La Gran Francia, Grenada

There are a lot of articles on Nicaragua that follow a similar theme of “Gee whiz, the people here aren’t shooting at each other after all and aren’t these buildings pretty?”

Thankfully this Nicaragua on the Verge piece in the March Travel + Leisure is from a writer (Kurt Andersen) who is returning, not just dropping in for the first time to adjust his preconceptions. He was there as a reporter in ’83 when things were ugly, but now he’s taken his family there, despite the puzzled looks from friends and relatives.

There’s a great line in the article that explains a lot about why Latin America is still a bargain, even for luxury travelers. “Friends tended toward bafflement or alarm, incorrectly imagining that the region between Mexico and South America, apart from Costa Rica and maybe Belize, remains an iffy place to vacation.”

He raves about Hotel La Gran Francia in Grenada pictured above, where it’s—how often do you see this in T+L—“doubles from $100.” He also gives a nod to the Intercontinental in Managua and makes a trip out to the Corn Islands. It’ll be a while before we’re covering those in Luxury Latin America, but definitely on my short list for a vacation visit.