January 4, 2018 for 3 nights for 2 adults.
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Aqua Wellness Resort in Tola, Nicaragua
The tree houses at Aqua Wellness Resort serve two purposes. The first, obviously, is to inspire plenty of “I can’t believe we’re doing this!” exclamations, which you’ll catch yourself uttering as you sip champagne in an aerial plunge pool as the sun sinks into Redondo Bay. The other reason for tree living is environmental: By building above the forest floor, Aqua is minimizing its impact on a delicate ecosystem. Get up close and personal with nature – after all, it’s in your living room – and let the yoga classes, organic spa treatments, and healing hillside location work their magic.
Make friends with the neighboring families of howler monkeys who will be your complimentary alarm clock. Watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee as the creatures catch up on the night’s gossip. Spot a bright red tree frog dodge the gaze of a woodpecker. Walk along the shores of a private cove and keep an eye out for tracks from nesting sea turtles. Paddle through mangrove forests. Feast on Nicaraguan churrasco with a glass of fresh-squeezed tamarind, dragon fruit and watermelon juice.
Location of Aqua Wellness Resort
Nearest Airport: MGA
Amenities for Aqua Wellness Resort
- General Information
- 28 Guest Rooms
- Private Dining
- Organic Cuisine
- Vegetarian Cuisine
- On-Site Amenities
- Spa Services
- Private Beach
- Complimentary WiFi
- In-Room Amenities
- Air Conditioning
- Ceiling Fans
- In-Room Safes
- Mini Bar
- Coffee & Tea Facilities
- Wildlife Viewing
- Horseback Riding
- Nature Reserve
- Active & Adventure
- Honeymoons & Romance
- Spa & Wellness
Reviews for Aqua Wellness Resort
Aqua is one of a number of resorts on Nicaragua's Pacific coast attracting surfers, yogis and adventurous travelers seeking a relaxing, tropical get-away in a fairly remote, undeveloped location. The resort is a roughly 2.5 hour drive from the airport in Managua and consists of about 25 "tree house" style units constructed of local hardwoods and all on stilts in the trees, connected by wooden elevated pathways. The resort is on a hillside, at the bottom of which is a gorgeous cove and beach; there are no elevators or escalators, so plan on walking up and down a lot. Each accommodation has a main unit with kitchen and living room downstairs and bedroom upstairs, and a guest unit, which is basically a hotel room. The main unit and guest unit share a deck and a plunge pool. The units have air conditioning, internet and cell service, and daily maid service. Surrounded by jungle, it has the feel of being in a luxurious summer camp, rather than a typical resort hotel. There are no TVs, so guests rely on their laptops or iPads and do a lot of reading. The ocean was warm and inviting and I spent a lot of time swimming and kayaking (kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are complimentary). This is not a surfing beach -- to surf, you need to travel north a couple of miles, where there is exceptional surf. The resort boasts a beautiful outdoor yoga platform -- the instructors were excellent and practicing yoga outdoors by the ocean is the best. There is one restaurant on the property with a variety of local and American dishes; most were pretty good and the staff tries hard to please. We stopped at a grocery store on our way in from the airport so that we could make meals in the well-stocked kitchen in the unit; making a few meals, especially lunch and breakfast was a nice break from eating exclusively in the restaurant. There are a few restaurants in Gigante, a small town about 1.3 mile walk from the resort, where you can get local fresh fish and lobster far more inexpensively than in the resort restaurant. One restaurant sign boasted "hamburger Mondays." Health standards may not be on a par with restaurants at home, but the food was basically good and I didn't get sick at all. To get anywhere else from the resort requires a taxi (unless you have a rental car). We took an excursion by small boat to San Juan del Sur for a day -- it's a bigger town and worth wandering around for a couple of hours and having lunch. For readers like me who need to run on vacation, I took a couple of long runs off the property into and beyond Gigante and ran by cows, chickens, pigs and dogs and also a lot of friendly people. If you are thinking of visiting Aqua, keep in mind that the resort is in a fairly remote area in the jungle and there are monkeys, lizards, and mosquitos (though not terrible, best to bring and use repellent). The surrounding coastline is beautiful and sparsely developed. There is no nightlife to speak of. Nicaragua is a poor country and you can see that by venturing off the resort property, which I strongly recommend. I never felt unsafe and the local people were friendly. English is spoken in the resort, but outside you'll get plenty of practice speaking Spanish. Plan to walk up and down a lot in the resort; this would be a difficult place for anyone with mobility issues. If you are not accustomed to sleeping with the sound of crashing waves nearby, pack earplugs. We traveled in mid-November -- some days were hot and humid, others perfect (clear blue sky, 80 degrees, low humidity), and we had a couple days with a few hours of rain. All in all, Aqua is a perfect place to chill, practice yoga and relax in a different locale.
Michael J - Manhattan Beach, California
There is no doubt that the setting and facilities are top notch, however, I was surprised that a hotel that stressed that it was eco friendly had a couple of clear missteps. The kitchen was equipped with paper towels instead of re usable cloth. The toiletries were single use. It would also be helpful if there were more hooks in the bathroom to dry towels so that they could be re used.
I used to have a bad nigth in all kind of hotels, because beds always are very firm however in Aqua the bed was very soft. For me was a great surprise. I really enjoyed the place, the luxury suit completed my expectation! I want come back soon...
My daughter and I loved our tree house and the monkeys who acted as an alarm clock every morning about 5, although the first morning, it was quite a surprise and we weren't sure what we were hearing. Regarding the tree house with its one full bath, slightly inconvenient for the person sleeping on futon on first floor. Would have been helpful to have at least a half bath on first floor. The beach was very nice and most of what we had to eat in the restaurant was quite good. Although, we had a kitchen, we only used it for coffee and the refrigerator for wine and toaster oven to reheat pizza. We had no intention of cooking. Be prepared to eat all your meals at Aqua because to go elsewhere and there is nowhere close by is a taxi ride. In fact, I can't think of one town enroute to Aqua (Rivas or Tola) come to mind that I would care to visit or to dine there. We enjoyed yoga classes and both had a massage while staying there. My massage by the manager of the massage study was truly excellent. Otherwise, other than outings you can book, be prepared to relax, read and sit on beach while you are there.
cazcindy - Cazenovia, New York
We loved our 3 night stay at this hotel despite the fact that we had a lot of rain. Our main villa on the beach was excellent with a beautiful master bedroom on top and a living/kitchen with sleeper couch below. The sleeper couch can be used by a small kid but consists of two serrate pads that separate so are not very good for sleeping. the main room bed was super comfortable and with a great view. The sounds of the waves is loud if you are close to the beach. Service and food at the restaurant were truly excellent with quite a few vegetarian options. We very much enjoyed the cocktails as well. We found prices to be reasonable. A few things to note - We did see some ants in our room but with the lights out they didn't stay long. The beach is beautiful and swim-able but has some rocky bits. The rooms size, locations, etc varies a great deal and our second villa was nice, but much smaller with no plunge pool. Some offer a lot of privacy and others not so much. It would make sense to ask for specifics, including a resort map with villa locations so you pick the one best suited to your needs. I highly recommend a visit but best do it fast as the new road (paved nearly all the way now) is bringing in development and you will see a lot of changes over the next few years. A linked villa development is already well under way next door.
Erik567 - New York City, New York