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“Mariposa School/Hotel” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel

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La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Mariposa School/Hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2008

This is a well-meaning place. Advertises that you will see the "real" Niaragua. In a sense you do (though certainly not at the school/hotel), but on the planned excursions- albeit safely behind your tour guide. I would urge anybody, however, seeking a truly "real" experience to wander out of the safe confines of the hotel and planned excursions and venture out into the country on your own. The Spanish teachers are mixed- one very good one and a few extremely mediocre types. The owner does do her best to make you comfortable and is welcoming.

  • Stayed April 2008
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank unsueno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paulettelamariposa, Owner and Director at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, May 30, 2008
The Mariposa does not promise anyone the "real" Nicaragua - there is no such entity - what we do offer,and deliver, is the opportunity to interact with a local community as well as get to learn something about the history, culture and politics of Nicaragua - an opportunity which some students take and others don't. Our Spanish language school gets consistently excellent evaluations - we have just been nominated "Best Place to Habla Espanol" by Outside magazine, issue April 2008. We certainly try to be "well-meaning" and to deliver on our commitments, both to our students and to the commnity of La Concepcion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
london
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

2 weeks here was incredible value. the setting is lovely, the food excellent and the spanish lessons really good.
pleasant rooms in a beautiful setting---and lovely hot showers.
you actually learn something about the country rather than just staying "somewhere nice"and because it is an eco hotel you feel as tho you might be doing something useful !!
i shall be returning this year !

  • Liked — a real feeling of being in Nicaragua--in comfort
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sandramch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
65 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2008

The Mariposa is a wonderful Spanish school & hotel set in the the hills about 30 minutes from Managua, and cooler than the steamy capital. You get one-on-one lessons, and the teachers are wonderful. The students/guests eat their meals together in the covered outdoor dining area; the mostly vegetarian meals are fresh and simple, if a little bland.

The English owner, Paulette, creates a warm, welcoming and very stimulating atmosphere. Lessons are in the morning; most afternoons you pile into the back of the old pickup truck for one adventure or another. You get your own room and bathroom, plain but entirely adequate. The attractive grounds are full of coffee bushes, fruit trees, hummingbirds, dogs and chickens. Lots of chickens -- light sleepers might want to bring earplugs to block out the early morning rooster serenades.

I stayed 5 days and learned a lot, both about the Spanish language and Nicaragua. But it was really too short a stay -- this is a place you want to settle into for a while.

  • Liked — Wonderful, family-like atmosphere, great teaching
  • Disliked — The nearest internet cafe was in the next town -- not a place for those who always need to keep plugged in
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Apple66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2007

This is a delighful hotel set in a less well known but beautiful part of Nicaragua yet close enough for some exellent day trips to places such as Masaya, Granada and Santa Catarina. The hotel is committed to supporting local development projects and encourages local environmental initiatives. I had an excellent two weeks of Spanish classes with friendly and skilled teachers and my experience of Nicaragua was enhanced by the knowledge of the country shown by the staff and owner of the hotel. There is a good library and othe resources for visitors wanting to know more about Nicaragua and the hotel is especially suitable for people with children, offering child -friendly spanish classes, horseback riding and lots of animals, birds and wildlife for them to enjoy. Strongly recommended.

  • Liked — comfortable, spacious rooms
  • Disliked — occasional cockerels
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank elizabeth_jane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2007

I visited this brand new, stunning-looking hotel in January '07 with my husband a two adult children. It is in the hills about an hour south-east of the capital and airport, Managua. We used it as a base over two weeks to explore a little of this amazing, recovering country.

The bedrooms are spacious, with locally made, simple but comfortable furniture and fittings, good beds and ensuite shower rooms complete with hot water. From our room we looked down on to a menagerie of animals - cats, dogs, pigs, horses, chickens and various more exotic ones whose names I can't remember. The garden was always busy with local people digging and planting. Beyond this there is thick tropical vegetation and a local village. The food is all organic and delicious and we particularly enjoyed the breakfasts served outside on one of the terraces.

From the hotel we visited local community and handicraft centres, lakes and live and dead volcanoes, an undeveloped Pacific beach, and the handicrafts town of Masaya which is about an hour away. We usually travelled on seats in the open back of the hotel van (a hat that won't blow off is useful), though you can go in the front if you don't fancy this, or we went by local bus. You can also arrange to go on bird watching trips and we saw fantastic birds on a lake trip near Granada. We also spent several overnight trips away including to the beautiful colonial city of Granada, again about an hour away, and to the volcanic island of Omatepe on Lake Nicaragua where we spent three nights. You can also just chill out at Mariposa and maybe take an evening ride on one of the horses.

The hotel is run by a very lively English woman called Paulette Goudge who lives on the premises with her daughter. She is very committed to giving as much employment as possible to the local village where young people and even those who have professional qualifications often cannot find work. At the hotel Paulette also runs a Spanish school, and she can arrange for you to have one to one lessons with experienced local teachers. If you want to work as a volunteer on a community project she has lots of local knowledge and contacts, or you can do a combination of these things. Paulette is also an expert on third world development and I don't think it would take much for her to arrange a seminar if you are part of a small group. In any case you are unlikely to leave this place without having had some very lively debates with her!

