No trip to Granada, Nicaragua is complete without spending a few nights in a beautiful, colonial home.
Wake up to the sounds of parrots and church bells. Throw open the wooden doors on the second-floor bedroom balcony and take in the sweeping view of the morning sunrise over the red-tile rooftops, reflecting off the church steeples and greeting Mombacho Volcano, which slumbers with its head in the clouds and dominates the view from the bedroom windows.
Downstairs in the garden, drink a cup of Nicaraguan coffee and watch the hummingbirds dart among the palm trees and flowers. Buy some fresh fruit off the head of the young woman who passes by on the street shouting out her daily produce. In the afternoon, catch up on some reading in the garden hammock, as you listen to the clippety-clop of horse carts passing by on Calle Palenque.
In the evening, the rocking chairs are a great place to have a glass a wine as you watch the rain fall in the courtyard.
Experiencing Granada is about appreciating the details of a slower-paced colonial life that is still very much intact here. It’s also about getting closer to nature than you ever expected to be in a city setting.
Casa Palenque, a breezy two-bedroom remodeled colonial home in the heart of the city, is the place to experience Granada fully. Located on one of Granada’s oldest streets, just 4 blocks in the quiet direction from the Central Park, Casa Palenque is an elegant and fully furnished (complete with wireless Internet and cable TV) 2.5-bathroom colonial home available for short-term or long-term rentals.
The house features high, colonial ceilings—each room with one or more ceiling fan. A giant living room sala with cathedral ceilings and a large screen TV is a cool place to beat the heat of the day. The next room is a corridor that features an open-air courtyard and garden fountain that is large enough to climb into on really hot days. A smaller dining room leads out to the open-air kitchen and the jungle patio in the back, which is a perfect place for cocktails under the rustling palms and the warm night sky.
The master bedroom is a unique and airy second-floor room at the top of a spiral staircase off the kitchen. The large bedroom has large windows that open to fetching views of Mombacho Volcano, the surrounding rooftops of Granada and the Merced and Xalteva Churches. The double-doors that open to the balcony provide a cross ventilation through the bedroom. The Master has a full bath, with a large shower.
The second bedroom is small but stately sleeping quarters tucked into the back garden. A large bay window opens into the flowers of the garden and a brick-and-stone accent wall ends with an 18-foot cathedral ceiling, giving the room a much larger feel. This cozy and quiet bedroom has a half bath and sink.
Casa Palenque is perfect vacation escape for 2 couples or a small family that wants to spend a week of colonial living in Granada. It’s also available for longer-term rentals and is perfect for couples on sabbatical for a year, or folks who want to test the waters of being an expat before taking the plunge full time.
Casa Palenque is not a party house. It is in a friendly residential neighborhood, where we have spent years developing good relations with our neighbors. But if you are a respectful, friendly and law-abiding person, this is a great house in a wonderful part of town—less than a 5 min walk from all the downtown restaurants and shops.
For more information, write: [email protected] (casa el palenque . granada [at] gmail.com). Pedophiles, drug addicts, deadbeats and lowlifes need not inquire.