Barefoot luxury on a private tropical beach, stunning ocean-view bungalows, all within a 4,000-acre jungle define the Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua, experience. The ecolodge is a 15-bungalow hideaway on a mile-long picturesque sandy beach. The sustainably constructed bungalows are nestled into the jungle, not far from the hacienda’s private beach.
Salute the sun in the hacienda’s 4,300-square-foot, open-air yoga studio with hard-wood floors and palapa thatch. Private classes must be arranged when booking your stay, and the resident yogis can help plan a bespoke retreat. Guests can gather eggs and milk the cows on the farm, or pick up some souvenirs; handicrafts by local artisans – clay pots, weaving, colourful tchotchkes – are sold onsite. If you want to leave an impression, make a donation to the local school.
At the hotel
Private beach, farm, acres of rainforest, yoga studio, laundry, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: iPod dock, coffee machine and kettle, water purifier, beach bag, Raw Botanicals bath products. Forest-View Rooms and three Ocean-View Rooms have private plunge pools.
Our favourite rooms
With plunge pools in all, a ‘sea-breeze’ machine above the bed to keep you cool, and bright splashes of colour, the Forest-View Rooms are just that teeny bit better than Ocean-View Bungalows; you still get a peek of ocean too, if you’re worried about getting short-changed on the view. Ocean-View Bungalows live up to the natural showcase their name promises; but staying in them involves a clamber up several flights of stairs, and a longer walk to the restaurant.
The forest-flanked chlorinated pool is petite, but just-right for sunset watching. There’s a smattering of wooden sunloungers for some post-swim R ‘n’ R; wave over snacks and drinks from the bar as needed. There’s a small child-friendly pool, too. Alternatively, hit the beach to splash in the surf, rock in a hammock or recline on pavilion-shaded lounger and order a couple of coconut cocktails from Mike’s Beach Bar.
Inspired by local sea turtles, the Paslama Oasis is a simple spa-shack open to the elements with wooden walls and a sandy floor. Gaze out at the ocean, inhale the salty-sea breeze and prepare for some serious pampering with a deeply-relaxing aromatherapy, Thai, Swedish or hot stone massage.
Light sleepers may want to shut out nature when snoozing – pack earplugs to mute the crashing waves and eye masks to shutter daybreak. Mozzie spray will make your stay that little bit more relaxing.
We’d advise against drinking the tap water, but filtered is readily available. Guests with mobility issues may struggle with the many stairs.
Best suited to over-6s, the Morgan’s Rock is a giant green playground and exotic petting zoo (but actually petting is discouraged, of course). Bungalows sleep up to three children on a queen-size sofa bed (an extra bed can be added on request).
Children are welcome, although children over-6 will be able to make the most of the property; activities tend to involve jungle rambling or splashing about. For children aged 3–11 there’s a seasonal charge: US$55 a child in low season, US$67 in high season, US$94 in peak season.
Juniors, tweens and teens.
Ocean-View Bungalows sleep up to five (two adults and up to three children on a sofa bed and one extra bed). Smaller families can fit in a Forest-View Bungalow with Pool, with an additional extra bed.
Activities are for children aged six plus only. Bomb through the vegetation on a bike (helmets available to hire), go horse riding, or learn how to surf. Kids will love helping out on the farm and the monkey- and sloth-spotting walks.
There’s a second, smaller pool (around two foot deep) that’s better suited to kids, but there’s no lifeguard.
There’s a small and sweet children’s menu with burgers, a selection of pizzas, fish-fingers using fresh catches, and sandwiches on home-made bread.
There’s no babysitting service, but if parents are desperate they can hire a local mother to watch their child.
The resort doesn’t have a huge cache of child or baby kit, so be sure to bring any essentials. If you’re crossing from Costa Rica into Nicaragua, books, games and a fully-charged iPad will make the notoriously slow border crossing a little more tolerable.
Dynamically so; planet-saving efforts include solar-powered water heaters, composting and eco-friendly construction methods and products. The estate encompasses a protected wildlife reserve and sustainable farmland; and the owners are involved in reforestation and conservation efforts (working with agroforestry organisation NicaFranca), and education programmes, collecting donations for schoolchildren and helping to maintain school buildings. Around 95 per cent of staff are local, and the hotel sources ingredients not grown onsite from Rainforest Alliance-approved farms.
For more information 1-888-DDHRM09