This Central-American country's first five-star boutique hotel surpasses expectations in every way. Entirely family-owned, the whole resort resembles one giant palapa (an open-sided, thatch-roofed dwelling), more like a home than a hotel, with a bohio ('cottage' in Spanish) as your resting place.

If you fancy finding your inner Zen, pop along to the complimentary yoga classes every morning. Alena, the super-friendly instructor (and extremely forthcoming life advisor), will ensure you leave with a sense of serious wellbeing. Exercise over, it's time for some R'n'R. Dunk yourselves into the plunge pool, stretch out on the rustic furniture and gaze down on the Emerald Coast, one of the most sensational stretches of beach in the country.

Something to bear in mind when you get hungry: once you've tasted the ceviche here, you won't want anything else. A kaleidoscope of bright colour and fresh fish, do try to refrain from ordering it at every meal, as you'll miss out on possibly the best cut of beef you've ever tasted. When night draws in, enjoy the free rum-tasting sessions. Dashing expert Raoul will help to guide you through the heritage of Nicaragua's pride and joy, Flor de Caña, in the dedicated rum room. A must for spirit lovers.

WOW FACTOR The back-to-nature vibe. Some of the bohios have early-morning visitors knocking at the door - no, it's not your butler, it's a charming exotic blue jay seeking your attention.

FLIGHT TIME 14hrs from UK

GO A double room costs from £330 www.mukulresort.com; American Airlines www.americanairlines.co.uk flights from London via Miami start at £475

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