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Reviewed 10 July 2019 via mobile

Hotel Victoriano in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is a safe and quaint little resort town place, tucked alongside a beach cove in the southwestern corner of this beautiful, yet troubled country. It’s really more like a bed & breakfast than a “hotel” with a small breakfast served…and nothing fancy. The locals all wear flip-flop sandals and shorts; only the older ones wear pants. In years past I have read that this place was a mecca for American surfers, but now it’s largely vacant as the result of last year’s troubles between the student protesters—mostly at the large universities—and their socialist government. While many tourists from the United States appear to be staying away in droves, this place feels safe and secure and there are no signs of the old ’79 revolution nor tee-shirts with Che, Hugo Chavez or Sandino printed on them as in Managua.

My room was very comfortable, reminding me of the old colonial Nyali beach hotel in Mombasa, Kenya where I stayed in my Navy days long time ago. It had ceramic tile floors, a little bit gritty, a king-size bed and little French doors that opened to a small ocean-view balcony. The toilet and sink room was too small to move from one fixture to the other one unless the door is closed and the stand-up shower—no tub—was nice but lacked any kind of fixture for the soap and shampoos. There was a flat screen TV with BBC, but no CNN or Fox and a little room safe, operated with a key given to me after an admonition not to lose it or pay extra! The BEST room feature besides the bed was the new room air conditioning unit; it worked really great!

The little pool is only 20 feet long and maybe 12 feet wide…a dipping pool…but I lost all interest in swimming there after watching two large locals doing something unmentionable against the pool wall—ugh! It was difficult to avoid seeing them in the pool as the restaurant porch looks directly down on the small pool area. Speaking of the restaurant, the food was great, a little bit more expensive for a fish than the other places down the street, but tasty and served well. The breakfast was Spartan by comparison with no buffet and no bread or rolls served…had to request the juice and the bread.

The staff are polite, but not too friendly [perhaps lurking beneath the surface there is some resentment towards gringo guests?] and my room was not ready; they had given me no bottled water and no toilet paper! I also don’t like having to beg for more water from the hotel in a place known for water not considered safe for foreign guests. They told me that their policy is to grant guests two bottles of water [1 liter total] on the first day then no mas.

It’s not easy to read these people in Nicaragua right now as most of them look so unhappy but happier in this surfside community. From my many conversations with locals I suspect that most people are split between blaming their socialist government for their poor, struggling economy and/or blaming the imperialist [their view] colossus to the north. Having visited Nicaragua ten times in the last 12 years I have a basic understanding of their grievances—a Spanish colonial history with a small upper class and a very large under-class in addition to the meddling of the USA going all the way back to 1909 with US Marines on the ground in the 1920s, ostensibly to protect US corporations, especially fruit growers, but nonetheless opposing a very popular revolutionary movement led by Sandino.

Finally, because this little town cove is filled with fishing and tourist-related boats at anchor or tied to mooring buoys, I wouldn’t recommend swimming here; there are better beaches to the north, but the local taxies will charge you $40 cash only to go there! And I was not feeling good about renting a car here! There are four or five new San Juan port buildings, but all of them are closed. Considering all the above factors this small boutique hotel rates a 3+ but does not rise to the level of a four star resort. If you just want to eat, sleep, charter a fishing boat, take your chances swimming or do short walks this charming little place is probably perfect for you, otherwise the good clean waves are someplace else.

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled with friends
1  Thank coloradoclimber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVictorianoNi, Director de Recepción at Hotel Victoriano, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2019

Thank you very much for choosing Hotel Victoriano as your holiday destination in San Juan del Sur, we hope you visit again .

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Reviewed 10 April 2018

We really enjoyed our stay here. It was off the main and lively drag, but it was still loud, with car alarms going off quite often and disrupting our sleep. I didn't love that I felt a little nickel and dimed--they charged us for the 3rd child's breakfast, and we paid a lot for our stay there. It was our most expensive stay in Nicaragua by a 60% or so. There is a lot of room for hanging out and playing cards or chilling by the pool in the evenings. It's a nice hotel and the food is pretty good.

Room tip: Maybe not on the street--tucked in back is lovely!
Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jade618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen L, Director de Recepción at Hotel Victoriano, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Thank you very much for your stay at Hotel Victoriano.
Your opinion is very important for us, we hope to serve you in the future as you deserve it!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2018

We splurged and opted for the room with the little balcony. Loved the room. It was worth it. Great location and very clean. The free breakfast is good, however it seems even so it is included on the menu, you have to ask for the orange juice and toast.
The front desk staff is great and very helpful, the others seem a little reserved. Overall we enjoyed our stay and would stay there again.

Room tip: On the weekend the rooms towards the front might get a little loud from the street noise.
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Lydia216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen L, Director de Recepción at Hotel Victoriano, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2018

Thank you very much for visiting us.
We wait for you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2018

Pool is small and not really swim friendly; beach view is nice but the beach in san juan del sur is rather ugly (as compared to nearby playa hermosa). It's still a decent hotel for the price, is quiet, has lots of parking, nice Victorian architecture, and service is superb. Food also isn't bad. Rooms are large. San Juan del Sur does not have much to offer in terms of hotel so this one is probably top choice.

Room tip: For low price you get rooms on ground floor. No views but quiet. Try upstairs rooms with view.
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank JakeRU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen L, Director de Recepción at Hotel Victoriano, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2018

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, we will take into account your contribution for a future remodeling.

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Reviewed 19 January 2018

This worked very well for us. Our room - one of the larger ones with four poster bed - was perfect and the location convenient. The central courtyard is really nice. The pool is not in an ideal spot (right in front on the road) but with the beach nearby who needs it? The breakfasts were very good. The menu for dining looked ininteresting and wedidn’t try it as there are many nearby options. Don’t miss the wonderful beaches. We went South to Playa del Coco. Gorgeous and nearly deserted.

Room tip: The best rooms are at the front but the road is very quiet at night.
Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Oliverjulian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen L, Director de Recepción at Hotel Victoriano, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2018

Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful experience with us.
We look forward to your visit in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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