The TripAdvisor reviews spoke for themselves really- one of the best places to stay in Granada. I have nothing else to compare it with so my opnion’s a little biased but my stay here was great.
I arrived to the hostel at around 2 a.m., which even I thought was a bit late but it couldn’t be helped. I was met at the door by a guy that addressed me by name, didn’t worry too much about the check in and payments for me and said we can sort it in the morning, then showed me to my dorm room. There were 3 other people in there that were already asleep so I carefully tried to undress and climb into bed silent like a ninja. As soon as I felt the mattress I was in heaven and very quickly passed out.
A few hours later I’m already beaming and ready to start my day by about 7.30 a.m. (I don’t wake up until around 10 normally- late body clock). I actually felt pretty lost to be honest- my first day completely alone in a new country, I can do anything I want… so what do I want to do? Going through the choices I got myself ready and had some breakfast (which was amazing!). “Desayuno Café del Mundo”: Tortillas filled with eggs, peppers, jalepenos, tomato and cheese. I melt with the first bite! I had to pace myself with it as a cooked breakfast in a hot country was a bit of a struggle- but totally worth it! (Sorry there’s no pic but I was too quick to eat it. You guys can have this instead)
I spent some time talking to the very friendly staff about what’s good to do in Granada and they were happy and quick to make recommendations and fill out a map of the local area for me. I spend some time relaxing in the communal area of El Momento and talk to some of the other guests, mostly German people who happened to have just done my trip in reverse- I’m going Nicaragua to Panama, they did Panama to Nicaragua (even that got me some good recommendations for things to do in Costa Rica and Panama). Then I took a short walk around town to orientate myself a little to my new surroundings and try to find some places they showed me on the map.
While staying there I learned that El Momento is a 400 year old colonial house they’ve updated to keep up with the times but also keep the authenticity of the original building. I lost the best part of a quarter of a day just sitting in the courtyard it was that comfortable and relaxing.
Hostel El Momento is very close to the Central Park (almost literally behind it), El Museo de Chocolate is less than 100m away and you can even make your own chocolate on the tour there. I missed the last timing to do it sadly so carried on walking around instead. While walking around I found different places to eat for almost all types of food, multiple sports and cocktail bars and shops for just about everything. Kelly’s was one place that stood out to me; local sports bar with a kind of ‘you’re in my house so I’ll look after you’ vibe.
I like bars. Maybe it’s the years I’ve spent working them that makes me feel kind of at home there but I quickly get talking to 2 people behind the bar (in my broken Spanglish) and enjoy just being there without having to ‘punch the clock’ as it were.
After a few bottles I get a little brave and ask for some cannabis (quick note: I do not condone this kind of behaviour in anyone but myself. I believe in a responsible, sensible consumption policy but also I accept the consequences of my actions) the guy at the bar says it’s illegal and he can’t help, but there’s usually someone in central park at night that can. Result!
To cut a long story short, I was conned and robbed (more of my pride than the money since I didn’t have much on me at the time) but consider myself lucky to get of awkward situations like that unscathed. Or as it´s been put to me- I “land in shit and come out smelling of roses”.
I quickly take myself back to the hostel for my own safety and for some reason think it’s funny enough already to share the story with people. The lucky side to this was that someone that heard my story had a connection and was willing to help since I was ‘ready to die for it’ so the next morning I still got what i wanted.
It’s certainly the individuals that can make an experience good or bad but overall I’d still say for a first impression, Nicaraguan people as a whole are very friendly, helpful and understanding. But don’t just take my word for it… Come and see for yourself!