- Crowne Plaza Hotel Managua (Managua; tel. 505/2228-3530; www.ichotelsgroup.com): Managua's most famous hotel is shaped like a giant white pyramid. You'll find luxurious rooms with lots of light and color, and spacious bathrooms, as well as one of the best outdoor pools in the city.
- Hotel Contempo (Managua, Nicaragua; tel. 505/2264-9160; www.contempohb.com): Managua's first designer, boutique hotel is slick and contemporary, with a cool, relaxing vibe. Its 18 rooms are elegant, with minimalist interiors that make for a contrasting, welcome break from the shambles of Nicaragua's capital.
- La Gran Francia (Granada, Nicaragua; tel. 505/2552-6000; www.lagranfrancia.com): A beautiful, well-located, colonial mansion has been exquisitely restored, down to the original ironwork faucets that hang over hand-painted washbasins displaying old-fashioned street scenes. A handsome inner gallery with Spanish tiles and a mosaic pool give this hotel an aristocratic, palatial vibe.
- Palermo Hotel and Resort (San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; tel. 505/8672-0859; www.palermohotelandresort.com): This five-star resort has manicured lawns, handsome villas, and spacious rooms decked out in hardwood furnishings and local art. The clubhouse is an elegant mix of marble floors, modern sofas, and classical-style tables contrasting with its palm-thatched roof outside. Big windows, all-glass doors, and tall ceilings allow for lots of light.
- Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Eco Lodge (San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; tel. 505/8670-7676; www.morgansrock.com): A cluster of 15 luxury bungalows is accessed by a 100m (328-ft.) suspension bridge over a tropical gorge. Architecturally stunning and with superb attention to detail, this ecolodge has no phones, Internet, or air-conditioning, but who needs them when you have an exquisite infinity pool and a beautiful, deserted beach? The large property also includes a private nature reserve, shrimp farm, and sugar-processing plant that produces its own rum.
- Two Brothers Surf Resort (Rivas, Nicaragua; tel. 505/8877-7501; www.twobrotherssurf.com): The cottages here are set in an 11-hectare (27-acre) private estate. The interior design is sumptuous and eclectic, with artifacts from around the world, such as Indonesian carved doors and mosaics. Gorgeous Spanish-style floor tiles grace stylish rooms with red curtains and wall arches.
- Río Indio Lodge (Río San Juan, Nicaragua; tel. 506/2296-0095; www.rioindiolodge.com): This lodge provides the ultimate jungle experience, along with all the creature comforts. A suspended walkway links the wooden cottages, and handsome hardwood interiors grace polished ceramic tiles that lead to chunky wooden balconies outside. The hotel offers tour excursions and birding expeditions, and is regarded as one of the best jungle lodges in Central America.
- Hotel Plaza Colón (Granada, Nicaragua; tel. 505/2552-8489; www.hotelplazacolon.com): This hotel hits just the right balance between exuding colonial authenticity and matching the modern traveler's expectations. A wide, polished balcony overlooks the boisterous plaza, and exquisite tiled floors lead to a majestic inner balcony that runs around a glorious courtyard and blue mosaic pool. Everything is luxurious and elegant, and the service is prompt and reliable.
- La Perla (León, Nicaragua; tel. 505/2311-3125; www.laperlaleon.com): La Perla sets a new standard for accommodations in Nicaragua, with impeccable rooms and a palatial interior boasting high ceilings, a spectacular central courtyard, and contemporary Nicaraguan art.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.