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Reviewed 17 February 2012

We've just got back from a week at Beach & Bungalow, part of a 33 day trip to Nicaragua and certainly one of our favourite places. The lovely staff spoiled us rotten, and we must say a special thank you to Victor, Nino, Shana and Arlene for the great service coupled with lots of fun. They called us Mr Andrew and Miss Jilly, which tickled us pink, and Arlene, who prefers Spanish, called me Don Andres, which made me feel very grand ( or should it be grandee?).

Our surname is Robinson, and as the bungalows all have a shipwreck theme it was appropriate that we were to stay in the Crusoe cabin. Unfortunately there had been a mistake with the booking so B & B compensated by upgrading us to the Gulliver suite, the best one, which was really nice of them. It was spacious and airy thanks to the ventilation system and the queen size bed was so comfortable, it was delightful to fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

American owned, it shows in the gargantuan portions of excellent food, and my wife and I soon learned to have one meal between us or we'd struggle to eat the next one!

I'm a fishing fanatic, and they arranged trips with Elvis (!) who they recommended because he was a good skipper and knew his job. Take their advice, there are plenty of boatmen out there who'll take your money and put you at risk or just not turn up, as I know from bitter experience.

when it was time to leave we were genuinely sorry to go and if we had a regret it was that we weren't rich enough to leave a better tip. we've travelled the world but never met better people.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Andrew R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2012

The staff was very nice and very accommodating. the food was great and the lodging was even better. you're not going to find another place on the island that is more romantic, cleaner, and with more amenities, etc. its a little more expensive but well worth it. my buddy and i looked at hotel iguana that had one bed and a futon and it wasn't nice at all for the same price. we got a cabin with two beds for the same price and it was a worlds of a difference from iguana. you wont be disappointed staying at Little corn beach & bungalow.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank NormanTodd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

I have just returned from ten days solo, having selected somewhere with a bit more character than the Mayan Riviera and the possibility of fly fishing for bonefish from the beach. Despite unrepentant and apparently unprecedented winds, I hooked several nice bonefish, various snapper-type fish, and even a small permit. The winds stirred up the sand and eelgrass debris, so deep wading was required, and also made my planned snorkeling ventures less than impressive. However, I knew that it was the windy season and set my expectations accordingly. I would like to mention the new "guide" who books through LCBB: Save the fifty dollars/two hours fee and just wade and cast to any sandy-bottomed areas. Though a pleasant young man, he is not terribly experienced at this (actually, one of the worst casters out there- sorry to offend) and this is blind-casting anyway. Bring a sinking line and a few Charlies, and you will manage to hook a few. Also, take the "customer" review on their website with a grain of salt; regulars snicker at the unrealistic numbers given by this fisherman.
As for the operation proper, there is no way to fault it. Expect power outages and water limitations and you will be happy. I used the casita water supply for brushing my teeth, but I like to push the limits anyway. I filtered my own drinking water from the hose bib in the shower so as not to run out at night. I did find the island water to have a lot of hydrogen sulphide in it, and this could be the source of a bit of digestive looseness after many days; just a bit growly in the morning. It could also have been from my insistence on consuming the spicy red pepper- sauced dishes.
The staff were pleasant and eminently helpful, and not smiling in a forced resort staff kind of way. The food was absolutely fantastic, especially the snapper with curry and the baby backed ribs. All reports on the filet mignon were glowing, too. Despite other reports, I found prices to be little higher than elsewhere on the island, if at all. Portions were quite large.
Though I was solo, I never felt lonely while staying here, due largely to the cosmopolitan array of guests who came with the proper mindset of friendliness and respect for other travelers and native islanders. I always had warm interaction with folks from around the world (mostly Europe and Canada) when dining and lazing about reading a book. That is, until all but myself had to vacate to make way for a booked party which were of a mindset best left in Cancun. This party included three small children, from age 3 up (yes, somebody dragged little kids all the way to LCI) who largely toreabout the constantly-raked property and got underfoot while building sand castles at the foot of the restaurants stairs. The rest of the party was mostly of the detached, hung-over sort not otherwise encountered on LCI. I was unfortunately the sole interloper in what they assumed was their private resort for four days. No way to fault LCBB management, just an unfortunate blemish on my experience. On the plus side, it is obvious that such folks are a tiny minority of LCI's visitors; the vast majority of visitors and ALL residents whom I encountered were fantastically warm and chatty. There are a few, and reportedly increasing, number of young visitors who don't embrace the "hello, nice to meet you" way of interacting with the residents, and this must be nipped in the bud. LCI is special because visitors have recognized the openness of the locals in welcoming us to their island, and everybody feels free to greet with a smile and a "hello". Do not treat residents like employees at a Mexican all-inclusive! It was very grating to watch the other group at LCBB flick cigarette butts onto the grounds and generally interact with staff in the more typical tourist/staff manner. As an aside, members of the party were also wonderfully superior to staff at Corn Island airport and left garbage behind on their seats for others to pick up when the trash can was few feet away. If members of this bunch read this review, do LCI a favor and grace an all-inclusive with your next gathering. Moral of this rant: Act superior to the locals who serve you and treat their home like a garbage can, and they will come to treat you the way locals at popular tourist spots do.
What else to say? Very economical (unless you are on a tiny backpacker budget), impeccably clean, the best staff ever encountered, and food of the highest quality. Expect limitations on creature comforts because that is why you come here, after all, and you will have a great and relaxing time. If a local should happen to not pass you with a greeting, say "hi" first and they are sure to return the favor. You get what you give...

