We're just back from 10 days in Nicaragua, kicked off with four days and nights at BVSC. Dropping in from London via Houston they can arrange a cab to deliver you from the airport to the door where you will be greeted by two enchanting dogs and the lovely hosts Marc and Marielle, to be taken through a beautiful dark wood enclosure to the exposed deck that reaches out 20 feet into the jungle canopy. This is a wonderful place to collapse after a day at the beach and contemplate the amazing stars with a glass of rum and lime or do Yoga class as the sun rises in the morning.
The beach at Madera fills all of your surfing fantasies, consistent sets of six good waves that suit the beginners (like us) in the white water at low tide or you can paddle out to the line-up to mix it up with the people that have come specifically to surf this spot or just to get closer to the local beach boys who make it look so easy. Nobody has any attitude and there is a universal theme of friendliness. Back on the beach a hostel and an amazing fish taco bar keep yours hands filled with cold coca-colas and spicy tacos that seem to end up mostly around your mouth rather than in it. The music pumping out is either grim tourist reggae or simply unbelievably good playlists - it's a lottery - but the vibe makes you feel 18 even if you're twenty years older.
If time on the beach sounds exhausting then you can while away hours on a bean bag in the main room or sitting in a hammock on your own balcony or even curl up in your queen size mosquito netted bed under the quietly beating fan.
It's hard to question any of the aesthetic decisions Marc and Marielle made designing the place and the tree-houses, they have superb architectural taste and any of the rooms could step out of a copy of Wallpaper.
We were lucky to also have David and Lindsay there working with Marc and Marielle. David is a fantastically patient surf instructor who had two mal-coordinated Brits standing and whooping after a couple of hours.
Both couples are amazing cooks but David and Lindsay may have triumphed with the fresh vietnamese spring rolls, coconut rice, fresh mango and an aloo gobi masala that was out of this world.
Company: you enjoy BVSC with your fellow guests. Over even a couple of days the atmosphere generated is one of a family that have lived in each other's pockets for years. Tips are swapped on where to go in Nicaragua, plans are made to conquer the world, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends are dissected, revolting stories and jokes are shared.
We were tremendously lucky that the week we went the guests were spectacular fun. Probably the vibe is helped by the fact that you're buying into Marc and Marielle's lifestyle. They're so nice and easygoing and they welcome you to participate so much into their dream that everyone just wants to get along. Conversation is always light but frequently rude so there's no room for ego. We spent all four days giggling.
What a great place.
Other things we would recommend:
Travel to Omatepe to chill in the jungle pool of Oro de Agua, kayak past the caimans and monkeys after dawn, eat banana curry at Natural Foods and watch the moon rise over the lake.
Take a trip across Las Isletas, negotiate the price down and sit back and have a brilliant afternoon - you'll be trying to figure out how to break the news to your bank manager that you're buying an island within an hour.
Listen to Bachata in a cab heading to lago de Apoyo for a swim in a crystal clean volcanic lake and lunch at El Ranchero.
Climb to the lip of the volcano and stare down into the lava or go all Bruce Wayne and visit the bat caves.
Enjoy local coffee and chocolate where you can find the good stuff not being exported.
Visit Tio Anthonio's hammock shop in Granada and buy a hammock from the deaf children that make them and learn enough sign language to order very bad coffee and have a gossip safe in the knowledge that nobody's listening.
- 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