Back in 2003, friends and family thought we were reckless by planning to take our 2 year old baby girl with us on an unfamiliar adventure to Nicaragua. Our best friend Alicia from Managua convinced us to come and visit, insisting we should give her home country a chance. We did and we soon fell in love with the gentle climate, breathtaking landscapes, kind people and rich culture and have called it our second home ever since.
We are both passionate architects who love to travel and discover new cultures and different attitudes towards life and architecture. We are eager to uncover local secrets on living fully, in the moment and in harmony with nature and how this attitude impacts home design. For us, Nicaragua is about warmth and being one with nature. It's about taking the time to smell a flower. It's also about being grateful for what we take for granted in life and about sharing.
Playa Remanso is nestled in one of the most beautiful bays along the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, just north of Costa Rica. It sits in the breathtaking Bay of Remanso, flanked by dramatic cliffs dotted with cacti and rock outcrops shaped to the whim of the waves. At low tide the fine beach sand extends generously before reaching the bubbling waters edge. At high tide the beach may be reduced to just a narrow strip of sand and pebbles.
We chose this location for our future home for its scenic beauty and tranquility. Our property, perched on a ridge, offers 270 degree vistas towards the Pacific, the valley and the surrounding jungle covered hills. From the moment we set foot on the lot, we were sold on its' breathtaking panoramic quality. The sweet smelling, warm breeze in our faces and prospect of designing and building our own tropical getaway, sealed the deal.
Villa Pavela, a play on our names Pavel and Ela, is an environmentally conscious, open-air concept family vacation beach home that we enjoy renting out to guests throughout the year. We visit at least twice a year to unwind and to catch up on some quality time. It is a 4 minute easy walk to Playa Remanso and a 10 minute drive (6 km, 4 miles) to San Juan del Sur, a popular resort and fishing town. The town is conveniently close by for picking up groceries yet comfortably far away enough to let you abandon yourself to the peace and tranquility you will find at Villa Pavela.
Surrounded by tropical gardens, with ocean view over tropical landscape and sweeping mountain views, staffed, secure, self-catering with full cooking service option.
While traveling in Nicaragua, we thoroughly enjoyed the traditional open air living concept of the local hotels and casitas we stayed at. We became inspired by the Nicaraguan simple way of life and by the gentle climate, and how these stroke the perfect balance between being one with the environment and being sheltered from the elements at the same time.
The design of Villa Pavela incorporates the low-impact traditional open air living concept with all the comforts and necessities of home. The layout takes advantage of natural ventilation for cooling purposes. In addition to this, ceiling fans are provided throughout the house and both bedrooms are equipped with optional, paid air conditioning, just in case. Traditional heavy white masonry walls, ceramic roof tiles, exposed cedar roof beams, caña ceilings and red terra cotta floors, including local artwork, all draw on the traditional Spanish colonial style and available local building materials. We used a more contemporary architectural vocabulary to express the natural beauty of fine cedar screens and polished concrete counters studded with hand picked beach pebbles. Yes, my kids and I picked each and every one…
The house structural design incorporates North American seismic and high wind design principles, ensuring structural integrity and our guests safety.
The outdoor living spaces of the house fully engage our guests with the surrounding tropical environment. The front covered terrace is a cool, shaded oasis where you can relax in a traditional Nicaraguan rocking chair or hammock and enjoy the sweeping views of the tropical landscape and the Pacific ocean. A private patio overlooking the cordilleras and the valley is accessible from the master bedroom. The screened windows of the hallway catch the rays of the afternoon sun painting the interior with a pattern of light and shadow. The master bedroom is equipped with a king size bed and includes a cozy, 3 piece en-suite bathroom. The guest bedroom has a shower/sink/change room, a double-size bed and a 3-person bunk bed, single bed on the top, double size bed on the bottom. All beds are equipped with insect nets. A separate powder room is accessible from the hallway. The modern, fully-equipped kitchen may be opened to overlook the outdoor covered living space, which will most likely become your holiday headquarters during your stay at Villa Pavela.
One of our favourite things to do at Villa Pavela, is to wake up before the kids and run off to the beach for an early morning swim. Returning to the fresh smell of coffee and breakfast, prepared by our housekeeper Eliza, is simply heaven. It would be our pleasure to share this magical experience with you.
