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Summer/ Fall, 2013 | tres ceibas

Holiday Edition





Letter from the CEO Our Vision in Focus


SpA MUKUL Spa Mukul Wins Best Spa 2013


THE “IT list”

Best New Hotels 2013 by T+L







Tasty Menu Tale... The Story Begins


A Partnership of Social Responsibility UNICEF & Mukul Team Up


LUXury in HOT DEMAND La Terraza Luxury Beachside Condos


Discover Nicaragua Mukul to Grandada Adventure

Discover the Secret of the HolidaySeason tres | Summer/ Fall, 2013 +505ceibas 2563 7100

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Letter From our CEO

Dear readers, Welcome to the sixth edition of Tres Ceibas, your source of information on Guacalito de la Isla. In the past few months, we have experienced events that fill us with pride and reflect the extremely high standards of our facilities and services, in addition to the social and environmental impacts of our project. Among the most relevant international recognitions recently granted to Mukul, our boutique hotel at Guacalito, we count the award “Best of the Best Hotel 2013” in the category of Best Spa, given by “Virtuoso”, the famed international network of luxury travel. The awards ceremony was held at the Hotel Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas before a record audience of 1500 attendees, which included some of the most prominent figures of the industry. Our seaside community continues to develop in a sustained manner. Before the end of 2013 we will begin to deliver the 28 Verdemar Villas to their respective homeowners. This will be the first turnkey real estate project of Guacalito de la Isla. On another note, Las Terrazas residential development broke ground in July of this year, proceeding to the rapid sale of 90% of it’s Phase One units by the month of August. Pellas Development Group is honored to bring this great news to you. We thank you once again for your confidence and continued support in this fantastic project, as we forge together a milestone in the history of tourism development in Nicaragua. Sincerely, Carlos Hérnandez García President and CEO, Pellas Development Group

Summer/ Fall, 2013 | tres ceibas


Spa Mukul

wins “Best Spa” 2013

at Virtuoso’s “Best of the Best Hotel Award” Gala



t was an exciting evening in Las Vegas as an audience of over 1500 awaited the announcement by Virtuoso®, to disclose this year’s international winners of the Best of the Best Hotel Award. The event was held as part of the 25th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference, which draws some of the biggest names in the industry. During the gala affair, Virtuoso announced nominee “Spa Mukul” of Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, as the “Best Spa” winner, earning the Nicaraguan resort a “Best of the Best Hotel Award” 2013. “We are beyond thrilled to have won ‘Best Spa’ in Virtuoso’s 2013 Best of the Best Hotel Awards,” said Carlos Hernandez, CEO of Pellas Development, which created Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa. “It is an honor to be among those recognized by some of the most valued professionals in the industry -- and it is a testament to the passion and hard work that all our staff have devoted to Mukul since it opened in February 2013.” “Virtuoso has been curating a portfolio of the most desired properties worldwide for more than 20 years,” commented Albert Herrera, senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso. “The Best of the Best Hotel Awards honor the most exceptional properties within this group, and it is our pleasure to recognize Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa’s Spa Mukul as the winner for Best Spa.” Spa Mukul at Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa was previously nominated by editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine. Virtuoso’s member agencies and their elite travel advisors selected the finalists, which was featured in their September/ October 2013 issue at There were ten categories. Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, the first luxury beach resort in Nicaragua, joined the prestigious list of internationally recognized winners including hotels in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, India, France, Italy, and Scotland. Virtuoso, an invitation-only organization, is a leading, luxury travel network comprising over 340 agencies with more than 7,200 elite travel specialists in 20 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. With well over 1,700 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations, the network’s member agencies generate over $9.6 billion annually in travel sales. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences, and privileged access.

