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“great service, nice colonial building”

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La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante
Ranked #19 of 44 Hotels in Granada
toronto
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“great service, nice colonial building”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2007

Stayed here for 2 nights in october. i would echo the other reviews, it was a very nice hotel, the breakfast was great, very filling!, and served just off a beautiful garden. Stayed on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the road. Didnt eat dinner but it looked nice, we went for dinner at Zaguan which was just 2 blocks away - which was fantastic. We booked a canopy tour and Mombacho tour through the hotel the same morning, and had no troubles with this. One suggestion - we did call ahead to book a taxi from the airport, they quoted us $50USD for 2 people, we called oro travel and arranged one ourselves for $30 (we paid ahead of time), and the driver and car was great. May have received a beter deal with the tour if booked directly - but we didnt have the time to organise this. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jessie12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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438 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
133 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2007

We booked two rooms at Granada's La Gran Francia hotel as part of a package trip to Nicaragua offered by Capricorn Tours. It is one of the more "expensive" hotels in this colonial city, but comparatively speaking it's about the same as what one would pay at a nondescript Holiday Inn in the U.S. Our package deal rate was &75/night, and the regular rate is around $95 - $100/night. But this place is gorgeous and worth every penny.

The location can't be beat. It sits just off the corner of the town's main square (we heard the hotel has just purchased an adjacent building that actually sits right on the town square, and plan to expand their facility). From the hotel you can walk just about anywhere in town--restaurants, shops, tourist offices. Even the lake is not that far on foot.

The structure itself is a renovated colonial building, and the owners did not spare any expense in the makeover. The handmade tile floors, antiques, and rich wood detailing truly give a sense of what it must have been like to live an opulent lifestyle back in the colonial days. The hotel is accessed through a simple passageway that soon reveals an open interior courtyard featuring a small, but very refreshing, swimming pool. All 21 rooms (on two floors) open into this area. Some rooms have balconies, although not the ones we stayed in. The rooms themselves have bold tile floors, ornate wooden beds and armoires, and hand-painted sinks. If you love creature comforts, the air conditioning is nice and cold, and the television gets many channels from the U.S., including CBS, NBC, and Showtime. Both of our rooms had windows facing into small, light-filled courtyards, although these spaces were not accessible.

The staff is comprised of young, friendly Nicaraguans who were extremely accommodating. Most were fluent in English. They suggested restaurants, tours, and even brought us an iron.

The hotel also includes another colonial building directly across the street. This houses the restaurant where we had our breakfast each morning which is included in the nightly room rate (the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, and though we did not eat here the food looked great). Breakfast is served in beautiful surroundings-- under a loggia overlooking a small garden. There were plenty of items to choose from, including pancakes, eggs, french toast, as well as a Nicaraguan-style breakfast.

Presently there are rolling electrical blackouts in Nicaragua due to a lack of electrical power (due to be fixed by 2008), but La Gran Francia has generators that kick on if the power does go out. The only way we knew the power was off was that out bedside clock would blink and the cable TV would go out.

We liked this hotel so much that after staying here three nights, we returned later in the week for three more nights!

  • Liked — architecture and interiors
  • Disliked — low water pressure in one of our showers
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Peru77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2007

The hotel was charming and very clean. The service was good and the staff was friendly.

The restaurant was very good. I plan to return.

  • Liked — the location and cleanliness--no geckos in the room
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Weezie3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2007

We spent four days in Granada at La Gran Francia, and we had a wonderful time. The hotel is a beautiful, historic building. I was concerned that the hotel was not located on the main plaza, but it is so close that you still feel very much a part of all of the activity. And, really, not being on the plaza is also quieter, which is a bonus.

Our room was on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the street below, and we loved the location. We spent several afternoons reading on our balcony, and it was great to step outside to see what was going on.

One afternoon, we were awoken from a nap to very (very!) loud noises, and we looked outside to find a huge parade going by. We got up quickly and ran over to the bar (also on the second floor) where were sipped cocktails and watched the parade below. It was the Poetry Festival, which was a huge deal there, and we had the perfect perch from which to enjoy it all.

The breakfasts were great - a good selection, very fresh, and tasty. Some mornings, they were a little late, so try to plan extra time for breakfast. We had dinner one night at the bar, which was very good. We had one other fantastic dinner in Granada, at el Zaquan, with wonderful grilled steak. Another night, we had a very disappointing dinner at Dona Conchi where we were sold a spoiled bottle of wine for $60. I would stay away from that restaurant.

