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Del Muelle 300 Metros Al Norte, El Castillo 505 Nicaragua
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About

#2 of 2 hotels in El Castillo
Location
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Value
GreenLeaders Platinum level
Hotel Lara's Planet is a five room boutique hotel located right on the San Juan River in the charming town of El Castillo. There are three (3) suites and two (2) rooms, each with a private bathroom and solar hot water, TV, mini-bar, safe box and come with free ala carte breakfast. All rooms have a private balcony with views to either the San Juan River, rainforest or the town. The 3 suites have hammocks on their balconies which are built over the river. The comfortable, clean beds and natural air-conditioning ensures a good night's sleep. We offer 24-hour security and room service, bilingual desk service (English, Spanish and German), daily housekeeping and reliable child-minding. We can also offer various tours around the area.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Free breakfast
Babysitting
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Business Centre with Internet Access
Meeting rooms
Concierge
Laundry service
Internet
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast available
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Room features
Air conditioning
Room service
Minibar
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
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HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Family
Charming
65Reviews3Q+A10Room tips
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Marjolein Z wrote a review Mar 2018
Amsterdam, The Netherlands3 contributions
The room was lovely decorated, the twin bedded room had two big beds and we had a beautiful view over the river. There was hot water in the room and the food was very good. The owner, Natascha, was very nice and helpful.
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Date of stay: February 2018
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Sam R wrote a review Mar 2018
Madison, Wisconsin54 contributions57 helpful votes
We stayed at Lara's Planet for 4 days in January and had a wonderful stay. The only way to get there is by river boat and there are no cars in town. Natasha even sent a boat to the ferry drop-off to bring us to the hotel. We stayed in the upstairs room that faced the fort. The room is spacious and comfortable with a large balcony. The views of the area were terrific. Natasha was a very caring host and set up a number of activities for us. The restaurant in the hotel is excellent. Even if you don't dine here...it was fun to have a beverage over-looking the river before going out. It's very easy to walk around the town from this location. There were several other visitors staying at this time and we had lovely conversations while enjoying the view of the river from the first floor lounging/dining space. We highly recommend staying here.
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Date of stay: January 2018
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The upstairs room facing the fort offers an amazing view of the river and town.
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2 Helpful votes
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Response from Natasha H, Propietario at Hotel Lara's Planet
Responded 11 Mar 2018
Dear Sam It was a great pleasure hosting you and we are very pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay with us.
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jschuby wrote a review Feb 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota81 contributions39 helpful votes
El Castillo is a fun place to visit and Lara’s Planet is a fun place to stay. The room is comfortable enough, the balcony lovely, the food is fine. Natasha is a quirky host and she adds to your experience. We appreciated Natasha’s referral to a good guide for river tour and her travel advice. The other tourist restaurants and amenities are on the other side of town, a 10 minute walk. This hotel is located in a noisy residential neighborhood. We were glad we went to the trouble of visiting El Castillo and that we stayed at Hotel Lara’s Planet.
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Date of stay: February 2018Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Samuel F wrote a review Nov 2017
3 contributions4 helpful votes
When we stepped in El Castillo, we rushed to Lara's Planet, which seemed to be a great place (and with lots of positive reviews), to find lodging. The owner/manager greeted us (two humbly dressed backpackers) with the sentence "I dont have cheap rooms". We humbly left and lodged somewhere else. We decided to give it a second chance and went there the following day for dinner (our Lonely Planet book mentioned nice vegetarian options). Lights were off and there was nobody - then the same woman came out of her house next to the hotel, clearly not excited about having us. She sighted when asked about dinner and replied "I can try, but dont ask me anything complicated". We sat down a bit embarassed and feeling unwelcomed, but decided to scan the menu. We asked if a burger with chips would be possible - she said cutting and frying the potatoes would not be. How about a pasta carbonara? - sorry but i dont have the ingredients. We smiled, apologized for the inconvenience of visiting, and left. Why keep a restaurant/hotel open if you dont want clients? We are puzzled to read the 46 good reviews... did the management change? Sam & Quitt
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Date of stay: November 2017Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
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Gert-Jan V wrote a review Oct 2017
Amsterdam, The Netherlands21 contributions6 helpful votes
This is one of those places you will remember. A wonderful location with the best views on the river and El Castillo. The rooms are spacious, well furnished and have the best bathrooms we saw in Nicaragua. Natasha the owner is a perfect host and can arrange all things including tours. The meals are also great with vegetables from her own garden.
