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“Away from it all” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mukul Luxury Resort and Spa

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Mukul Luxury Resort and Spa
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Playa Manzanillo | Guacalito de la Isla, Rivas 44817, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Rivas
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Away from it all”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

There is a reason that some destinations have more 5-star reviews than anything else...reality doesn't lie and the fact is that this was one of the greatest short vacations I have ever had. From the moment you step out of the SUV onto the property, you are surrounded by smiling, helpful staff who seem to want nothing but to make your stay wonderful. From the monkeys in the trees, the empty beach and the amazing golf course, it is the most intimate of destinations. Not a lot to do other than relax and play some golf. I have a brochure showing an aerial view of the beach and golf course on my dresser so that I can enjoy the memory of such a beautiful place. It really was a spectacular venue and I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federico S, General Manager at Mukul Luxury Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear @Aplatowski
What a lovely review! Thank you for taking time out of your day to put such kind thoughts on “paper”. I honestly believe that friendliness and warmth you perceived from start to finish from the staff is just a result of how committed everyone is to this project. This is not just a resort but it is the anchor that will develop Nicaragua into a new phase of prosperity and economic/cultural growth and expansion. Everyone here believes that what we are doing is ultimately good for the communities and for the country and this belief is manifested in the service we offer. Thank you again for your words, please know I shared them with our team and it drew a smile on everyone’s face. Cheers!
Ciao Federico
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197 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lakewood, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

We just returned from our second heavenly stay at Mukul. Our vacation was from December 15-25. Our first stay was in May 2013. Since we stayed the first time, somehow Mukul has managed to make perfection even more perfect. We arrived at the airport, using the VIP arrival service (rather pricey at $10. Haha!) Our driver Jose was extremely careful and courteous. He regaled us during the two hour ride with interesting tidbits, history and facts about Nicaragua. The love Nicaraguans have for their homeland is clear and very heartwarming. Upon arrival at Mukul , we were greeting with a welcome beverage and whisked to our villa, #10, by Lewis, one of our butlers. A wonderful man, so friendly and warm, as is every member of the staff. The foliage, freshly planted in March or April, has grown even more luxurious and tropical, affording much more privacy to the pool area. There were new touches in the villa as well. It's a feast for all the senses. The food in the restaurants, under chef Cupertino Ortiz, has hit a new high mark of excellence. There are "spa" selections and quite a few options for vegetarians. They will bend over backwards to honor your special menu requests. Just fantastic. We would like to thank all the people who made our stay so thoroughly enjoyable, among them General Manager Federico, Domingo (our other attentive butler), Jorge, Alejandra, Christina, Mario (so welcoming every morning, with a handshake and a wide smile), Raul, Ronny and Eddie at the pool (always ready with a cool towel and a chilled beverage) Melvin, Orlando, Daniel (thanks for the poetry recommendations) Joshua, Katherine, Bayron, and Norman. You are all so special to us. A heartfelt extra thank you to Juan and Remigio. We just love Mukul, and we've already booked our next stay.

Room Tip: I don't think you can pick a bad room here. Some of the bohios may be shady, if you like that.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federico S, General Manager at Mukul Luxury Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear @MaryM
We miss you! I cannot express with words how gratifying it is to read reviews from repetitive guests. To even have repetitive guests in our first year is a success, thank you for trusting us a second time around and for your warm review. It was a pleasure for all of us to see you every morning and say goodnight every evening! Domingo, Alejandra, Cristina, Mario, Ronny, Eddy, Raul, Melvin, Orlando, Daniel, Joshua, Katherine, Bayron, Norman, Juan and Remigio all send their best regards, along with everyone else at Mukul! We cannot wait for the 3rd visit!
ciao ci vediamo
Federico
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

After about a 3 hour car ride from Manaugua, we were ready for some 5 star relaxation. The resort is like an Oasis and the facilities are beautiful as were the beaches. My wife and I like to go to unusual places that have 5 star amenities and we are fans of Releais and Chateau properties. There are a number of pros and cons, so here we go:

Pros
1. Amazing facilities
2. staff that is really trying hard
3. Rooms are spacious (we had a bohio) and unless you are in a group, these are fine and the villas do not really justify the added expense.
4. Spa is amazing.

