French Revolution in Leon, Nicaragua

After finally escaping Honduras and enduring a 15 hour bus journey from La Ceiba in northern Honduras to Leon, Nicaragua, I was in serious need of some luxury. I found the Hotel Mariposa just outside the centre of Leon and got exactly what I had hoped for.

The hotel is owned by a French couple who only acquired the property in June of this year, the hotel consists of 4 beautiful lodges and 5 rooms in a separate building, I stayed in one of the beautifully decorated lodges which had 2 bedrooms, 3 beds and a stunning outdoor bathroom which is possibly the greatest place that I have ever taken a shower.

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The hotel has a beautiful pool in between the lodges and the other building with plenty of outdoor seating areas including private areas outside the lodges. The hotel offers a restaurant cooking the best of locally sourced French cuisine, cooked by their two French chefs and they are in fact, the only French restaurant in the entire country, quite a feat. Even if you don’t stay here it would be more than worth your while to visit it if French cuisine is your thing.

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Veronique, one of the owners, was on hand all day for anything we needed and was more than happy to help at every juncture and she saved our day after a mistake with a volcano tour went wrong. After the mix up, Veronique called in a favour and had someone at the hotel within the hour to take us on the tour, excellent service.

Also on offer at the hotel are massages and pampering and a variety of tours from volcano sledding to rum tours. The setting for the hotel is quiet and the only slight drawback in my opinion would be that there really isn’t anything nearby. The bus stop admittedly is right outside and for just 4 cordobas ($0.25) you can get to anywhere on the bus route. The centre of Leon is around a 35 minute walk away and there is a petrol station around 15 minutes walk away for any essentials you might need.

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In my experience so far, I have realised that hotels ran by Europeans in Latin America are far more efficiently ran than those ran by Latinos, there is a far greater sense of purpose to things and I believe their standards to be much higher. This is the third time that I have stayed in a European owned hotel and based on my experiences I can’t help but draw such a conclusion.

Leon is a bit of a party city and there are plenty of clubs and bars who really come alive on a nighttime, if that’s your thing then you are close enough in this hotel to enjoy that and if it isn’t then you are far enough away to avoid it. I challenge anyone to stay in this hotel and not leave feeling more relaxed and revitalised than when they went in.

Beautiful setting, extremely helpful owners and pure comfort, I can’t wait to return.

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