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“Perfect First Trip To Nicaragua”
Review of Casa Del Soul

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Casa Del Soul
Certificate of Excellence
palm beach FL
2 reviews
“Perfect First Trip To Nicaragua”
Reviewed August 1, 2009

I had two things I wanted to experience in Nicaragua on my first trip. The first was really good surf. The second was a really nice place to stay. Casa Del Soul provided both. I was not interested in the "surf camp" circus. I wanted to spend my days in the water and my nights comfortable. Casa del Soul was peaceful, with unbelievable views in all directions. I spent my evenings watching the sunset, lounging by the pool, and enjoying Nicaragua's beauty. When you travel sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. The owner (Randy) is the nicest guy in the world, I honestly feel that I got lucky meeting Randy and staying at his amazing place. The next time I travel to Nicaragua I will be staying there.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank rosswiebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, MA
1 review
Reviewed July 29, 2009

I stayed here with my boyfriend for a week and as someone who has traveled the world quite a bit, I can honestly say that this was one of the best vacations of my life. Casa del Soul is not the place for you if you're seeking a non-stop party atmosphere with the bars and discos close by. If you're looking for a somewhat secluded romantic get-away, then this is definitely the place for you.

Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to meet Randy (he was out of town at the time), but his girlfriend Brenda was an incredible host: sweet, accommodating, and helpful in every respect-- from letting us do a small load of laundry to helping arrange surf lessons and canopy tours. The house has a small kitchen where you can cook your own meals but Gabby, one of the house-helpers, was often available to make breakfast. Because we were on a budget, we wanted to cook our own meals and the space was perfect for that: a nice gas stove, spacious counter space, and a fantastic outdoor grill which we used almost every single night.

There is a nice pool which Alex (also the driver) keeps immaculately clean as well as plenty of deck space for all your sunning desires. In the afternoons, we were frequently found under the palapa in the hammocks, catching some cool breezes or checking our email with the free wi-fi (they also have a laptop which you can use). Randy and Brenda also have a friendly dog, Chucho who loves a good petting (we miss him dearly!).

My favorite part of Casa del Soul, by far, is its view. It is surrounded by lush green hills (keep in mind, we went during the "rainy" season, though, when we were there, the rain came in short and infrequent spurts) and the house itself faces the ocean, where you can see the most spectacular sunsets. You must go there to see it for yourself!

One small note (and the only reason why I've given this place 4/5 stars for location): The price you pay for amazing views and peace and quiet is that the house itself is set apart from the main town of San Juan del Sur. This caused some minor problems like when we wanted to make a quick trip to the grocery store and back but didn't have a ride from Alex. (Walking would have simply taken too long.) That said, I've read several reviews stating that the distance is not really walkable: this is not true at all. In fact, we walked the distance to town and back several times and yes, it was a workout (some serious hills), but we really got an expanded sense of San Juan and its outlying areas and along the way, we got some great snapshots of the town from high up.

Other than that, if you're looking to be out all night, you (obviously) shouldn't be walking back at those hours. No problem: they have an arrangement with a local driver (he was great!) and you can use a cellphone, which Randy and Brenda provide you, to call him at any hour of the night and he will pick you up and take you back for a nominal fee (around $12).

All in all, this was a fantastic vacation and I know that a big part of that had to do with our amazing accommodations at Casa del Soul. I hope that if you plan to visit this part of Nicaragua, you give Randy and Brenda a visit-- it is worth it!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank travellyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
2 reviews
Reviewed July 28, 2009

As i type this review, i am not sure where to begin. I loved the view from the room's balcony overlooking the Bay, the sunsets were amazing. Is all about the location and Randy couldn't have found a better spot, the house itself is very clean and comfortable.
If you want a quiet and amazing location to get away this is it, i can't think of a better place in SDS. My only regret is not being able to stay longer.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nicatlvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Managua, Nicaragua
1 review
Reviewed July 16, 2009

After a quick two hour drive from Managua, we (my wife and I and our four friends) were anxious to spend two nights away from our busy lives just outside of Managua. All we knew of this place were from the pictures on the internet and Randy's verbal kudos over the phone. But we were game and the fact that it had a pool, not a little wading or sitting pool but a pool you could actually swim in was good enough for us. It did seem a little weird to think that we would actually be staying in someones house but Randy said that it was set up so that the guests would hardly know that he was there.

