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“Lovely hotel”

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La Gran Francia Hotel y Restaurante
Ranked #19 of 43 Hotels in Granada
San Anselmo, California
Level Contributor
103 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel”
Reviewed February 10, 2007

La Gran Francia was a very nice property. I was impressed by the lovely architecture, the beautiful tile work, and the great food. I would definitely stay there again. My chief complaint was that the pool was not working and it was HOT. We were looking forward to relaxing and swimming in the pool but it didn't even have water in it. We were not told this ahead of time. We probably would have stayed elsewhere had we known because we were traveling with chidlren and that was a big draw. The air conditioning did work great and I can not emphasize enough how very hot it was in April. It was difficult to walk around the town at all in the heat.

  • Liked — The atmosphere.
  • Disliked — The pool wasn't working.
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NVRam123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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447 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (92)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2007

I have stayed in many hotels in Granada including the Hotel Colonial and the Alhambra which charge similar rates for their rooms. I decided to try the Gran Francia this trip and I was grateful I did. I reserved a junior suite for $120/night (including breakfast) which may be a high price for the property. I loved it, however. The detail in restoring the property is obvious. I truly loved the porcelain, hand-painted sinks in the bathroom and the king-sized beds and nice linens. We spend some time taking in the street scene from our balcony and enjoyed the hospitality of the front desk. The owner even came by our room to see if we were enjoying our stay.
The hotel has an adjoining restaurant which serves a free buffet style breakfast for guests. Their regular menu is extensive, expensive and maybe too ambitious but worth the ambiance. Try the Tercer Ojo and El Zaguán (you must try their filete a la jalapeña!!!!)

The interior pool is also a nice touch but fills the air with a chlorine smell. If you make any phone calls from the room with a calling card, watch for charges on your final bill!
I am not certain how the interior rooms are but the junior suites are beautiful and ranked 2nd after Pelican Eyes (San Juan del Sur) as one of my nicest stays in Nicaragua.

  • Liked — comfort, style, location
  • Disliked — charges on bill (but they were removed)
  • Tips/Secrets — reserve an exterior room
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank cristinasabin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2006

La Gran Francia is tough to beat for its location just off the main square in Granada, its historical signficance, and colonial architecture and furnishings. It's fun to sit on the balcony watching people, and horses, and carriages, etc. in the street below. The hotel restaurant and the hotel bar are in an attractive separate building across the street; the food is excellent and creative. In our 5-day stay, we found all of the staff to be helpful and courteous, including arranging special excursions. As elsewhere in Granada, It's useful to speak some Spanish though probably not necessary.

The ambiance comes at a price, however. One of our two rooms had poor lighting, weak air conditioning, and hot water that often did not come on; the other room was much better in all respects.

  • Liked — Historic atmosphere; location
  • Disliked — weak airconditioning
  • Tips/Secrets — If your room has problems, ask to see another one.
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cbchrc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2006

La Gran Francia did not live up to it's marketing grandeur. It is the most expensive hotel in Granada and doesn't offer anything extraordinary. It is in fact very depressing. The rooms and interior of the hotel are dark and fobidding. The pool was under repair while we were there, as well as the stairwell, and the hotel did not offer anything for these inconveniences. The staff was not courteous and pretty much ignored us, even though we were one of the few guests at the hotel. I recommend saving your money and staying at another hotel in Granada such as the Casa San Francisco or the Colonial.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ksmangia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2006

My wife and I spent three nights at La Gran Francia in February, as part of a one-week visit to Nicaragua.

ROOMS

The rooms are simply decorated but comfortable, with tile floors and dark wood furniture in keeping with the Spanish colonial atmosphere of the hotel as a whole. The air conditioning was very effective in the heat of the day. Our room, the "Suite del Duque", had a minibar containing a variety of soft drinks, beer and several types of the local Flor de Caña rum, all at fair prices. The bathrooms have beautiful hand-painted sinks and good water pressure, and everything was kept very clean during our stay. Although our room was on the ground floor along the street, the thick walls ensured that we were not disturbed by noise.