Room Tip: I could see that casitas with battery-powered fans would be preferable for the calm Summer nights. Not an issue in the windy Winter months.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Mauimania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We've wanted to visit Little Corn Island for several years. When we finally made our arrangements, we relied (as we often do) on TripAdvisor to decide where to stay. Again, the TripAdvisor community did not let us down.

As soon as we decided to book at LCBB, we found the level of service and attention to be top of the class. Given that internet service on the island is a limited commodity, it is acceptable to receive a response within a day or two of sending a message. Scot & Kristine are very attentive and worked with us to ensure we received the bungalow we desired (needed to make a change once another couple decided to join our adventure to Nicaragua), answered all sort of questions in a patient manner, and explained the workings of the newly launched "Dining & Activities" (D&A) package...more on that later.

Given the attention we received pre-arrival, it was really no surprise to us that the level of service we received during our stay did not drop off one bit.

Upon arrival by panga from Big Corn Island, we were met at the dock by Henry, our trusty bellman. He piled our bags in a wheelbarrow and thus began our journey through the village and across the island to LCBB. It had rained quite a bit in the days prior to our arrival, and the trail was quite muddy in some places. (In fact, during our week there, Scot and some of his staff constructed a bridge over the worst part of the path which improved conditions greatly in that particular section. Just another example of Scot & Kristine's work to improve things on the island - primarily for their guests, but for the benefit of all.)

Breaking through the last jungle and emerging onto the beach on the reef (windward) side of the island, we got our first glimpse of the fringing reef and the beautiful blue waters. Soon we were deposited at the LCBB "office" (aka the Turned Turtle Bar & Restaurant) where we were soon enjoying cold Tonas as we received our short welcome from Amanda (recently hired operations manager - along with her husband Victor). After a quick review of how things work, where things are, etc. we were taken to our bungalow.

We stayed in the Master Suite Gulliver. As you're on the property, facing the water, it is the bungalow furthest to the right. King bed on main floor, loft with double bed, small table inside as well as small fridge. This bungalow has a larger veranda than the others as well. One very nice feature of this bungalow is that it has the best view of the water of any accomodation at LCBB. The beds were comfortable, the shower had hot water, and there was sufficient space for two adult couples - no problem. This bungalow also included a few extra fans, which came in handy when "island power" turned off at 5am (which it does every day), and when LCBB's generator kicks in for a few hours.

It was quite windy during our stay on Little Corn Island. Being on the windward side of the island, this meant we had a comfortable breeze in our bungalow day and night. It also meant that we never even opened our bug spray. For comparison, taking the walk to the village on the leeward side of the island meant more humidity and warmer temps...at least it felt that way. The LCBB side of the island just seemed way more comfortable. I'm sure when the winds die down in other months that it gets hotter, muggier, and there would be more bugs.

