|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
What do you imagine when you think of a trip to the tropics? Beaches, palm trees, brightly painted towns, a child's big smile, monkeys, margaritas and more.... That's what brought me here 9 years ago. But, strange things happen south of the border. On an emotional impulse, I bought this piece of land, cleared away some trees and brush and created my own "slice of heaven", as I call it now.
I remember the land the night I made the commitment. It was a drizzly evening. There were a zillion fireflies. I could still see the lights of Costa Rica in the distance. Wondering and wondering if I should take the Big Step. It was so peaceful and quiet. I knew the beach was nearby, I visited it earlier that afternoon. Playa Hermosa. I had just finished a great meal, had a few Nica Libres or rum and cokes, and was mesmerized by the ocean below and the star strewn sky above. Sometimes life can change dramatically at moments like this..... and with the quiet sounds of rain on leaves and monkeys howling, yes, almost in slow slow motion, I made the decision to take a chance - to take the Step I had always thought of....... and, yes, what a life altering step it was. I recalled the poem by Robert Frost "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference". And it has made all the difference in my life and more......But, that's another story, some other day, over a few Nica Libres I'll tell you how it all turned out.
Weeks after you leave this oasis, indelible memories of my "Garden of Eden" will remain. You will remember the silence; only interrupted by the wind, the jungle sounds, splashes from the pool - or the monkeys howling in the distance. Like I heard and sensed on that memorable night. Now, surrounded by blossoming Balinese plants, you are literally in a jungle. Casa Roja is not a vacation rental, its a journey to a special place of rest, comfort, quiet for the soul, yet fun for a couple, a family or some surfer buddies in search of The Endless Summer.
The house was designed in an innovative style. The bedrooms are 100% separated from the main house, enabling you to sleep in peace and quiet while others can talk about the big wave, the monkeys, or, play cards all night long. This ''pod'' system lets everyone ''do their own thing'' without bothering anyone. While you and friends can enjoy parties or conversation on the patio, anyone in the other bedrooms can have their own privacy.
( Hold it - A National Geographic Alert: a flock of toucans has just touched down on my papaya trees. Black and red and green.....very exciting, ok, now back to where I left off, that was fun!)
Hot days, jump in the teardrop shaped pool, big enough for 30, but at 4' average depth, safe for the kiddies as well. Early riser? Fix some Nicaraguan coffee, read on the patio and take a walk or jog in complete silence up the dirt road. Go 1 mile or10; bring water and sunblock so we don't have to send out my caretaker to find you!
Before I give you a more detailed description of the bedrooms and bathrooms I wanted to explain a few things about myself and the house. I love antiques. I love to travel. I love old Persian and Turkish carpets. OLD, 100 years plus. I love collecting ''artifacts'', as my friends call them, of my travels and I collect old maps, again 100-300 years old. So, you will pick up on this part of me throughout the house and rooms and even outdoors. You'll be in a home that is not sterile or ''made to rent''. It's ME and it always will be. And, part of your adventure down here is to experience a beautiful country, wonderful people, great climate, wildlife, enchanting fun city - in a rich environment that I call home. That is what you will find here. I live here because of the magic of this home and location. You will understand that after only a few days. If you are seeking peace and serenity, you have found it.
And, if you need an affordable 4 wheel drive car that seats 7, just ask. Need a cook for authentic Nicaraguan meals; all easily arranged so you can just relax. Need a gourmet cook who will whip up any sort of meal you want (owner and chef at three well known restaurants) - no problem!!
Since this is Nicaragua, where sleeping arrangements differ widely let me give you a breakdown of the sleeping situation. When I read that you have 4 adults and 6 children, I try to figure out the best configuration. Then I find out that 3 of the children are tots and do not need - nor do parents want them, to have their own separate bedroom - so here are the multiple options to suit any gathering of friends (with a maximum of 10, please!) By the way, all bedrooms are fully screened with curtains.
