Rumor has it, and rumor always has its place in Nicaraguan society, that my darling Danny Ortega loves the Hotel Seminole Plaza in Managua. Well, here I have to strongly disagree with his opinion. “Les goûts ne sont pas à discuter,” so they say, but I’m taking the liberty to discuss it here. Hotel Contempo in Managua is one of those gorgeous, stylish ultra-modern hotels that anyone happening to visit Managua with a need to be delighted, must go. Stay a day, stay for longer, the Hotel Contempo serves up style, sumptuous food, warm hospitality and utter elegance, enough to compete with any world class hotel anywhere else on the planet.
I’ve been lucky enough to stayed at Hotel Contempo numerous times when in Managua. If the truth be told however, I’ve stayed exactly four times. Each time I visit the Hotel Contempo, I choose a different hotel suite. There are 23 rooms in total. I’m slowly making my way through the remaining 19. Each hotel suite is individually designed, a blend of the Nicaraguan and the modern, each hotel room unique in its experience.
The first room I stayed was the “Colonial,” but only briefly when I had an early morning departure from the Augusto C. Sandino International airport (God only knows why international departures are scheduled so early). Even when I had to leave at such an ungodly hour, the staff at the Hotel kindly delivered a coffee and a delicious plate of fresh fruits to my room before I left to catch my flight.
When my stay in Managua has been longer and more leisurely, I have enjoyed other suites at the Hotel. My favorite is the Bilwi, a suite with two queen sized beds, a flat screen TV, a white leather couch in the sitting room area, plenty of closet space and a private, outdoor patio outfitted with a mosaic table and a large Jacuzzi tub. Should I say, I am spoiled?
Hotel Contempo is ultra modern with white, lean architectural lines, located in an upscale neighborhood of Managua. Some might complain that it’s out of the way. Yes, you must take a taxi everywhere, but for those that know Managua, you take a taxi everywhere, anyways. What’s extra nice is that Hotel Contempo offers free hotel shuttle for both your incoming and outgoing flights. If you need a taxi, Hotel Contempo will also provide you with private transportation anywhere you need to go during your stay.
The art of dining is, indeed, an art at the Hotel Contempo in the Azul Restaurant. One can expect to be delighted with a menu designed by French expat chef, David Dafonte who combines a Nicaraguan influence, organic produce with a French flair. There is a varied, scrumptious menu available should you choose the Azul Restaurant. Breakfasts, included with the cost of a hotel room, are some of the best breakfasts you’ll find anywhere in Nicaragua. An omelet, perhaps, with gallo pinto and a dash of crème, French toast, croissants or a traditional American breakfast is a lovely way to start a day in Managua. Lunches can consist of an exquisite salads. I recommend either the Ensalada de Mariscos (seafood salad of prawns and smoked salmon) or the Ensalada de Chef with proscuitto, a crumbled blue cheese and spears of asparagus. There’s a handsome Croque Monsieur, a seafood casserole and numerous other choices for lunch or a light meal. Dinner is a variety of meats, chicken, tender steaks and sea foods. For dessert, why not try the traditional French favorite, crème brulée? If you are lucky, your dinner will accompanied by a grand piano and pianist Alexxander Mauricio at the keys.
Hotel Contempo is architecturally modern, a white construct which allows of light and views to the tropical flowers and fauna of the surrounding hotel gardens. There’s a lobby bar, a swimming pool, a wine bar and quiet areas to sit and chat while sipping on a cool drink. Nicaraguan indigenous art blends subtly with the modern. What more can I say? It is modern and very refined, a quiet place in the midst of noisy, hectic Managua. The wonderful staff at the Hotel pay attention to detail, will learn your name if you stay long enough and do their utmost to make you content.
Apologies, Danny, let’s agree to disagree if the rumors are true. You’ll find me holding court in the gardens of the Hotel Contempo in Managua. I never want to leave. Check room availability now at the Hotel Contempo.