This breezy new retreat on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua is equal parts rustic and regal.
Seventeen years ago, Nicaragua was still more likely to turn up on the agenda of the State Department than the itineraries of American jetsetters. Matt Turner waved off the decades of civil unrest like an annoying mosquito. “Buy on the sound of the canons and sell on the sound of the trumpets,” says the CEO of Tola Development Corp., quoting financier Nathan Rothschild. “I always thought it was sound advice.”
Sound. Get it?
In 1998, Turner began carefully chiseling out sites for luxury sea castles on a ridge-backed viridian swath of Nicaragua wedged between the country’s eponymous lake and the cultish surf breaks of the Pacific Ocean. “I connected with this land. [It resembled] the California coast that I had been familiar with as a teenager, but without all the madness of late 20th-century development. No highways. No McDonald’s. Just gorgeous rolling hills and untouched beaches. It was too hard to resist.”
This is by my count the third four or five star resort in Nicaragua to have opened. The first one was Mukul Resort at Guacalito de la Isla, owned by the Pellas family, the second was Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa. I’ve spent some time at Rancho Santana and definitely can say it is a lovely stretch of coast and it is great that there is a small boutique hotel offering at this location.
Before the inn was built, if you wanted to stay at Rancho Santana you had to rent a whole house or a small (albeit very nicely furnished) cabina, so having a small hotel with the spa services that clientele for these types of resorts demand definitely fulfills a need.
According to the Inn’s website, rates start at about $250 per night and go up to $350 depending on room type and amenities. So if you are coming to Nicaragua and want to stay in some luxurious hotels, spas, and resorts, all I can say is ENJOY!