead told Maria Luisa to cancel everything because they were not responding adequately and were causing us to lose time. We had also found a guide that took us all around Nicaragua where we ended up doing a different canopy tour. When speaking to Maria Luisa, and her mentioning she hadn't made the reservations with the canopy tour, I asked her to forget about it since we ended up doing it somewhere else. I made sure she understood this in Spanish and she even crossed it out on a little notebook she had at her desk. I thought that was the end of that...until a security guard knocked on our door one day and told us we were late for being picked up to do our canopy tour!! Aaah! How frustrating. We told the security guard we had cancelled that tour days ago and Maria Luisa told us she hadn't made the reservation. Due to his limited english, he used his cell phone to call Max at the front desk, which is when my husband told him that we weren't supposed to have reservations to do the canopy tour. That is when Max asked us if we still needed transportation back to Managua and we made sure and told him no---again, this of course he doesn't remember.

Our reservations for the hotel were for six nights and we were staying in Nicaragua for eight nights. We were hoping to spend the last two nights either in Granada or Managua. When speaking to the front desk, Maria Luisa suggested we stay at a Best Western in Managua for those last two nights--we made these reservations on the second day we were at the hotel. Maria Luisa made them for us. A couple of days later, we decided we would only need to spend one night at the Best Western and we would find another hotel in Ometepe for one night. We talked to Max since Maria Luisa was out that day, before we knew he was incapable of doing his job, and he was extremely polite and said it would not be a problem and he would call the Best Western and make sure they knew the reservation was only for one night, Thursday night. We then went to eat at the restaurant at the hotel, where he came a few minutes later to inform us that everything had been handled with the Best Western and our reservation was now for only on Thursday night..When we got there on Thursday night they told us there was not a reservation there for us..that we had one for Wednesday night but we didn't' show up... So of course, Max didn't do what he said he was going to do. They ended up putting us in one of the last rooms they had...with twin size beds and no hot water...awesome. To make matters worse, we just checked our account and the Best Western charged us the $90 for Wednesday night which Max was supposed to have cancelled. Max cost us those $90. (What's also interesting about the transportation issue that happened as mentioned previously, is that we had asked Max during the middle of our stay, again before we knew he wasn't a trustworthy person, to print out our account details so we could see what we had been charged...we saw the charge for the transportation on there and told him our situation about it needing to be $65 and he spoke to another supervisor/manager person there and came to tell us that the computer system had been really really glitchy and that he had fixed it....hahaha)

It's too bad we didn't realize how awful these front desk people were until we were checking out.

When we initially spoke to Maria Luisa and she informed us many of the activities would not be working out, through no fault of her own of course, we looked up other activities for us to do on our own in San Juan del Sur. Funny thing is that Maria Luisa kept suggesting we do the canopy tour and surfing lessons over and over even though we told her we had already done one and weren't interested in the other. We of course didn't have access to a phone and asked if we could use the hotel phone to book a highly recommended activity, horseback riding through Ranch Chilamate. This is when she said that if we needed to use the phone she would charge us $1 per minute. How funny that she was more than helpful with making reservations to the activities she suggested but then suddenly when we wanted to do one she didn't suggest then the cost was $1 per minute. How interesting. We decided not to go through the front desk any more.

We went to town in San Juan del Sur and we mentioned to the man transporting us from the hotel to town that we wanted to go up to the Christ statue on top of a hill because we had heard good things about this. The man suggested we go through the front desk because we needed a special vehicle, a 4X4, to get to the top. We of course didn't want to do this due to our really bad experiences with the hotel and mentioned this to a man there who rented out scooters in town. He mentioned that many of the front desk people at hotels get paid commission if they can get guests to do the activities with companies they work with---which explains why the front desk seemed so pushy about certain activities. He also told us that we definitely didn't need a 4X4 and in fact we could rent one of the scooters and go up there ourselves. We did just that and it was beautiful! We had no problems and definitely didn't need a 4X4 clearly. This even further discouraged us from using the front desk or even trusting them.

The restaurant at the hotel had delicious food. We were using a groupon and had a food and beverage credit. For the first couple of days we went to the restaurant mostly for breakfast and dinner..we quickly realized that, although the food was delicious and the waiters were decent, it usually took more than an hour to get our food. One time it took almost an hour and a half! We definitely stopped going to the restaurant after that and decided to do room service for the rest of the trip. There were other people there who were really frustrated about the slow service--a family with young children next to us was ready to walk out. They seriously need to hire more people in the kitchen.

I have never been the type of person to gripe about situations--I especially don't like giving bad reviews at all..I'm not even signed up to do so because I understand these reviews carry weight..but this experience was something that I felt I needed to warn people about. After we stopped going through the front desk and did things on our own our experience was a positive one. Nicaragua is a beautiful country with such great potential. It is a shame that our experience at the hotel was ruined by the hotel staff. The villas truly are beautiful and the views are amazing, the food at the restaurant is great, but overall the service was horrible here. After rehashing all these negative experiences dealing with hotel staff, I'm tempted to give a "terrible" rating instead of a "poor" rating. San Juan del Sur is clearly an area that could benefit from tourism and , as I hear, it's been helping out the local population significantly...however customer service goes a really long way. When asked by friends and family about my experience at Villas Palermo I will have to be truthful about our experiences.

