Though Nicaragua is still a developing nation, tied for poorest in Latin America with neighboring Honduras, it was once a colonial power to rival Antigua, Guatemala. This country controlled one of the world's most important waterways, the fastest connection (prior to the Panama Canal's construction) between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Thus Nicaragua's cultural and architectural treasures include splendid Spanish colonial cities replete with opulent churches and magnificent buildings, most spectacularly displayed in the rapidly growing tourist destination of Granada.
Here, remarkably reconstructed colonial edifices have been transformed into some of Central America's most atmospheric hotels, while the neighboring beach town of San Juan del Sur has attracted one truly incredible resort and several other relatively upscale properties. Granada's sister city, León, less developed for international tourism, is also home to quite comfortable colonial-style options. Between these ancient towns, the sprawling new capital of Managua, a city of opportunity and growth, is home to quality business-class and boutique hotels designed for international travelers accustomed to the finest service and amenities. As interest in Nicaragua grows, expect new luxury properties to pop up along the coast; in the mountain towns of Estelí, Matagalpa and Jinotega; and on the fabulous Corn Islands.
For now, however, please keep in mind that only a few of these listings can be considered world–class (see the individual reviews for details). Visitors expecting the same quality accommodations that our Mexico and Costa Rica listings provide will probably be disappointed.
Nicaragua is still an up–and–coming destination, perhaps not yet suited for those tourists who require the convenience of a full–service, Cancún-style resort. Regardless, each of these fine properties was chosen for its charm, comfort, and commitment to excellent service. Amenities include unique and fabulous rooms, fine–dining restaurants, and classic colonial antiques and artwork — plenty to allow discerning travelers to explore this fascinating country in comfort and style.
El Jicaro Island Ecolodge — Granada
Hotel Darío — Granada
La Gran Francia — Granada
Elements Hotel Boutique — Managua
Hotel Intercontinental Real Metrocentro — Managua
Hotel Los Robles — Managua
Hotel El Convento — León
San Juan del Sur Region
Pelican Eyes Hotel & Resort — San Juan del Sur
Palermo Hotel and Resort — San Juan del Sura
Morgan's Rock — Southern Pacific Coast
Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa Resort — Southern Pacific Coast
Aqua Wellness Resort — Tola