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Hotel Intercontinental Real Metrocentro — Managua

Costado sur Central Comercial Metrocentro, Carretera Masaya

Rising from Managua to magnificent views, the Hotel Intercontinental Real Metrocentro is Nicaragua's best business–class hotel, offering all the professional services and amenities seasoned international travelers expect, with a touch of real Nicaraguan style.

Located in the bustling center of Managua (famously the "city without a center," this is as central as Managua gets), and convenient to the capital's best dining, shopping, and nightlife, this is a great base from which to enjoy the city, whether you're here for business or pleasure. Enter the eight–story hotel, a skyscraper by Nicaraguan standards, through the flawless lobby, its ceiling a swirling Spanish colonial–style dome constructed of handmade bricks and hung with elaborate chandeliers. Gaze past the lobby, decorated with archeological treasures left behind by the city's original inhabitants, to an outdoor pool that is certainly among the country's best.

You'll be greeted by the polished and professional staff, which can direct you (in English and several other languages) to the hotel's modern and complete business center, full gym, and concierge desk, where they will arrange top–notch tours and activities with Nicaragua's best operators. To your left is the rather opulent Voltes Restaurant, with a popular buffet and respectable French cuisine a la carte; to your right, the cozy Scenario Bar, with a good wine list and occasional live music. Both bring in power brokers from all over the country and world, who come to wheel and deal on this rapidly developing nation's future.

The hotel offers several choices of rooms and packages, with simpler rooms meeting international standards with flawless, modern décor accented in burnt oranges and soothing greens, including comfortable work stations (WiFi and laptops available for a fee), flat–screen televisions, phones with multiple lines, and large bathrooms with rain shower heads. Comfortable bedding with 300–count Egyptian cotton sheets comes standard, as do iPod–ready CD players and many other amenities.

Enjoy even more luxury on the Ambassador Floors, with spacious suites featuring full living areas that come complete with their own entertainment system, half bathroom, and sofa bed. Families can enjoy an attached basic room, with perfect privacy for both adults and children. In keeping with Intercontinental's excellent tradition of service, Ambassador Floor guests enjoy a VIP lounge serving Nicaraguan coffee and snacks throughout the day, with a large–screen TV and international newspapers in the comfortable sitting area.

Perhaps the best amenity on these upper floors, however, is the view. Be sure to reserve an even–numbered room, as the huge glass windows offer outstanding views over the city, including the city's quite unusual and modern cathedral, and across Lake Managua to fearsomely beautiful Momotombo Volcano, the striking subject of one this country's best–loved poems. Odd–numbered rooms offer regular city views, which are nice but not quite as inspiring.

With eight years of excellent service to its credit, the Intercontinental is a smooth–running hotel that is, in places, showing its age; for instance, there were permanent coffee–cup rings on one hand–carved table, and a smudge or two between the soundproofed panes of glass. Regardless, you won't find a more comfortable spot in the capital, or better service anywhere in the country, than at this flawlessly executed executive hotel.

Web Address: Intercontinental Managua
Total Number of Rooms: 157
Published rates: $125 to $386 including tax and buffet breakfast

Review and photos by Paige R. Penland.

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