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Reviewed 5 February 2017

A group of 9 of us stayed in Casa Sara and had an amazing trip. I definitely recommend Rancho Santana to the right type of people. For example, we had scorpions in our room a few times. Not a big deal but that alone might freak some people out. Keep your air conditioner cranked up.

Casa Sara is probably a 10-15 minute drive up into the mountains so you have a beautiful view. The house is lovely and simple. It's just beautiful with lots of sitting areas and a hammock to relax. The layout of a few different sleeping buildings worked well for us. I felt really isolated - that could be a plus for certain groups. We did hike down to the main resort on the trails once and it was a nice walk but not something I'd do every day.... Especially after seeing a massive snake in the road! We like to drink :) so it wasn't always fun having a designated driver to navigate the roads from the main resort to the house in the dark. But the resort would find us a driver for $10US each way so it wasn't a big deal, you just had to plan in advance or wait a bit.

I loved the open air yoga studio with breathtaking views. The teacher was great too. My 5 year old was obsessed with the kids club - asked to go back every day even when she was having fun playing in the pool.

When we'd visit the main resort pool, it was relatively uncrowded. Contrast that to other places we've stayed where its a massive fight for pool chairs, this was a welcome change. We got a little shaded cabana area every day. So wonderful. Our Casa Sara pool was larger than I thought, with a shallow end and a little area with benches (like a hot tub but the same temperature). That was much appreciated with 2 kids learning to swim.

Loved having someone cook at Casa Sara for us, the food was fresh and delicious. I recommend adding desert to the meal. I also loved the little store on the property that was well stocked with everything from local produce to frozen pizzas.

I highly recommend leaving the resort for a day, visiting the local hot springs (watch the locals do laundry and take a dip with them) and visiting some places along the road for souvenirs & lunch.

The staff at the resort was nice and the manager met with my husband at the end to get his opinions -much appreciated.

Things that kept me from giving 5 stars:

1. The night we arrived our private pool was nasty dirty - like no one had cleaned the pool for a week. When you've already shelled out thousands of dollars to rent this place site unseen, its a little unsettling to have an issue day 1.

2. Food at the resort was fine - nothing special. They should work on their plating techniques. The spa was also fine - basically a hotel room set aside for massages. That being said the massage was fantastic.

3. Frequent brown outs. The resort said the refrigerator was on a generator and should be fine but I still felt like the milk would spoil every night. It also resulted in beeping air conditioners that would wake us up in the middle of the night

4. The billing system could be improved, its hard deciphering the invoice at the end of the stay.

5. While I appreciated that the house was not filled with junk, some basic board games or pool toys for the kids would have been nice. Similarly, the main part of the resort didn't have anywhere to buy things like goggles, sunscreen & buckets - probably a missed revenue opportunity.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MelissafromChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eduardo A, Manager at Rancho Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2017

Thanks for staying with us recently! Sounds like you got to do a bit of everything while staying with us. There seems to be some things that we can improve on and we will address those issues accordingly. We hope that you can come back and stay with us again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2017

I stayed at Rancho Santana last year at the Inn on a solo trip and had a wonderful time. See previous review. I liked it so much I brought 7 friends with me and we rented the gorgeous Casa McVay. I cannot say enough good things about that house!!! It was spectacular with plenty of room for all of us to spread out. The outdoor area and the pool was just amazing and we had so much fun living there for the week! The restaurant food at the main restaurant and the Tapas place were absolutely divine and so fresh. The grocery procurement was an excellent service as was the private chef. I took a week of surf lessons with the same instructor that I took last time (Elyin) and my surfing skills really went up to the next level. He is very kind and patient and works very hard to make sure you get up and have a great time.
Having been there a 2nd time, I really felt even more at home...roaming the property as if it were my familiar neighborhood.
I am only giving it 4 starts b/c I do think they could improve on their customer service just a bit...I had an unfortunate experience with someone in the booking process but was given to a very helpful Manager after that. It was smooth, helpful sailing once she took over. Overall, if they had service like a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, it would be even that much better. But I don't hesitate to recommend it as we all had a fantastic vacation!

Room Tip: I stayed in a suite at The Inn last year and they all have ocean views.
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank KMurphy67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eduardo A, Manager at Rancho Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2017

I am so happy that you came once and fell in love with RS enough that you came back. I am familiar with the situation and I am glad that we were able to resolve it for you. From all of us at RS, we hope that you can come back and display those improved surfing skills. I will make sure to thank Elgin on your behalf!

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Reviewed 21 January 2017

We've been to Rancho Santana two years in a row now, with a group of 8 - 10 in their 20s-30s. For a group of active adults interested in a luxury vacation but with an "outdoor" feel, I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Both times we rented a house (first Villa Querencia, 2nd Casa Sara) that easily (and more than comfortably) accommodated us all. Both were extremely nice homes that served as a great base for relaxing pool-side in-between outdoor adventures that included surfing, yoga classes, hiking, running, and just general exploration of the extensive property. I generally hate to "sit still" - I feel as if I should see as much of an area as I can while visiting a new region/country, but both trips we actually never left the property (except once for a deep sea fishing expedition at Playa Gigante just down the road) because it has more than enough to offer. We hope to make this an annual trip. The staff is MORE than helpful in arranging everything to your liking, both prior to and during your stay. It made traveling with a group of 10 easy! which is a feat unto itself.
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Room Tip: For large groups, definitely rent one of the ocean-view homes.
  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichelleC_RS, Marketing at Rancho Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2017

Hola Elizabeth!
We're very happy to hear that your experiences at the ranch have been so great that you’ve not only come back once but are planning to come back again. Nicaragua truly is a beautiful country and we try to highlight its beauty in all of our activities and offerings here at Rancho Santana.
We hope to see you again soon!

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Reviewed 18 January 2017

Wonderful destination resort for surfers, hikers, equestrians, and Nature lovers. Three restaurants to serve those at the main lodge, guest villas, or rented residential homes in the area. Two of the restaurants are right on the beach. My favorites were the assortment of tacos available... including goat! Not bad! The burger shack on the nearby Playa Santana beach was a bargain.

Room Tip: Not much help here as I stayed as an advisor guest with the farm manager. This is also a popular venue for wedding parties.
  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Rich F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichelleC_RS, Marketing at Rancho Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2017

Hola!
Thank you for staying with us! It sounds like you got to enjoy a lot of the different experiences Rancho Santana has to offer. We are so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope to see you again soon!

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Reviewed 18 January 2017

We were at RS over a "culinary weekend" and being foodies from Portland, OR we just ate it up. The Inn at RS is romantic, quiet and peaceful. But, if we were to go back it would be to rent a big house with friends and not as a couple. Garden Casitas were comfortable and isolated, but it was strange having a full bedroom empty.

Food is fresh and fantastic. Service is eager and learning. We happened to be there during an extremely windy time and it was uncomfortable to walk on the beach (definitely no laying out on the beach). It was hard to keep a drink at the pool without it blowing over. Took surfing lessons and they were well worth it - great instructors.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Garden Casita. They are nice and an easy walk to pool and beach (no view of ocean, but I liked the privacy).
  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jhyoung50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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