Our culinary highlight, though, was a Sunday afternoon snack of fresh nacatamales brought to us by one of the hotel's tour guides, Alejandro. One our way back from a tour, we mentioned that we really wanted to try the local specialty, and Alejandro offered to buy them for us from a neighborhood senora who is known for her nacatamales. Alejandro not only went to buy them for us and bring them back, but he delivered them on white china accompanied by strong black coffee, the customary beverage. We ate them on our balcony; it was such a treat.

As for the tours, we enjoyed everything we did, but be aware that the hotel guides are really escorts. They took us where we wanted to go, and then they accompanied us and the location's tour guide during the tour. It was nice to sit back and relax while our hotel guide took care of all of the details, but all of the attention really isn't necessary, especially if you speak the language. We didn't mind, but if you are more adventurous and would like to make the arrangements yourself, you're not missing out on much.

We would highly recommend the canopy tour on Mombacho. I have heard there are two outfits, and ours was the much better of the two from what we heard. We had so much fun - I had no idea I would like it so much! We heard the other Mombacho canopy tour is not as good, though, so ask around. The one that the hotel recommends is the one we went to and loved.

Happy travels!

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank KatrinaVHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2007

There are many choices now in Granada for lodging, and this hotel is on par with the others we looked at. Quiet, clean, safe, great breakfasts, great bar overlooking the edge of the square, near all the sites, great showers, nice staff. Go to Nicaragua now before it becomes overrun with travelers and loses some of its charm.

  • Liked — location safety and charm
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank kipptraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2007

This hotel has alot of character and charm. Our room was quite large with very high ceilings. Lighting was dim as there are no windows except a small one in the huge wooden doors opening to the balcony. The balcony was small but had an excellent view of the Cathedral. There is no place else in Granada I'd rather be sitting in the evening listening to horse drawn buggies clomping down the brick streets. The furniture in the hotel is made up of grand wooden pieces. The bathroom was just OK, with the best part beintg the beautiful ceramic sink with a Granada scene painted in it. It wasn't the cleanest bathroom I've been in, but not the worst either. Breakfast was served buffet style with hot and cold selections including traditional Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto. We enjoyed our breakfast on the patio in the courtyard surrounded by lush flowers.

  • Liked — Ambiance
  • Disliked — Bathroom cleanliness
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelfroggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2007

We visited Granada in April, one of the hottest months. We were grateful for the air conditioning at La Gran Francia. Be advised that the rooms and the main restaurant are air conditioned; however, the lobby areas of the hotel, the breakfast room, and the bar, are not. In fact, the small swimming pool is right in the middle of the humid lobby, and although it is attractive to look at, it is a bit awkward to go for a swim when everyone checking into the hotel has to have a look at you in your bathing suit!

The rooms are spacious, with good beds, but lack much area for sitting. We did not have a suite, and the conventional rooms face a small walled in atrium rather than having any view. I suppose this helps keep the rooms cool, and perhaps cuts down on noise? Lighting was on the dim side, and we did see a gecko scuttle across the floor at one point. He was escaping outdoor heat too.

For me, the nicest part of La Gran Francia was the staff. The people at the front desk spoke English very well, and they were very helpful (although we had already arranged touring with a private company before we arrived). The breakfast buffet was excellent. There are plenty of good restaurants and bars all over Granada, but the hotel facilities are attractive if you want or need to stay close by.

  • Liked — colonial charm
  • Disliked — a bit dark and dated
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank chaucerquest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante

Property: La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante
Address: Esquina sureste del Parque Central, Granada, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Granada Department > Granada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Granada
#10 Romantic Hotel in Granada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located right off the main square of the historical colonial city of Granada, La Gran Francia is a splendid ancestral building whose existence historians argue dates back to the years immediately following the founding of Granada, in 1524. This architectural jewel was restored during the decade of the 1990's, recovering the majesty and splendor of its heyday and today houses our hotel restaurant, bars and banquet hall facilities. In two distinct and centric settings, La Gran Francia Colonial Hotel offers its guests a total of 35 air-conditioned rooms, with all modern comforts and amenities. At La Gran Francia Colonial Hotel, you will be able to enjoy the best of Nicaraguan hospitality and the rustic elegance of colonial Granada. La Gran Francia has been recommended by Conde Nast Traveller and Samantha Brown from The Discovery Channel, among others. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Gran Francia Granada
La Gran Francia Hotel Granada

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