The staff that Scot & Kristine have put together were tremendous. As noted above, they recently brought on Amanda and Victor (who had been working at a resort on Laguna de Apoyo near Granada) to handle much of the day to day operations, which I believe leaves Scot & Kristine to tackle the "big picture" of running LCBB. Amanda and Victor were both friendly and were still in the process of getting to know the island and all it offers. They were always able to handle requests, no problem. Early each morning, several staff members are at the resort making sure things are tidy. You'll see them raking the beach (seaweed and other ocean flotsam), raking the common grounds, hauling the kayaks down to the water, changing the water in the footbath outside your bungalow, etc. The kitchen and dining room staff were engaging and the service was great. They speak good English, and tolerated our attempts at rudimentary Espanol...all in good fun. The housekeeping team was equally friendly and competent. We had the feeling that if you didn't want to be bothered, the groundskeepers and the housekeeping staff were more than happy to do their work in the background. However, if you are interested in engaging them, they were pleasant to speak with. It all adds to the experience. Of course, the dining room duties lend that position to more of a direct engagement with the guests, and we have to give a tip of the hat to Kenny, Ninoska, and Arlene for making each of our dining experiences a fun one.

During our pre-trip planning we investigated the newly-offered Dining & Activities (D&A) package. Basically, it's about as all-inclusive as you'll possibly find on the island. In the end, we decided that it seemed to offer good value and the convenience of knowing that "it's covered" vs. having to keep tabs of every beer, soda, meal, excursion, etc. and knowing in the back of your mind that it's all adding up and will need to be paid at the end of your stay, was enough to persuade us to book the D&A. And we believe it offers tremendous value. Take a look at LCBB's web site and see what you all receive, and decide for yourself. At the end of our stay, when it came time to review the bill, it was easily apparent that we got our money's worth from the D&A package. We took most of our meals at LCBB, enjoyed our fair share of Tonas, sodas, juices, water refills, coffee, had a number of cocktails, purchased a bottle of rum, used the kayaks a few times, went on a snorkeling trip, went on a fishing trip, and took advantage of the laundry service offering. I can easily say that we saved money on the D&A package, and it also just made our trip easier.

Of course, the D&A is only a good deal if what you receive is of good quality. I'll start by saying that our group commented at each and every meal about how incredible it was to be receiving such high quality food in such a remote location, given the logistical challenges involved. The meals we enjoyed at the Turned Turtle would be great anywhere. The fact that they're pulling this off in their location is extremely impressive. We usually took breakfast and dinner every day, and sometimes had a lunch or just a snack mid-day. We sampled the majority of offerings on the menu (the dinner menu changes a bit each day), and can't say that we tried anything that didn't pass muster. The seafood, pork, beef, pasta, all were very good. Breakfast choices were all great too. And make sure to try the roasted coconut cookies that are usually found on the bar. We only took a few meals away from LCBB (ate some of the fish that we caught, which were prepared at other restaurants that were affiliated with the fishing captains we fished with), but overall I think we'd have kept coming back to the Turned Turtle even if we hadn't been on the D&A package - the food quality was that good.

For those of you inclined to check in with world happenings - or Facebook - we did use the wi-fi at the Turned Turtle a bit. Found it to be mostly reliable, which again is an achievement given the circumstances of power supply, limited bandwidth, and remote location.

As noted, it was very windy during our stay. This impacted our planned activities a bit. The water near the shore along much of the reef side (LCBB side) of the island was churned up and murky. You often needed to swim out 30 yards or so to reach water with better clarity. Water was fine for swimming and cooling off. However, we're keen on snorkeling and it was a bit of a letdown not being able to enjoy good snorkeling right from the LCBB beach area. This may be different at other times of the year, so this is merely an observation of the conditions during our stay. We did walk or kayak down the island a few times and found better snorkeling from shore up around Farm Peace & Love. I had planned on doing some fishing from shore and had done a bit of research in advance of the trip. Again, the winds and murky water conditions made this very challenging. Was told that the months of February, March, and April are better conditions and better fishing. Have already made a mental note to return during those months in the future. (For anyone interested in fishing, LCBB will be partnering with a fly fishing guide starting in a month or two to offer fishing packages. Ask me and I'll send you more information, as I've communicated with the guide extensively.)