We arrived around noon after a stop in San Juan del Sur to pick up my favorite coffee drink at El Gato Negro, an Aztec Mocha.... mmmm good with just a hint of cinnamon. (Rob and Kelly do a super job there) We were greeted by Randy's dog, Chawco, or Coco or Choo-choo or whatever his name is. I think one of the other reviews has the name right but not this spanglish speaking Gringo. Anyways, the dog is a delight and very quickly will become your friend. (Loves to be petted on the lower neck, upper chest)

Our bags were wisked out of our van to the appropriate rooms as we stood in awe of the beautiful view off to the west, with the sun sparkling off the gentle waves in the not to distant bay. That was a great beginning....

Our room was adequate for the two of us. We had the smaller but more private room on the main floor back in the corner. The other two couples had the larger two rooms on the second floor where they shared a large common balcony. Our bathroom was sufficient, the shower was large and had hot water, if you wanted it. We used the hot water a couple of times. The normal temperature of the water is usually just fine, especially if you've been walking around at any length. Our bed was quite comfortable and we used the air conditioning in our room one night and a floor fan the other nights.

We brought a boat load of snacks and homemade goodies with us, pop and iced tea mix. Randy's maid made us breakfasts of pancakes, french toast and scrambled eggs on three different mornings. Plus of course, there was fresh coffeeand fresh fruit ready shortly after we were up in the morning. The kitchen has all you need to prepare your own lunches and dinners if you so please. The house is secure during the day and night with either Randy and the dog there, plus the maid and her husband, who maintains the pool and the grounds during the day and then head home in the late afternoon. The whole development has a guarded main gate that one has to drive through to get to the house. So, we always felt secure during our stay.

We had so much fun the first two nights, that we ended up staying a third. It was a very relaxing time. The beach is about a six minute walk away and really fun to explore and to fish off of. Randy has a pole that he let me use and I brought my own tackle. Nope, didn't catch anything, but enjoyed trying.

Randy really hits on this next part, but it really is true, You are a hop, skip and a jump away from San Juan del Sur proper but there at his house, one would never know it. That's the beauty of the place. You can enjoy all that SJDS has to offer and then head back to your own place and enjoy the view, the trees, the pool and the....... quiet.SJDS can be noisyat night, with mortars and bottle rockets going off for who knows what celebration, honking cars and motorcycles with little or no mufflers and kids and drunk adults hooting and hollering as they meander the streets. You are a world away from all that at Casa del Soul.

Thanks Randy, Halle and Kathy

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Halle01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2009

Casa Del Soul was referred to us by some friends who stayed there last year. Without this recommendation, we never would have found this slice of paradise. Everything that has been said in previous reviews of this place is true, and even with high expectations, we we're blown away by the actual experience. Traveling to Nicaragua is an adventure we'll never forget, and you simply can't do this trip better than heading to San Juan del Sur and staying at Casa Del Soul.

Casa Del Soul
Casa Del Soul is a beautiful mansion overlooking a bay on the Pacific ocean. Your day starts with a view of a spectacular rocky shore being pounded by huge waves. There are only a handful of guest suites, and during our stay we were the only guests in the home. After a breakfast of fresh fruit, and banana pancakes, we would enjoy a cup of amazing Nicaraguan coffee in the poolside cabana. The pool is amazing and refreshing all day long. After getting sun-burned on the first day (a tradition for Wisconsin folks), it was nice to swim in a pool which has shaded sections for most of the day. Lunch and dinners are up to you, but you have access to a beautiful full kitchen and dinning room area with views of the ocean and pool. We made quite a few lunches in the kitchen, which had all amenities, and opted to eat out for dinner most nights. Our guest room was beautiful, and quite romantic. While there is no air condition, you don't need it at Casa Del Soul, due to the almost constant breezes and multiple fans available to guests. I'm a hot-body by nature, and even I was comfortable. When I needed to check my email, Randy provided us with a laptop, which worked great on the high speed wireless connection at Casa Del Soul.

