Isla Ometepe, or Ometepe Island, rises out of Lake Nicaragua and is listed as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island mainly known for its coffee and not one, but two volcanos. More than enough reason to visit if you ask me! So when planning my Nicaragua itinerary, I definitely had to include this island. When looking for a proper and centrally located hotel to explore the island, I came across Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel. In this review I will share my experience in detail, so you can decide if this hotel is the perfect fit for you too.
I got to enjoy a complimentary night at Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel.
This did not affect the content of this review in any way;
All opinions are genuine and based on my own personal experience.
About Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel
Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel is a small beachfront hotel in the middle of Ometepe Island. It’s the perfect starting point to explore the wonders of this UNESCO declared biosphere reserve. The hotel has 9 personally designed rooms set up around a nicely landscaped garden with hammocks and freshwater lake Lago Cocilbolca (Lake Nicaragua) as your backyard. You’ll also find plenty of activities like kite surfing and horseback riding or you can simply go hiking or rent a (motor)cycle to explore the natural surroundings.
Rooms & Suites
Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel has 4 types of rooms: 2 valued rooms with shared a bathroom, 3 junior deluxe rooms, 2 deluxe rooms and 2 lake view deluxe rooms. All the furniture in the rooms is handmade from local hardwoods.
I stayed in the recently renovated lake view deluxe room for 2 nights. The room has a really comfortable king size bed and covers pretty much all you need: a desk, closet space, complimentary purified water, a safe and even a flat screen tv with Netflix in case of a rainy night. Besides the ceiling van the room also has a split air conditioning. I really like my AC before I go to bed, but don’t like to have it on while I sleep, so I like it when hotels offer you options!
The bathroom absolutely blew me away (I was so blown away that I completely forgot to take pictures, but I did make a quick movie for my Instagram-highlights!). The washing stand has this massive mirror that goes all the way up to the ceiling, a solar heated hot water rain shower with great water pressure (not that common in Nicaragua) and a dual flush toilet (fancy huh?!).
The furnished terrace offers a nice view over the green garden and lake. It was my favorite place to have breakfast and read something before going to bed!
Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel is a small hotel, so hotel facilities are limited to the beach, chilling in the garden or hammocks, getting a massage and play some pool at the restaurant/bar. But that’s more than enough, since you probably won’t be in your hotel that often anyway.
There is a lot to do in the area and the Xalli-staff will gladly advise you on the possibilities, such as horse back riding, (motor)cycle rentals, volcano hikes and natural springs. They were really great with helping me out with any requests or questions I had; nothing was too much. They were truly amazing and really made me feel at home!
Another great thing is that there is an ATM right in front of the hotel; this way you’ll never run out of cash for taxis or activities!
Food & Drinks
With the Lake View Deluxe room there is an included breakfast, starting at 6:30 AM. There are several options you can choose from the menu, like eggs, pancakes and yogurt with fruit and granola. My absolute favorite was the granola, which they make themselves. Also, the coffee was amazing and they get the beans from a local coffee plantation!
Until 9 PM you can also choose from a diverse menu for lunch and dinner. I had a few meals there and had a hard time choosing between all delicious options, like chicken sate, falafel, different kind of pastas, salads and traditional Nicaraguan food. I wish I got to try them all!
Xalli Beach Hotel also offers reasonable priced lunch packages, including a sandwich, some fruit, crackers and a large bottle of water to bring along an all-day activity, such as the volcano hike I did. Pretty convenient, since you won’t run into any restaurants along the way lol!
In the Area
Hike a Volcano
There is not just one, but two volcanos on Ometepe Island, both connected by a narrow cape and covering a big part of the island. It’s probably no surprise that these volcanos are the main attractions on the island of Ometepe. Concepcion is the largest volcano on the north of the island and the Maderas volcano is found on the south. And, guess what? Xalli Hotel is right in the middle of these big boys and the perfect startbase for some volcano hiking, so don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes!
Ojo de Agua
Ojo de Agua is a cold water spring, formed by clear natural volcanic water. Studies have shown that the waters of this pool have medicinal properties due to the high mineral content (including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and phosphorus) and in fact, have the same qualities as thermal spring pools. So, even if you’re not into swimming, it won’t harm to take a dip.
Punta Jesús María
At the most western point of Isla Ometepe you’ll find Punta Jesús María, a narrow spit of land that’s formed by water currents and sediments. You’ll have an incredible panoramic view over the ocean and the island, with the two volcanos flaunting; the perfect place to watch the mesmerizing sunset. Occasionaly during dry season the sandbank sinks into Lake Nicaragua for more than1 km. This means that there’s only a small beam of sand left to walk on and you’ll have water from the lake washing up on both sides.
Final Review Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel
I really enjoyed my stay with Xalli! Aside from the beautiful (bath)rooms and idyllic surroundings, it was the personal staff that really made this hotel memorable. During my stay I had the pleasure to meet the lovely Carlos, a local who has lived in several places in Europe in the past.
His passion for hospitality is really admirable. He really went out of is way to make sure I could make the most of my stay. He arranged me to meet Roberto, who took me horse back riding to the Ojo de Agua and got me a very capable guide for my Maderas hike. He even extended his service to my terrace, so I could have my meals there! During our conversations he was very open and he told me a lot about Ometepe and the current events in Nicaragua. I’m really grateful that I got to meet such special people in such a peaceful place on this island!
If you’re ever planning on going to Ometepe and want a small luxury hotel on a central location with great service, I would highly recommend Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel!