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Boutique Hotel Buzz: Four Places to KnowDecember 16, 2015
|Jade Mountain, St. Lucia|
We know Millennials are all for living like a local. Here are four intimate-sized hotels that will allow them to feel close to their environment, whether in the middle of a city or somewhere just off the beaten path.
Mukul: A Hidden Gem on the Emerald Coast
The 37 guest accommodations at Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa in Nicaragua would make anyone staying at the property feel as if they’ve jumped into a storybook.
This five-star boutique resort is located on the Emerald Coast, situated in the 1,670-acre reserve Guacalito de la Isla perched above its own private beach. It comprises two suites, as well as 12 beach villas, each with two bedrooms, a private pool, secret garden and outdoor shower.
However, for the ultimate experience and privacy, guests can book one of the 23 Bohios, 621 square foot “tree houses” nestled into the rainforest canopy. Each features floor-to-ceiling glass with views of the ocean, a sweeping wooden deck with a private plunge pool and a separate lounging veranda with custom daybed.
The resort also has an 18-hole natural golf course, two restaurants, a bar and kids program, hiking and biking on more than seven miles of nature trails, local crafts and a "Turtle Watch" program.
But for a truly unique “live like a local” experience, the resort offers an opportunity for guests to connect not only with the land, but with the surrounding community as well. Guests can visit the neighboring fishing village of Gigante, where many beachside restaurants and small businesses benefit from grants and micro loans through the “Don Carlos Pellas Fund for Tourism Excellence.” Visitors will enjoy a truly authentic Nicaraguan experience, while at the same time contributing to the community’s wellbeing. There is also an opportunity to visit a local farm where vegetables are grown for the resort.
Hint: A few lucky guests may even get an invitation to experience a typical Nica breakfast with the farmer’s family.
Private Pools at Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Millennials will be pampered at the luxurious Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia. Joe Pike recently wrote about the luxe location, and says guests looking for privacy and unique accommodations won't have to venture far, as each guestroom comes with its own infinity pool. ("The Cool Pool of The Week: Jade Mountain's In-Room Infinity Pool")
Rooms have only three walls, allowing guests to feel as if they are actually outside while they enjoy their indoor accommodations. From the edge of the infinity pool, guests have spectacular views of the ocean, as well as the Pitons, two gigantic, green twin mountains.
However, if the need arises butlers can deliver wireless devices to rooms upon request, providing Internet services for Millennials who wish stay connected while away from the hustle and bustle.
Guests who want to explore the local surroundings can also arrange day excursions with one of the property’s carefully selected tour guides. There are also opportunities for snorkelers, nature lovers, scuba divers and bird watchers to explore the secluded southern part of the island, away from major tourist attractions.
Palazzo Margherita, A Millennial Oasis
Francis Ford Coppola’s Palazzo Margherita offers up intimate accommodations in Bernalda, in southern Italy’s Basilicata region.
Millennials and film buffs alike will appreciate the ultra-private 19th-century villa, one of five Coppola Resort properties worldwide. Each of the properties holds some connection to the acclaimed director’s films and travels.
Designed by Jacques Grange, the residence has nine suites, with three situated on the garden and five in the main house. Details like individually hand-painted ceiling frescos, Italian still life compositions, and intimate walled gardens allow guests to feel as if they’ve been transported to another time.
Although it is suggested that guests unplug and unwind when staying at the Palazzo Margherita, the property still provides Wi-Fi for anyone wanting to stay connected, or boast about their stay on social media.
Good to know: There are several must-see historical sites located nearby. Destinations include the town of Lecce, known as “The Florence of the South” for its churches, squares and famous Piazza del Duomo. Also nearby is Matera, a European Capital of Culture for 2019. Sites include the Contemporary Art Museum, as well as the town’s ancient Sassi district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing dwellings, slopes and underground mazes carved directly into stone rock.
A Cape Town Escape at Ellerman House
Millennials traveling to Africa who may be looking for something other than a “big five” style safari should check out Ellerman House in Cape Town, South Africa.
The stylish and intimate property consists of a Main House and two separate villas, with nine guest accommodations in all. An extensive collection of pieces created by local South African artists greet guests as they arrive at the property, and, as there is no front desk, visitors receive a personal tour of the hotel upon entering.
A grassy lawn affords panoramic views of the Atlantic coastline, Cape Town and Robben Island. Two dining rooms, a personal chef, a pool, spa, and a whiskey bar will have guests wishing they never had to leave.
But adventurous visitors and beachgoers alike may want to explore the property’s surroundings. Ellerman House, situated in the exclusive suburb of Bantry Bay, is just a 10-minute drive to the V&A Waterfront, and a five-minute walk to Clifton & Camps Bay beaches. The property’s knowledgeable concierge can even suggest and schedule unique local experiences, such as a ride up the Cableway on Table Mountain, or a private tour of the Cape Winelands.
Good to know: The hotel even has its own private cellar showcasing 7,500 bottles of South Africa’s finest wines.