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Managua. (Best of Latin America).

BEST TRAVEL AGENCY

Careli Tours. This well organized, professional operation is affiliated with Swiss Travel in Costa Rica; phone: 505-278-6919. www.carelitours.com

BEST BUSINESS HOTEL

Real Inter-Continental Metrocentro. Since an earthquake destroyed Managua's downtown in 1972, the capital has been missing its center, but a new commercial area south of the original downtown is doing quite well. A welcome addition has been the Real Inter-Continental Metrocentro Managua Hotel. The 157 rooms at this five-star hotel include a presidential suite and six junior suites. The 40 rooms on the Club Floor, which is tailored for executives, come equipped with fax machines with printing, copying and scanning capabilities, dual-line telephones, oversized writing desks and ergonomic chairs. Rates start at US$105 but the hotel's Web site promises a special deal if you book online using the code CDP#1 188888. Voites restaurant features buffets of French cuisine, as well as a la carte service and theme nights. Especially good is the Pacific Coast lobster night. To keep in shape, swim a few laps in the outdoor pool or work out at the fitness center. Managua's largest shopping center and the Ruben Dario Plaza ( complete with fountain) sit across the street. Several restaurants and Managua's main entertainment venues are within walking distance. The hotel has a complementary shuttle to the Augusto Cesar Sandino airport 14 kms away; phone: 505-2-784-545. www.gruporeal.com

BEST CAR RENTAL

Hertz. In addition to a counter at the airport (look right as you leave the arrivals area) Hertz has offices in most of the major hotels; phone: 505-2-668-400. www.hertz.com

BEST RESTAURANT WITH SMALL HOTEL ATTACHED

Cesar. Located on Carretera Panamericana southwest of the Metrocentro, the Hotel y Restaurante Cesar consistently wins awards for its cuisine. Dine inside--or outside in the gardens surrounding the swimming pool. For overnight guests, the 32 large rooms are plain but they come with all the services needed for business guests, including Internet, e-mail, fax and direct dial telephones. And the price is right, from US$59. The hotel also has a small tour operation on site, Nicaragua Cesar Tours. It's all located at Km. 8.5 Carretera Sur; phone: 505-2-265-2728. www.HotelCesar.com

BEST RESTAURANT FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH OR DINNER

La Marseillaise. The restaurant scene in Nicaragua is exceptional: It's difficult to find one that doesn't have good food. One of the best is the French La Marseillaise in the upscale residential Los Robles neighborhood, just south of the Metrocentro. Live music adds to the ambiance and the bill is easy on the wallet. Prices start about US$25 for a complete meal. Calle Principal Los Robles; phone: 505-2-277-0224.

BEST ESCAPE FORM BUSINESS

Masaya Volcano. For a little break from meetings and negotiations, this volcano sits just 17 miles from Managua in the Masaya National Park. Unlike Costa Rica's Poas Volcano, Masaya is almost always clear for viewing, although sometimes the wind doesn't cooperate to clear the sulphuric gases away from the rim. Hundreds of tiny Pacific green parrots nest in its caves and crevices and do frequent flyovers. At the park entrance is a restaurant and the most complete volcanology museum in Central America. For shopping, the nearby Masaya Market has big bargains in hammocks, woodcarvings and alligator and snakeskin shoes, belts and purses. For a rest, Barcelo's all-inclusive Montelimar Beach Resort and Casino on the Pacific coast near the Masachapa fishing village is a one-hour drive. www.barcelo.com
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Title Annotation:recommended services, Managua, Nicaragua
Comment:Managua. (Best of Latin America).(recommended services, Managua, Nicaragua)
Publication:Latin Trade
Geographic Code:2NICA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:572
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