Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua—Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Mukul, a luxury boutique hotel and spa in Guacalito de la Isla, a new $250-million, 1,670-acre low-density private beach community on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, will open in February 2013.
Mukul – the Mayan word for “secret” – will feature 37 spacious accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Other resort amenities include Spa Mukul, with six private spa-treatment casitas; a beach club featuring dining and lounge areas and a swimming pool; and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course. Guests will enjoy access to the property’s four miles of white-sand beach and rugged coastline and 3 miles of nature trails on which they can hike or bike to observe the four species of monkeys and other wildlife that reside in the lush coastal forest. Guests can also explore Nicaragua through customized experiences that introduce them to the nature, culture and people of this up-and-coming tourism destination, known as the “land of lakes and volcanoes.”
Mukul and Guacalito de la Isla are the vision of prominent Nicaraguan entrepreneur Don Carlos Pellas, whose family has roots in the country that date back to the 19th century. The Pellas family businesses include transportation, computers, sugar, ethanol, Flor de Caña Rum and the world-class Vivian Pellas Hospital. Pellas also founded the BAC Credomatic financial network in 1985, which he sold to GE Capital in 2011 in what was the largest business transaction in Central American history.
With Mukul and Guacalito de la Isla, Pellas is establishing his family legacy – a pristine natural sanctuary where guests will enjoy luxurious pampering while connecting to the land, culture and people of Nicaragua in authentic ways, and the surrounding community will benefit from the resulting jobs, schools and improved infrastructure. “We are creating a catalyst that will put our country on the world tourism map,” said Pellas. “Mukul will be a game changer for Nicaragua.”
Designed by a team of proven industry leaders— from HKS Hill Glazier Architects to spa expert Angel Vezina Stewart— Mukul reflects Don Carlos Pellas’ philosophy that guests are not just hotel guests, but personal guests of the Pellas family and thus offered a unique food and beverage policy. Included in the price of a room are a full breakfast and lunch – and much more. Gourmet snacks will be offered during the day around the pool and on the beach. Whether in their private Beach Villa or cliff-side Bohio, or in the Mukul Beach Club or Mukul Spa, guests can enjoy complimentary beverages including soft drinks, domestic beers such as Toña, a selection of fine wines, premium tequilas, vodka and whiskey, along with the Pellas family’s award-winning, four and seven-year-old Flor de Caña rums.
Mukul was designed as a luxurious yet unpretentious and relaxed private estate by the ocean, with 37 accommodations designed in a style that combines modern elegance with traditional Nicaraguan roots to create a distinct sense of place. Highlights include Mukul’s tree-house-esque Bohios which perch dramatically on a steep hillside 300 feet above Playa Manzanillo, offering breathtaking ocean views all the way to the horizon. Interior designer Paul Duesing worked with Nicaraguan artisans to craft furnishings and decorations that reflect the traditions of the country, including tables made of carved native teak, headboards made of woven sugarcane twigs and rum barrel staves, accent pieces made of sand-casted polished pewter and lamps made of clay from nearby Masaya Volcano.
With an emphasis placed on a friendly, social atmosphere, the open-air Mukul Beach Club will be the heart of Mukul, a gathering place where guests can enjoy lunch and dinner either in the palapa-shaded Beach Terrace, the barefoot-dining Parrilla, or Mukul Restaurant, where the décor includes mementoes and photographs chronicling the 135-year history of the Pellas family in Nicaragua. An outfitter casita by the beach will provide surfboards, paddle boards, snorkeling gear, kayaks and a full variety of water toys for guests and since “family” is at the core of Don Carlos Pellas’ values, the Mukul Beach Club will feature a separate area for children.
No luxury resort would be complete without top-tier wellness options, of course and thankfully Spa Mukul delivers with six luxurious spa casitas—from secret garden to hamman—each boasting a unique decor, theme and sequence of treatments. In essence, Spa Mukul is comprised of six different spas in one location. Guests can reserve a spa casita for several hours, during which they can enjoy a series of treatments and then relax in its private garden, which features palapa-shaded lounging areas and a monsoon shower – all without ever crossing or meeting any other guest at all.
In the end Mukul looks poised to put Nicaragua onto both the luxury travel map and the private jet-setters wish-list.