Rancho Santana is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and is bookable with Choice Privileges points. I stumbled upon this place when researching options for my 3 Cards 3 Continents trip, and even though I wasn’t able to bake it into that trip, I couldn’t get this resort out of my mind. The many, many 5 star Trip Advisor reviews say things like “One of the best places on earth,” “Stunning and Breathtaking Resort,” “Vacation Perfection,” and “Rancho Santana is heaven on earth!” I’m looking forward to trying this out someday! In the meantime I figured that I might as well share this find with readers since I’m sure that some of you will have the opportunity to enjoy this well before I do.
Rancho Santana is both a resort and a residential community located between the Pacific ocean and Lake Nicaragua. The resort’s website boasts that it is “bordered on both sides by water,” and “enjoys the distinction of nearly constant offshore breezes.” The resort offers hiking trails, water sports, horseback riding, monkey scouting, mountain biking, and more. And all of the dining is claimed to be farm-to-table. They write “We grow a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables at our on-site gardens and orchards, and livestock is raised gently and ethically on our farm before becoming sustenance. Located on Nicaragua’s Pacific ‘Emerald Coast,’ the restaurants at Rancho Santana also serve a host of fish and seafood sourced from local fishermen.” That all sounds awesome to me.
My assumption is that when booking with Choice Privileges points, you would be put into a standard guest room at “The Inn.” But, lest that sounds unimpressive, consider that each guestroom apparently offers a “spacious private terrace with wrap around ocean views.” Even more impressive, all stays at The Inn include (details here):
- Daily breakfast per person at El Café
- Welcome beverage
- Complimentary Kids Club Access
- A guided monkey-viewing tour and a Sandboarding adventure at Playa Duna
- Access to all Rancho Santana’s resort facilities and amenities
- Airport transfers based on 4 nights or more
When you consider that airport transfers are approximately a 2 hour drive from Managua International Airport, or a 4 hour drive from Liberia International Airport in Costa Rica, that’s pretty darn impressive that transfers are included! Just make sure to book a stay for 4 nights or longer!
Here’s the deal…
Many Preferred Hotels & Resorts can be booked with Choice Privileges points. In this case, you can book the resort for 45,000 points per night:
After taxes and fees, this resort usually charges more than $500 per night (and sometimes well over $1,000 per night), so you should easily get more than 1 cent per Choice point value. If you have a Citi Premier or Prestige card, though, you can do even better. With either of those cards, your Citi ThankYou points transfer 1 to 2 to Choice. As a result, you can book this resort for only 22,500 Citi ThankYou points per night! That’s a steal!
Caution: Booking a Preferred hotel with Choice points can be extremely frustrating! See: My nightmare booking Preferred Hotels via Choice. If you want to precede anyway, here’s how:
1) Check for availability
- Start here: preferredhotels.com/offer/participating-hotels-choice-privileges-rewards
- Select Country: Nicaragua
- Find “Rancho Santana” and click “Check Availability”.
You will then see a screen like this:
The days with Xs through them are not available for check-in, but the rest of the dates should be. Caution: this display does not seem to be 100% accurate so you’ll have to verify availability when calling Choice.
2) Call Choice Privileges to book
This is the hard part. Finding a Choice representative that has even heard of the ability to book Preferred hotels is a hurdle in itself. Details about how to go about this can be found here: Preferred Hotels & Resorts via Choice: Value unlocked. Frustration assured.
Did you go? Let us know!
If you’ve been to this resort before, or if you go after reading this post, please come back to this post to let us know how the trip was, what was your experience booking through Choice, did you really get the free inclusions that are advertised (daily breakfast, airport transfer, etc.). Please comment below!