San Juan del Sur
I don't know anything about surfing, but this is definitely a surfing destination. As far as I could tell, my fiancée and I were the only non-surfing Americans in town. You can walk to town from Casa Del Soul, but we usually just caught a ride in with Randy when he ran errands. In town you can do everything. There is fine dining, transportation to nearby surfing beaches, atv rentals, shopping, internet cafe's, fishing tours, and bars. The best part is that Randy knows the best places in town, and has connections with all the proprietors. I always got the sense on our trip that we we're getting extra special care just because we we're "Randy's guests".

While we were there, the weather was absolutely perfect. It was sunny all week, and twice we had spectacular thunderstorms at night. We checked the forecast before coming to Nicaragua and it said the temps would be in the mid 90's all week with rain every day (I guess their meteorologists are as accurate as ours back home). With our close proximity to the ocean, I bet it never once got above 90 degrees while we were there, and the high humidity we expected was also absent. San Juan del Sur is located on a small strip of land between Lake Nicaragua and the ocean, so apparently this moderates the temps well and keeps the humidity very comfortable. All you need is shorts and tank tops (direct quote from Randy).

During our stay we did numerous touristy activities. Every day Randy asked us what we wanted to do, and when we answered he made all the calls to setup what we wanted. When we asked to tour the country, he got us a driver named Fabio who took us to Grenada, Katarina, and Masaya. We shopped in markets, and saw many historical sites. We also went up to the Masaya volcano, which was an awesome experience. Another day we zip-lined in the canopy, and on a different day we took a tour bus to Maderas beach... which has some of the most impressive waves I've ever seen.

We can't wait to return to Casa Del Soul, and next time we're going to bring our parents as well to share the experience with them.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Therbsts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Managua, Nicaragua
1 review
Reviewed July 8, 2009

This is a great comfortable place hidden away from San Juan del Sur but with all the best that that area offers - fantastic views, incredible sunsets, beach access. We went with family and friends and even took our 20 month old - she loved it!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Amandechon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island BC Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2009

We had 3 wonderful weeks at Casa Del Soul with our host Randy Harvey and girlfriend Brenda and of course Chucho the house dog. This place is absolutely the most relaxing, tranquil vacation we have had in a long time. The bed and breakfast is beautiful and the staff Alex and Gabby are absolutely wonderful people. The beakfast everyday was the freshest fruit and anything else you wanted with it. There was always a breeze that kept you cool and the swimming pool was the perfect temperature. We walked to town a couple of times and also had Randy drive us which he had no problem doing its only 5 - 8 min to town. The beach in front of the house is quite interesting and a great walk in the mornings.....many shells and things to look at while walking the bay. This location has the best sunsets anywhere and every picture I have is different. Well worth going to this bed and breakfast to enjoy a real unique vacation in a beautiful friendly country.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank totwanows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Del Soul

Property: Casa Del Soul
Address: Pacific Marlin N 34, San Juan del Sur 99513, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 74 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Del Soul is an oceanfront, luxury 4,000 sq. ft. home. It is situated on Nacascolo Bay, 5 minutes from San Juan Del Sur. It has a large outdoor deck surrounding a 4 by 9 meter swimming pool. The big balcony off the 2nd floor bedrooms give it a commanding view of the ocean and the tropical forest. Cable TV, DVD, ipod music systems, refrigerator, coffee makers make your room very comfortable. A full breakfast is included. We give cell phones to our guests and I help you do anything you want to in Nicaragua. Transportation,tours,volcanos,surfing,fishing,shopping, REAL ESTATE, ATV's,zipline,horseback riding,etc... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Del Soul Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Casa Del Soul Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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