Aqua Wellness Resort
What We Love
- Private and empty horseshoe-shaped beach
- Yoga and more taught by qualified instructors
- Treehouse-style accommodations, some with decks and private plunge pools
- Healthy meals made from locally-produced ingredients
- Community outreach programs give guests the chance to help locals
- Plenty of outdoor eco-activities
- Treehouses are high up on a hill, and some have beach views
- READ MORE: Find Your Perfect Nicaragua Vacation
What To Know
- Members are required to contact the resort directly and provide contact and flight information so they can coordinate the pickup and adjust for flight delays
- Guests renting a car at the airport should avoid driving at night unless they’re familiar with the area
- Low-key resort with few bells and whistles
- Steep uphill hike from the beach to your treehouse
- More suited to young travelers than families with kids
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the property upon checkout
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Just south of the tiny fishing village of Gigante in the Tola district of Nicaragua (within 30 miles of the Costa Rica border and about a mile from world class surfing spots Manzanillo and Colorado) lies the Aqua Nicaragua Yoga Wellness Retreat & Resort. Twenty-four eco-friendly treehouses dot the verdant jungle hillside of ginger, banana trees and bamboo, connected by lava stone pathways and wooden bridges. It’s the type of escape where yoga and meditation sessions kick off the day and are followed by a treatment or two at the swank spa, with the Pacific Ocean providing the perfect soothing soundtrack to complete the Zen ambience.
Bed and Bath
Set on stilts overlooking the empty beach below, the 24 treehouses are constructed with nature in mind. Think cathedral ceilings with exposed rafters, hardwood floors, natural stone surfaces, teak rainfall showers and indoor/outdoor living spaces. The low-slung platform beds are wrapped in white linens, and violet throw pillows add a pop of color; it’s worth upgrading to a Luxury Suite for a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor Balinese shower and private plunge pool.
The emphasis here is on health and wellness. Book a yoga class (the morning class fronting the Pacific Ocean is free), go for a hike, surf, snorkel or fish. When hunger strikes, the open-air Bromelia restaurant serves a mix of Nicaraguan and American food and takes pride in using products from local farmers and ranchers. The chefs get their produce from a nearby organic farm and the catch of the day from a neighboring fishing village; the menu changes regularly, depending on the bounty of the hotel’s herb garden. After dinner, head to the beach bar for a stiff nightcap with friends and family.
In the Area
In the summer, fishing for mahi mahi, red snapper, rooster fish and mackerel is excellent in this region of Nicaragua. The resort organizes tours to nearby Ometepe Island, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island consists of two dramatic volcanic craters rising out of vast Lake Nicaragua, the largest body of freshwater in the country. And if you’re looking to catch a wave, the isolated beach on which the resort sits is a great place to learn; you can simply book surfing lessons with Aqua’s instructors.
How to Get There
I stayed one night in Aquawellness with my family and my wife stayed on to work online for for a few nights afterwards.
Our experience was overall good.
However the promises on the website like a welcome drink and free use of stand up paddle boards weren't delivered. There was no welcome drink and the beach equipment is for rent, not included.
Having said that the actual accommodation was better than expected, we had our own private kitchen, plunge pool and double bed. The kids slept on an extra bed that was provided for us.
Aqua calls out to me every so often, as does this land and the warm Nicaraguan people. It has been four years since my last calling and I went running. This trip was my fourth to Aqua--my first was in 2009. Aqua has seen a few positive changes over the years yet there is so much that is "tried and true" that one can count on about the ambiance and the experience from the 6:00am Howler Monkey wake-up calls, to the warm surf in Redondo Bay, to the smiles and warm greetings of staple individuals who I've come to rely on and regard as my NICA family to the brilliant sunsets and clear starry nights staring at the BIG sky from a lounge chair on the beach ~This place has it's own brand of peaceful magic! Aqua is so comfortable that I didn't want to leave and could easily spend months upon end there. The restaurant serves great food (churassco and fish dishes) as does the new Coconuts Bar- (the fish tacos are too die for!) The drinks are made with loving care! --I miss my Chillada's! I stayed away too long--I miss you Aqua!
The Aqua Wellness Resort is located on a unique property in a natural setting on the side of a hill running down to a sandy beach. Our room was a beach front luxury suite with a plunge pool, right on the beach, and the reviews were very positive. However, while we’re reasonably mobile, we are seniors and this resort was inappropriate for us. The ergonomically acceptable architectural guideline for a public stairway is 14 proportioned steps. For commercial buildings the standard might be 18 steps; commonly split into two flights of 9 steps. In some private circumstances there might be as many as 22 steps, but you wouldn’t want to use them on a regular basis. At Aqua, to get meals from our unit, it was 30 steps down to the walkway then 140 steps up the hill from the walkway to the restaurant. After the meal, that’s reversed; 140 down the hill followed by 30 up. To be clear, when I say step I don’t mean a stride, I mean a step up a stair riser. The steps are uneven and many are made from sand held in place by a vertical board riser. The sand is frequently lower than the riser, sometimes by an inch or two, a real trip hazard. In other words, it’s not a simple matter of climbing stairs.
There are no telephones in the units so room-to-room calling is impossible should you want to coordinate meals or other activities with friends. Communication with the hotel is by WhatsApp. If you don’t have a cell phone and a WhatsApp account, from our unit you had to climb down 30 steps and then up over a hundred steps to the reception office.
Guests cannot charge resort services to their room and every transaction has to be paid for at the time. An annoyance, I had to carry my wallet everywhere including to the beach bar when in my bathing suit.
The staff were uniformly friendly and language was not an issue as those serving us spoke English reasonably well. The food was good but served from a limited menu. However, with no telephones, room service is not available. Also, the beach bar was only available for limited service and, on the Monday of our visit, no service was available for lunch.
In summary, because of its location, the resort requires an enormous number of stairs to do anything. Those looking for a quiet, restful place with no TV and with the ability to handle lots of stairs should consider it. Those who can’t handle lots of stairs should avoid it.
If you are considering planing a wedding at AQUA RESORT DON'T DO IT!
After everything that happened in Nicaragua with protests last year, we had to cancel our wedding there which was out of our hands.
These people never refunded our money after they said they would do it. We even cancelled a year in advance, but they decided to keep the money.
AQUA RESORT gave NO REFUND, LACK OF RESPONSE, AND SO UNPROFESSIONAL. It was so disappointing, upsetting and stressful for us. We booked here in good faith and they did not care to respond when the country was having a crisis!
So we decided to cancel and take NO further risk with this place. We are Sooo Glad we did otherwise these people would have stolen even more money from us. They are dishonest and will not care about it.
They have no sense of customer service, and I can assure you it is not worth the headache.
I also visited in December went there to talk to the manager and they said "Keep sending E-mails." I did and still NO REFUND.
While I visited this past December, I notice the place is DEAD, Food was terrible, they do not have the little restaurant by the beach like they used to (this is were we were going to have the reception...JOKE), they have about 2 waiters down there and nobody offers you anything.
THE WORST EXPERIENCE! I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND IT.
Thank you for exactly what we needed. Peace, tranquility, nature, monkeys, birds, & beauty!
The staff were very helpful and friendly. The rooms were clean & comfortable and the plunge pool was well maintained.
We could order food from the restaurant via the reception whats app, which was always speedy service.
The beach is magical. White sands, gorgeous ocean and a small beach bar to buy a cold beer!
The next beach over, Playa Gigante is a lovely welcoming fishing village.
I love the yoga deck!
Thank you for making our stay absolutely perfect!!