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Date of stay: October 2017
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Best rooms at the riverside, Room Danielle has the best view.
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Response from hotel l, Owner at Hotel Lara's Planet
Responded 15 Nov 2017
Dear Jan Thank you for your kind remarks. We hope very much to see you back
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chuddington wrote a review Aug 2017
London38 contributions16 helpful votes
+1
A lovely well designed and built small hotel with fabulous views along the river in El Castillo; It is not utterly luxurious but a little luxury, literally at the edge of civilisation. The owner, Natasha, was attentive, utterly charming and an excellent cook. She can also arrange tours that pick you up from the hotel. Our room (3 adults) was delightful and the hotel well worth its price;we were given an immediate upgrade on arrival without asking and unlike many of the places we stayed on our trip the breakfast was substantial and the coffee kept flowing. El Castillo is a 2 and a half hour very enjoyable boat ride downriver from San Carlos; boats travel in both directions several times a day. We took a boat late morning and returned upriver the following afternoon; Well well worth taking the trip and visiting the Bartola reserve and fort while you are there. yes it will probably rain for some of the time but then it is the rainforest. One of the best times we had on a 4 week trip to Nicaragua. Amazing wildlife; bring your binoculars and a poncho. Thank you Natasha for making us feel so welcome. All 3 of us gave you 10 gold stars.
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Date of stay: July 2017
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Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Most rooms face the river. All rooms are upstairs and therefore further away from the mozzies
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Response from hotel l, Owner at Hotel Lara's Planet
Responded 23 Aug 2017
Dear guests I am so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. Equally we enjoyed having you as our guests and hope to see you back.
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rustyairedale wrote a review Feb 2017
gavere belgium16 contributions8 helpful votes
We hit a cold rainy patch of weather so the open windows in our corner room were not very welcoming, however we managed to tack up covers to keep the wind out. The rooms are ok but very basic. Must take into consideration the location! A 2 hour boat ride along the mighty River San Juan. What brings this hotel to above average is Natasha the owner. Her warm welcome was a joy and together with her care for my husband who had been floored by some dodgy chicken soup (!) she made our 3 day stay as comfortable as possible. The food was simply delicious. Thanks to Natasha, her 2 girls in the kitchen. We went on a boat trip up a small winding river (forgotten name) Lots of wildlife, Highly recommended.
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Date of stay: February 2017
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Trip type: Travelled with family
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Response from hotel l, Owner at Hotel Lara's Planet
Responded 15 Jun 2017
Dear guest Thank you very much for your response. I remember the days you were staying with us happen to be quite windy. It is a sort of cash 22 situation for us. The hotel is designed as an open space accommodation to take advantage of the fresh and cool wind from the rever. The downside ( which luckily does not happen too often ) is that on the days with heavy wind the corner suites get a bit affected by the rain. We were very pleased however to see that you and your friends still could enjoy your stay despite some wether disturbances. We enjoyed very much having you and your family with us and would like to thank you for your feedback
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Steve P wrote a review Feb 2017
34 contributions12 helpful votes
We stayed two nights - one either side of a trip to Basecamp Bartola. We stayed in the large corner room overlooking the river, which had a lovely balcony from where we could watch life on the river go by. I'll always remember sitting there on a hammock watching the early morning mist clear as the sun came up, with the sound of boats going up and down river. The room was light and airy thanks to the large mesh screened windows. The bed was large and comfortable. A hot shower after our jungle trip was just what we needed. Natasha was very helpful by checking ferry times and reserving a place for us. Downstairs, the bar/dining area had the same wonderful river and castle views, with the added bonus of the friendly service from Margarita, who also met us at the dock when we arrived.