The master suite - apart from all other buildings - has a queen bed with night tables, chest of drawers and small desk for writing. The room can easily take another double bed or queen. So, toddlers, welcome. Large bathroom has huge quarried tile tub, shower - hot water even! - 2 granite sinks and full width mirror. Overhead fans and lights as well as bedside lamp provide a comfortable ambience.
The two bedroom suite is a detached casita with bedrooms on each side of a centrally accessed bathroom. One queen bed in one room, with room for another bed and then two doubles in the other room. Both rooms have drawers for clothes and either a desk or table. Again overhead lights and fans make life comfortable. Outside one bedroom french doors open to a private patio with a hammock for sleeping or reading or both. The bathroom has a three sided glass shower with textured tile walls. A marble sink, toilet and tiled surfaces throughout complete the room.
In addition, many people enjoy sleeping in the house in a secluded office - study. With Japanese "wall" panels you have complete privacy. We add some beds and you can wake up and be the first to the coffee! Others sleep in the two story rancho in beds or matrimonial traditional luxury hammocks. There, you experience the sounds of the jungle and the fresh air breezes as you drift to sleep.....So at Casa Roja, you have a wide variety of sleeping accommodations for the numbers and mixes of guests who stay here.
I recently up graded the decor with a few more pictures, old maps and antique Persian and Turkish tribal rugs. You will be surrounded by the history of the Ottoman Empire and Frederick the Great! There are pre-Columbian pieces, Indonesian statues, head-hunting warrior boats from Papua new Guinea and local Nica art throughout. My museum.
The main house has a full kitchen with granite and marble countertops throughout. Wooden cabinets with glass windows reveal all the dishes and rum and wine glasses you'll need. Fridge is normal size and can fit all you can eat and drink! It's modern and energy efficient, just remember to open and close quickly to preserve the electricity. If that's not enough, I'll rent an ice chest. Modern gas stove and broiler. Plates, silverware and some old Bali and Solomon Island carvings to keep you company.
The den/office is large, People use it for email (yes, wifi) or writing and the living room is open with sofa and 2 comfy chairs, large hand carved floor tiles with wood accent and majestic 25 foot ceiling. The living room table is a 100 year old colonial door turned sideways and legs attached. Me and my antiques. If you are a Beatles fan, there is the large Anthology Book about my favorite group, but the house is littered with all sorts of reading material, from cops and robbers to history to non fiction to you name it. Zen to People Magazine and whatever else guests have left behind. Every group leaves more and I never know what I'll find each visit.
The ceiling in the main house is all palm fronds, 26 feet high, (other casitas are brick tiles) beautiful, airy, gorgeous wooden beams and yes, 100% waterproof, with a large sliding glass door to the patio, say no more. The patio is where 75% of your waking life will be!! Views, sunsets, drinks, monkey howls, drinks, music, dancing, drinks, BBQ's on gas or charcoal grill and then, yes, relax and have a drink. Got the picture?
And now, with my many fruit trees blooming, if you need some fresh oranges, mandarins, lemons and soon, mangos - just talk to Luis, my caretaker, with the biggest smile and warmest heart - and he'll be glad to get you whatever fruit you need. Lately, he's been the local juice man.
A recent guest said It best "It was hard to leave this beautiful home. The location of the house was perfect; close to town for groceries or activities, but just far enough so that every time we came home we felt as if we were very far away “from it all”. . Afternoons we enjoyed reading, relaxing, swimming and partaking in the local Nicaraguan Rum. After dinner, a glass of wine or a Nica Libre, music and lightening shows over Costa Rica were a spectacular end to the day. We have rented houses through VRBO from South Africa to several countries in Central America and would highly recommend Casa Roja and hope to someday return"
Last thing. One night around 10 PM, after a warm day, turn out all the lights in the house. Go out to the brick patio and lie down, feel the warmth from the sun on the bricks, and then gaze at the star strewn sky above. There, you will see the Milky Way Galaxy the way you have never seen it before. After being mesmerized by the silent beauty, you wake up with a start - and suddenly realize it is 4 AM and you are still outside with only the croaking frogs as your company...
