Secret Retreat

Boutique luxury debuts in Nicaragua

The first luxury boutique hotel in Nicaragua opens in February at Guacalito de la Isla, a 1,670-acre, $250 million low-density private beach community created by Nicaraguan entrepreneur Don Carlos Pellas. Located on a four-mile white sand beach on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, Mukul Luxury Resort & Spa features 37 freestanding accommodations, with ocean views, pools, and private staffs.

The Emerald Coast is a 30-mile stretch of Pacific shoreline dotted with jungles, cliffs, fishing villages, and untouched beaches. Mukul Luxury Resort & Spa sits directly on the beach and encompasses more than 1,600 private acres of lush vegetation. Facilities include Spa Mukul, a beach club, a swimming pool, nature trails, and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course.

Spa Mukul comprises six spas in one location. Guests can reserve a spa casita for several hours, during which they can enjoy a series of treatments, then relax in its private garden, which features shaded lounging areas and a monsoon shower.

The open-air Mukul Luxury Resort & Spa Beach Club allows guests to enjoy tastings of rare Flor de Caña rums in the split-level lounge, as well as lunch and dinner at the Beach Terrace Grill or Mukul Restaurant. Much of the food will be locally sourced from the resort’s organic farm, daily catches by local fishermen, and grass-fed Nicaraguan cattle. The beach club also features a lounging area, swimming pool, and kids’ area. A casita by the beach provides surfboards, paddleboards, snorkel gear, and kayaks.

The first luxury property in the country, Mukul, the Mayan word for “secret,” is an eco-friendly paradise ready to be discovered. Real estate opportunities are also available at Guacalito de la Isla.


Prestigious Residence

Moravia, South of Fifth arrives in Miami Beach

Miami Beach’s newest residential address, Moravia, South of Fifth, has arrived. Just steps from famed Nikki Beach, the condominium was developed and designed by The Moravia Group and its in-house design team Moravia Lab Monte-Carlo. The development’s 27 residences range from 430 to 1,265 square feet and are divided between two buildings: the South Side, which opened in December, and the North Side, which is available for presales and is projected to have August move-in availability.

Amenities at Moravia, South of Fifth include sweeping ocean views, a rooftop solarium with a pool and spa, 24-hour concierge and valet parking, fitness facilities, and a complimentary membership to Nikki Beach. Many residences also feature private entrances and outdoor spaces.

Pre-sales are well underway, and prices range from $365,500 to $943,500. As the development is located in the Art Deco District of Miami, the developer is keeping its original façade and adding a third floor with a complementary modern design.


Central Charm

Colombia’s Hilton Cartagena gets a glamorous makeover

The 341-room beachfront Hilton Cartagena in Colombia has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of its main tower and pool complex. Its rooms now have larger living spaces and designs that bring the calming essence of the sea indoors.

The new guest rooms deliver comfortable living areas complete with new bedding, furniture, and a nature-inspired ambiance. The renovation included expanding the indoor area by incorporating the balcony and terrace space in the rooms’ interiors. All guest rooms are also outfitted with the Hilton Serenity Collection of amenities featuring plush bedding, a high-definition flat-screen TV, an alarm clock with MP3 player connection, wireless Internet access, and more.

To complement the extensive room renovations, Hilton Cartagena revitalized the pool complex with a number of upgrades, including a new non-slip marble floor and lush landscaping.

Hilton Cartagena is situated at the tip of El Laguito Peninsula, offering beach access, three pools with waterfalls and slides, Jacuzzis, tennis courts, and an outdoor playground. A spa and gym features a variety of massages and therapies, as well as a sauna and Turkish bath. Dining options inlclude Colombian and other international cuisine at Las Chivas Restaurant.


Adults-Only Appetite 

Live Aqua serves grown guests innovative dishes

Live Aqua Cancun is an all-inclusive dining experience that seeks to delight the taste buds of its adults-only clientele with innovative gourmet menus. With a unique epicurean style cultivated by celebrated chef Eric De Maeyer, Live Aqua Cancun recently unveiled four new dining options: Inlaa´kech Lobster & Grill restaurant, Sea Corner, Sushi Station, and Café Deli Boutique. The tranquil setting and refined ambiance at Inlaa´kech set the stage for a scrumptious meal. Guests can enjoy a superior selection of Mexican house wines and menu items ranging from premium steaks, succulent lobster, colorful kebabs, fresh salads, and seafood, all finished with homemade sauces and marinades that make each dish unique. The beachfront Sea Corner’s culinary experience features accents of fresh tropical fruits and the traditional flavors of the Mexican Caribbean. Featuring subtle dishes with an eclectic variety, the new Sushi Station is a modern eatery offering precise executions of Japanese sushi specialties. Guests who are on-the-go can also enjoy a quick bite at the Café Deli Boutique. With its collection of seven restaurants, the hotel now offers a wider range of culinary experiences and dining atmospheres on the Caribbean shore.


Family Affair 

El Dorado Generations Maroma caters to family in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

El Dorado Generations Maroma opened in Riviera Maya, Mexico in mid-2012. All rooms feature Caribbean décor and a large balcony or terrace, with many overlooking the ocean from Maroma beach. There are seven suite categories available in the 30-room hotel, ranging from a luxury swim-up Jacuzzi suite to a three-bedroom family suite. The resort operates on a gourmet all-inclusive plan with several family-focused amenities available, including a welcome smoothie for children along with complimentary strollers, baby food, baby monitors, bottle warmers, cribs, and even baby bathrobes. Additional amenities include swim-up and rooftop bars, beach butler service, and reciprocal usage of facilities at neighboring El Dorado Maroma.


Past Meets Present

Villa Orsula blends history and high-end living in Croatia

The stunning Croatian coastline is home to the five-star Villa Orsula. Built in 1939 and completely reconstructed, refurbished, and reopened in 2012, Villa Orsula is the newest addition to the Adriatic Luxury Hotels Collection. The 11 guest rooms and two suites have retained their individual personality and character, but have been fully updated with new technology, furnishings, and décor. Adjacent to cascading seafront gardens, the Villa has breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, Lokrum Island, and the historic white-stoned city of Dubrovnik Old Town.  The destination offers personalized service and an array of modern amenities, including in-room check-in, luxurious toiletries, à la carte breakfast, Internet access, a private beach, indoor and outdoor pools, a wellness center, and fitness facilities.


Los Cabos Luxury

Sandos brings all-inclusive luxury living to Los Cabos

Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos Resort opens its doors this March. This is the first Sandos resort in Los Cabos and the fourth in Mexico, operating under the brand’s “blue” (beach) category. As part of the transition into a Sandos resort, the property has been transformed into an all-inclusive boutique retreat. The transformation resulted in several new restaurants, including the new “Bagel Beach” restaurant for breakfast and snacks and “Don Diego” fine dining restaurant, along with a major expansion and renovation of the existing spa facilities to create a new full-service spa experience. Additionally, the top floor suite was converted into a “whale viewing bar” for all guests to enjoy premier views of whale migration. The resort, which features 288 rooms and suites overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is located near the local marina and Finisterra Beach.