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Best New Hotels 2013 Mukul is featured on the “IT List�



“Featuring 61 Great New Places To Stay + Our A-Z GuideTo Getting The Most Out Of Your Hotel” reads the June cover of TRAVEL + LEISURE’s 18th annual Best Hotels Issue. TRAVEL + LEISURE, an internationally acclaimed travel magazine, has a following of approximately 4.8 million readers. Once a year these discerning readers cast their vote to select the best hotel destinations in the world. The result? After being open less than half a year, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua was selected and featured as a

winner in the prestigious TRAVEL + LEISURE 2013 “IT LIST. The readers were impressed not only with the project, but the philosophy behind the project, as the country’s first five-star hideaway on an undeveloped, pristine location along the Pacific coast. Highlights included the appreciation of both a new image for the country as well as the enjoyment of luxury plunge pools, butlers, spa choices with themed treatment rooms, and the incredible David McLay Kidd golf course. The feature story touted Mukul’s strong “sense of place” as a premium experience regarding the local staff, cliffside bohios and beach villas as well as the grass-fed beef, Flor de Caña Rum, and restaurant. TRAVEL + LEISURE’s special edition rated the fashionable destination of Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa with $$$$, indicating $500-$1,000 per night. Congratulations to Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa at Guacalito de la Isla for earning this outstanding recognition of excellence!


The story begins when you enter the Palapa


The serving time of our tasting experience was tailored to our preference. The story of the Tasting Menu started before entering the dining area. It started in the Palapa. Huge, fun, comfortable pillows and handcrafted rocking chairs beaconed a moment to sit. The music was a soft surround rhythm with an international intrigue. You could hear the ocean waves breaking gently on the shore. Relaxing, yet upbeat and alive in the senses. Visually, everything was balanced. Beautiful. The rum cellar and cigar humidor captivated my interest as they glowed in low-lit tones through woodtrimmed, glass doors.

t’s the story of living. Relaxing. Being in the moment. I walked into the thatched roof Palapa as the sun was setting in pink color hues over the Pacific. The sky turned a brilliant blue while hanging lanterns and candle-lit votives radiated warmth inside the open air structure. I was greeted with a smile from the Concierge. He explained that the

After two more friends arrived, we followed candle-lit lanterns along a walkway to the welcoming doors of the restaurant La Mesa.

Tasting Menu” will be a surprise! “And” he continued, “we will be introducing our Flor de Caña 18 year old rum. 8

with world-renown Chef Cupertino

Chef Cupertino cares after his self-planted Italian basil crop. He prunes the perfect amount for the evenings cuisine.


“We are offering a five course “Tasting Menu” which pairs with wine, and the finale is a sip of 18 year old Flor de Caña rum,” informed our Maitre d’ as we entered Guacalitio de la Isla’s Mukul Beach Golf & Spa’s internationally acclaimed restaurant La Mesa, which literally means “The Table”. We were seated at our reserved mesa (table) to experience the famous “Inspirational Cuisine” of world-renown Chef Cupertino Ortiz. “It’s exciting!” said Claudia in anticipation of being served tantalizing fusions of flavor from this evening’s secret menu. She paused. “It’s like opening a box of surprises. You don’t expect the flavors or the way they

harmoniously combine in your mouth.” Chef Ortiz, executive Chef of Mukul Beach Golf & Spa, introduced himself in English, as the wine connoisseur poured a sampling of select champagne. It was dry… teasing the palate for one sip at a time… to savor. When swirled, the translucent color sparkled gold with amber highlights. The bouquet... voluptuous. “I like to serve the wine or champagne selection first,” explained Chef Ortiz, “because of the acidity of the flavor. It goes very well with the combination of the lobster with lime, olive oil and mint served on a thin slice of yucca with drizzled, diced beets… this will be your first course.”


The first course looked like a delicious work of art that had been custom created for each guest at the table. Amanda, a travel agent visiting from London, suddenly exclaimed: “The taste is beautiful!” She had just taken the first bite. “SO fresh! You know when something is really fresh!” added Claudia. As I tasted a small bite of the lobster, a symphony


of flavors radiated throughout my mouth in a way I had never experienced. I could not describe any particular flavor, and yet they were all distinctive. I sipped the champagne again. It was a Brut Champagne from France, one of the most precious: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004. The bubbles were graceful and fine. This time, the taste seemed slightly sweeter. The combination of flavors from the lobster had tantalized my tongue in such a way that the champagne heightened the aftermath in sweet adoration.


Chef Ortiz announced the second course:

Mussels and bay scallops with chick peas. Once again, the presentation itself was like a work of art. The paired wine was Terrunyo from Chili, Concha y Todo, Sauvignon Blanc.

I can taste the sea!


said Amanda. She was describing Cornwall in London where there was a rock referred to as Mussel Rock. “You pick them yourself,” she said as the delicate broth drizzled in her mouth. “It was the most incredible experience... and this bite has brought back that memory.” The flavors worked well together because the mussels offered a strong sea-side flavor while the chick peas offset the undertones with a gentle texture. The basil sprig was more than decor!

