If you build a high-end luxury resort in the middle of nowhere in Central America, will the wealthy travelers come? Time will tell for the new Nekupe lodge, but those looking for a fresh experience will find plenty to like.
There are only a few sizable luxury resorts in Nicaragua, most of them situated in one triangle area between Managua, Granada, and San Juan del Sur. Nekupe—built by Nicaraguan philanthropist Don Alfredo Jr. and his wife, DoÃ±a Theresa Pellas—is like nothing else that previously existed in the country. The only resort with the same level of investment is the other project associated with the Pellas rum dynasty family: Mukul.
Nekupe is on 1,800 acres, thus its location in the countryside roughly between the capital city of Managua and the colonial city of Granada. It’s not a place you just drive up to: the transfers involve a trip down dirt roads in a four-wheel-drive and then an ATV. It’s like a trip to a secret billionaire’s lair, the end destination a lavish complex with five staffers for every guest.
There are just four suites and four villas here. The suites in the main building are luxurious and spacious, at 900 to 1,780 square feet. These are ideal for a large family or group traveling together. Then four villas have their own outdoor space and views of Mombacho Volcano’s massive silhouette to the north.
Then there’s no shortage of things to do in the area, or by just staying on the grounds:
The Nekupe reserve and compound is centered around a gorgeous clubhouse, spa, and restaurant, where you’ll have most of your meals and enjoy the main swimming pool. There are also horseback riding trails, a world-class shooting range (targets and clay pigeons), private chapel, birdwatching, hiking, mountain biking, yoga deck, ropes course, and fitness center with a gym and tennis court. All these amenities are cleverly dispersed throughout the dry tropical forest of the property. Your personal ranger will shuttle you around, pointing out the wildlife and helping you plan out your days of active leisure.
You can expect some of the finest food in the country here, some of it grown on site so everything doesn’t have to be shipped so far. The uses mostly farm-to-table local ingredients for other options, including a four-course dinner option.
Nekupe functions much like an African safari lodge, with ample activities during the day, guided trips, and a return to good food and cocktail hours. Rates are all-inclusive, starting at $1,500 double. There are planned activities for the kids as well, making this one of the most family-friendly upscale resorts in Nicaragua.
See our full review of Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat here.