Published on December 14th, 2014 | by Mark Chesnut
“My Granada” — Travel Tips from François Georges Deborne, Hotel Bubu
François Georges Deborne used his medical expertise to establish clinics in some of the best hotels in France, including the Royal Hotel in Evian and Trianon Palace in Versailles. Today, as co-owner with Frederic Farque of Hotel Bubu in Granada, Nicaragua, they bring their experience to a boutique-style property in one of Central America’s loveliest historic cities. In this exclusive interview with LatinFlyer.com, François shares his own personal Nicaragua travel tips.
How did you decide to settle in Granada and open a hotel there?
We have been traveling for years in South America but finally, at the suggestion of friends of ours from New York who used to come here and opened Tribal, we decided to do it in Nicaragua.
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What do you you like most about Nicaragua?
The best [thing about] Nicaragua is that it is still undiscovered and keeps its real nature.
What are your favorite foods in Nicaragua?
I don’t think the food is of great interest here; of course it’s fun to try the traditional breakfast and local specialties, but the most interesting is the diversity of fruits and vegetables with unexpected flavors.
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What restaurants do you recommend in Granada?
I would recommend for lunch Bistro Estrada, El Garage, El Camello, Villas Mombacho — for its location on the lake, not for the food, Casa de Campos for a trip in the countryside. For dinner the best in town: Espressionista, El Tercer Ojo, Bistro Estrada, El Zaguan.
What are the “must-do” activities you recommend for visitors to Granada?
The activities are concentrated in going to the Isletas, seeing the Mombacho [volcano], looking for some craftsmen in the Pueblos Blancos.
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When you have a free day, what’s your own personal idea of a perfect day in Granada?
A perfect day in Granada is to go to the market very early, looking for some fresh fruits, enjoy a cappuccino at Espressionista while reading La Prensa, walk my dog near the lake and let him run on the beach.
Nicaragua is a very different country. I love the religious processions for the Purisima, all its folklore and its faith, totally disappeared in Europe, the oxes in the countryside, like so many years ago in France, this combination of traditions and an old way of life.