See you soon!
Everyone tells me I have re-invented myself and it's just not fair. Well, they could do the same, I say. After 50 years, half in CT and half in San Francisco, I followed a life long dream and moved to this charming third world country to begin life again.
I have spent most of my life in sales and entrepreneurial oriented work. Worked with small businesses as a consultant to help them grow with control and profitably. Worked with hundreds of companies and help them with their HR issues so they could focus on their core work.
After years of satisfying work I came down here for a holiday and, well, look what happened. Bought this land on an impulse built a house and then, 6 months later, on a wild impulse a friend convinces me to buy another huge parcel and become a 'green sustainable' developer. Huh? Yes, this is the third half (figure that one out?) of my life as owner of El Encanto del Sur (see website), and I love it here. I am in Nicaragua 3-6 months a year with Luis and family - my gardener who has been here for more than three years and who can fix anything! He and his family live away from the house so you have 100% privacy. His wife, Evelyn is there to clean daily and change linen, etc. She is a sweetheart.
That's the short story - I travelled all over the world, You'll find me on Tuesday nights at Open Mike at Pau Hana, singing some oldies (Runaway, Secret Agent man) with my neighbor up the road, Brian and if I'm in town, you can always bribe me with a beer and I'll show you the real secret spots up here.
But, if you an adventurous bone in your body, and I assume so, otherwise you wouldn't be headed this way, you will not regret it - if you want to have the most relaxing and unforgettable experience, with just you and nature as company, you will have it here.
Fred Goldfarb purchased this house in 2008
I didn't really choose to buy a vacation rental here. I chose to build my house here, and live out the dream of a lifetime. I have and still do. This was not meant to be a rental concept and the house was never 'set up' that way. Rental houses are often nice but without some of the character that sets a 'home' apart from a 'rental'. This home reflects who I am and what I like - rather than being an investment. For example, it is 100% solar. Some people steer clear from solar because they are worried it won't work or they will be inconvenienced. Well, you won't be inconvenienced at all. I believe in sustainability, saving energy, giving back, and so live the values I believe in. This house and area resonate of living within these values. And, when you are here, amidst the peace and tranquillity - yet so close to the fun and entertainment of San Juan - you feel like you too will share these values.
Nicaragua is a beautiful yet poor country. It needs help, employment, clean water, schools and I live here to help the local people as much as i can while enjoying my occupation and lifestyle. I have a non profit, fundaciontierra, (EARTH Fund - look up under fundaciontierra) that helps and works with the communities in many ways.
Nicaragua is now becoming quietly discovered and now this area as well. More people have seen the benefit of traveling to unique and adventurous areas, modern, but in a different world completely. Cows can be your neighbors. An oxen cart may walk by. Here you may dream of setting up an organic garden......sometimes in certain areas, but this neighborhood especially, you will feel that you have been transported to a different time and place....that's what I love.
A good friend and plant lover lives down the road. You might find him buried in 1000 tropical plants - stop on over, he's always glad to share some tall stories with you. And, he is a realtor, if you want a tour...you too, may be captivated by the charm.....
The gate swings open. You drive down a 400 ft. driveway lined by palm trees. A resort?When you arrive at the house, after a long flight, the first thing you'll do is walk out to the patio - directly in front of you - and say "wow". Yes, "wow". When you look around and then fully comprehend the detached layout of the house, you will then fully understand and smile; " Ah, this is what he meant by privacy". Sit down in one of the rocking chairs and feel the stress melt away, and, you realize you want a drink. (doesn't matter what time it is, it is always afternoon somewhere in the world) Later, hop down to Playa Hermosa just a few minutes away.. Jump in the pool. The location, the tranquility.....
Many other homes have great views, pools, close to town and more. But my concept has struck a chord. Casa Roja as it all and then some: the views, being closer to the best beaches and its in a stunning locale - and has peace and quiet. I loved it 9 years ago and love it now.