In the way of organized/paid excursions, we did a snorkel trip and two fishing trips. The snorkel trip was arranged through LCBB's preferred operator. Being on the D&A package brought the cost down from $15pp to $10pp - either way it's a good price, but the savings were nice. Having snorkeled in many places (Zanzibar, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Belize), I'd say that the snorkeling we did at Little Corn Island wasn't anything to write home about. In all of the other places, we saw many more of the smaller colorful "aquarium" fishes. There was some decent coral, including some nice fan coral and brain coral. Also, we did see a ray and a number of nurse sharks. These larger species were definitely the highlight of our snorkeling. The trip we took went up to the end of the island off Farm Peace & Love and Ensueno's, and offered time in the water both inside and outside the reef. As to be expected, the water was calmer inside the reef. A few people didn't get into the water outside the reef, as it was pretty choppy. Depends on your swimming capabilities.

We did two separate fishing excursions, with two different captains. Went out one day with Capt. Alfonso which involved anchoring in roughly 40' of water and fishing on the bottom. This method yielded a few dozen yellow-tail snapper, some triggerfish, and a few other random types. You're able to fish with a rod & reel, or opt to use a handline. One of us used rod & reel, and I used the handline - a unique experience, and a lot of fun. I did catch a 20-lb barracuda on a rod & reel that Capt. Alfonso baited with one of the smaller snapper. Neither of us took Dramamine that day, and both of us felt a bit queasy during the outing - more than likely due to the fact we were anchored and simply rising and falling with each wave. Just wanted to point that out. Using Dramamine in a preventative fashion may have avoided that. I also went out for one day of trolling with Capt. Elvis - who offers a discounted rate if you are on the D&A package with LCBB. As expected due to the method, this yielded fewer fish...but bigger fish. I landed two barracuda and a very nice 30-lb kingfish. I took a Dramamine before this outing, and never felt seasick. Probably a combination of the fact that the boat was always moving as opposed to anchored and my taking the preventative meds. I'll definitely endorse fishing with both captains. If you want variety, give them each a try. After each trip, we enjoyed the fruits of our catch by having the fish prepared by a restaurant affiliated with each captain. Had barracuda from Triangle Restaurant/Capt. Alfonso and kingfish from Bridgette's Restaurant/Cap. Elvis. Honestly, the kingfish was superior, but that's likely because it's better table fare to begin with.

Be aware that there are a number of canine companions that call LCBB home or spend parts of their days on the property. We're dog owners, so we enjoyed meeting Georgie, My Son, and Dixie who are officially affiliated with LCBB. We also greatly enjoyed Little Corn Island's official canine ambassador Bushman, who you're certain to meet either at the resort or on your walks around the island. In addition to the dogs, you'll enjoy Lola the parrot. Look for her in the bar or in one of the palms in front of the bungalows.

Of course, it's really difficult to be perfect, and as good as LCBB is we feel the need to list just a couple areas we felt could be improved upon: 1) The only chairs in the common areas on the sand are Adirondack style or plastic deck chairs. It would be nice to have a beach chair for more comfortable sunbathing. 2) Ensure that each and every group is instructed upon check-in to not use the water in the bungalows (which is rainwater collected and stored) to brush their teeth. Two of our group of four endured some pretty serious upset stomachs during our stay, and this could have been the culprit. Since we all ate the same meals, it wasn't the food. When he learned of the fact that a few of us had upset stomachs, Scot made a point to seek us out immediately to figure things out. He said that he makes a point to specifically tell guests not to use the rainwater to brush their teeth. Again, possibly something that slipped by a new employee. I've got faith that it was addressed and corrected.

A tip on the panga between Big Corn and Little Corn: It was jam packed both directions. From Big Corn to Little Corn, we probably had 50 people on board along with all the bags. From Little Corn to Big Corn there were even more people. We didn't get on the panga - it was way too full. Around 15 people or so, including us, got on the "red boat." It's a commercial vessel and not a speedy panga. Instead of a 30-minute ride on the panga, the "red boat" took 1 hour and 15 minutes. Still got to Big Corn in time to catch our flight. Just be prepared for a somewhat chaotic boarding process for the boat between the islands. All part of the experience.