Cons:
1. Not a place for kids
2. While staff is trying hard, they really need to be trained better. As an example, when my wife booked a spa visit, the price given to her was much higher than the price given in the brochure which was received only a couple of weeks before we got there. When we tried to resolve this, we never really got a straight answer and they were unwilling to come down in price and the cost is on par with some of the most expensive spas in the world. Another time we had scheduled a hike and when we showed up for it, we were told the guide had already left leaving us having to reschedule - not cool.
3. There is only one place to eat and while the food is good it is not on par with other 5 star places. There is no town so you can't go and get another meal. Dinner without wine typically goes for about $175 US. Can we say pricey? The wine list is average at best and they are getting 3-4x bottle price. For an amazing selection at a 5 star place I could understand but not for just average stuff.
4. While they saw the ride to and from the airport is about 2 hours, it really is more like 3 and after flying all day, you really wish it was shorter.
5. They have new mountain bikes to use but when I went to use them 2 out of the 3 needed to be serviced. I offered to fix them (I ride a lot) but they said no but when I went back the next day they still were not fixed.
6. They have some really weird bugs which are huge. They are not dangerous but they are a little hair raising. Not the hotels fault but you should know as sometimes they make it inside.

Room Tip: see above. There are only 37 rooms so none are dogs
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

We stayed at Mukul for 5 days in an oceanview bohio. The room was just gorgeous with floor to ceiling windows, walk in closet and wrap around deck with a plunge pool. It is priceless to wake up each morning to coffee and biscuits waiting for you on your deck. The staff are so gracious from the moment you are picked up to the time you leave. Frederico, the general manager, is the heart of this place. He takes his time to talk with each guest to cater the best experience.

We enjoyed meals at the restaurant where they accommodated our special diet, a guided hike of the vast resort grounds where we saw much wildlife, spending the day at guacalito beach and of course the rum tasting!

Overall, this resort combines genuine Nicaraguan charm with five star luxury. A perfect place to indulge and get away from it all!

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Salem, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

Our 6 day stay at Mukul was wonderful. From the moment we landed at the Managua airport and were greeted by Mukul staff, to the moment (with regrets we couldn't stay longer) we departed. The entire staff was great! Warm, friendly, caring people. Our couples spa experience was amazing. We played golf twice on the beautiful course and our caddy, Erick, was the best!!! The food was fabulous - best ceviche ever. Our bohio was beautiful, romantic, secluded, and totally relaxing. This is a place we will definitely return to.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

Mukul just opened this year and seems to still be working the kinks out. To "do it right" here, you need to plan on dropping plenty of cash. A couple of things to watch...if you book a bohio, be sure to get specific on which one you want. Some afford you plenty of privacy and others don't at all. Also, it is not clear on what is included and what you pay extra for. We got the feeling that guests in the villas, especially if they arrived by helicopter, were the guests who got great service. Golf course is nice, but there are many that are better. Spa "experiences" are a unique treat. I liked the Mukul/Nicaraguan experience with the incredible infinity pool, but did not like the "healing hut" experience very much. Mukul is pretty far from any off resort adventures so they take lots of time and cost lots of money. It iis definitely a pretty property, and hopefully in the future it will evolve into what they want it to be.

Room Tip: If booking a bohio, the locations as far away from the lobby as you can go seemed nice. Maybe 23? Th...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
182 reviews 182 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

Complaining about this resort is really nitpicking. We stayed 5 days in beachfront Villa 5 and all our needs were met (except no Diet Dr. Pepper; how did Frederico miss that?!). Here are some incredible examples of the service provided at Mukul: the path from our outside casita to the beach was treacherous at best; mentioned it to the General Manager Frederico, and the next day there were stairs!!! Pillow was too hard? That afternoon our fulltime butler Victor, brought 6 pillows for me to try out! The handles on the sliding doors became skin-burning hot in the afternoon sun and once it was brought to their attention, the problem had been solved. Construction noise from the main house just behind our Villa was annoying so they stopped the construction! Needed a razor so Victor brought 2 fancy smancy ones. Crazy good service and attention to your needs. Just speak up.

We took the helicopter from Senor Pellas' private heliport in Managua to Mukul, after staying overnight in the Intercontinental in the city. Well worth it. The helicopter seems brand new and the flight was smooth and the scenery was beautiful. We packed light so our bags could fly with us, otherwise they go by slow car. We were told that cars are coming and going almost constantly between Mukul and Managua to offer private transportation to all guests. From the helipad at Mukul it is only a 2 minute drive in a Mercedes van to the beach.

Arriving at Mukul is almost like going to Fantasy Island because the entrance is these incredibly imposing set of 4 doors that open mysteriously and then you drive through them into paradise. There was basically no check in as we just went into the lobby, looked around and then got into the golf cart and went to our villa. At the desk in the villa, we signed in and got the keys.

The only possibly itsy bitsy negative thing I can mention about the amenities is that they only provide flip flops and no cloth slippers. The flip flops make a lot of noise on the tile floor and after being wet all day, I wanted to put my feet into soft and warm slippers and not plastic flip flops. Nevertheless, the bathroom amenities are currently either Bulgari or Molton Brown and you are provided with a robe, flip flops, q-tips, a lighted make up mirror, a real hair dryer, lotion, bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, and anything else you can think of. If you need it and don't see it, ask for it. There is a small safe too. I would say that they push the spa products too hard in both the room and the spa. It just feels unseemly to see these products displayed in your room with the prices also prominently displayed. Again, nitpicking (and by the way, those products are amazing!).

