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Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

You will forget about the lengthy travel needed the moment you set foot on this island. The accomodations are world class, the food is delicious, the staff goes out of the way to make you happy and all in a resort that feels like you're at the end of the world. The stars at night on the boat ride along with the bio-luminous plankton was an unforgettable evening.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank ChrisandJulieRoberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2014

Hi Chris & Julie!

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! We enjoyed having your entire group here for such a special occassion! We were so glad you got to experience the luminescent plankton on the boat too-isn't that the best ever?! We do hope your next vacation will be with us!

All the best,

Julia & Michael

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202 - 208 of 252 reviews

Reviewed April 17, 2014

Yamaha hideaway and spa is an idyllic setting on the very best beach on Little Corn Island. Julia, Michael, and the entire staff made my family of four feel completely welcome and at home. The food at the restaurant is superb, and the smoothie bar is exceptionally healthy an dummy. My daughters enjoyed the complimentary morning yoga. My teenagers cannot wait to return. We were in cabanas 8 and 9, situated very close to the restaurant and right off the beach.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank kimtaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2014

Dear Kim,

We can't tell you enough how much we enjoyed having you and your beautiful family stay with us! Your daughters were so sweet and we were so happy to hear how much they loved morning yoga! We truly hope you are able to visit us again soon!

Warm Regards,

Julia, Michael & the Yemaya Team

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Reviewed April 8, 2014

We have never stayed at the "nicest place on the island" before. But here, it felt right. Yemaya's location puts it in a spot where most visitors don't go, and the beach just steps below the bungalows is as nice as you'll find anywhere in the world. It's pretty rare to get such a magnificent, sandy into the water beach with a pretty darn nice reef for snokeling right off-shore. And the free use of kayaks, sups and snorkel gear is so fantastic. Plus yoga! The spacious bungalow was really comfy for our family of 4 (two teen daughters). It is a bit of a hoof (30 minutes of steady walking) into town. But the restaurant is so good, you could never leave. Very comfortable beds, as well as friendly staff. Did I mention the incredible sunsets?

Room Tip: We were in Bungalow #11, and liked the location very much. I'd say #'s 10-13 would all have...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank GOWYO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2014

Thank you so much for your review! We are so happy that you and your family enjoyed all Yemaya has to offer! We really enjoyed having you stay with us and hope you are able to visit again soon!

All our best,

Julia, Michael & the Yemaya Team

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Reviewed April 8, 2014

Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa could be the closest place to paradise that we have yet found in our travels to Central America. Despite that, there is still a little room for improvement.

Getting There:
From Managua to Big Corn we flew on La Costena and we were surprised to learn that it was a direct flight on a much larger plane than we had envisioned. We had no troubles booking and the flight was super-smooth.

Once in Big Corn, we caught a taxi for $4 USD to the wharf where we hopped on the panga for Little Corn Island. Cost was $6 USD each. Again, this went very smooth as the schedule for the panga was well-aligned with the La Costena flight. The ride from island to island is a bit bumpy but not as rough as we had expected.

Once on Little Corn Island, we were scooped up by Moyo and he took us by boat to Yemaya. We were greeted at the beach by Julia, one of the managers, and she showed us to our cabana (#5) and gave us the tour.

While it took a long time to get door-to-door from Seattle to Yemaya, it was not nearly as daunting as we expected it to be.


Location:
AMAZING! Having traveled to the Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala this was by far, the most beautiful location we have visited in this part of the world. The beaches were beautiful and the water pristine - the best on the island. The grounds are well kept and the garden is awesome! The resort is about a 20-25 minute walk from town and the trail is well marked with Yemaya signs to guide you.

Accommodations:
AMAZING! We were in cabana #5 which was perfectly situated on the beach. Though, I don’t believe a single cabana has a bad view. We were able to check out many of the other accommodations on Little Corn and these are, by far, the best. The unit was clean and spacious with a great deck. The beds were quite comfortable and the shower garden was a nice touch. There are safes in the rooms but I never felt like it was needed.

Activities:
One of the great things about Yemaya is, there are a number of activities included with your stay – yoga, snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. We took advantage of all of them and they were awesome! Snorkeling, SUP and Kayaks are available at the beach bar and are in good condition.

