What We Love
- A buzzed-about boutique hotel near one of the Costa Esmeralda’s prettiest baysPairing a Basil Smash with a plate of salmon tartare at the sleek, stylish cantina
- Ogling the design, which unites Bauhaus motifs, regional styles and natural accents
- Divvying up your time between the surfing beaches, the 19 summits and the yoga platform
- Experiencing a suite or loft at one of Vogue’s most Instagrammable hotels of 2017
What To Know
- The hotel is located less than 5 minutes from the beach
- All guestrooms have views of either the garden, pool, or ocean
- Free WiFi works well
- Bike and car hire are available
Drop off the radar in style, at this dazzling Nicaraguan boutique gem. Tola’s Meson Nadi has been racking up endorsements from fashion and high-end travel publications since it opened (which wasn’t very long ago – despite already boasting a high TripAdvisor ranking, this heavenly hideout is fairly new). Departures called it a reason to travel last October, while American Vogue called it one of the world’s most Instagrammable hotels, and Central American Vogue a highlight of Nicaragua vacations, in 2016. Most recently, Travel + Leisure mentioned it under the Nicaragua entry in its 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017 story.
See for yourself what’s so dreamy about the property, as you lounge in an accommodation inspired by regional art and the Bauhaus and featuring a private garden, or wash down the catch of the day with a Calala Collins at the cantina. Swim a few laps in the 40-ft. pool, practice your sun salute on the yoga platform, and pick up a goodie at the beautifully curated shop. But also venture once in a while beyond Meson Nadi’s lush tropical grounds. Set up a horseback ride, a sunset cruise, a day at one of the surfing beaches or an outing to one of the 19 volcanic summits, and see that your setting is just as stunning as your stay.
Suites and lofts
Accommodations are kept at a comfortable temperature, sustainably, thanks to the ventilation shaft that cools the wind from the 19-ft. ceiling. Each one dazzles you with custom art, antique furnishings, concrete tiling and fantastic views of the pool or the ocean. Garden suites sit in a private hotel corner, their glass walls leading to a partially open-air Moroccan-style seating area that holds a rain shower, while Lofts come with sliding ocean-facing windows and a second level, housing up to four.
La Cantina brings together Central American and western flavors, using fresh and local farm- and sea-to-table ingredients. Look forward to açai bowls with shredded coconut, traditional Nicaraguan breakfasts with fried plantains and local cheese, shrimp ceviche, seafood spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce and other artfully prepared delicacies. The bar pours smoothies, wines and refreshing margaritas and micheladas (among other cocktails); vegan and gluten-free diets can be accommodated, and you can even order lighter bites to the pool.
The Costa Esmeralda is a paradise of surfing beaches (four surf breaks are within walking distance of Meson Nadi alone), peaceful waters that you can chart on a catamaran or fishing trip and 19 volcanic summits. UNESCO World Heritage-protected Granada, charming Masaya arts-and-crafts village and the 365 Isletas de Granada are perfect day trips, or you could stay put, and avail yourself of yoga offerings and spa treatments at the hotel, like cacao therapies and oil massages.
How to Get There
A typical day at Malibu popoyo consists of an outstanding breakfast, early morning surf session, smoothies and dips in the pool, sunset surf session, beers on the beach in front of an iconic Nicaraguan surf break, a beach bonfire and a delicious dinner. If that sounds perfect, then this is the vacation spot for you!
There were opportunities every day for both a morning and an afternoon/evening surf session. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and also accommodating to what the guests had in mind in terms of surfing. They offered multiple options for the day for different locations to surf. If the conditions are right, I highly recommend heading out on the boat to Lances left. I caught some of the longest waves of my life! The locals were also super friendly.
They had a lot of different board options too if you didn’t bring your own and had difficulty bringing longboards. All the boards they offered for use were made by a local shaper. I got to ride 4 different boards while I was there. So, based on wave conditions, you can try a bunch of different boards. Also, the guides come out in the water with you. Whether you need some help and instruction or purely to share the stoke, they are there to take you to the best breaks and get you in the best waves.
I can’t speak highly enough about the food and the staff. Everything was so fresh, and I got to go see the farm. I ate some mangos right off the tree!
While I didn’t do much else besides surf, I know they offered other activities like hiking, yoga, and horseback riding. But even if you didn’t feel like a paddle out, the resort is right on the beach and the pool is perfect. I also had a massage and it was much needed. The masseuse was fantastic.
