When Nicaraguan travel comes to mind, so do visions of modest boutique hotels, surf and yoga camps, low-key hostels, and intimate eco-lodges. But for those looking for something more luxurious and exclusive – a five-star hidden gem of a breezy paradise – Mukul Resort in Nicaragua is like nothing else in the country.
Surrounded by lush rainforest on 1,675 acres of Nicaragua’s southwest Pacific shore, the sprawling yet discreet resort (the word “mukul” means “secret” in Mayan) sits in an expansive coastal region called the Emerald Coast – and is arguably its crown jewel.
The peaceful and pristine property houses the best offerings for all types of discerning travellers: the avid golfers, the spa-seeking set, the sophisticated surfers, and the beach loungers. In this serene adult playground (but children are welcome, too), you’ll find a refreshingly empty white-sand beach, luxury infinity pools, oceanfront swings and hammocks, dreamy cabanas, stunning Ceiba trees, and dramatic palapa roofs – all backed by reliably magnificent sunsets.
With its David McLay Kidd-designed golf course, luxurious spa casitas and crystal temples, top-of-the-line gym, and personalized yoga program, Mukul Resort offers the type of wellness-infused holiday that leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated. (Or, of course, you could also sip cocktails on the beach the whole time – nobody’s judging).
When Mukul Resort opened for business in 2013 – quickly attracting celebrities, royalty, and the “one-percent” – it was seen as a game-changer in Nicaragua’s tourism department. By then, the country was already emerging from the shadows of neighbouring Costa Rica as an increasingly popular destination for surfers, yogis, and off-the-beaten-path adventurers in its own right.
But billionaire Don Carlos Pellas – from the family behind famed, generations-old Nicaraguan Flor de Caña rum – had the vision to make Nicaragua a destination for luxury tourism. The businessman dropped nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in private beach development to create the spectacular, five-star resort. But, don’t get the wrong idea; six years of environmental studies and conservation programs were completed prior to breaking ground, and the eco-friendly resort is completely integrated with the surrounding environment and communities.
Accommodations at Mukul range from well-appointed hillside huts set in serene greenery with private plunge pools to one and two-bedroom villas (with its pool that seemingly flows into the ocean, Suite Vivian is particularly photogenic). Naturally, the autonomous accommodation offerings make particularly enticing options in our pandemic era. While its property may be sprawling, Mukul Resort is incredibly intimate, offering only 37 individual accommodations.
Those looking to go all out – to perhaps make up for lost vacation time with a well-worth-it splurge – can even live it up billionaire-style and stay in the Pellas family’s private beach residence; a luxurious six-bedroom abode with 20,000-square-feet of indoor-outdoor living space, wraparound stone terrace, and infinity pool.
All accommodation options include breakfast, lunch, and complimentary domestic beers, fine wines, and spirits. Naturally, this includes the award-winning Flor de Caña rum, which offers a solid base for mojitos and other expertly crafted signature cocktails – best enjoyed from the scenic beachside bar.
The culinary program at Mukul Resort is as thoughtfully created as its property. Guests can choose from the La Terraza, the main beachfront dining area that serves up locally-sourced goodness; the Tres Ceibas Sports Bar & Grill, which is known for its fresher-than-fresh ceviche and gourmet pizzas; and La Mesa, a refined fine-dining spot with a multi-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings (a great “last night” option).
Mukul is the type of resort you’ll have no desire to leave once the bags are unpacked. That’s not to say there’s no reason to venture off the peaceful paradise – especially if you’re in the market for adventure or architecture. Nearby outdoor experiences include hiking, biking, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
About an hour and 45-minute drive away sits Grenada, Central America’s oldest city. Here, stunning colonial architecture and storied churches captivate photo-takers and history buffs. Meanwhile, karaoke spots and character-rich bars aptly facilitate your letting loose cause (you’re on vacation, after all).
Whether you stay at Mukul Resort for the duration of your trip or for a few days as part of a larger Nicaragua getaway, one thing is guaranteed: you won’t forget this royalty-worthy beach resort.
Featured Image: Facebook.com/MukulResort