Yoga:
Our morning yoga was led by Keilani. While I have only experienced 5 or so yoga instructors in my life, she was definitely the best. She really set the tone for our day! I will note that we were booted out of the jungle yoga location (much cooler) to the beach location (much, much hotter) when a large yoga group showed up.

Spa:
While I did not use the spa, my wife did and she was raving about the massage she received from Olga.

Fly Fishing:
The fishing was great, the catching was not so great. We hooked up with Brandon at Fly Fishing Little Corn to chase some bonefish. He was very knowledgeable about the area and showed us around the island but we were unable to land any bonefish. We did have a 50-pound tarpon on for a while as well as a few bonefish but they all managed to slip away. Brandon was awesome though and provided us with the information we needed to fish for the rest of the week.

Snorkeling with a Guide:
While the snorkeling from the Yemaya beach was fun we yearned for a little more. We were able to hook up with a boat and guide through Saundra (she was amazing) at the concierge desk. We went out with Charlie (the guide) and Robert (boat captain). Charlie was able to show us turtles, rays, lobster and sharks as well as all of the reef fishes you would expect to see. If you are looking for something like this, I highly recommend hooking up with these guys.

Dining & Service:
In a word: inconsistent. This is where Yemaya fell down a bit. I think most folks expect to be on island time when it comes to service in a location like Little Corn but this went well beyond that, on occasion. We had a dinner where the service was exceptional and then the next morning we waited 30 minutes before we could even get coffee and the breakfast took an hour and a half. To be clear, the staff was awesome overall but it seems there is still a lot of training that needs to happen. We ate at several other locations on the island and never experienced service that was as slow as Yemaya and this was before the large yoga group arrived. Once the yoga group arrived, it was very frustrating to see a table full of coconut waters just sitting there for the yoga group while we had to wait 20 minutes for one. Also, slightly annoying was that a breakfast side like pinto gallo went from free to paid during our stay.

It is worth noting that there are some really great people working in the restaurant. Jared and Eddie were awesome and really made up for any shortcomings in the overall restaurant experience.

The fresh juices and smoothies were amazing!

The Thai-inspired food was quite good, though not the best food we had on the island. Entrees were maybe a hair heavy on soy at times. Entrees were typically $22 USD which made it the most expensive on the island. At that price, I have an expectation of service that wasn’t always met during our stay.

I do believe that the service issues will be worked out. It appears that they have good management and exceptional staff. If I could make one recommendation to management it would be to not be invisible when things aren’t going well. I think that if the manager was out “touching tables” when they were having service problems, most folks would have understood.

I do suggest that anyone who visits should explore other restaurants on the island. The best meal we had was at the Havana Cuban Restaurant followed by the Turned Turtle. Worth noting is the fact that the Turned Turtle was the only restaurant we visited that was not serving lobster, which was currently out of season and illegal to harvest. We also had Rundown Soup at Miss Bridgett’s and it was yummy.

If you want to catch some local live music, Tranquilo Café has a bonfire on Wendesday night with music starting at 9 pm.

Room Tip: Every cabana seems to have a great view. 1-6 appear to be the closest to the beach though.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank cdanforth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2014

Dear Chris,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review of your experience and tips for your fellow travelers! We were so happy to read that you found Yemaya to be closest place to paradise in Central America! What a compliment! We were so pleased to see that you loved the location, activities and accommodations AMAZING!

We were sorry to hear that you found the service in the restaurant to be inconsistent. We have taken your comments seriously and worked dilligently to improve in this area. We hope you are able to visit us again someday to experience the true paradise of Yemaya!

Warm Regards,

Julia & Michael

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Reviewed April 4, 2014

My family stayed at Yemaya in mid-March for five nights. The experience far exceeded our expectations. We have been looking for years for a postcard-perfect beach vacation spot that feels remote and natural but still has great food, great service, and a luxe feel. This is it.

