Hotel Plaza Colon
What We Love
- Daily buffet breakfast and a welcome cocktail are included in the Jetsetter rate
- This is the only boutique hotel in Granada fully owned and operated by Nicaraguans
- The hotel overlooks Parque Central, right in the center of Nicaragua’s historical capital
- Guests who want to give back to the community may purchase a Plaza Colon backpack; the sacks are delivered once a month to students who cannot afford school supplies
What To Know
- The property will be under renovation from May to June 2015
- Free WiFi
- Horse-drawn carriage tours of the historic city leave from Parque Central, right in front of the hotel
- The hotel is verified as sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
The 27-room Hotel Plaza Colon, housed in a colonial-era mansion, is as community-focused as it is charming. A member of the Rainforest Alliance, the property meets the gold standard for sustainability: It employs area tradesman and provides internship opportunities, the restaurant menu uses local produce, and Nicaraguan charities benefit from the hotel’s philanthropic arm. (Ask about buying a Plaza Colon backpack; the sacks are delivered once a month to students who can’t afford school supplies.) The decor throughout the hotel recalls the building’s colonial history, with ebony and caramel-colored furnishings and dark red and earth tone linens. Ask for a balcony room for a view of Plaza Colon and the towering cathedral of Granada. Fuel up for a day of sightseeing with fresh pineapple and red dragon fruit at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, then recharge in the afternoon by the hotel pool, which is tucked away in a shady interior courtyard. Later on you can wind down by snagging a plaza-side table at the hotel bar and order a Macua, Nicaragua’s tart rum-and-guava combination. The on-site El Bar mixes them up as welcome cocktails, but the menu also features a variety of wines and beers if the Macuas are going down too easily.
In the Area
Start your adventures in Granada — Central America’s oldest continuously inhabited city — at the cathedral of Granada, just across the park from the hotel. The cheery yellow and red church has been redone several times in its 400-year history, most recently at the turn of the 20th century; wander inside for a peek at the four chapels and stained glass windows before taking a stroll down Calle La Calzada. This main pedestrian strip is a hectic mix of street performers, vendors and restaurants. Take a seat at an outdoor café for some top-notch people watching, or follow the kilometer-long stretch all the way to Lake Nicaragua. If you want to stretch your legs some more, follow the road south to the Malecón (waterfront) for a peaceful walk, or catch a taxi to the marina, where boats await to take tourists to Las Isletas, the smattering of islands that eruptions of Volcán Mombacho created thousands of years ago. And allow at least one day to explore the volcano itself. Casual hikers can take a one-kilometer path through the cloud forest, while more serious adventurers can embark on El Sendero El Tigrillo, a steep two-and-a-half-hour hike that affords views of the main crater (it collapsed in an avalanche in 1570) and the volcano’s highest point, 4,400 feet up.