I find that many of my guests are the ones to discover unique characteristics. it seems that once every few months, I'll get an email from some guests who saw something completely different. Sometimes its a Blue Morphus butterfly, other times its the return of the sloth, the peaceful stroll down the path, more toucans, Godzilla (well, monkeys anyway) and it goes on and on.
Come on down and discover some benefits of your own. We're all different so I'll let you discover some of your own. Will it be the grinding stone from 1200?? It doesn't really matter. It's your vacation. You can't go wrong
(Fred here - a short guest comment upon arrival, many long hours and airports later. Put a smile on my face this morning.....)
Oh my gosh Fred! This place is incredible. We are blown away. 36 hours later we made it to paradise. You are amazing this home is just so beautiful. Just had a dip in the pool and now putting our very weary heads to bed. Luis is so nice. We feel welcome here and again its just so special here. You have done wonderful work. Thank you for this wonderful paradise! We are feeling very blessed. We almost didn't survive the airlines fiasco but now it is well worth it!!
P.S. Pasco, Yeddi (sp?) and Indy are hanging with us. We already love them
Todo salio muy bien la casa tiene todas las comodidades y Luis el cuidador Excelente atención las playas están cerca y son muy bonitas en general todo nos gusto. Gracias!!
Hi Fred! It’s been three years since we wrote our first review of your home and thought it might be good to give our review an update. And having just arrived home from our sixth stay at Casa Roja, I wonder if we have earned some sort of honorary status, no? You already know what a treasure you have with Casa Roja and we feel so fortunate to be able to frequently borrow your piece of tropical paradise. When considering whether to stay in town or at Casa Roja, trial and error taught us that your place wins hands down. Don’t get me wrong, San Juan is great – we enjoy the quick drive into town to shop, visit the Farmers Market or grab a bite to eat but that we can quickly escape the heat and hustle bustle of town is what we treasure on vacation here. And with Playa Hermosa virtually down the road from Casa Roja, we just zip down there to swim, surf and search for shells on the beach. By comparison the beach in town isn't as swimmable, surf-able or quite as beautiful. Whether we’re returning from town or the beach, we appreciate being able to get back home quickly to unwind nestled in tranquil privacy. On our first visit, we had wondered about security but it has never been a concern. Whether it’s during our morning walks or peaceful evenings spent stargazing comfortably tucked away in what has truly become a home away from home, we never worry about or want for much. Your caretaker, Luis, is like family and it goes without saying that we love your adorable dogs so much that we are taking Luca back with us later this year. We are confident Casa Roja’s two remaining pups, Indie and Toby, will continue to keep people smiling with their loving laid back demeanors. (Do you put it in other guest's contracts to bring them treats or is it just us?!) Reflecting on all our time and experiences there, it’s almost like your place mellows and ages well with time. You’ve kept it in excellent condition. We noticed the new paint along with new outdoor furniture, gas grill and more. The plants have tripled in size and fruits are everywhere! Luis’s handiwork, no doubt. But why is it we can never find the free bottle of Flora de Cana Rum you always promise us!!! Keep up the good work and we will be back very soon!
First of all, if you are timid about travelling in Nicaragua - forget about it. This country is amazing.
My boyfriend and I arrived in San Juan del Sur for a week-long stay at the beginning of our trip around Nicaragua. The town is great...but having a private hideaway at Casa Roja 15 minutes away from it all is even better. This property is very quiet with a great view, is quite large (lots of opportunity for privacy away from the main house), and comes with.. Luis, the caretaker who will help you with anything (we asked him to phone Leon to arrange our next hotel AND he brought us fresh limes from the trees on the property).
The houses (yes, there are three) are cleaned by two ladies come clean every day or so. Main house is well equipped with most things you'd expect to need. We BBQed and cooked on the gas stove many of our meals, getting groceries from the Pali down the street and fish market near the pier.
