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Reviewed 19 February 2016

Really lovely place. The accommodation is much nicer than the photos on the web site suggest and a lot of thought has been put into it.
Fantastic breakfasts and highly recommend having an evening meal there, Karen's cooking is lovely.
Roy and Karen are great fun and couldn't have done more to make our stay special.
Great location for beaches and San Juan. We stayed with our 6 year old - great safe swimming beach within a short walk.
We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Waterballoons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2016

Why should you stay here? Easy: Karen and Roy will go above and beyond to usher your Nicaragua experience to the tip top! Many reviewers here mention the magic of this couple, and they are completely correct. Their pleasure is to make sure you're pleased. From the gorgeous meals prepared with local (DELICIOUS) ingredients to the rides to the beach as locals greet Roy with yips of affection. The cabanas are very comfortable and set up with basic amenities - mosquito nets cover the beds and every cabana has a full bathroom. I slept like a champion: lulled to sleep by the wind and delightfully awoken by roosters and howler monkeys greeting the morning. You won't find a better place to feel the pleasure of relaxation and comfort of a true Nicaragua vacation than their home. Empalme a Las Playas FOR THE WIN! :)

Room Tip: All rooms are great! Depends on the size of your party/family. Karen will help you figure it out, and direct you to the right room.
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KTSUenami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2016 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed at Emplame after traveling for almost 6 months between Nicaragua and Guatemala. We experienced everything in Central America from bucket showers to 5 star resorts. Frequently we found that money didn't matter when it came to customer service and more than not, we dealt with unfriendly, flippant people. It being the end of our trip (and just after a wild NYE), we were ready to relax, recharge, and start our transition back to 'reality'. We couldn't have found any place better than Empalme. I immediately knew it was the place for us, even having only spoken to Karen on the phone. Roy, Karen, and Marty were some of the most hospitable, warm people we've met on our journey. They went above and beyond what most consider sufficient in the service industry- personally cleaning our rooms daily, cooking us large, delicious, fresh breakfasts in the morning (with bottomless coffee), offering us rides to the beach and into town, making us cookies, inviting us to watch movies with their projector...and the list goes on. Beyond that they offered us fantastic conversation and energy that was truly inspiring. They have full, vast, genuine life stories and their passion is contagious. The accommodations were great, slept soundlessly, showered comfortably (if you're looking for hot water, why are you in Nicaragua?), and the wifi was adequate for any work I needed to do. Gabby's, a local spot ran by a family with 8 brothers and sisters, is conveniently located just across the street and Maderas is only a kilo walking- yes, guys, walking is good for you! In fact, we are spending our last night in Maderas/Marsella in a much more expensive place and have already observed everything wrong with it- not to mention, the wifi isn't functioning-most likely due to the imperfect, perfect stay we had at Empalme. Don't get me wrong, you'll feel like you're in Nica. You'll hear the howler monkeys, be surrounded by sweet dogs, you'll get bit by some mosquitoes, the water might go out once or twice (but you'll be alerted and offered some kind of delicious treat whether it be ginger candy or chocolate covered pretzels), and you may even be lucky enough to run into a tarantula (totally harmless) or a toad (walk the other way). So maybe you'd prefer a superficial, 'boutique' hotel with a hipster scene and soul-less rooms (no offense). Well, I advise you to disregard that urge. Stay at Empalme. Get to know some incredible people. Feel Nica for what it really is.

Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
5  Thank rileyherrick1106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2016 via mobile

We had a great stay. Starting with a warm welcome. Ride through the area by marty. Wonderful breakfast and great room. They had quite a lot of trouble at the time we were arriving (water issues, broken washing machine and broken branches from a tree) but we didnt get to feel any of that except having no water for one hour which they announced in advance and apologized kindly. We saw howler monkeys and hummingbirds from our huge veranda. The beach is very near, walk of 5 mins. Mostly we went for a swim or taking pictures and returned to the guesthouse instead of staying at the beach. There is a good seafood restaurant nearby.

Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2015

We had a great stay with Roy and Karen. They are wonderful hosts who were always happy to chat and hang out, but never made it feel like an obligation, either. We had delicious breakfasts everyday (if you've never tried lime juice and honey drizzled over fruit before, you absolutely must), and we had a great dinner with them one evening, too. The common area is a great place to grab a drink, play darts and access wifi.

It's about a 10-minute walk to the beach. I wish it were a little but closer, but not a big deal. Also, this is a very rustic experience. I did get a ton of bug bites while staying here. And there's no AC. Still, this was exactly the type of experience we were looking for. I'm really happy we chose to stay here while staying in SJDS.

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank erinandpet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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