Nicaragua, known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, is Central America’s hottest travel destination. It offers travelers one-of-a-kind experiences due to its vast natural beauty – all set amidst a backdrop of striking colonial architecture, charming culture and the warmth of its people.
Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, an intimate eight-room property located on a 1,300-acre nature reserve in Nicaragua, today debuts as the country’s first luxury countryside resort. The Chorotegas, a native Nicaraguan tribe, used the word “Nekupe” to describe heaven – and after one visit to Nekupe, you will understand why.
Located 30 minutes from the historic colonial town of Granada, Nekupe fosters a spirit of exploration, adventure and wellbeing through its understated and culturally sensitive design that was influenced by Feng Shui principles, immersive activities, and indoor, outdoor living that provides guests with a rich sense of place.
Experiences at Nekupe are rooted in an active-outdoor lifestyle ideal for multi-generational families, groups of friends or adventurous retreats that include exploration, hiking, tennis, horseback riding, sporting clay and target shooting, and more. These activities are complemented by opportunities for thoughtful inner reflection through mountain-top yoga overlooking majestic views of Mombacho Volcano, outdoor spa treatments utilizing native ingredients, meditation and nature walks.
Nekupe was conceived as a private family retreat by Nicaraguan philanthropists Don Alfredo Pellas and Doña Theresita Pellas, avid travelers and adventure enthusiasts whose commitment to nature is exhibited through the resort’s core principle of respect for the environment. They created a sanctuary, reforesting more than 14,000 trees, building water reservoirs, and nurturing local wildlife, with the desire of cultivating a destination where guests may enjoy shared experiences in a meaningful way.
“Nekupe, which means ‘heaven’ in Chorotega – the indigenous language of a native tribe in Nicaragua, has been a true passion to bring to life, driven by the love for our country, its breathtakingly raw beauty, cultural heritage and kind people,” said Don Alfredo Pellas. “We are excited to see Nekupe and Nicaragua evolve into destinations where guests will reconnect with nature and each other through relaxing and invigorating experiences.”
Guests may buy out the entire eight-room resort or book any of the following accommodations individually. Each room comes with a luxury ATV to navigate the miles of natural terrain.
La Residencia de Doña Theresita – Perched atop a hill to allow for views across the reserve and out to Mombacho Volcano is the 24,000-square-foot main residential compound, La Residencia de Doña Theresita. The residence houses two grand suites, each measuring 1,300 square feet, which overlook a 1,900-square-foot deck that includes an infinity plunge pool with grand vistas of the deep forest. It also houses two standard 870-square-foot suites, a full kitchen and recreational pool.
Villas – Four standalone villas that range from 700-1,000 square feet, each with an open terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows, are nestled along the countryside offering guests an immersive indoor/outdoor experience. Guests will enjoy access to the neighboring dry river outlined with giant bromeliads and impressive rock fountains.
Central Lobby: Nekupe’s central lobby, Casa Club, is a communal space with airy living and lounge options to enjoy a cocktail or convene to coordinate the day’s activities. The 10,800-square-foot lounge also houses the resort’s restaurant, Don Alfredo’s, a gift shop and pool court where guests may take in panoramic views of the Nicaraguan landscape, including a stunning view of Nicaragua’s majestic Mombacho Volcano.
Outdoor Pursuits: Nekupe’s incomparable setting is highlighted by its roster of extraordinary outdoor experiences taking advantage of the varied terrain full of trails, manmade nature pools and babbling creeks. A designated Ranger Center will guide guests through on- and off-site activities including:
On-site: Horseback riding, sporting clay and target shooting, ropes course, fully equipped fitness center, tennis, butterfly and birdwatching, stargazing, marimba classes, swimming in the recreational pool and folkloric dance lessons.
Off-site: Day tours to Granada and the Islets, volcano hiking and sandboarding, surfing, golfing, cultural tours and coffee plantation tours.
Wellness: A sanctuary for the soul, Nekupe’s peaceful and intimate reserve serves as a restorative destination that invites guests to benefit from the area’s healing energy and attributes. Travelers are invited to embrace the calm and inner peace afforded by this natural countryside oasis through meditative practices on the resort’s expansive yoga deck that overlooks the rolling reserve out to Concepción and Maderas Volcanos.
Culinary Offerings: Guests will enjoy traditional Nicaraguan dishes with a modern interpretation using a bounty of native ingredients, inspired by Doña Theresita’s own cooking and sourced from the on-site garden and local purveyor. For those in search of more bespoke menu items, the resort’s chef may customize any meal to suit culinary needs. An outdoor chef’s table and exhibition kitchen serves as the backdrop for cooking classes and bespoke dinners. Hand-crafted cocktails and cigar and rum tastings complement the culinary delights.
Chapel – Perched atop one of the highest points in the nature reserve and surrounded by trees that bloom the fragrant sacuanjoche flower, lies the resort’s Chapel San Francisco de Asis. With stone walls and wooden trim, the stately venue immediately impresses with its simple, yet elegant nature; thoughtful design, including an Italian bell customized for Don Alfredo and Doña Theresita; and breathtaking fountain that streams water to the baptistery. Whether guests opt for a leisure stroll or ride up the hill, they will take solace in the calming energy of the journey. The chapel is available for guests to meditate and use as a venue for intimate weddings and events.
Spa – A cornerstone of the resort, Nekupe Spa gives more than a nod to its inspired location set amidst lush vegetation. Embracing all energy points of the property, select native-based treatments utilizing natural ingredients will be available in the Casa Club and designated meadows within the reserve starting November 2016. The spa’s full concept will debut in 2017. Guests will enjoy views of the sprawling locale and hear nature’s meditative soundtrack while experiencing restorative treatments created to nourish and restore in this unspoiled setting.
Nekupe, an hour-and-a-half drive from Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport, will offer rates beginning at $750 per night. Rates include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; non-alcoholic beverages; one ATV per accommodation; and select activities on property. For reservations and additional information, visit www.nekupe.com.