Mariposa would suit people of many different ages and would be an excellent place to stay for a few weeks Spanish teaching if you are planning to travel elsewhere in Central or South America. If you are on your own you certainly won't be lonely!

Clare Roskill

  • Liked — The fact that the hotel is helping the local community who had a party to celebrate its opening
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ClareLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faversham Kent
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2007

A small, friendly and very individual hotel only 45 minutes from Managua, up into the hills in a wonderful location with spectacular scenery and a pretty ideal climate,.

Owned and managed by English woman Paulette and her Nicaraguan daughter Guillermina, this hotel has 8 bedrooms and was built using local materials and workers. The rooms are simple but extremely comfortable and all have their own shower rooms and views over the grounds. The hotel is solar powered, reuses grey water and provides guests with organic shampoo and soap to enable this to happen. Food is served on the spectacular terrace, family style and is mainly vegetarian (though fish and chicken are served to those who want them a few times a week). Local products, many, including coffee, grown organically in the hotel grounds.

As much a life enhancing experience as a hotel or holiday , the Mariposa offers many activities and opportunities for community engagement. These include, learning Spanish, horse riding, walking/trekking/conservation, gardening, herbal plants, many crafts, cookery,visits to Mombacho volcano/cloud forest, the crater lake, Laguna Apoyo, Granada a Spanish colonial town on the edge of the 2nd largest lake in Latin America. The hotel has its own horses, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and is a rescue centre for the unique to Nicaragua Chocoyos a type of parakeet. Birds whose wings have been cut are rehabilitated to return to the wild and the hotel has also rescue dos and cats. A truly welcoming and special break for people of any age who want to go somehwere without a massive tourist infrastructure and making real and enduring relationships is possible alongside enjoying a huge range of activties and experinces or just chilling out in a lovely place.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank Labiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel

Property: La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Address: De la Cancha, 200 metros al sur, 50 al este | San Juan de la Concepcion, Masaya, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Masaya Department > Masaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Mariposa is a small, friendly non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, just outside the small town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. Only an hour from Nicaragua's major attractions - Granada, the Pacific Coast, the Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya volcano - and 45 minutes from Managua airport, La Mariposa is surrounded by organic coffee, banana trees and flower gardens. Our cool, green climate (we are 500 meters above sea level - makes a real difference to the temperature) is ideal for studying Spanish! Our conservation efforts - though small scale - have vastly increased our bird population, butterflies and even frogs! We offer intensive Spanish classes in our purpose built classrooms or in outdoor classrooms in our delightful grounds, full of tropical plants and rescued animals. Classes are mostly one on one (max 2 or 3 in a class) and we cater for all levels form beginner to advanced, including specially designed classes for children. We have an extensive library with Spanish study materials and a selection of books in English on Nicaraguan history, development issues etc. We organize a full week (that includes weekends) of activities, including cooking and salsa classes, classes on the history of Nicaragua and a weekly update of what is happening in the Nicaraguan news. These are delivered in Spanish to help with progress in Spanish and with English translation if necessary. On 3 afternoons and Saturdays we offer trips out to local places of interest as well as the Masaya volcano by night, the Masaya markets and artesanias, Granada, Leon, the Laguna de Apoyo, the Pacific beach, Managua, Catarina, the Pueblos Blancos and more! The trips are rotated on a monthly schedule. There are various accomodation options - Students can stay in the eco-hotel (ensuite rooms) or our eco rooms (cheaper). There is a also a large (en suite) family room. Situated about 5 mins from the main school/hotel is our nature reserve. There are now 2 cabins in the reserve, each with two bedrooms, seating area, shower and compostable latrine, private terrace and garden, small kitchen (though you can of course eat all meals at the main hotel) - these are ideal for families with kids who like a bit more space to run around! There are of course a few friendly rescued dogs to keep the kids happy!! We use solar power - for heated water in all of the showers as well as to provide electricity, conserve rainwater,have a number of recycling schemes and have started our own successful organic farm which provides some of the eggs, veggies, coffee consumed at the Mariposa. And much more. We use our income to maximise the employment of local people (currently employing 80 teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff) and undertake a number of projects in the local community. You can opt to volunteer at one of our community or environmental projects, living in a homestay with a local family. Amongst other projects, we are currently offering volunteer placements in the nature reserve, in local schools, with a day care project or with disabled children. You are also welcome to help out the Mariposa workers - whether feeding our rescued animals or cooking up our healthy meals. All of which is a great way to improve that Spanish! We have also recently opened, on another but close by site, a study centre specifically designed to cater for groups of students. We offer an individualized curriculum which can include Spanish classes, activities and classes on the history, culture and environment of Nicaragua. We can also arrange community service work for groups. Accommodation is in two eco built dormitories, each of which has 10 beds (bunk style). The eating/meeting hall is a lovely structure built of straw bales and thatched roofing. Classrooms face a terrace with great views of the Masaya volcano. Meals are always freshly cooked, often using organic veggies from our farm. And of course there are solar heated showers and solar powered electricity. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Mariposa Spanish School And Eco Hotel Nicaragua/Masaya

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