Mukul is Kul! Traveling in Nicaragua

The beach at Mukul Resort, Nicaragua
The beach at Mukul Resort, Nicaragua

I was a little nervous booking an expensive resort in Nicaragua. The photos looked nice but I’ve learned from experience that cleanliness and service can’t be seen in photos. So it was a little trepidation that I convinced my husband that Mukul Resort was the perfect destination for our family after we spent time in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua on an service trip with Agros. We started our journey to Mukul a couple hours north of Managua after touring a new model village that Agros has developed. We drove south through Managua, dropped some of our team members off at the airport and then headed south through the charming, Colonial town of Granada where we dropped off the rest of our team members.

Typical Nicaraguan home with floral decorations.
Typical Nicaraguan home with floral decorations.

After seeing nothing but abject poverty for days on end, we noticed that the homes and towns got nicer the farther south we drove. But for most, if you are driving in from the airport in Managua, you will still be struck by the poverty in Nicaragua. At this point in time, Nicaragua is the poorest of the Central American countries but also the safest. The first part of our trip was spent with the poorest of the poor from a financial point of view but from a contentment and spiritual point of view they were more wealthy than I. You’ll also notice that despite the poverty, they take great pride in their homes and even the tin shacks that we saw so prevalently were neat and clean and often had flowers tacked up on their door.

As you enter the gates of Mukul you sense that this is something not seen anywhere else in the country. It is an understated grand entrance that is a stark contrast from the gravel road you travel on to get there from the last town. Mukul was built by the Pella family to bring travelers to their beloved country and to benefit the Nicaraguan community.

“Now led by Don Carlos Pellas, named by America Economia as one of the 50 most influential persons in Latin America, has committed himself to creating one of the most exclusive boutique resorts in the world.  With it, Pellas is establishing his family legacy – a pristine natural sanctuary where you make authentic connections to the land, culture and people of Nicaragua. And in return, the surrounding community will benefit from the resulting improved quality of life.” www.mukul.com

We were greeted upon on our arrival with complimentary rum drinks and cold, damp towels and best of all, by Frederico, the general manager. Frederico is a life force that inspires both guests and employees. We developed an instant bond with him when we discovered that he was from Naples, Italy and spent his summers in Capri, our favorite family destination.

The lobby of Mukul Resort
The lobby of Mukul Resort

There was no need to go to the front desk (actually there wasn’t a front desk). The lobby, if you can call it that, was an awe inspiring open “straw hut.” With plenty of lounging space, an adjacent walk-in cigar humidor and rum tasting room.   And views of the Pacific that went on forever.

We were escorted to our beach villa (one of 12 on property out of the 27 total rooms) via golf cart. Our jaws dropped as our butler (yes, I said butler) gave us a tour of our villa. Steve and I were to stay in one building that encompassed a huge bedroom, walk in closets, and a shower room (too fabulous to describe … octagonal, floor to ceiling windows, two shower heads on each side of the room, and a beautiful stand alone tub). Outside our room was our private pool, patio, and hammock hut. Next door in our same compound was the kids villa. Their bedroom had a separate entrance up an exterior staircase. Their second floor room had two double beds and a beautiful bathroom (but not as nice as ours). The lower level had a full kitchen, living space and bathroom, etc. All of which we hardly used because we were outside all the time.

The view from our Villa at Mukul Resort
The view from our Villa at Mukul Resort

We arrived just prior to dinner and had time to change quickly and walk down the beach to our beach dinner. The resort had set up Saturday night dinner on the beach with twinkle lights underneath a huge tree.   It was magical, delicious and perfect after traveling all day.

Each morning, our “rooster” pre-breakfast was delivered to our dining patio by our day butler. This was a simple coffee/fruit/pastry meal designed to tide us over until we went to the restaurant . You can go to the website to learn about the numerous activities and tours offered by the resort. You won’t get bored at this resort. I will comment on the spa because it was on a scale above all other spas I’ve experienced. Take a peek at all their unique treatment rooms.

I started this blog post with skepticism over whether a resort in a third world country could meet the price tag expectations I had. I can answer with a resounding YES!!! The resort has their own hotel school and any employee coming out of Mukul

resort would have the skill and training necessary to work at any 5-star resort around the world. Not one employee ever missed an service opportunity. Their English was impeccable and their friendliness was genuine and professional.

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