I will definitely be heading back year after year! The surf was epic, the staff was amazing, and it was the perfect place to re-charge.
I spent a blissful six days at Malibu Popoyo and would go back in a heartbeat! I'm already thinking of when I can go back with some friends. First the resort: my room was super spacious and plush and the bed was super comfy. Perfect for falling into after a couple long surf sessions each day! The set up was awesome too – when you first open your room door, there's a little chill space that's open to the outside: a little garden, a pillowed spot to chill, but best of all the shower is here along with a drying rack - perfect for keeping sand and dripping rashguards/boardshorts out of the main part of your room. There are additional racks right outside your room door for your boards too! The team that looks after you is amazing, super friendly and accommodating. I'm already missing my poolside snack service! The pool is perfect for a dip midday when the sun is HOT and there a bunch of loungers and chairs to chill in. Food was a high standard and everything is fresh, fresh, fresh! I'm pescatarian but there was a good selection on the menu and even having every meal at the resort (I had an all-inclusive rate so all meals were included - breakfast, lunch, and dinner!), I didn't feel like I was having the same thing over and over. The kitchen is open all day and well into the evening with no set meal times so you can order whenever. My favs were the Surfer Bowl (perfect surfing fuel) and of course a post-surf sesh smoothie (get the Maderas or the Zapatera – YUM!). Ceviche with plantain chips, chopped fresh when you order, the breakfast sandwich, the salads… I could go on and on! And $2.50 Tonas… what else do you need?? One night I wasn't feeling so hot and just wanted some mashed potatoes and steamed veggies – of course this was no problem at all.
Surfing in the area is amazing! I think there's something like 16 different breaks within a 30-minute drive of the resort. There's a beach literally across the road (Playa Santana – fast wave, didn't get a chance as I'm not yet on a shortboard but it looked super fun even on small days – little barrels!). I surfed mostly at Playa Sardina and Popoyo (the left, inside) which were definitely the more longboard friendly spots closest to the resort. We even did a boat trip to Lance's Left! I had so much fun and caught so many waves I'm depressed to be home (where I can't surf). The surf guiding is superb – Jared is the man! He's super knowledgeable and so willing to share that knowledge and help you out. Regardless of how many people were out surfing with him, he's watching and giving helpful hints to improve your surfing. I feel like I improved a lot in those 6 days and this is almost solely down to Jared's expert advice. Elyin is the other main surf guide and is equally awesome – a great surfer who competes regularly, knows the local area and all the breaks super well and is always sharing the stoke! Regardless of your level, they've got you covered. Board rental is pretty good at US$15/day, they have a decent selection of boards, and if there's nothing to your liking on hand they'll find it at one of the local shops to rent for your stay.
I only managed to take a couple yoga classes during my stay but the quality of instruction was excellent (I'm an intermediate level yogi). Ashley was filling in for the regular instructor and she was amazing! If there was anything specific I wanted to work on she would incorporate it into class. There's a beautiful outdoor palapa where classes were held and they have good quality mats, blocks, straps, etc. It was so nice to hear the waves crashing on the shore across the road during class – nothing short of magical
For those on the fence cause they think the country is too unstable – don't believe the hype! I even rented a car at the airport and drove myself to the resort, and didn't have a single problem. There are transfers available direct from the resort too for those that would rather be driven. It is a pretty long drive from Managua (3 hours!). The Nicaraguan people are super friendly and eager to share their beautiful country with you. I loved it so much I'm already thinking about buy some land there. Great vibes all around. ¡Diacachimba!
Stayed at Malibu Popoyo for a week in May. the surf was great and the resort was awesome. The food was the best I’ve ever had on a surf trip, healthy and delicious - the perfect fuel in between surfs. The staff was awesome in taking care of us and taking us to breaks. The airline dented my favorite surfboard and the staff got it professionally repaired in less than 48 hours. Would highly recommend to anyone looking to go to Nicaragua!
From the moment I arrived to the day I left, my experience was heavenly. The welcoming staff were always smiling, the food was delicious, the ambiance was on point, and the surf guides were their to take you to surf the best waves at the best time.
I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a peaceful getaway..
Thank you for everything.
The room was beautiful, exactly like the pictures.I booked this trip to learn how to surf and had a really great time. Amazing food, smoothies and breakfast! You will feel so healthy after a week of surf, yoga, and walks on the beach. I felt really safe and taken care of, surrounded by really fun staff/surf instructors. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to all of my friends and family for an unforgettable experience in Nicaragua.