One small taste released a zesty burst of flavor that somehow balanced the palate once again. The wine provided a fresh, light fruit flavor with a citric twist. A new wine glass replaced the previous one. This time it was a light bodied red wine: Navarro Correas, Pinot Noir 2009, Mendoza, Argentina. It had a mature and expressive flavor yet elegant and refined with an exotic bouquet. It was selected to pair with the next course.


The third course was described in advance of being served: 15

Roasted red snapper with cauliflower, sweet peas, and carrot croquet with piquillo sauce, which is made from a long red chili. A sprig of oregano

graced the side of the plate. The cutlery included a copper colored, perfectly balanced fish knife from Italy. “SUPER good!” exclaims Claudia. “SUPER taste!” Amanda, who has traveled all over the world took a bite. “It’s the WOW factor! she said. “I’ve been in the travel business 25 years and travelled all over the world, and I can tell you without a doubt, it is all about the WOW factor... and this is it. WOW!” The next wine was red and served from a decanter. It was from Spain: Torres Mas La Plana, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. This wine had more of a berry flavor, compared to the previous selection. It touted a more intense bouquet with an aged wood quality, and a distinctive aftertaste that teased the palate.


The fourth course was introduced by Chef Ortiz: “This is a local ribeye steak marinated in Chimichurri sauce, an Argentinian blend similar to pesto that is typically used in Nicaragua.” On the side was mac-n-cheese encrusted in toasted parmesan cheese, asparagus wrapped in bacon and a dapple of chipotle chile. It was the perfect amount of spicy. “The tenderness of the meat is associated with the way it is cut,” stated Chef Ortiz.


This was a secret tip that changed the first bite from simple to sensational. It was a melt in your mouth experience, and that was just the beginning. Each flavor set up a lingering thrill for the next one. The proportions forced a mixing of flavors resulting in an exhilarating dining adventure. Now, another sip of wine... it was the perfect partner for this culinary experience.

The tenderness of the meat is associated with the way it is cut, stated Chef Ortiz.


The fifth course was decadent. It was the dessert. “18 year old rum - Flor de Caña, Centenario Gold,”


The fifth course was decadent. It was the dessert. “18 year old rum - Flor de Caña, Centenario Gold,” said the connoisseur as he placed a fine, widebowled glass on the table. I swirled the rum to see the depth of its golden color. The pure, aged oak, spicy aroma filled my senses with delight and relaxation as the bouquet and taste unfolded. Dessert was presented: Macadamia ice cream, made at the restaurant, with caramelized plantain. The warm aura of the aged rum wrapped itself gently around each sweet, cool bite infusing a complimentary contrast for the grand finale. As we sipped our Flor de Caña, regarded as one of the most recognized rums in the world, we became part of the history, part of the legacy of the Pellas family. Since its inception in 1937, Flor de Caña rum has been in their family for five generations. Tonight we dined as guests, in the room reminiscent of Carlos Pellas, and told tales around the table, as we became part of the continuing legacy.


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Social A Partnership of

Responsibility for Nicaraguan Children “How can we benefit the children from tourism so they can have a better life?” This was the question that started “Sociopreneur,” a social entrepreneurship between UNICEF and Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa of Guacalito de la Isla. The new social enterprise will provide an opportunity to create a world-model of responsible tourism for children in areas where their lives and culture have been impacted by massive economic development. The Sociopreneur Initiative parallels Mukul’s philosophy of “giving back” to

local communities, which has utilized developmental success to provide work, promote improved health services and stimulate education. The unique alliance between UNICEF and Mukul is supported by international networks, business opportunities and avenues of community development that focus on identifying and resolving local impacts affecting children. Over the last few years, Guacalito de la Isla has imparted a measurable impact of social responsibility in many Tola communities. “We strongly believe that through sustainable development practices we can leave a footprint for the wellbeing of the children and their families,” explained Carlos Hernandez, CEO of the Pellas Development Group. “With the alliance between Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa and UNICEF, we are confident we will bring better prospects for the communities in Tola,” he concluded. Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa will donate $ 70,000 USD to kickstart the Sociopreneur Initiative. They have invited guests to participate with a voluntary contribution of $4.00 USD for each night they stay at the resort. For more information on Unicef and this project, visit:



condominium beach homes...


