My husband and I had a wonderful time at Rancho Santana. Our room was AMAZING with the best views (#9), food was absolutely fantastic, views to die for, endless activities and we were in great company! Oh and the surf and waves were huge and tons of fun! We did have a few hiccups though...
1) Bad communication between spa and concierge. I asked for the Valentines spa package which was advertised as 80 minutes and was shorted by 30 minutes. I tried to communicate this to the spa staff but nobody there spoke English. I complained to the concierge who offered me a complimentary pedicure, advertised for 50 minutes, and it lasted barely 30 minutes without any type of leg or foot massage. When asked if they would rectify the problem they offered a 50% off massage. I declined for good reason. I knew it would happen again. Avoid the spa at all costs! It is merely s condo with a few massage tables in it anyway so not much of a spa.
2) We were excited about the bonfire on the beach. We verbally signed up through the concierge, gathered a few couples to join us, jumped in the shuttle and went down to the beach and a bonfire never took place. We were so disappointed as were the folks that were with us.
TIPS: La Duna is NOT for kids and thank goodness we left ours at home! The cobble stone stairs down the mountain are insane. My husband and I who are highly active and in shape basically crab crawled up and down. They do not have a railing what-so-ever so one slip and you are off the side off a mountain.
Yoga is a must do while on property. The smell of incense coupled with the sound of the waves and monkeys in the canopy are one I simply cannot put into words. Certainly an experience I will never forget.
Try the white sangria! I have had one before and my waiter recommend it one evening. It became my drink choice every dinner. It is made with fresh passion fruit and to die for!
Bring your own hair conditioner. They have hair conditioner in the shower but it does not work. After the beach and the pool all it did was make my hair a big knotted mess, not to mention greasy.
Play Bocce Ball at sunset. My husband and I had to Google the rules and find another couple to play us but it was great fun!
Rent a car and go to Mag Rock for lunch or dinner, the views are spectacular!
Overall we really enjoyed this resort and would definitely return. Next time we will fly into Liberia Costa Rica and take a jumper flight to the airport near the hotel. The drive from Managua is about 2.5 hours (dodging cattle, crazy truck drivers, rickshaws) and the Liberia CR route is just much easier and I hear quite scenic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rancho Santana, set serenely in the Southwest Pacific offers a collection of distinctive seaside experiences. Though little more than two hours from Nicaragua's capital city of Managua by car, the property has grown into a quiet community that enjoys purity, authenticity, and a somehow romantically rustic elegance. Both residential and resort, "the ranch" boasts over 2,700 acres of majestic land along two miles of shoreline which include five unique beaches. And while this paradise is the perfect setting to do nothing at all but sunbathe and stargaze, its remarkable range of terrain, unique climate and soothing coastal breezes make it a coveted destination for the more active and adventurous traveler. Tucked between the open sea and the immense Lake Nicaragua, "the ranch" has the distinction of being one of the only isthmuses on the entire Pacific Ocean. This unique geographical phenomenon creates gentle tropical breezes, which when paired with year-round warm ocean waters make the beaches' surfing conditions some of the most coveted on the planet. With the early sunrise, "shredders" of all ages and origins take to the breaks of Las Cinco Playas de Rancho Santana, which include some of the world's most vertical waves, providing both visual drama as well as world-class surfing. Lookers-on walk the water's edge watching the surfers dance across the waves while just yards behind them fisherman bring in what will be the evening's fresh catch in the clubhouse's renowned restaurant, La Finca y el Mar. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Santana Hotel Popoyo