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A boutique hotel is still quite a new concept in Nicaragua. The bigger colonial cities, like Granada and León, have beautiful colonial villas turned into boutique style hotels or b&b’s, but that’s pretty much it. In remote areas, you will be very lucky to find even a decent accommodation. So it’s worth the splurge whenever you’ll stumble upon a charming boutique hotel in Nicaragua!
During four week tour in Nicaragua, we stayed in more than 15 hotels from which we selected the four absolute gems. Every one of these boutique hotels is certainly among the best hotels in Nicaragua. They offer a truly unique, Nicaraguan style boutique hotel experience with a high degree of personal service. Enjoy!
Montebrisa Boutique Hotel, Matagalpa
Inhale the bygone days of glory in this beautifully renovated Art Déco mansion. Montebrisa Boutique Hotel alone would serve as a sufficient excuse to visit Matagalpa, the official coffee capital of Nicaragua.
Montebrisa Boutique Hotel is located only three blocks from the cathedral and the central park (i.e. center of Matagalpa), but the garden makes it a soothing oasis with its own microclimate. The stunning villa of is surrounded by 300 coffee trees and 45 species of ornamental plants, some of which are near extinction. Guava, nispero, mango, cedar, a vast selection of colorful flowers – the garden of Montebrisa has it all. Fresh mountain air feels even cleaner here, and I bet that every bird and butterfly in town stops by daily to binge, chirp and play around you.
Montebrisa Boutique Hotel must’ve been the most luxurious place we stayed during our one month tour in Nicaragua. Still, it’s incredibly homey and very affordable by Western standards. Surroundings feel spanking new: the old Art Déco family house was totally renovated in 2011–2013. Everything is at the level of a five-star hotel from an ergonomic bed and luxurious linens to the courteous service. Our room had a private balcony with a beautiful view to the mountains of Apante Natural Reserve.
Montebrisa Boutique Hotel is a true haven for unwinding a day or two before your next adventure in the Northern Highlands of Nicaragua. Be sure to witness a sunset over the mountains, sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda, when the birds’ chirrup reaches its loudest point.
Room Tip: After touring all the rooms of Montebrisa Boutique Hotel, we still loved our Queen Balcony Room (100$), but you really can’t go wrong here. I would stay in the new annex, which offers more privacy and the best mountain views.
Rates: 90$–120$ + 17% taxes (including breakfast)
Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel, Ometepe
Xalli Beach Hotel gives you an instant introduction to the fascinating key elements of Ometepe: the cloud covered volcano peaks, extensive lava sand beaches, and quiet rural idyll, where time stands still.
Xalli is a serene boutique hotel at a beautiful beachfront location away from the noisy towns of Moyogalpa and Altagracia, where you don’t want to stay. At Xalli Beach Hotel, you are still only a short bike or taxi ride away from the main attractions of Ometepe, like Ojo de Aqua (15 minutes by bike) or Maderas volcano (about half an hour by car). A few decent restaurants can be found just a kilometer away in Playa Santo Domingo. After a muddy hiking trip, it’s a real pleasure to take in the lake views from your own porch or their small lakeside restaurant.
Xalli Beach Hotel is pretty new (opened in 2013) and offers only 7 rooms with all the modern comforts. After roughing it a bit in Río San Juan (no decent lodges available), I was pleased with the extreme cleanliness of our tastily decorated room. Ten hours’ ferry trip from San Carlos made me seasick for over 24 hours. Thus, I praised our luxury king size bed (one of the best we had in Nicaragua) and the staff’s willingness to sooth my pain. Xalli has the most amazing freshly squeezed organic juices and their juniper juice literally brought me back.
You need to visit Ometepe to experience the rural side of Nicaragua. A separate post covering our quest for ancient petroglyphs is coming soon!
Room Tip: Deluxe Room #1 has the best lake views and shares a porch with deluxe room #2. If you appreciate privacy over views, pick Deluxe Room #3 with a private porch.
Rates: From 39,10$–67,15$ during low season and 47$–85$ during high season + 17% taxes (excluding breakfast).
Rancho Chilamate, horse ranch and boutique hotel near San Juan del Sur
Besides unforgettable horseback riding tours, this atmospheric horse ranch offers also very comfortable accommodation at all-inclusive prices. Rancho Chilamate has just 4 rooms – with a maximum stay of 3 nights – but if you don’t want to stay in the hustle and bustle of San Juan del Sur, this is the place to go. Three of the rooms are located around the inner yard pool, and there are many places to chill out around the house and estate. Meals are fulfilling ranch style caterings that won’t leave you hungry. The atmosphere of the ranch transports you in the middle of some old Wild West movie. The owner Blue and the hosts will make you feel welcome. As you’re staying on a horse ranch, don’t miss a riding tour! They have a wide selection of good horses, for beginners as well as for experienced riders. I’d recommend taking the sunset cowboy ride!
If you want to go to San Juan del Sur, you’ll need a car or a taxi, but this is a place for relaxing, so you probably won’t feel the urge to venture out. Rancho Chilamate is also eco-friendly: the hotel is entirely solar powered and helps the local communities with a part of their incomes. Staying at Rancho Chilamate is worth the money, even though being a bit pricey by Nicaraguan standards. Then again, this is not an average place, nor even an average boutique hotel, by any standard. The rates are all-inclusive, too.
Room Tip: Try to book some of the poolside rooms. The best one is “El Romantico”.
Flor de Sarta Boutique Hotel, León
Hotel Flor de Sarta truly is a little gem among the hotels of Nicaragua! It’s located very conveniently just a short walking distance away from the center of León, 500 meters from the historic cathedral and the town square.
Flor de Sarta is a pretty small boutique hotel with moderate prices and warm service. The breakfast is just superb with many things to choose from, accompanied with crépes and freshly made smoothies – the best breakfast we had during our travel in Nicaragua! Around the beautiful inner yard of this fully renovated, colonial style house, are tables where you can enjoy your coffee, looking at the lush, little garden. After a hot day in town be sure to dip in the lovely pool to refresh yourself!
The service, in general, is excellent. The French owner couple will do their best to make your visit in León as comfortable as possible. Just ask anything and they’ll make it happen. Very rarely have we confronted such an excellent service. The rooms have super comfortable orthopedic mattresses, which are great – especially if you have some back problems. Flor de Sarta is certainly worth the money, so my advice is to book well ahead to secure a room and get the best price-quality ratio in León!
Room Tip: Try to get the “Deluxe Junior Suite”. It’s the most private and the only room on the 2nd floor. Deluxe Junior Suite has a huge, private terrace, as well.
If you have found your favorite boutique hotels in Nicaragua, please share the tips in the comments below!
*Disclaimer: Some of the boutique hotels mentioned in this article hosted our stay, but all the opinions remain entirely our own. The article contains affiliate links to booking.com: if you choose to book your stay through them, you won’t pay any extra, but we receive a small commission to fuel our travels. We honestly think that these four boutique hotels are each among the best affordable boutique hotels in Nicaragua.
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