Hotdemand Phase One: Las Terrazas “The big news for the Las Terrazas residences is that we broke ground in July and by August, Phase One was 90% sold out,” stated John Pippett, Director of Construction and Design for Guacalito de la Isla. Offering ocean views, access to luxury amenities and affordable living from the lower $400’s to mid $600’s (USD), the design features a spacious indoor outdoor lifestyle that keeps you connected back to nature. “The outdoor space is equal in size to the indoor space,” said John as he thumbed through the blueprints. “It emphasizes a style


where living room areas blend with outdoor space and much of the outdoor space is covered.” Offering a beachy lifestyle at an affordable price, Las Terrazas residences include the same valuable amenities enjoyed by other Guacalito de la Isla homeowners, such as access to nature trails, golfing, surfing, fishing, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, Mukul Spa, Playa Manzanillo, Playa Guacalito and the romantic Manzanillo Beach Park. Nestled along a ridge, Phase One of Las Terrazas includes six buildings,

each comprising of six individual residential condominiums and an ocean view. There are 36 private units, a selection of three distinctive floor plans and only two residences per floor. A separate pool and BBQ area for socializing are also part

bedroom suite, located on the roof terrace. Design highlights include

of the plan. “This project is very exclusive, rare and distinctive because of the natural canopy,” said John as we walked to the building site. “We were very careful in the site planning, staking of trees and view selection; many decisions were based on where the trees were located,” he summarized. “It was a schematic design.”

mixes nature with a particular lifestyle. It supports the theme of the project.”

Both the ground floor and second tier units feature a 3BR /3BA floor plan plus a service bedroom or adaptable study. The difference is that the ground floor includes a plunge pool, and the second floor offers a higher view plus a more modest price. The third floor is a 2-tiered penthouse featuring 4BR / 4BA plus service quarters and a master

a covered terrace, plunge pool, private BBQ area and an open-air, hardwood-style outdoor shower. “It is not a modern design, it is an organic design,” explained John as he referred to the use of local woods throughout the home. “It

Families can enjoy the Las Terrazas residences as a primary home, a home away from home, or a vacation home with the option of utilizing available rental programs in off times. These condominium beach residences offer the option of a luxury, income producing property while holding an open door for living in a relaxed environment with first-class amenities. The grand opening is planned for October 2014.

To view a location map and more information, click here:






+505 2274 4250 +505 8660 9359


Discover Nicaragua! Your private adventure from

Mukul to Granada G

ranada, founded by the Spaniards and one of the oldest city in the western hemisphere of the Americas, is little more than an hour drive from Mukul. Guests can reserve a private adventure with our certified guide / driver in a luxury, air-conditioned car. The route from Mukul in itself is an intriguing part of the adventure as you pass through Nicaraguan villages and an old-world lifestyle of oxen-carts filled with goods, local markets of fresh fruits and vegetables, cattle being herded down central streets and colorful open-air casas (homes). Horse-drawn carts share the same road as cars, bicycles and cows along the Pan American Highway, which connects six countries

and two Americas.


he views are vast and dramatic with sweeping, open fields graced by three majestic volcanoes. San Crist贸bal, the highest and one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua, can be seen to the north while Concepci贸n and Madera, which comprise Ometepe Island, can be seen to the south. After we pass the Ochomogo bridge, another volcano, Mombacho, dominates the view in tones of deep blue with white clouds lingering across the top.


earing Granada, we drive by the historic 1876 cemetery, then meander down


narrow streets lined with colorful colonial architecture. “The Pellas mansion is on the corner of the square,” says my guide. “Mukul hosts weddings, parties and events there... guests are always welcome to stop by and relax, as though they are at their second home.” My attention is directed to Los Muros de Xalteva, two impressive 10 meter-high stone walls erected by the Spaniards in the mid-1700s. They line both sides of the street and were used to separate Spanish settlements from local inhabitants. Today, the same walllined street that divided a community brings communities together for the popular “Running of the Bulls” and “Hipicas” (horse parades). “If Granada is the center of tourism in Nicaragua, then Granada’s central plaza is the heart of it all,” smiles my guide. The infamous plaza suddenly appears, surrounded by horse-drawn carts. It is bustling with people of all ages, vendors, food, arts and crafts.


n the eastern side of the plaza is the neoclassical colonnade facade of Plaza de los Leones. It was reconstructed in 1987 as a historical monument and location for the Casa de los Tres Mundos Foundation, which features an art and music school, museum, historical archive and exhibition space hosting international, resident artists.

