frequently asked questions


valuables  
Villa Palermo has a locking cabinet in the kitchen for laptops, cameras, iPods and cash.  Please be discreet with your valuables and do not leave cash in plain sight.  Please don’t tempt your neighbors or our staff.  Your spare change is often more than a month’s salary in Nicaragua.

internet access   
Villa Palermo and the Palermo Hotel and Resort have a free, private WIFI network with a separate WIFI network in each villa and the pool patio. Depending upon where you try to connect, you will see different network names.  Please select the network with the strongest signal in your location.  Please ask the front desk for the password to connect. 

electrical power 
Palermo Hotel and Resort has several generators that provide backup when electrical power delivered by Nicaraguan power grid fails.  The generators power the clubhouse, the front office, the security office at the front gate and some outdoor lighting. Your villa also has a battery backup system to run the refrigerator, lights and fans.  The stove and air-conditioning will not operate without power from the Nicaraguan power grid.   If you have questions or suspect any problems with the power systems, please report the issue to the front office or security office and do not try to investigate a solution on your own.  Any security guard can radio your question to the resident manager if you don’t have access to make a phone call.  When the Nicaraguan power grid fails, the security guards continue to patrol and the front office may be able to let you know what time the power is expected to return.  Often Nicaraguan power outages are scheduled and advertised in the local newspaper.

You are paying for the power your use during your stay. There is an electric meter next to the front door of your villa. Please remember to turn off air conditioning, lights and fans when you are not using them, as electrical power is very expensive in Nicaragua and the rates increase dramatically with higher usage.  One third of our cost of operation is electrical power.  

water 
We invite you to conserve water and energy during your stay.  Although water in Nicaragua is plentiful, the delivery of water to the places where people need to use it is very expensive.  Water at Palermo is pumped from a well in the fields below our community and is stored in a series of large tanks on the hill high above the homes.  This water is filtered, but not treated with any chemicals, and you may prefer to drink and cook with bottled water.  Purified bottled water and bags of purified ice are available by calling the front desk and will be charged to your restaurant bill upon check-out.

Hot water is available at all taps and showers in your villa.  It is heated on-demand in a unit under the sink in the upstairs bathroom.  Water in our area of Nicaragua contains heavy deposits of minerals which may cause valves to leak, toilets to run and showers to spray everywhere or to leap from hot to cold – skipping warm.  Please report any problems to the front desk and our maintenance staff will come to your villa to repair them. 

laundry 
Overnight laundry service is available to guests.  Please contact the hotel front desk for hours and prices.  Please be aware that the hotel will not be able to wash or dry your clothes when the Nicaraguan power grid is off, so please allow an extra day for your laundry to be returned before you check-out.

housekeeping  
Trash is removed daily from each villa. Cleaning is performed twice weekly. Discounted monthly rates are sometimes negotiated to include less frequent housekeeping service.  

maintenance and gardening  
Scheduled maintenance and pruning is performed on an annual calendar and ad-hoc maintenance is performed as needed.   Guests are requested to leave a list of issues with the front desk.

security 
24-hour security is maintained within the grounds of Villas de Palermo.  Each vehicle is stopped and identified before being allowed entrance to Villas de Palermo. The security team patrols the grounds and the roads.  Each guard has a radio to report any incidents to the security chief in the guard house at the front gate.  Guests visiting the restaurant or a resident of a villa will be allowed entrance after a brief conversation with the guard on duty.  Villas de Palermo reserves the right to deny access to anyone at any time.

shuttle service between hotel and San Juan del Sur 
The hotel shuttle service will take you back and forth to San Juan del Sur during daylight hours on the hour at no cost.  If you are using the hotel shuttle service to go to San Juan del Sur, please tell the drive when and where you would like to be picked up.  If you have an uncertain return time, please ask the front desk for a business card with the Nicaraguan phone number for the hotel.  You can show this card at most any business in San Juan del Sur, and they will phone the hotel front desk to explain where you are and ask for you to be picked up.
lights
Please feel free to leave your front porch and back porch lights on all night.  Your villa has all LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, with the goal of reducing our power consumption and allowing more lights to be left on at night.

fruit trees  
Please feel free to pick a mango or squeeze a lime for your cocktail from one of the many fruit trees growing near the restaurant!

insects 
There are many insects that live in the jungle.  Some of them have been displaced by construction and like to return to visit the areas of their old homes.  In some seasons, ants will enjoy crumbs left on the kitchen counters and table.  It is amazing how fast they find your leftovers.  Please place all unsealed food in the refrigerator or in plastic jars.  Please do not leave fresh fruit on the counters overnight.  Please check your sheets and shoes for ants and scorpions.  Insecticide will be applied in your villa upon request.  

telephone service
We do not have landline telephone service anywhere within Villas de Palermo.  If you have a Nicaraguan or international cell phone to use during your stay there is good reception from all points on the Palermo Hotel and Resort property and in San Juan del Sur.  All hotel staff carry radios and are happy to contact the front desk on your behalf.  Ask them to call for a ride to the pool, restaurant, into the town of San Juan del Sur or to deliver a message to another guest.  3G and WIFI offer more connection options for iPhone and Blackberry users.

There is limited cell phone coverage at the beaches north and south of San Juan del Sur and outside the most populated areas.

Nicaraguan cell phones may be purchased in San Juan del Sur for about US $25.  You also need to buy a chip for about $5 and some minutes to use in your phone.  Most days there are special offers and you receive 2 or 3 times the number of minutes that you purchase.  Calls from Nicaragua to the US are about the same cost as local calls on a Nicaraguan cell phone, much cheaper than using your US cell phone in this country.  Many US phones may also be outfitted with a Nicaraguan chip.  Movistar uses GSM 850 MHz and Enitel/Claro uses GSM 1900 MHz frequencies.  The country code for Nicaragua is 505.

restaurant
Terraza de Palermo is located in the clubhouse near the pool at Villas de Palermo.  The restaurant and bar serve room service and are open continuously from 8AM to 10PM.  You may place a room service order by phone, email or our iPhone ap.  Check out a sample menu at  Sample Menu   All food is prepared from local ingredients and is made fresh daily.  

activities and tours 
Please contact the front desk for reservations for the variety of activities available in our community.  A flyer with current pricing is attached to the end of this booklet.  Some of our favorites include:
  • Sailboat or powerboat tours, especially sunset cruises
  • Snorkeling, kayaking or scuba diving
  • Zip line canopy tours
  • Excursions to historical Granada, plant nurseries in Catarina, pottery makers in San Juan del Oriente and artisanal markets in Masaya
  • Nicaraguan language or cooking classes
  • Fishing trips, especially night fishing trips
  • Horseback riding on the beach or through the jungle
  • Half-day horseback riding and swimming at Rancho Volcan near Laguna de Apoyo
  • Mombacho volcano and cloud forest tour
  • Ometepe Island tour and hiking up volcano (overnight trip)
  • Volcano skiing at Cerro Negro (overnight trip)
  • Turtle hatching and egg-laying discovery tour – in the evenings
  • ATV rental and tour
  • Car, bus or pickup rental
  • Nicaraguan breakfast at a local farm
  • Surf lessons and/or surf board rentals
  • Driver with car or to drive your car, English or Spanish-speaker
  • Airport transportation or transportation to border with Costa Rica