First, the people are wonderful. Managers Julia and Michael are delightful and work hard to meet every need or desire. Even before we arrived, I emailed a few questions and received prompt answers directly from Julia. Everyone on the staff is friendly and helpful. The service is top-notch, while being laid-back and not stuffy. One night we asked our server if we could take our dinner back to our room because our daughter wasn't feeling well. We expected it to be handed to us in to-go containers. But they sent us to our room and arrived five minutes later with our plates, drinks, napkins, etc., set us up on the table on our porch AND brought several different kinds of medicine for our daughter without our even asking!

The location? I can't possibly do it justice. The resort is perched at the end of the island with incredible views from every vantage point -- just miles of sparkling blue and green Caribbean wherever you look. Snorkling reefs are just yards offshore. The area in front of the resort is perfect for easy kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, or just floating in the crystal-clear water. The beaches are ringed with palm trees, with lots of hammocks. The whole resort feels as if it was just tucked into the jungle without disturbing much of anything. (There are no rows of beach chairs and no pool -- both of which were a plus for us.)

The rooms are lovely and well-designed. Each is an individual cabana with a porch, seating area, daybed, huge comfy bed, desk, and bathroom with a fantastic rain shower. We loved sleeping with the windows open every night listening to the surf and the breeze in the palm trees. We stayed in Cabana 3 and loved the view and location on the property.

The main building houses the reception desk, several comfortable conversational groupings of sofas and chairs, the bar and the restaurant, all in one big open palapa. It's also the only spot with strong wifi. The smoothies are unbelievable, and we each had at least two a day. All the food is excellent, with lunch and dinner menus on a chalkboard changing daily with whatever is freshest from their garden or from the sea. We are vegetarian and had no trouble finding a wide variety of delicious and interesting dishes -- and whenever there wasn't much on offer without meat, we found the chefs to be very willing to accommodate us with a special meal. The specialty cocktails, most made with a twist using hyper-local ingredients, were excellent too.

There is also a wonderful open-air yoga studio and meditation deck above the beach. The morning yoga class was excellent.

A few tips:

1) If your child doesn't quite meet the minimum age of 12, don't hesitate to check with Julia before passing up a trip here. Our daughter is almost 11 and they allowed her to come, and treated her wonderfully. She had a fantastic time. That said, I would only suggest this for the sort of kid who is happy with a more relaxed vibe. We did lots of swimming, kayaking, etc., but we also did lots of just laying in hammocks and reading. I can imagine kids who are really high energy, who are used to lots of TV, or just in general need a lot of stimulation might get bored.

2) Nightly sunset viewing was one of the highlights of our trip. We would stop by the bar to pick up drinks and then walk down the beach past the end of the property to the end of the beach. At the point, there is a little outcropping of rocks you can sit on for an amazing unobstructed view of the sunset. And you can watch lots of little crabs coming out on the rocks below. It feels like you're on a desert island. And then you stroll back to your fantastic dinner! (Of course, if you're feeling a little lazier, there are plenty of great viewing spots from the resort too.)

3) The boat ride from Big Corn really is not bad. We had what they said was one of the bumpier rides over, and it was still not the least bit frightening nor did we get wet. I enjoyed it, and my husband and daughter tolerated it. Truly, don't be put off by the effort it takes to get to Yemaya. We looked at it as a fun adventure. And it just made it that much more wonderful to arrive at Yemaya and be greeted on the beach with an icy cold towel and a drink waiting in the bar!

Room Tip: I would recommend requesting Cabanas 2 through 8. Cabana 1 is right next to the path from the villa...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Cheryl F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2014

Dear Cheryl,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and sharing your tips with your fellow travelers! We really enjoyed reading your feedback and were glad you feel it is worth the trek (we definitely agree!) ;) It's refreshing to see how much you and your wonderful family were able to embrace the island and it's laid back culture! We really hope you are able to visit again soon and enjoy more sunsets & smoothies with us!

Warm Regards,

Julia & Michael

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Reviewed March 25, 2014

We spent an idyllic week at Yemaya-Little Corn during the 3rd week of March, just got home late last night. We feel that it took us right outside the modern world with its pristine beach and remote location. The resort is designed for laid-back luxury that folds you into the world of beach, stars, and tropical forest. Little Corn has no roads for driving, and you will not see (or hear) a car of a truck during your entire visit.