T 29

aking pause, I hear singing from the Church of Guadalupe, built in 1626. The melodic tones draw me inside. It is filled with children from the school of Guadalupe, located across the street. “They do this every Thursday,” says my guide. In addition to the history, heartwarming moments like this become an experience that will forever remain with me. We visit another church, La Merced, and climb up narrow, winding stairs to the belltower for an incredible view of rooftop patterns that lead to Mombacho Volcano and

the lake. This church is also filled with song as families walk down an isle, covered by a series of colonial arches, to the candlelit altar.


ur last stop before lunch is unforgettable. “He is blind,” a guide says kindly at the front door. The statement was referring to Jairo, a blind man weaving an intricate pattern for a hammock, a skill he learned in 2 weeks at the Tio Antonio social center. He doesn’t miss a stitch as his hands move at lightening speed with tools. Last year, Jairo’s hammock art was presented to Pope Benedict XVI. Other weavers are in their own rhythm, creating exquisite, cotton hammocks in every size, style and color imaginable. A one-of-a-kind example, made of recycled plastics, hangs in the garden as a sample of environmental responsibility. Once completed, these crafted products are for sale. Behind the weaving room is a cafe with walls painted in signlanguage. It is staffed by deaf and dumb people and is the first of its kind in the Americas. The Tio Antonio social center provides work for those with disabilities such as deaf, dumb and blind.


he morning has been an engaging adventure and lunch is expected to be a cultural delight at the local restaurant El Zaguan. Welcomed by a décor of rustic and refined, the aroma of an open-fire grill lures us in to look around. Dining areas offer charming wine displays, garden-painted walls, animal rugs and a delicious menu. Famous for its steak, the restaurant has been rated by TripAdvisor as #5 out of 90 in Granada.


fter lunch, we head toward Lake Nicaragua to meet our boat captain. The freshwater lake has many names including Lago Cocibolca, Mar Dulce, Gran Lago, Gran Lago Dulce, and Lago de Granada. Our private boat

tour explores an archipelago of 365 small islands called “Isletas of Granada” which resulted from an ancient eruption by the Mombacho Volcano. “This is one of the few freshwater bodies in the world with sharks,” says the captain as we got underway. “There are 56 species of fish including tarpon, bull shark and swordfish,” he adds. “And, all three of these fish are protected.” The boat speeds across still waters with a refreshing breeze as we pass islandclad homes of the locals, as well as the wealthy class of Nicaragua. Dramatic views include the flora & fauna reserve of La Calera, Mombacho Volcano, and an endless horizon of water resembling deep ocean seas.

Caught one!” exclaims the Captain. A local woman in a rowboat bags a fish caught from her cane pole. Alright chica! I thought. “Island Carlos Pellas,” says our captain a few minutes later. The name of the house was on the side: La Nena, which means “the girl”. “Mukul arranges picnics for our guests,” says my guide. “It includes

use of pool, private beach and first class amenities.”


irds are abundant with many species perched on rocks, flying or wading. We stop at an island inhabited by three species of monkeys, who visit our boat. Incredibly, the collection of islands offers an entire wateraccessible community including a school, restaurant, and church; even cattle have a place to graze plus their own barge for transport. As the sun starts to set, we head back to shore where the notorious party street La Posada is coming to life. I order a chilled glass of white wine while listening to the song “Downtown” in front of Oshea’s Irish Pub. It was the finale toast to a perfect day. Although Granada is very old, it is one of the newest hot spots to visit in Nicaragua.


Guacalito Directory Guacalito de la Isla     Real Estate Sales  Andres Valldejuli + 505 8539-8785

Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa Sales & Reservations  1-800-39 08 844 + 505 25 63 71 61

Guacalito de la Isla Golf Course Tee Time Reservations           Gustavo Betancourt 2563 7100 ext 5226. © Guacalito de la Isla, 2013

Tres Ceibas Holiday Edition 2013  

Nicaragua's Secret Emerald Coast

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