This is an off-grid beauty. The 10-minute jaunt by private boat from the charming colonial town of Granada across Lake Nicaragua (the largest in Central America) takes you past uninhabited islets squawking with wildlife, lush, thick jungle and local fisherman bringing home their catch. Brother-and-sister team Andrew and Kristin Werner's aim was to create a sustainable but also gorgeous eco-lodge out in the middle of the freshwater expanse. Bohemian with an industrial edge, this is not a typical tropical hotel. Instead it is considered and relevant, and environmentally sound with electricity from solar panels and filtered water straight from the lake. The chef helps himself to vegetables from the organic gardens and plucks mangoes straight from the trees, local farmers and fishermen drop off their hauls and everything from the tortillas to the ginger beer is homemade. The three bedrooms, one of which is in a treehouse, are a study in rustic-luxe with polished concrete floors, hand-painted earthenware tiles and furniture carved from indigenous woods. Woven bamboo lamps are lit by super-efficient LED light bulbs and outdoor bathrooms are tucked under curving sheets of corrugated steel. Mornings start with yoga on the deck to a soundtrack of monkey chatter and evenings are rounded off with a local craft beer or a dragon-fruit cocktail in the pool, looking out to the dormant Mombacho volcano, whose foothills turn terracotta as the sun goes down.
Three holiday cabanas, a pool, a restaurant, Yoga rooms, a bar, lots of places to relax, a few monkeys, Kayaks for paddling, laundry service, boat shuttle to the mainland and plants that can only be seen in this part of the world.
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