Hostal El Momento

March2012

IVA.

IVA or the 15%  Sales Tax of Nicaragua which many of you will see on your bills depending on where you are or which business you visit is something many travelers are not aware of until they come to the country.
As one of the highest in the region it does add extra cost to the bills of some travelers who are passing through the country and had already set a daily budget !
I have recently heard reports from other destinations within the country that IVA, permits and restaurant/ hotel bills are not enforced as much as they are in other location across the country.
 
Here in Granada all permits and the  bills with 15% IVA are not just needed but checked on by government officials from all departments and business owners need to be on top of their game.
This got me thinking of article I had read and also a review we had received about how expensive everything is in Granada compared to everywhere else and this is probably due to the strict usage of the tax paid. How much more expensive Granada is compared to everywhere else probably depends on your budget, if you are traveling for many months then your budget is alot less than for those away from home for only 2 weeks.
 
This lead me to believe that as Granada is a huge tourist destination, the government are continually looking to make more of the city and with there talk of it being a World Heritage Site the infrastructure needs to change for them to qualify. As when they changed Calzalda St and the recent paving of the roads it all costs money and this is were IVA plays its part.
Granada is the jewel in the crown for government at this present moment in time and so when you do visit the city and find it is a little more expensive this could be the reason behind it.
As Nicaragua becomes more popular then the likes of Leon and San Juan Del Sur may also see a change in how businesses are affected by IVA and permits etc as government will start to put more money into these areas. Hopefully this will benefit both local people and the tourist who sees better infrastructure as the next few years roll on.
 
These are my views only and not from another source.
 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reservations !

Reservations, should we make them or not ?
Being an avid traveler myself and usually with a backpack,I was used to turning up at cities and towns around the world with a guide book in hand and no reservation. Less than 1% of the time have I struggled to find somewhere to sleep for the night and if I did it was because of a festival or holiday…. until I came to Granada !
The city does have plenty of accommodation but then it also receives more tourists than it can handle at times so the questions you will be asking…..what is your budget ? What type of accommodation are you looking for and How long will you be staying ? 
One thing I did notice was how may backpackers/travelers now have some type of device or laptop that can connect to the internet and how many are now using internet sites and reviews to make their choice of bed for the night. Lonely Planet for all its positives does have 1 big negative, their reviews are out of date no matter how new the guide book. Internet reviews with the likes of Hostel World and Trip Advisor are current and easly accessible, they give you more information and written by someone who actually stayed at the hotel/hostel unlike travel writers. I am not knocking travel writers its just that they cannot get around every bar,restaurant,art gallery,hotel and ice cream parlour and give an accurate assessment plus prices are usually incorrect by the time it goes to print.
What I have found is that most of the hostels in Granada do not take reservations,as can be the same in Ometepe, Leon etc which can be frustrating for the organised traveler. That has swung in our advantage and one of the reasons we are so full but of course we have to have some set of rules in place and also offer some advice and warnings for those that want to make a reservation with us and these you can read under our reservation section.
To clarify on this we do ask that you make your confirmation by email as its better for you the guest and for the hostel to have it writing, you can phone and make a reservation but we will ask you to confirm by email. The reason for this is we would like to know where you are coming from ? What time you think you will arrive ? How many in your party  and How many nights ? We will hold the bed for upto 3 hours after the time you think you will arrive and this is due to the possibility of you being late or delayed, after this time the beds could be sold due to us thinking that you are a no-show.
For any cancellations we will ask also that you make them 24 hours before your check-in date or there will be a 20% cancellation fee  if it is under that time, this gives us time to try and resell the beds or rooms again. If there are guests arriving without a reservation and we a turning them away but you do not turn up then its unfortunate for both that guest and the hostel.
For those that are already staying it creates another problem, they may have arrived on a reservation but there are many behind them who have done the same.  We have many many guests who want to stay extra nights and so we ask them to book extra nights as soon as they know or we could be full especially around fiestas or holidays.
We do take Visa and MasterCard for any reservations or deposits for longer stays or you can always come in whilst in Granada and make a reservation with cash.
Email with any questions hostalelmomento@yahoo.com
Thank You
Chris
 

A big thank you and our progression so far.

Its been a very successful two and quarter months since we opened on the 20th of December 2011 and we have to thank all those that have left comments on Trip Advisor and Hostel World plus those that have handed out our flyers in other countries like El Salvador,Honduras and Guatemala and throughout Nicaragua to places like Ometepe,Leon and San Juan Del Sur. A special thanks also to those that have been recommending us as they have traveled on their journeys,met friends along the way and passed on their experience at Hostal El Momento.
Some of the stats we have already are remarkable and we are overjoyed that so many have come here and so we wanted to share with you some of the information we have accumulated so far.
1145 guests from 32 countries.
Europe- Denmark,Belgium,Holland,England,Ireland,Spain,Portugal,Italy,Hungry,Norway,France,Germany,Switzerland.
Asia- Japan,Mongolia,Malaysia
Latin America- Nicaragua,Costa Rica,Colombia,Argentina,Guatamala,Mexico,Chile,San Salvador,Guyana
Americas- USA,Canada
Caribbean- Jamaica,
Pacific-Australia,New Zealand
Middle East- Israel
The first 2 full months we have been open for 2012 have brought us in 97.67% and 98.62% room occupancy respectively and guest occupancy at 65.11% and 85.45% respectively.
With this information above and as we try to inform future guests with our twitter feed, that it is so important to try and book ahead as we do fill up quickly. If you know your dates then let us know and if you change your mind for the dates or want extra days then let us know ahead of time as soon as possible.
Granada is somewhere people always spend more time than they expect and after some long or stressful journeys it is somewhere you can relax,take in the lakes nearby or just enjoy the bars and restaurants on Calzalda St.
So a BIG THANK YOU AGAIN and for those who have not visited yet contact us as soon as possible so that we can accommodate you.
Chris,Maria and the team.