Nicaragua - People and places: Hottest new hotels for 2013 | CNN Travel

Hottest new hotels for 2013 | CNN Travel

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Hottest new hotels for 2013 | CNN Travel

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Hottest new hotels for 2013

The biggest problem with all these new properties? Convincing the boss you need more holidays this year
By Natasha Dragun, for CNN Travel 25 February, 2013

We know, we know. You haven't gotten around to staying at last year's top new hotels and now this bursts onto your screen.

The good news is, 2012 is so last year.

The best new hotels of 2013 are higher, shinier and deluxier than their one-year-older peers.

 

1. Mukul Resort & Spa, Nicaragua

Everything you see could be yours. For a week or two. Opened: February 2013

Part of Guacalito de la Isla, a 676-hectare, eco-sensitive resort on four miles of untouched Pacific coast, Mukul has only been open a few days as of this posting, but is already a benchmark for luxury in Nicaragua.

The brainchild of entrepreneur Carlos Pellas, the retreat takes its design cues from local culture: villas and bohio-styled huts crafted from native teak and pine are distinguished by an ancient Mayan numerical system, reclaimed rum barrels are used in headboards and the Pellas' family rum is the nightcap of choice.

Book the six-bedroom Casona Don Carlos, Pellas' private beach residence, and you'll also enjoy a pool and oceanfront living area.

Spa treatments offered in themed suites include a crystal temple, rainforest room and hammam using a bounty of local ingredients: raw cane sugar crystals, seaweed and Nicaraguan volcanic clay.

There are plenty of more active diversions, such as golf on an oceanfront course -- its 18 holes were chiseled without cutting down a single tree.

Mukul Resort & Spa, Kilometer 10, Carretera Tola-Las Salinas Rivas, Nicaragua; rooms from US$550 per night; +505 2563 7100; www.mukulresort.com