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“A very special eclectic experience”

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Buena Vista Surf Club
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 11 February 2012

wow, where to start.... this is going to be a long list of superlatives!
Travelling alone through Nica for the first time I didn't know what to expect, but this place is one of the best experiences I have had in many years of travelling all over the world.
The tree houses really give you the true jungle experience.. rooms are simple with lovely fresh linen to lie and listen to the wildlife, waves (and wind!) at night. Howler monkeys are in charge of the wake -up call.
The infinity deck and communal lounging area is a masterpiece of design, all pulled together by the owners and great for yoga and pilates.
What really makes this place special is the gathering of the guests... genuinely very interesting and diverse people which led to great conversation, lots of banter and an enormous amount of laughter, gently stoked by the savvy and smart owners, Marc & Marielle.
I think this is one of the secret ingredients and applaud the communal table for breakfast and dinner.
The food is phenomenal.. I enjoyed Thai, morrocan, Jamaican, italian as well as local meals, all of them fresh, delicious and innovative.
The local beach, Playa Maderas, is a gem and I really got good surf there..it's suitable for all levels of surf and good for beginners.
Also worth noting you don't need to be here for surfing to get the best out of your experience, you will enjoy it whatever you want to do.
I made some fab friends here and props go to Marc & Marielle for a brilliant set-up.
Also good to have Dav and Linds onboard as part of the BVSC group, they really add fun to the mix.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank samba-jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (323)
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144 - 150 of 323 reviews

Reviewed 8 February 2012

My friend, Karen and I had the pleasure of staying at Buena Vista the first of this year and loved everything about the experience. The design of the place, including the cabins, is very well done - thoughtful design. The meals were outstanding. Mariel's own recipes and the volunteers who work there are trained to prepare them exquisitely. Delish. It's a five minute walk to Maderas, which is a great spot. We took a lesson that Buena Vista arranged for us and it was a blast. Most importantly, the owners are super and we met tons of cool people staying there from all over the world.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank kellipage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Manager at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool review!

It was a pleasure having you and the other girls here!

If you ever need to leave your site again, you know where to find us!

Enjoy your time in Nicaragua,

Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Reviewed 4 February 2012

We are no strangers to travelling but grew tired of the search for 'the cheapest place in town'. This creates a problem. Moving up to a more pleasing accommodation often cuts you off from the personalities that make travelling great and also sterilises your experience.

We found Buena Vista Surf Club (BVSC) attracts the same people that we used to travel with in our early twenties. Sure, they've grown up a little and their jobs carry the weight of a little extra responsibility, but our stay was punctuated by new arrivals who were a complete joy to be around. A savvy late twenty to late forties crowd who progress from 'just met' to 'good friends' at an alarming rate.

Owners Marc and Marielle set the tone. Friendly, intelligent, laid back with a sharp sense of humour. Their European background (Dutch) adds a modern design element to the BVSC whilst ensuring that the tree top canopy is the focal point. The tree houses are basic, but in a stylish way. Electricity, cold running water and great beds surrounded by clean lines and plenty of locally sourced wood. The sloping lot had our hut's balcony surveying the tree tops, sunsets and various gangs of howler monkeys in close proximity, who ensured there was little need for an alarm clock. Each hut is different with one of our new friends, Jo, having a large tree trunk growing straight through the middle of her bathroom, in keeping with the properties habit of blending with the jungle.

The main lodge is simply stellar. We heard the word modern used but to be honest modernism had given second best to comfort. The sublime and airy main lounging area has huge, custom, relaxing pads (nothing that slouch friendly could possibly be called a chair) backed by mounds of cushions. A couple of smaller tables provide surfaces for intimate board games whilst an extra large 12 person + dining table sets the scene for the family style dinners. I am not usually one for forced socialising but the relaxed dinnertime atmosphere really makes your stay personable and helps to promote the quick making of friends as mentioned earlier. The conversation was always fun and flitted across a mind boggling array of topics. We laughed, hard and a lot. An 'honour system' bar ensures that you will never want for drinks or snacks. The deck ... hmmm, possibly one of the best 'infinity' decks you will come across. Sourced from stunningly grained local wood the wide planks provide an ocean view from above the tree canopy and up close monkeys and bird life.

