Oyster knows what travelers look for in their hotels. When we review properties around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you're planning a trip and need a place to start, you've come to the right place. Take a look at our top picks for luxury in Nicaragua, and get inspired!
Mukul is more than just a luxury resort; it is one of the most exclusive hideaways not only in Nicaragua, but Central America. The name, Mukul, is Mayan for "secret," and guests are assured of a high level of privacy: The resort, part of a sprawling, 1670-acre beach community, has only 37 luxurious Bohios and Villas, and the grounds are not open to the public. The existence of the resort is hardly a secret, however, as this $40 million project helmed by Don Carlos Pellas, a Nicaraguan business magnate, is helping to change the face of the country's tourism industry. The guests who can afford Nicaragua's most expensive hotel rates will be rewarded with a gorgeous white-sand beach, one of the most beautiful spas in the world, an 18-hole golf course, gourmet cuisine, and pampering service -- though they should note that construction on the property's hillside real estate is still underway.
Aqua Wellness Resort is a rustic-luxe retreat set into a hillside overlooking Redondo Bay on Nicaragua's Pacific coast. The resort has eco-friendly design, lush vegetation (expect to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys and iguanas), and rooms adorned with lots of natural wood; some units include plunge pools and stunning ocean views. The white-sand beach is secluded and beautiful, the restaurant serves simple but tasty local dishes, and group yoga classes on the ocean-view wooden platform are free. For a tranquil, unplugged getaway, this is one of Nicaragua's premier options -- just note that there's no common pool (yet) and the climb from the beach to reception is extremely long and steep.
The InterContinental Real Metrocentro is a polished business hotel that lives up to international expectations for luxury. Rooms have plush beds, modern bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs with cable (including English channels), and the features are extensive, including a staffed business center, ample meeting space, multiple restaurants, and a lovely outdoor pool. The hotel is a chain and feels like one, but there are elements of local charm in the common spaces -- brick ceilings, an ancient funerary urn displayed as art, and wrought iron grills in front of the restaurants. The food is solid: There's an extensive breakfast buffet with an omelet station, a lounge serving cocktails and sushi, and a steakhouse, not to mention 24-hour room service (a rarity in the country).