I notice that another reviewer is commenting on the restaurant service being not up to urban standards. We found this to be true to some extent, but the advantages of hiring local staff should not be overlooked and cannot be over-appreciated. Much of the gentle character of this place is due to the local staff. Little Corn is their home, and they projected a sense of welcome and hospitality that has a true heart behind it. You can't train an outsider staff to do that. Which isn't to say that the outsider staff wasn't also wonderful---they were!--but the local staff represents Little Corn as a place with its own unique human identity. We felt that we were in a real place, not a franchise that had been shoe-horned onto a beach.

The owners have done so much to keep nature as the star of the show with how they have designed their property and services. Each cabana is private and has a spectacular view of the water. During the day we snorkeled, did yoga, ate great meals, and swung in the hammocks. At night we stared in awe at skies ablaze with stars. Stone pathways wind through tropical gardens between one building and another. Our eyes were filled with the colors of plants and water every second.

The cooking is creative, healthy, and delicious. The yoga teachers could not have been nicer, both very well skilled and welcoming to a variety of abilities. The classes are taught on a pavilion surrounded by tropical plants. Perhaps due to my age (61) I found I had to stop and rest frequently because the air and humidity level is so different from what I am used to, but the instructors were completely supportive of people doing the class however they wanted to do it. Their mats are good quality and I notice that they do clean them after every class, thank you!

Everyone was so nice to us I hate to only mention a few names, but we want to send a shout-out to Erin, who was acting manager during most of our stay and to Chef Dim and her husband Ernie. It was a pleasure, too, to meet the dessert chef--I'm sorry I don't remember the name, but I remember a lovely chat and some fantastic chocolate mousse!

If there is one suggestion we could make, perhaps the owners could consider writing a pamphlet or hand-out with information about Little Corn, its people and any of its history that is known. Thank you for having a donation box available for purchasing books for the local school.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cvidor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2014

Dear Constance,

We cannot say enough how much we appreciate your review! It is refreshing and encouraging to read how much you appreciate and recognize the importance of us hiring and training local staff. Although it has proven more challenging for us in many ways, it is our goal that Yemaya contributes to the positive growth of the island and it's people. We also agree that they are what really make the experience at Yemaya so special! Of course, we always want to maintain a high level of service, so that will always be at the forefront of our continued training.

We really enjoyed getting to know you and your husband while you were here! We were so thrilled to read how much you enjoyed the natural beauty that abounds on the island! We were also happy that you enjoyed the daily yoga and the delicious food! We hope to see you again someday!

All our best,

Julia, Michael & the Yemaya Team

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Reviewed March 24, 2014

Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa was heaven!! From the warm people to the marvelous food to the view that was so perfect it looked like a Hollywood set to the individually made fresh fruit drinks to the snorkeling, it was all so perfect!! My adult daughter and I so enjoyed ourselves and came back refreshed and relaxed!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank annepagewatson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia B, Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2014

Dear Anne,

We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with the TripAdvisor community! We really enjoyed having you and Lizzi stay with us! We were so happy to hear you went home refreshed and relaxed-that's always our goal! Hope you are able to visit us again!

Warm Regards,

Julia, Michael & the Yemaya Team

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Additional Information about Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa

Address: | Northern End, Nicaragua (Formerly Yemaya Colibri Boutique Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Little Corn Island
Price Range: $193 - $431 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yemaya, Island Hideaway and Spa is a new boutique, eco-luxury hotel on mystical Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. The island is 70 miles off the east coast of Nicaragua, surrounded by pristine Caribbean waters and beautiful fringe reefs teeming with colorful tropical fish. All of our 16 luxury cabanas face directly onto the sea, a few steps away from some of the best snorkeling you will ever see. Our restaurant and bar features a fusion of local island cuisine with Asian flavors, featuring produce grown in our own organic garden, and seafood straight from the sea that surrounds us. We have a beautiful yoga pavilion and spa rooms nestled back in the lush jungle, ready to help wash away the stresses and strains of everyday life. Sway to the rhythm of the coco palms in a big comfy hammock, head out in one of our sea kayaks to explore the reef, or step off you private terrace into the reefs for some amazing snorkeling. Whatever you choose to do, your time at Yemaya will be unforgettable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa Little Corn Island, Nicaragua - Corn Islands

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