In the morning we were provided with a 'pre-breakfast' out in our outside palapa (casita) of juice, coffee, bread and fruit. It is delightful to wake up, schlep outside to a beautiful view, warm weather, and a light snack. You just call for the butler, and he shows up with a golf cart and off you go to breakfast, the spa, or the main hotel lobby area. It is wonderful. There are always snacks in your villa of plantain or yucca chips, nuts, chocolates and drinks (juice, soda, rum). Our villa had a butler's pantry, so Victor came and went all day long replenishing our snack supply without our knowing it.

We had the chef cook for us in our villa, we had dinner on the beach and we had the BBQ. I would recommend any of these 3 events. The dinner on the beach is particularly spectacular with lights all around and as usual, great food. The ribs at the BBQ were the best my husband ever ate! The yellow snapper and the crab cakes were delicious and the tenderloin was cooked perfectly. The chocolate lava desert was amazing! We chatted with the chef Cupertino several times and were told that all the food is fresh daily. Easy to believe.

The spa has an interesting set up. There are 6 independent spa 'huts' where the services are provided. You spend your entire appointment time in a single 'hut' which is yours to use privately. So if you want to strip down and take a dip in the plunge pool, feel free. The spa service is luxurious and restful, I never felt rushed to get done and get out. In fact, one day I wanted to move my appointment up by an hour, and it was no problem.

Frederico, the general manager is delightful and I encourage you to spend some time chatting with him (his wife Claudia is also a delight and their daughter Francesca is adorable). He understands the vision of Senor Pellas, the owner, and implements it perfectly. It seems that Jorge, the other manager, is always at the front entrance to the hotel welcoming everyone and asking if everything is alright. He is incredibly competent. Do these people ever sleep?? Again, the only flaw I could comment on would be the imperfect English of some of the staff, and some things are lost in translation, but that again would be nitpicking. Just speak slowly and clearly and they get it. Our butler Victor was outstanding. He drove us to Rivas and St. George one day to sightsee. He also arranged a morning of snorkeling for me at Gaucalito Beach, a short drive away. He was attentive but not intrusive. The perfect butler.

This will never be a snorkeling destination, as the water is too cloudy and there isn't enough to see, but the water is warm and clean and it is a nice diversion from sitting on the beach. The snorkeling is at Guacalito Beach, a wonderful little cove next door to the resort. It has basic amenities like beach chairs, but Mukul brings all the snacks and drinks and towels you need. Eduardo, the manager of the dive company, is a hoot and again, service is his business. The snorkeling equipment they use is first rate. But this is still a work in progress, so don't expect anything like you would get in Bonaire or Australia.

Villa 5 is one floor and far enough away from the main hotel area so there is no noise. It was lovely and perfectly designed, with separate vanity areas, immediate access to the beach, a butler's panty, large bedroom and beautiful bathroom. Frederico asked our departure time at some point, and he said it was too early and rearranged our helicopter departure time for 2 hours later. In order to accommodate the next guests into our Villa, he simply moved us next door to Villa 6 for the afternoon, and it was lovely. Villa 6 is two stories with an amazing first floor for entertaining or relaxing and a wonderful outdoor space, but the staircase is outside and not very convenient for those of us who are forgetful! It is immediately adjacent to the main home.

The Manager told us that there is no tipping, or they discourage tipping. It is difficult not to tip such great service, but it is just not what they want you to do. I asked for an itemized bill by category before we left, and it was delivered early to our Villa. A charge or two were not clear, and it was taken care of with no fuss. Again, basically whatever your question is at Mukul, the answer from the staff is always yes!

Superb and relaxing. We felt like we had come to visit friends in their lovely home. If your time is worth more than your money, than this is the place for you.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mukul Luxury Resort and Spa

Address: Playa Manzanillo | Guacalito de la Isla, Rivas 44817, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Rivas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Rivas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mukul, a luxury boutique hotel and spa in Guacalito de la Isla, a new $250-million, 1,670-acre low-density private beach community on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, opened on February 1, 2013. Mukul – “mukul” is the Mayan word for “secret” – features 37 spacious accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Other resort amenities include Spa Mukul, with six private spa-treatment casitas; a beach club featuring dining and lounge areas and a swimming pool; and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course. Guests enjoy access to the property’s four miles of white-sand beach and rugged coastline, and 12 kilometers of nature trails on which they can hike or bike to observe the four species of monkeys and other wildlife that reside in the lush coastal forest. Guests can also explore Nicaragua through customized experiences that introduce them to the nature, culture and people of this up-and-coming tourism destination, known as the “land of lakes and volcanoes.” ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mukul Luxury Resort And Spa Nicaragua/Rivas

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