Room Tip: the Villas higher up are the best
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Moniq286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Guest Relations Manager at Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2012
I come to San Juan del Sur to enjoy the sunsets and beaches, knowing that I am in a third world country where the power and water may be disrupted occassionally and the service may not be up to the level I expect in other locales. That said, I am sorry that you were so frustrated and that the service level at our resort did not meet your expectations (or ours, frankly.)

We find that we have two choices in running a resort in San Juan del Sur. It is impossible to provide 1st world service quality in a 3rd world location given our choice to employ only staff from the local community. We opt to hire locally and train all day everyday – hoping to build the local economy and the skills in our local workforce over time. It is one way we give back to the local community. We are mostly happy with the level of service we provide - and always sit down with our staff to explain issues raised by our guests.

We employ more than 50 staff at our resort, which translates to supporting the extended families of each of these workers. In most cases, one staff member at Villas de Palermo support grandparents, parents, adult siblings and their families and his/her own spouse and children. These 500 or so people depend upon Villas de Palermo, and we depend upon our staff.

The employees you found most lacking in customer service were in their first month of service with our hotel and still learning our procedures and guest expectations. I am sure that our future guests will benefit from the improved overall performance, based upon all the suggestions for improvement that you included in your posting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Comayagua, Honduras
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

I was able to stay at this resort for four nights in May of 2012. It is a beautiful resort set on a hill above San Juan del Sur. You can see the town and the bay from the resort. The pool area and restaurant are very nicely done. The staff accommodated my every request. I made them show me three villas before I decided on one. The villas themselves have been built with great care and attention to detail. They are very nice, with good a/c and good views. Unfortunately, I came down with something during my stay and was confined to the resort for three days. The staff was very helpful and called a doctor for me (they sill make house calls in Central America!) and asked how I was doing the next time they saw me. I felt very well taken care of. I felt that the rate I paid, which included breakfast, was a good value considering the quality of the resort. I would stay there again.

Room Tip: Try to find a villa that has good views from both upstairs and downstairs. If mobility is a problem...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Drew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Guest Relations Manager at Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2012
We hope that you are continuing to regain your health - and will enjoy your next vacation even more.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2012

The location is fabulous and the views are great. The restaurant is phenomenal. We found it to be equal or better (more often than not) than the restaurants on the beach and the price equivalent. Grass fed beef, freshly caught fish and lobster - amazing! The restaurant staff, however, could use better training. Maria Luisa at the front desk is lovely and her attention to detail is outstanding. The villa layout is great and very family friendly. It is a great place to stay - especially for a family.

The Bambu Beach Club which is referenced in materials is a disappointment.

In summary, a good value.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ClaudiaV34088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Guest Relations Manager at Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, June 28, 2012
Thanks for your comments - I miss the fresh fish each day when I am away from Villas de Palermo. We will continue to help our waitstaff improve their customer service. We know that the combination of everything (including all our sauces) being made from scratch - and a waiter that is less than attentive can result in a long, frustrating meal. We try daily to improve the quality of our service, so you can enjoy the quality of the meals we serve.

The Bambu Beach Club changed management in 2012 and we thank you tor letting us know that you noticed the difference.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these San Juan del Sur hotels
4.9 mi away
Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge
1.7 mi away
Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort
Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort
#22 of 27 in San Juan del Sur
285 reviews
1.4 mi away
El Jardin Hotel
El Jardin Hotel
#8 of 27 in San Juan del Sur
232 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.9 mi away
Mango Rosa Nicaragua
Mango Rosa Nicaragua
#1 of 4 in Playa Marsella
419 reviews
3.1 mi away
Playa Marsella Beach Front Hotel
Playa Marsella Beach Front Hotel
#3 of 4 in Playa Marsella
148 reviews
1.2 mi away
Hotel Alcazar
Hotel Alcazar
#11 of 27 in San Juan del Sur
170 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort

Property: Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort
Address: Carreterra San Juan del Sur, km 139, San Juan del Sur 48600, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#4 Family Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#4 Green Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#8 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Palermo Hotel and Resort is located in San Juan del Sur, a city that bridges Costa Rica and Nicaragua on the Pacific Ocean. The hotel features 50 villas, poolside spa, flexible in-room work spaces, full-kitchens and room service, wireless broadband connectivity throughout the property, as well as both large and small, air-conditioned conference and meeting spaces. Villas are for rent by the day, week or month, as well as for sale as vacation homes. Terraza de Palermo Restaurant and Bar offer a dramatic dining experience overlooking the tropical pool and sunsets into the Pacific Ocean. Locally sourced, vegetarian, vegan, healthy and Nicaraguan meal service available. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Cancelon and HotelQuickly so you can book your Villas de Palermo Hotel & Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Villas De Palermo Hotel And Resort
Villas De Palermo Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Villas De Palermo Hotel & Resort Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing