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Renovating an Abandoned Jungle Hotel - Before & After Photos

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua staff photo

It’s hard to believe, it’s only been 2 months.

60 days ago, not only did I fly back to Nicaragua but I also first stepped foot into this new property with a blind deposit and offer put in based on intuition and trusting the flow of things to come.

Not only have we renovated and transformed this entire place with a tight 6 week timeline - but we’ve already hosted our first week long retreat with the amazing Kristi Worful and her Sanga crew and prepping for a big 6 month season ahead!  

There’s been no shortage of challenges (see the end of the blog for how we excavated an entire hive of bees from one of the rooms!) - even managing a 20+ construction and deep clean crew in a second language has proven to be incredibly humbling - but also so many laughs and literal seeds planted to root down and grow with this special spot by the beach. HUGE thank you to Sahara, my Operations Manager, (seen above us celebrating her birthday!) for being the rockstar gerente she is and Vanessa Panton or being such a trusting friend and colead, along with our entire local staff familia for their commitment to this project. Muchimás gracias a todos!

Living in and managing a big retreat venue has proven to be an ever evolving series of decisions, problem management and constant communication but to already see the space come alive with people ready to progress in their art, business and spirit and being part of so many individuals transformations is a true gift that I am grateful to be in service to. 


Here’s a little snapshot of a few of the before and afters,

renovating an abandoned hotel in the jungle:

Pool on arrival VS

Pool after a rehaul - with more palms and agave!

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua pool

Reception before

with a leaky rotted ceiling with termites and broken windows


Cozy teal reception with new ceiling!

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua reception lobby

The month long mission to take out one concrete wall by hand.

(At least we know the bones of this place are solid!)


The cocina opened up with more light and flow!

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua kitchen

The top floor, removing the walls and separation


We now have an EPIC Yoga Shala and dance floor!

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua shala savasana

And our new roof above reception with garden patio workspace!

(Lots more to show...but you'll have to come visit in person ;)

I did an IG live showcasing some of the space and breakdown of the reno's HERE.

Of all the buzz of renovations... we didn't expect the uncovering of an ENTIRE HIVE and HONEYCOMB of BEES living in the walls of one of the rooms!We got over 5 liters of honey from it!Watch the full highlight reel of it HERE.

What a wild month!

I’ve never owned an apartment before let alone jumped face first into such a massive undertaking. Feeling blessed for this amazing journey and enjoying the ride with so many amazing humans part of it. More announcements and things to come, including our new name and branding launch later this season!

Thank you for being part of this journey with me,

Diacachimba familia! Tu amigo, John Early

Casa bahia - John Early Viyarte Playa Marsella Hotel Nicaragua


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