SERVICE

The staff was friendly and helpful not only during our visit, but also before we arrived. I corresponded with the tour desk via e-mail in advance of our trip, and they put together a wonderful customized itinerary for us, all at extremely reasonable prices (more on that below). The tour staff spoke excellent English, while the staff at the reception desk and in the restaurant spoke more limited English--it was enough for basic communication, but it helped to know some Spanish too. However, all of the staff really went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and enjoy our visit to Nicaragua.

FOOD

The dining areas are in the beautifully restored building just across the street from the reception area and guest rooms. Breakfast, included in the price of the room, is served alongside a pleasant plant-filled courtyard, and the buffet included Nicaraguan specialities such as gallo pinto (red beans and rice), maduros (sweet plantains) and queso frito (fried cheese) in addition to the usual North American breakfast foods.

Lunch was available in the same room as breakfast, and during the afternoon, light snacks were served on the balcony upstairs with a view of the Parque Central, Granada's main plaza. This was one of our favorite parts of La Gran Francia, and Granada: drinking beer and munching on tostones (fried plantains) and queso frito while watching the world go by, with the clip-clop of horse-drawn buggies in the background.

The more formal dinner restaurant, in an air conditioned room on the ground level, is El Arcángel. While the food wasn't bad, we found it a bit heavy and formal for laid-back Granada, and in some ways we preferred the nearby restaurants where we ate dinner on our other two nights: El Zaguán served delicious steaks and a particularly memorable house-made chorizo, and Doña Conchi's served Spanish food in a romantic candlelit setting.

ACTIVITIES

The hotel's tour desk arranged airport transfers as well as private tours and other activities for our whole stay. Marvin, our guide, and Rene, our driver, met us at Managua airport in the hotel's minivan, drove us the hour or so to Granada, and took us on a fascinating tour of the area's many attractions over the next three days. We visited the historic churches and other buildings of Granada (both on foot and in a horse-drawn buggy), a charming colonial city. We hiked around Masaya and Mombacho volcanoes, took the exhilarating "canopy tour" at Mombacho (which involves zipping along cables from tree to tree), visited craft villages, took a boat tour of the "Isletas" on Lake Cocibolca, and on Valentine's Day spent a relaxing afternoon at the Norome Resort by Apoyo lagoon, including lunch and massages. La Gran Francia arranged every last detail and included it all in one extremely fair and reasonable package price at check-out.

This place is really a tremendous value. Part of me wants it to remain a well-kept secret so it doesn't become too expensive, but the other part of me feels obligated to spread the word about this wonderful gem of a hotel. If your time and budget allow, I also recommend a visit to Morgan's Rock, an ecolodge near San Juan del Sur where we spent the next four days of our trip. However, a few days at La Gran Francia are a wonderful introduction to this beautiful, safe and welcoming country.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank AlexNewYorkNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2005

We stayed three nights here during the first week of Dec. 05. The hotel is just around the corner from Granada's central square, however their lounge has an upstairs balcony with views onto that area. It was our special perch for people-watching which we enjoyed thoroughly while sipping cool refreshments.
The hotel facilities were nearly immaculate. Our room (#7) was a quiet bottom floor unit w/ humungus comfortable bed, large TV and great A/C. Maria at the front desk was a real cherub -- so friendly and informative with good english about the city or Nica traditions,celebrations,etc. There was a dipping pool just outside our room w/ an open vault though the roof to the sky above. Very nicely designed and renovated.
The meals were adequately tasty and portioned but the fare for food/drink was higher than The Alhambra across the square we discovered.
We also discovered that the first week of December is a very vibrant, lively period on the calendar in Granada. Religious processions to the main cathedral daytime and evenings til 9pm. Festive crowds, brass bands, and fireworks for the Holy Virgin return. Sounds like fun to you? The fireworks outside could start as early as 5 am. so night owls and light sleepers be forewarned.
Nevertheless, La Gran Francia hotel appeared to be a fine example of elegant comfort upon our initial arrival and it didn't dissapoint us throughout our stay. Neither did the city and outlying areas -- remarkably friendly and beautiful.

Helpful?
3 Thank Holidevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2005

We really enjoyed our stay at La Gran Francia. The rooms were very comfortable and the staff very friendly. If you speak Spanish, be sure to talk to Renee or Lucia prior to making any plans in Granada or Nicaragua. If you enjoy garlic marinated steak, we would strongly recommend eating at El Zaguan.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nicatrip
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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