I've stayed at this hostel at least once every time I've visited Granada in the last 4 years. It's very popular and funky. The hostel has top-notch facilities, offering free internet on several computers, a petite, quiet, and pretty swimming pool, set in the center of its cool indoor patio, and lots of hammocks and seating for lazily lounging around. The dorms are airy and cheap, we paid $7 a person for dorm beds. They also have a book trade-in, DVD rentals, and big, spacious lockers. Oasis was the second hostel I ever stayed at, but surely it wouldn't be the last. Since Oasis set the bar pretty high, I've found myself unfairly comparing other hostels to them whenever I travel. They just get so many things right. Simple little touches that are a no-brainer, like offering free huge lockers with lock and key, make this one of my favorite backpacker resorts. Something as simple and logical as lockers and locks might not sound like a big deal, but after doing quite a bit of traveling and crashing at hostels in the last 4 years, you'd be amazed at how important this is... especially at a hostel, with lots of people coming and going. We've stayed at places (mainly in Costa Rica) that charge you for a locker and even the lock and key! The deal sealer for me was the free coffee and tea they offer. The staff is super nice, very helpful and there is a rainbow clientele from every inch of the globe staying at the place.
There was only one small drawback, the hostel was a challenge to find at first because it's located a few blocks away from the central park, outside the tourist zone, near the central market. It's on a small side street in the heart of a shopping district. There's no sign either, just the name “Oasis” painted on a lamp post in front of the nondescript bright blue building. From the outside it looks like some type of small mom-and-pop business, but like most colonial buildings, inside its massive! It's easy to miss, but ask around and people will point you in the right direction... the place is so popular most folks know where it's at. We stayed in a dorm room, as well as a private room at Oasis. The private rooms are the same price as two dorm beds, but the room we received was windowless, small and claustrophobic. Luckily we only used it to sleep. Oasis also serves a cheap and filling breakfast in the morning. Oasis has a shuttle minibus service to an affiliated hostel named "Crater's Edge," which has now changed management and has been renamed "Paradiso Hostel." It's still the same great service and killer location, so I will continue referring to it as "Crater's Edge" for this review... the place left a lasting impression on me the first time I visited Nicaragua, I have so many fond memories there, it will forever be "Crater's Edge" to me. Crater's Edge is located right at the mouth of the crater lake of Laguna de Apoyo. The place is a gem, with a variety of well-maintained private rooms and dorm rooms looking out over the lake, where you'll find kayaks, tubes and a bar. If you decide to spend the night, the price includes an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast, which you must pay for whether you want to eat breakfast or not. I mention this because a lot of people become really angry when they discover this. For us it wasn't a big deal, since we were probably going to eat breakfast there anyway if we decided to spend the night. Their hostel is in a semi secluded wooded area, it's not like Granada, so there aren't many restaurants or other food options nearby. The place also serves a tasty lunch, dinner and desert. It's all well worth the money. Like Hostel Oasis, I had heard many great things about 'Crater's Edge,' which is partners with Oasis (Oasis is now in partnership with Paradiso Hostel/formerly Crater's Edge). And seeing that I had already fell in love with Oasis, its facilities and management, I figured I'd probably fall for Crater's Edge... not to mention Crater's Edge was sitting at the bottom of the lip of that beautiful lagoon that had already left a lasting impression on me from the Catarina Mirador. We initially ended up going on the day-visit package, which included transportation to and from the lagoon, entrance to Crater's Edge and usage of it's facilities, and lunch. But quickly returned the following day to spend a few nights.
Set in a picturesque valley brimming with wildlife, the lovely Apoyo crater lake is another one of Nicaragua's many natural wonders. Dry tropical rain-forest along the surrounding slopes contains much nature, including howler monkeys and also provides good hiking opportunities. The real star of the show however, is the pristine waters of the lagoon, a massive, mineral-infused pool that is without doubt one of the best swims in the country. I have seen and experienced quite a few things in my life, but Crater's Edge and Laguna de Apoyo were an experience unlike any other I have ever had. I can honestly say I have never swam in a volcano crater lake. So this was one helluva experience. And although Crater's Edge is a hostel, it was more like a mini-resort with a killer location and view! No emails, no calls, or high tech. Just water, black sand, and sun in every direction. Relaxing in the warm, tranquil waters of Laguna de Apoyo was one of the calmest experiences I've ever had. I recommend it to anyone looking to check out. They do have one computer with internet dial-up, but it's not good for anything more complex than checking your email. And I'm glad they didn't have a bunch of computers or DSL, because the entire theme at this place is tranquility and relaxing... not Googling and web surfing. The temperature in and around the Laguna is very cool and a lot more pleasant than Managua and even Granada. Every once in a while you have to treat yourself though. And really, when 'treating yourself' still only adds up to $35/day, you can't complain. Especially when you get the service, facilities and meals like we did at Craters Edge. From floating in the water all morning to having lunch served to you upon your return, to a nap on the bar dock in the afternoon and then a swim and some beers before dinner, an amazing meal served over candlelight, desert served up top where you get to meet the other guest' and talk, and then all the supplies you need left for you on a 'honesty' basis overnight, WOW! Yes, I'm ranting, but it really was that good. What a pleasant experience. Pamper is the name of the game here. There were a lot more people using the facilities for the day than staying the night. There is nothing more peaceful than lazing about in one of the many hammocks or chairs at the bar, located at the bottom of the hostel. I loved just kicking back, sipping on something cold and taking in the lake breeze and scenery, not having a care in the world. I could just spends weeks there doing absolutely nothing. We also spent quite a bit of time in the water. Crater's Edge is an awesome place for those looking to get away from it all, and Hostel Oasis is a great base in the city of Granada to laze away those warm afternoons. When it comes to international hosteling they get everything right!
- Also Known As:
- Hostel Oasis Granada
- Hostel Oasis Hotel Granada