Our stay in Hospedaje Luna was wonderful; the staff there are warm, friendly, and supportive, and the operation is more like a home than a hotel. The property is clean, secure, and geared to travelers; local information is readily available on the bulletin boards and in the on-site tourist office, and there is an excellent cafe across the street that can arrange tours to the local sights. The staff can assist with most situations and requests for information; while you will find most of the staff speak little English, they do understand quite a bit. It is a great place to immerse yourself in Spanish.
Hospedaje Luna has both private rooms and dorms, so if you are traveling on a tight budget, there is probably somewhere that they can find to put you up. Prices were on par for Central America, we paid US$17 per night for a private room with bano compartido (shared bathroom), that had an en suite vanity (small sink) - this was more than adequate for our needs. The private room with bathroom (shower, toilet) was $20 per night.
Incidentally, we ate locally, both at the cafe and from street vendors, and never got even remotely sick. In fact, the food in Esteli was so healthful and unadulterated, that we noticed upon our return how US food and water was nowhere near as good! We were even brushing our teeth using the tap water, which I confess is not without risk, since in many other parts of the world, this can lead to health issues.
Hospedaje Luna is a great place from which to explore the local region of Esteli and Miraflor. They can arrange visits and homestays to the local farms in Miraflor, tours of a local cigar factory, and generally connect you to the region.
I had an excellent time at La Comarca. Its location, just 5 km south of Esteli, provides a perfect opportunity for relaxing and enjoying nature, without the usual noise of the cities. It has a pool that's included in the accommodation fee and a recently reforested pine forest you can take a hike in. The rooms are very nice and the beds are piece of artwork. Each room has a custom-made pine bed that let you appreciate true estelian craftsmanship.
You can dine at the hostel for about US$5 dollars, ride on horseback or simply sit back and relax.
I got a clean room with private bathroom. It was somewhat rundown but good enough for one night. In the late evening the restaurant, rancho, which is in the courtyard, began to fill in. My window gave to the restaurant so you can imagine how noisy it was. The music was played at full blast and people were not actually quiet either. My friends always tease me because I can sleep anywhere any time. Yes, in spite of the loud music and loud people I slept like a baby!
I paid $7 for the night there.
This is a lovely little hostal, close to the town square. The rooms are very comfortable and the courtyard in the middle is a great place to hang out. Which is good, since the hosts and the guests alike are always most entertaining! One of my best hotel experiences in Nicaragua -- and very reasonable.
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