House staff: The house and the property are maintained for your safety and comfort by a full-time guard and maid. Eliza and Levys, our cuidadores live in separate quarters on the property. They are our "gate keepers". Daily house cleaning, except on weekends and holidays, is included in the rental. Elisa is a fine cook and for an additional fee of US$15.00 a day could prepare all of your meals. The purchase of groceries is our guests responsibility.
Water: the house has a private well and the domestic water supply is managed through a 2-stage water purification system with both sedimentary and ultraviolet light (UV) filters. However, as in any tropical setting purified bottled water should be used for drinking purposes. Rainwater, used for watering the garden, is harvested and stored in a 28,000 litre (7,400 US gallon) cistern. All bathrooms and the kitchen are serviced by on-demand water heaters. The house is on a 3-chamber septic system.
Kitchen: The fully-equipped kitchen features a large eating/working counter with 6 seating stools, 4-burner counter-mounted gas cooktop, toaster oven, toaster, refrigerator with freezer, coffee machine, coffee mill, electric tea kettle, blender, stick blender, rice cooker, food processor, and most importantly the manual juice squeezer and juicer. All types of dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and a basic selection of spices are provided for your cooking enjoyment.
Bedrooms: the house sleeps a maximum of 7 guests. The master bedroom is equipped with a king size bed, night tables and lamps, a bureau and a 3 piece en-suite bathroom. The second bedroom has a flat screen TV, double-size bed and a 3-person bunk bed (bottom-double, top-single). Both bedrooms are equipped with AC ($5/bedroom/night). Towels and bed linens are provided and changed once a week. More frequent linen and towel changes subject to additional fees. All windows are fitted with bug screens.
Entertainment: Flat screen satellite TV’s are located at the open air terrace and in the second bedroom. A large selection of movies are available on our home media server. A DVD and CD player are also provided. We also have a small library, board games and puzzles.
Outdoor features: The covered front terrace with ocean/mountain view is furnished with with two hammocks, coffee table, 4 rocking chairs, dining table with 4 chairs and additional foldable stools, six bar stools at kitchen island. The master bedroom patio has two hammocks and a coffee table for two and offers views towards the surrounding jungle covered hills. There is also an outdoor shower to wash off beach sand. Our garden with a large selection of beautiful, tropical plants and fruit trees, surrounds the house on three sides. The garden terraces feature two seating locations with 4 traditional outdoor lounge chairs.
Emergency power: Villa Pavela is now equipped with an auxiliary electrical system. Our new AirX wind turbine generates electricity which is stored in deep charging batteries. The house has a 110 Volt, 60 Hertz electrical service. To conserve energy all light fixtures use energy-saving lightbulbs. Exterior security lighting is controlled by photocells.
Internet: connect with the world anytime, anywhere in and around Villa Pavela. Our service is a high-speed 3.5 MGb connection.
Other amenities: Parking space is provided on site and is limited to two vehicles.
Kid-friendly: The beach, located just 4 minutes from the house, provides for endless beach fun, including swimming, snorkelling, body surfing, surfing and building sand castles. For little ones we have a pee-pod portable baby bed and a table top clip-on high chair.
Pet-friendly: four-legged friends are welcome but sadly may not share beds with their owners. Our chained guard dog can be friendly but you should consider restraining your pet, just to be safe. There is also a cat on our property, who thinks he’s the boss.
Smoking: smoking inside the house is prohibited. Smoking is permitted on the terrace. Please dispose of cigarette butts in the provided receptacle.
Cellular telephone access: available in areas around the property and in town.
On Arrival: On arrival, guests will be greeted by our staff. Eliza will show the house and grounds and hand over the house keys. She will explain how to secure the house and will provide you with our Internet password. If you wish to use the optional paid AC, you must request the remote control from Eliza. As long as you have the remote it is assumed you are using AC. Please return promptly if no longer required to avoid being charged unnecessarily. We provide a welcome start up kit which includes; a 5 gallon bottle of mineral water, small soaps and shampoo, toilet paper in each bathroom, kitchen paper towels, garbage bags in each bin and dish washing detergent. Once used up it is up to our guests to purchase necessary household items.