A couple of helpful hints:
- 4WD vehicle is definitely necessary for getting around SJDS (and probably up the path to Casa Roja). We rented a truck from Fred's friend Maria, which also comes with our 5* recommendation.
- There are 4 (soon to be 3) house dogs here. They don't cause any trouble (except the little one ate my flip flop ha!), but just know that they're there.
- it was VERY windy for the first few days of our stay. Apparently February is Nicaragua's windy month.
- unrelated to Casa Roja it is hard to get cash from the ATM (often they don't have money in them) so plan ahead.
Casa Roja was our favorite spot during a three week vacation in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I'm trying to figure out how soon I can get back to this place - it was absolutely delightful. Thank you Fred!!
Just spent 7 days in Paradise. everything about Casa Roja was 10 star. close enough to the beaches and town, yet far enough away to make it very peaceful. The entire area is spectacular and the people are very helpful. The food was the best I've ever had and enough going on to keep the adventure seekers busy. All around great place. Thank You Senor Fred for sharing your home with us.
My family and I just returned from our stay at Casa Roja, and loved the time we spent in this beautiful home. It's peaceful, tranquil, well-designed, and the views are stellar! We spent so much of our time on the outdoor deck by the pool and on the hammocks in the rancho, and couldn't have asked for a better experience. Fred, the owner, was great to work with -- he was responsive, informative and helpful. I highly recommend this home to travelers to Nicaragua!
We stayed at this house over Thanksgiving and it was perfect! Not too far from town (about 20 minutes) and a great view of the ocean. The closest beach is not far away, either, so if you don't feel like lounging poolside, you can head to the sand. We stayed with our 18-month-old son and he absolutely loved seeing monkeys in the trees right outside the house! Fred, the owner, is great and he was so helpful leading up to our stay, always answering our messages and questions quickly and thoroughly.
The shower in the master bathroom is AMAZING, one of the best showers I've ever had, and it just made it better that there was a tropical rainstorm and I could watch the rain out of the huge window in the bathroom as I showered with hot water (a luxury in Nicaragua).
There was no need for air conditioning, as the house's location on the hillside allows for plenty of cool breezes. The kitchen is well-equipped and the staff were friendly and helpful. Definitely a recommended place to stay near San Juan del Sur!
You are only about 10 minutes to San Juan. You drive on the new paved road (only took 20 years to get it done) which goes directly to my turnoff. Beautiful drive to house and if you venture south you can see the turtles laying eggs, Coco beach with its long white sandy beach, go horseback riding at my good friend Blue at Rancho Chilamate. Perfect location, close but so far away. Day trips to Granada or Masaya market are recommended.
Let me give you more information about the beaches and the surfing in general.
Playa Hermosa, A mile long sandy bottom beach. Multiple peaks with left and right breaks. Works best on a mid to high incoming tide. $3 per person entrance fee.
Playa San Juan del Sur: Despite its usual calmness, the bay does get a beach break near the river mouth during big storms (usually October).
Playa Remanso Considered by many to be a good “beginners wave” but it can hold a large swell depending on swell size and direction. Best known for its left point break but there are rights to be had on the north end if you’re patient – including some long rides when conditions are right.
Playa Yankee Recommended for technically advanced surfers only. A hard fast wedge that you’ll either love or fear. Much less frequented. Best at medium to high tide. Will hold up to overhead waves. $4 entrance fee.
Playa Coco Only breaks on a big south swell. Sandy bottom beach with strong rip current at times. Exercise caution.
Playa Maderas The most consistently clean break in the region but also the most crowded beach. Suitable for all levels of surfing on most days. Approximately 15 minutes from town.
Again, the book, Insiders Guide to SJDS, is invaluable and I'm happy to provide you the link to buy it. The rental websites prefer not to have competing information so I can't provide it here. Just ask!
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Xmas or Easter
Dec 16 2015 - Jan 4 2016
7 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||$300.00|
|Notes||No charge for monkeys - either if you bring your own or adopt one at the house.|
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.
Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website: