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About The Owners

The adventure of Casa Marimba started in 2015…

…with three open-minded friends from France, traveling together in Nicaragua.

Previously an industrial engineer, Iban wanted a change in his life. In 2015 he started traveling to get an idea of what he could do. Looking for jobs in hotels in order to travel without spending too much, he got an offer in Nicaragua, a country he knew nothing about. Iban went there to start his adventure, with the plan to keep moving in other countries around. But the universe decided otherwise… His friend from school, Rafael, came to Nicaragua at the same time, after traveling for a year with his friend Lisa. They spent a week together talking about their lives and projects, and realized they had very similar ideas and visions....

‘’We realized Nicaragua was a great place to settle down and start a business as foreigners, all the conditions were present. So we decided to stay and start the adventure!’’

Iban Salaber, owner Casa Marimba

This is Iban

Born in the south of France, Iban was raised in Paris. He always loved traveling, other cultures and foreign languages. Before coming to Nicaragua, Iban lived in Madrid for a year, London for two years and Romania for four years. He loves salsa dancing and self development. He always has with him a book about business, science, psychology or spirituality. His mission in life? Helping others in many different ways; from having quality time to becoming better human beings, to developing their life path or professional projects. He is happily married to Mildred, a nica woman, and is planning to expand his family in the next few years...

This is Rafael

Rafael is also from France, raised in Paris. He's always been traveling with his family. At the age of 12, he stayed four months in India and realize how important it is to travel, and discover new cultures. His main activities before owning Casa Marimba had to do with music. Renowned DJ, musician, writer and composer, his creativity has no limit. Now a freediver and a cook, he keeps sharing his love for music in numerous artistic events around Nicaragua. For him Casa Marimba means sharing his passion with his guests through food and music, and sharing with communities. He is also the brain behind the name of the hotel. The name Casa Marimba was created before the hotel was actually bought. As the national instrument of Nicaragua, the marimba sounded very local and musical. Rafael first came to Nicaragua with Lisa. They started the project together with Iban, but at some point Lisa decided to take another turn in her life, so she went back to France in early 2018.

‘’Arriving in the place of Casa Marimba was a revelation for us. It was the moment we decided to own this place for our project’’

Rafael Murillo, owner Casa Marimba

Our mission

The mission for Casa Marimba was clear from the very beginning; give people a home, fully relaxed, disconnected from normal life and connected with nature. Pampered with good food, drinks and personalized service, guests would have quality time with their loved one(s).

The secret of Casa Marimba

We asked Iban and Rafael about their secret... And in fact there is none: everything they do here, they do it with Love! Neither of them had a background in the tourism industry, but with their beautiful energy they created their dream home. Casa Marimba is a combination of peace, joy, tranquility and love.

Curious about what makes us so unique?

As they want their clients to feel special, they are very involved with their staff and customers on a daily basis, in order to provide quality and keep improving their services. They constantly try to transmit the best possible energy to the crew, so they can focus on the quality in every detail. According to their many customers, they are proud to say that they probably provide the best food options in Laguna de Apoyo. Casa Marimba is a small house, it’s the perfect space to feel cozy and like home.

Our 5-year vision

Iban and Rafael do have plenty of ideas for the coming years. First of all, they want to train their staff to bring them to a level where they’re independant and don’t need them anymore. A plus would be to even help some of them build their own business. Then, the two frenchies are always developing new ideas to make every space even nicer, richer, more comfortable.

‘’Never stop having ideas! Creating is my passion and Casa Marimba my playground’’


Want a bite of our paradise? Check our rooms and book your stay now!


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