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Neither of us had visited Latin America before our trip to Granada, Nicaragua, and we were both a bit nervous. We don’t speak Spanish (despite four apparently useless semesters of college Spanish), and the media often presents Central America as a dangerous place where you will likely be mugged and murdered by drug lords before you finish your morning coffee.
When we told friends and family about our travel plans, the most common response was a look of confusion and shock. “Why?” they’d ask, their tone as bleak as if I’d told them we planned to float down Niagara Falls in a leaky barrel.
In order to make our trip as stress-free as possible, we hoped to find a hotel that was clean, central, and had helpful staff. We settled on Hotel Jardin de Granda because it had great reviews on Booking.com, our go-to hotel booking website, and was reasonably priced. It ended up being the perfect hotel for us.
Getting to Hotel Jardin de Granada
Most travelers will arrive at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, which is about 45 minutes from Granada.
We sent an email to the hotel proprietor several weeks before our trip with our flight arrival time, and he arranged to have a driver waiting for us at the airport to take us to the hotel.
Even though our plans changed last minute when we volunteered our airplane seat, we were able to adjust our pick-up time easily with a quick email.
Because our flight arrived late at night, we were glad we didn’t have to figure out a taxi or shuttle upon arrival. Private airport transfer costs $40.
Checking in was as easy as our airport transfer. Even though the night guard spoke only Spanish, the hotel owner had printed up a sheet of instruction for us in English, so the language barrier wasn’t a problem.
We stayed in a Deluxe Double room, which had 2 comfortable queen beds, a private bathroom, a terrace overlooking the garden and pool, and powerful AC.
The room was spotless when we arrived, and the housekeeping staff refreshed it daily.
Though not huge, the pool is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon. An added bonus is that it has a swim-up bar and super comfortable lounge chairs.
After walking around blazing hot Granada for hours, we enjoyed cooling off with a dip in the pool.
Hotel Jardin de Granada has an on-site, open-air restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Breakfast was included in our daily rate, and we could choose either a Western-style or Nicaraguan breakfast. We always chose the Nicaraguan, which varied daily but typically included rice, beans, fruit, and fresh fruit juice. It was always delicious!
We only ate dinner at the restaurant once. The menu is limited, but the food was good, and the service was excellent. We were desperately craving a chocolate milkshake, and the chef made us one even though it wasn’t on the menu!
Hotel Jardin de Granada is located on a quiet street about a 10 to 15-minute walk from the city center. We never had to hire a taxi or Uber to visit the major tourist attractions, and we never felt unsafe walking between our hotel and the main attractions.
Hotel Jardin de Granada has the best service of any hotel we’ve visited. The owners and staff went beyond the call of duty to ensure we had a pleasant stay. They arranged same-day tours for us to visit the Laguna de Apoyo and Mombacho Volcano at no extra cost. They booked our airport transfer to and from the airport. They even sent a bagged breakfast with us when we headed back to the airport at 4 a.m. to catch our departing flight. We couldn’t have been happier with the experience.
We paid $50 a night for our room. And though we could have spent less at another hotel, we decided that choosing a hotel with good reviews and great service was worth the extra few dollars. If we ever return to Granada, we will definitely stay there again.
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