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“The location that delivers on the promise”

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Buena Vista Surf Club
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The location that delivers on the promise”
Reviewed 14 March 2012

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.

Room Tip: We stayed in Rooms 1 and 2. I am sure that everyone has their own opinion but we preferred Room 2 sl...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank AlfredChubb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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318 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
    1
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10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
aspen, colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 March 2012

This was my second time going back to Buena Vista, and as usual it did not dissapoint! This little piece of heaven is absolutely amazing, and I will go back for years to come! The treehouses are beautiful and you sleep to the sound of the waves crashing. I am the pickiest eater on earth and I thought the food was amazing, lots of options and they are great about catering to your specific dietary needs ( or in my case, phobias!)

Marc and Marielle are amazing hosts, and they always have great people working for them. Dav and Lindsey welcomed everyone with open arms and all the staff is super friendly and helpful. I lost a flip flop down the hill and one of the lovely maids offered to climb down and get it for me!(after watching me flail through the bushes for a minute, she realized I clearly needed help!)

The beach and surf are unbeatable, and the views are stunning! This is definitely a surfers beach, but gentle enough to play in even if you aren't interested in surfing.

I think it is really rare to go to a place that brings people together the way Buena Vista does. The communal hang out and dining area are always the site of amazing conversation!!!

10 stars for Buena Vista, if you are lucky enough to get to go here you will never forget it!!!!!

Room Tip: all the rooms are excellent!!! each treehouse and space is unique :)
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Aspenhorsegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
84 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

we stayed here in april 2011 for 3 nights, and loved it so much we came back for the last part of our trip.
the rooms are very well integrated into the natural environment, they are comfortable, clean, bug proof, and quiet - except for the occasional howling monkey :) the food was good, and the hosts were friendly, helpful and welcoming. the views of the bay are awesome, it's a short walk to a beautiful beach with good surf, and they have boards you can rent. there's a nice deck with views of the waves, great for relaxing , or watch the stars at night.
if you're looking for a place to stay that's close to the beach with good surf, this is the place!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mmegeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

This is a little gem of a place in southern Nicaragua, the hosts Marc and Marielle are fantastic, with an amazing ethos, very green and community oriented. Also, must comment on the location... right beside the beach!, view... stunning sunsets over the sea!, and great little bars on the beach! ... whether it's surf and a few beers or a romantic getaway you want... you can't go wrong!!

Room Tip: It's a very small place, all the accommodation was excellent, we stayed in the most basic "...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Aoifeflynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamburg
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

Spent 2 days in this resort and it was a wonderful experience. The hosts are great and it is really posible to relax here. Everything is perfect here. Great value for your money and certainly a place we will return to.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kit T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank samba-jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Surf Club

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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