We had an exceptional time at BVSC. If you are considering a stay here then take it from an experienced traveller (and one that rarely feels the urge to provide a review), you will be hard pushed to have a better experience.

(Note: I rated the location as only 'Very Good' as it takes a little effort to get to and does leave you a bit out of town. I think this also means that you end up staying with a slightly more pro-actve traveller ... worth the extra hassle to get there? You bet.)

Room Tip: We stayed in Tree House 4. This had an ensuite bathroom (as most but not all do) and also a prime lo...
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JayPeeWhy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool & long review! We agree with all of it...(-:

It was a lot of fun having you guys here! It was a fun week, with some interesting conversation and diverse topics....Never a dull moment!

Hopefully we can welcome you again in the near future!

Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed here for a few nights last year for our honeymoon and it was perfect. They have beautiful huts with the kind of views that the name suggests! The deck area is a great place to relax after a mornings surf (good for beginners like us and more seasoned surfers), and the food was delicious. It was also really great to eat with everyone else, as we got to know our fellow guests and Marc and Marielle too. You just can't fault this place!

Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Oggie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool review.

It was great having you guys here and we're very happy to hear that we were able to make your honeymoon unforgettable!

Hopefully we can welcome you again in the near future!

Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Reviewed 28 January 2012

I have spent two New Years at the Buena Vista Surf Club with a group of friends and loved it both times. Just up the hill from Playa Maderas, BVSC has surf boards to rent, serves up delicious breakfasts and dinners and has a lovely deck for lounging. The owners, Marc and Marielle, are fantastic and friendly. The BVSC is a very special place.

Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
Thank SF_CA_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool review. It was really cool to see you and the rest of the group back for New Years!

Everybody was a few years older, but we still had the same fun! We did however miss the 'coin in the bucket' and limbo contest...(-:

Hopefully we'll get to see you again in the near future!

Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Reviewed 27 January 2012

Words dont justify how great it was. Loved every moment of it.
Go there and experience the BVSC yourself!

The very best,
Jens

Room Tip: The Honeymoon Suite
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JensWaernes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool review. You needed few words to express your feelings...(-:
It was great having the two of you here! A lot of fun, good conversations, some drinks and dancing!
A fun group!

Hopefully we'll get to see you guys again somewhere in the near future!

Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Reviewed 14 January 2012

We are a couple from Switzerland and stayed at Buena Vista in August 2011 for 18 days. We were almost part of the furniture ;-) We both love to travel and had already the possibility to visit different beautiful places in the world - Nicaragua and BVSC definitely belong to the most special and beautiful ones!! The architecture of the main building and the tree houses is unique! We loved to chill in the tree house with the amazing view over the trees and the ocean! We can tell you, the pictures on the homepage are great - the reality blows you away!! The amazing food (I’m vegetarian and they made extra delicious dishes for me!), the beach and the waves are just great! We had to travel more than 24 hours to reach BVSC and it was totally worth it! When we were there Jack was just a few weeks old. Marielle and Marc made such a great job of being a new family and hosts for us. We wish them all the best for BVSC and their future in Nica and hope we can come back once!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ellala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaSurfClub, Owner at Buena Vista Surf Club, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Hola,

Thanks for the cool review! It was great having you guys here and yes you were part of the furniture...(-:

It was fun to get to know you guys better during your stay and we'll also remember the days filled with a few games of settlers...Hopefully you guys have been working on your strategy... We tried to be good hosts, but couldn't avoid winning...(-:

Hopefully we can welcome you another time in the near future!

Hasta luego,
Marc, Marielle, Jack, Hustle & Flow

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Additional Information about Buena Vista Surf Club

Address: Playa Maderas | San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur 0000, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur > Playa Maderas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Price Range: $110 - $159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Buena Vista Surf Club is an intimate design eco-lodge at Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur. A unique place for both surfers and non-surfers! Surf or learn how to surf or just enjoy the amazing beaches. Enjoy great home cooked, family style dinners with new friends, do yoga or relax at the 'infinity' sundeck and watch the wildlife from your ‘treehouse’! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Vista Surf Club Hotel Playa Maderas
Buena Vista Surf Hotel
Hotel Buena Vista Surf
Buena Vista Surf Club Nicaragua/Playa Maderas

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