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Date of stay: December 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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StacyJ1990 wrote a review Feb 2017
128 contributions17 helpful votes
Do you want to take a two hour freezing boat ride at six in the morning (being there half an hour early) to go pay for a mediocre breakfast? Then this is the place for you. Do want to wake up in between 4:30/5:00 am every morning of your vacation to the sound of boat motors, loud talking, loading and unloading? (Also starting around 7 the store across the street starts blasting Justin Bieber) Then this is the place for you. Do you want to order chicken off the menu only to be told about how bad chicken is for you and how it affected her nieces menstrual cycle? Then this is the place for you. Want to feel like your at grandmas house and feel bad for not clearing plate of the food you paid for? (Multiple comments were made) Then this is the place for you. There were so many small things at first that I was going to leave a positive review, since some of them are out of her control. But the way she ended things by overcharging us for our breakfast that we left a perfectly good bed and free breakfast for (two hours down a really cold windy river for the most expensive rice and beans I've had in a long time, and I live in Costa Rica) we stayed two nights and only received one breakfast. Yes I know we left at five am so that wasn't too possible, but offer a girl a banana or something. Or take off the over priced breakfast from our first early morning there and call it a day. Also this hotel claims to have; Parking (hah! There's no cars even able to access the place) AC (which you would never need anyways) TV - This was our vacation, all we wanted to do was hike, nap, and watch tv (apparently the hurricane in November damaged it but website has not been updated) Wifi - which it does. But good luck getting it to work in your room. It was all of those things that added up to me leaving this review. I was happy until she needed that few extra bucks for breakfast that left such a bad taste and memory of this place. There are wayyyyyyy cheaper places in Castillo just as clean and way tastier/affordable meals. I am currently writing a article in Guanacaste's "The Howler" about all the beauty of El Castillo. Sadly this hotel will be getting no mention or recommendation by me. Also Natasha I am almost thirty. Yes I eat vegetables. I'm sure most thirty year olds do. But thanks for asking. Customer service is all about the little things. :)
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Date of stay: February 2017Trip type: Travelled with family
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Chica2014 wrote a review Feb 2017
Tamarindo, Costa Rica12 contributions5 helpful votes
This place is over priced for what you get.All the little houses and other hotels had internet and tv.This place had the slowest internet ever,could almost send an email just took an hour.The tv service since nov 2016 has not been fixed yet.The worst was finding disposable cups in our bathroom that were used by other guests.They just put back in our room still wet.We didn't use them i put in garbage.The owner needs to edit what she offers at this place and not blame others.The food was about double the price and could not eat any of it.This town has many cheap good places to eat and stay at!
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Date of stay: February 2017
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Response from hotel l, Owner at Hotel Lara's Planet
Responded 30 Mar 2017
Der Guest Sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us. Our hotel offers 430Sq meter of open space with panorama views of the river and the town as compared with the little hotels you have mentioned. We are a bit surprised to read you comment because we keep inviting our guests' feedback while they are staying at our hotel to make sure that their needs are met. It is a pitty that you didn't tell us what you didn't like so that we could respond to requirements. The internet we have is the the same system as anywhere else in town. It is a wired internet system, The connection comes from San calos and the weires go through windy areas which affect it's strength. Our TV connection was affected by Huircane in November .The technical service comes from Managua and it takes sometimes up to a couple of months. When we serve food we always ask our guests if they like their food and if they don't we offer a different dish. regarding the disposable glass in the bathroom, We put a new glass for all new arrivals and do not throw it out for a few days unless asked bu the guests and the reason is we try to minimise the amount of the plastic waste going into the rubish bin as the city does not not have a recyling facility and apart from glass and plastic waste we recycle everything else on the hotel grounds.
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PRICE RANGE
US$30 - US$75 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
NicaraguaRio San Juan DepartmentEl Castillo
NUMBER OF ROOMS
5
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Lara's Planet
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Lara's Planet?
Nearby attractions include Reserva Silvestre Privada Montecristo (6.5 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Lara's Planet?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Lara's Planet?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Lara's Planet?
Conveniently located restaurants include Borders Cafe, Soda Sabores, and Restaurante Montecristo.
Are pets allowed at Hotel Lara's Planet?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Does Hotel Lara's Planet offer any business services?
Yes, guests have access to a business centre and meeting rooms during their stay.
Is Hotel Lara's Planet accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and reduced mobility rooms. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.