Keep in mind that this is a small family run hospedaje in a quiet Nicaraguan river town. As such, it is an absolute delight! Denis and his family are as helpful as can be, the cooking is great, and the room was better than expected. I will definitely return!
We had a lovely stay at Hotel Universal.. The family was really nice, we booked a camping tour with them as well and it was amazing. The rooms are nice with very comfy beds. From the terrace you had a nice view on the Río San Juan. You had the choice between your own bathroom and a shared one, I think our room was the only one without but the shared bathroom was always very clean.
The rooms are basic but have mosquito screening, which was hard to find in budget places in El Castillo, so we went with it. The owners' daughter was very helpful, the owners less so. We got the private bathroom, which was nice, but the shared bathroom was downstairs and tiny - inconvenient anytime, but seriously a pain if there were many people sharing it.
Rooms were simple and had a fan and a mosquito net. Beds were a little dusty, so bring a sleeping bag if you have an allergy. Rooms are available with and without private bathroom. Only one shared abthroom and shower available. Those are downstairs and clean. I came down once at at night and the owner's family was sleeping there. Kinda weird, so maybe spend those extra dollars. Rooms without bathroom (to the west) are also quite noisy because of the neighbor's pig. The balcony has a nice view and is perfect to spend an evening with other guests.
We paid 250 cords, or $10 for a shared toilet and shower. The room was on the corner, and it faced the river. It was very clean and bright. It is very evident the owners take great care of the whole property. Our bed was comfortable and the shared facilities were spotless. The owner was very friendly. The common balcony hangs over the river. The family lives downstairs, but you do not feel you are living on top of them, so our stay was very peaceful. We wished we lingered a bit more.
The peaceful and friendly El Castillo was our favorite place of the whole trip and staying at Hospedaje Universal had much to do with it. It's a charming place that makes you feel like at home, especially the children who love to chat with you if you know at least a little spanish. The hostel is very close to the dock (to be honest nothing is far in El Castillo). On the ground floor there is a little store, the rooms of the family that runs the place and the shared bathroom. The rooms for guests are on the first flor. There are also small terraces on the street and on the river in the first floor. We found the the corner room with private bathroom and the view on the river to be the best value in town (after seeing all the budget places that had rooms available).
Hospedaje Universal is a small, family run place directly on the river. The municipal dock where all the boats come is just meters away. All rooms, some with private bathrooms, are on the second floor. There are decent size decks on both sides of the building. One has a nice view overlooking the river and another faces a small “street” with no cars. Both are good places to relax. The rooms are simple but very clean. Each room had a window to the outside, a fan, one or two beds and some shelving. There was no A/C, but it was not needed during my stay. The walls are thin as they are just wood planks. The area got very quiet quite early. El Castillo is a very small town. On the main floor there is a small store, the family’s home and shared WC and shower. The owners were very hospitable. I recommend staying in a room with private bath.…