Just back from Morgan's Rock. It was as wonderful as the other posts said it was. This was truly an A+. For anyone who is hesitating on this package or location, I would absolutely tell you not to hesitate. I thought I would do my standard quick post and review. First, thanks to Bonniejoy., who had great advice! Most likely I still have to go back. Truly a beautiful and amazing country and a wonderful ecolodge. The rooms remind me of being in a luxurious version of the Swiss Family Tree House.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS: For those considering Morgan's Rock, here are a few things to consider. If you are a couple, looking for a quiet place with lots of activities during the day and plenty of relaxation time, this is perfect. It is a beautiful setting for a romantic trip or a quiet respite away from city life. If you need to be plugged in this is a serious problem. Wireless works only in the lobby and it's spotty. My lap top is faster than the hotel computer, so it might make sense to bring one if your goal is to stay somewhat connected.
Also to consider, you should be in fairly good physical shape. Part of Morgan's Rock beauty comes from the fact that it is fairly elevated, though by the beach. As such, the stairs are not easy for those that might have knee or foot type sports injuries. I lost inches off my waste between going up and down the stairs leading to my villa and all of the activities for which I was engaged. My mother has problems from an injury and had a bit of a tougher time.
Though the lodge isn't exactly designed for children, if you are bringing children, the bungalows are certainly large enough! I felt like I was in the Swiss family Robinson tree house. I really enjoyed exploring the grounds, doing a tour of the area, history tour.
HOW TO GET THERE: I consider myself a fairly daring driver. However, I would not recommend trying to drive to the lodge or even winging it by hiring a cab at the airport. I would suggest taking Morgans Rock on their $50/pp offer to drive you from the airport to the lodge. The road is not easy to navigate after you get off the Intercontental highway. Especially if you go during the rainy season, there is a high probability that some of the road will require your car to be partially submerged. The driver will be more than happy to stop at all the sites on the way. There are wonderful markets or volcanoes of interest. You can even make a day of Volcan Massia. On the way back, you could stop by Granada if you are not already planning on spending time just there.
STAYING OVERNIGHT IN MANAGUA: I stayed at both Los Robles and the Holiday Inn as my flights arrived very late and left very early. Los Robles is an adorable little inn. However, the Holiday Inn is actually pretty nice as well. I was also told that the Best western near the airport is quite nice. In both location the staff speaks some English, though not nearly as fluent as at Los Robles and The Intercontinental. The Intercontinental Hotel is wonderful and is known as the nicest hotel in Managua from what I understand. Some people I met stayed there and really enjoyed it.
FOOD: The lodge generally is all inclusive ex some drinks. The staff takes your order in the morning and then goes and gets the food during the day, i.e. pick the fruit or harvest the appropriate animal on the farm. One thing I didnt learn until the later part of my stay was that the staff is very open minded to cooking you whatever you like. Lets say youre interested in lobster one day. Theyll go out to the water and get you a lobster. If you prefer local Nicaragua cuisine and let them know the night before, magically the menu changes to your request the next day.
LANGUAGE: Nicaragua is suppose to be one of the countries where English is spoken the least. As long as you work with Morgans Rock, you should be fine without English. However, Spanish is incredibly helpful. I adored this aspect as I like to be forced to speak a foreign language when I travel. For others who are unilingual, be aware that it can be a little tougher in some places. The people are quite nice to Americans/foreigners, so you should be fine regardless.
WHAT TO BUY: Mainly local crafts, purses, coffee, and snake skin goods. Coffee is particularly good, though I prefer Costa Rican coffee.
Please definitely add your experience to this or the other posts on Morgans Rock.
Ah Surfing! I have somehow not gotten around to trying this wonderful sport.
Regarding Morgan's Rock specifically, the beach is very quiet and smalleque (though not small) which is perfect for those that are looking for a private white sandy area. I would definitely double check with the staff. It actually is a turtle reserve of sorts. I did not notice people surfing. But there are only 15 bungalows and it might have just been that they were surfing when I was out enjoying the rain forest.
San Juan del Sur is definitely a surf destination, though. I do remember talking to staff and they mentioned that surfing was quite good in the area, leading me to believe you would not need to take a boat out. Specifically, I asked the staff when the first tourists came to San Juan del Sur and why. The person I spoke with answered surfing and beach. I also noticed as we drove past San Juan del Sur (you drive through it to get to the very secluded Morgan's Rock), that there were quite a few surf shops. If not directly at Morgan's rock, perhaps a nearby beach will provide exactly the experience you are looking for.
If you do go, please do share your experience as I am sure others will be excited for a report.
Hi Claassenam. I can help about the beaches. The beaches are a gray/dark sand beach. It is a little rocky. We went in the ocean often. It is not like the Caribbean which can be flat at times. We did have waves both times we were there. Not a lot of surfers on Morgans beach. Probably because it is mostly used by Morgans guests even though it is a public beach. We had people who wanted to surf and they were taken to San Juan del Sur. You will see a big surfer crowd there. We also stayed in Northern Costa Rica on this trip before Morgans. This is another surfing crowd.
Hope this helps. I really do recommend Morgans Rock. Great concept, location, food and overall good type of vacation.
Thanks so much for the information Mayling and Bonniejoy - and I apologize as I asked you that question before Bonniejoy! I am not the surfer (although I have managed to "get up" a few times) but my husband, who has been surfing for 20 years, definitely is and would want to surf if we were to travel to Nicaragua. We've been up and down the Costa Rica coast on multiple surf trips, including a day trip up to the Nicaragua border (the surf break there - Witches' Rock is one of the most well-known in Central America). My concern was that the only accessible decent surf would be via a boat, thereby taking him away from me each day we would be visiting Morgan's Rock. Not that I'm not used to him leaving me each morning for several hours to surf, but when we are on vacation it is so nice to find a spot where he can walk to the break. It sounds like Morgan's Rock might (and I'd verify this with the staff) be a place where he could walk to a decent break and then a couple days take a boat out to a better break. That's a good compromise.
At any rate, it sounds fantastic and I really hope that they bring back more packages to LL!
Hi Claassenam. Just to clarify...the beach at Morgans Rock would be close by and able to walk to. I reallly didn't see big waves but you might want to check with the staff. They are very responsive. To get to San Juan Del Sur will be by vehicle. You can't walk there.
Morgan's Rock is an excellent choice for a get away....AND...I see there is an auction right now for the property!
I think you might need the staff to drive you over to San Juan del Sur which does take about 10-15 minutes given the roads, now that I think of it. I had a surfer describe to me what they were looking for in the way of how the water breaks and I think that the water is just a touch too calm for surfing right in front of the resort.
You may already know this, but the Quepos and Jaco packages are perfect for surfers. Quepos is suppose to be the perfect place to learn. I ran into some surfers in the airport at Costa Rica and they told me Jaco is even better for those that are a bit more experienced.