At the end of our stay, given the level of service we received, we did leave a nice tip which is split among all of the LCBB staff - who work very hard to ensure your stay there is enjoyable and memorable.

Remember, transactions on the island are mainly done in cash. U.S. dollars are accepted, as are Nicaraguan cordobas, and U. S. dollars need to be in good condition (torn, crumpled, etc. won't pass). LCBB does take credit cards, but it results in a pretty steep surcharge (12%). So, bring cash to settle up your bill and pay your tips. There is a lockbox in each cabana for safe storage.

Unless you are really lethargic and just there to chill, the Little Corn Island experience will undoubtedly lead you to explore this small island on foot. Doing so will bring you past most of the other accomodations on the island. It is our opinion that LCBB is the finest lodging on the island. It's got that "castaway" deserted island feel with plenty of amenities and great food. Many of the other places are much more rustic - and less expensive, no doubt - but LCBB is a fine value for the price you pay. We'd not consider anyplace else when we return to Little Corn.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank SJH-SFSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Been to LCBB twice now, but have also tried other properties on the island. Will always stay here going forward. While on the pricier end for Little Corn, it's great in terms of what you get. The cabanas are spotless and thoughtfully designed, the staff is super responsive and we get the 5% discount in diving at Dive Little Corn. It's never a bad day here.

A couple of things could be better. The restaurant has good food in generous portions and INCREDIBLE drinks (the Marg and the Caesar), but it's all very heavy. I could have killed for a something lighter like big salad for dinner, but that really isn't on offer.

The wifi isn't reliable, and often kicked me off while trying to do basic tasks (check into a flight). I know we're trying to unplug and relax, but….Ended up having to trek across to Tranquilo for internet.

But the most important thing I think they need to address: water. Since they use rainwater for all the water in the bathrooms of the cabanas (which is wonderful for the island in terms of water consumption), that means there is no potable water in the cabana. This becomes a problem for brushing teeth and such...and the LCBB charges a nominal amount for their filtered water. Two evenings, I found myself with a mouthful of toothpaste and we had no water left, and the restaurant had shut down for the night. They really should include a daily refill of a bottle of water in the bathrooms for this use. The fact that they are the only property on the island to charge for potable water is another issue. I realize that they use a filtering process, but the result is between 9pm and 6am potable water isn't available.

Also - bring cash - credit card payments were surcharged 12% and there is no ATM on the island.

At the end of it all, this place is wonderful, the positives FAR exceed any small issues we had. We'll be back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank mshanks212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
noplansnoreserve, Manager at Little Corn Beach and Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2012

We are always grateful for such high praise and valuable feedback, thank you.
We couldn’t agree more with mshanks as far as a big salad goes! We tried for a long time to have the ingredients needed on hand to satisfy not only his craving but ours too! Then reality hit us. It is really difficult to keep all the ingredients on hand (as most foodstuffs have to be brought by airplane or freighter from the mainland and can take up to 7 days to reach the island) and that was a challenge we just could not overcome. So, we settle for fruit plates, cabbage/tomato and newly added green papaya salads, vegetarian options and fresh fish or grilled chicken with no sauce for our lighter meal options.
He is right on the internet too! Our only option is Satellite internet for which we pay $400/mth.. The service is a bit unreliable (especially during adverse meteor logical conditions which can be many miles away due to the low angle on the horizon of the satellite) . Since we are on the “remote” side of the island, we don’t have the option of businesses in the village that can subscribe to a line of sight based service. We wish there was another answer and certainly appreciate his frustration.
We do offer potable water for free at the bar (village supplied water) and have changed our signage for more awareness thanks to his valuable insight. For those that are a little more cautious and don’t want to potentially ruin their vacation we offer purified potable water refills for only $1. Our unique program saves the traveler some money (as opposed to buying and discarding bottle after bottle of purified water) and saves the island some trash. We use the $1 charge for purified water to fund our Beach Cleanup Program with which we clean about a 500 meter stretch of beach (LCBB beach is about 75 meters) and ship all the trash via freighter back to Managua for proper disposal. It also helps fund various other community projects like our annual animal health clinics and “road” improvements. Our Gulliver cabins do come with a complimentary bottle of water.
Thanks for the great feedback! Look forward to seeing you again.

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