Grande dame rehabs. Art-focused urban boutiques. Rain-forest hideaways. There's no pattern to be found in the latest hotels in Latin America. But the offerings reveal one trend: the broad appeal of the region.
Nayara Springs, Arenal
The four-year-old, 50-casita resort Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens will open an adjoining adults-only property called Nayara Springs in December. It will have the same view as the original hotel, overlooking the active Arenal Volcano, about a three-hour drive from San José. Linked by an elevated footbridge through the rain-forest canopy, the new addition will comprise 16 larger villas, each with springs-fed private pools, gardens with outdoor showers and hammocks built for two. The nature theme extends to the interiors, which have polished wood floors, beamed, plantation-style ceilings and four-poster beds draped in cotton mosquito netting. Nayara Springs guests have their own lobby, yoga pavilion, swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and can take advantage of amenities at the sibling property, including a spa that offers coffee scrubs and volcanic mud wraps, two more restaurants, a wine bar and pool with a swim-up bar.
Rooms from $590, with breakfast and minibar; (888) 332-2961; nayarasprings.com.
Soho Playa, Playa del Carmen
This hotel, the first of a planned minichain from a Canadian real estate company, presents a wellness-chic image in the pedestrian-friendly heart of Playa del Carmen, de facto capital of the Riviera Maya. Opened last month, the newly constructed boutique features 23 rooms, most with hammock-furnished balconies. The living-room-style lobby combines rustic elements like stone planters with sleek ones like modern furniture and abstract art. Though located in a beach town known for its tequila-fueled parties, the hotel adopts well-being as its theme: it offers free diagnoses at a neighboring wellness clinic and daily yoga and meditation classes, and includes vegetarian dishes on the menu at its Mexican-fusion restaurant. The hotel is several blocks from the beach, but guests can take a dip in a pool and Jacuzzi on the roof.
Rooms from $160; (52-984) 267-3207; sohoplaya.com.
Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Guacalito de la Isla
Carlos Pellas, patriarch of the Nicaraguan family that owns Flor de Caña rum, spent $250 million developing Mukul. It paid off. The 37-room, 1,670-acre property opened last February on a four-mile stretch of Pacific Coast 91 miles west of Managua and swiftly became the country's leading luxury resort. It has a high amenity-to-guest ratio, with a six-treatment-room spa, beach club, 7.5 miles of hiking trails and an 18-hole golf course designed by David McLay Kidd of Scotland. Each of 12 beachfront villas has its own swimming pool and outdoor shower. An additional 23 hillside casitas overlook the shore through floor-to-ceiling windows and include plunge pools on their front decks. In an effort to make the project environmentally and socially sustainable, more than 1,500 trees were planted or relocated, and local artisans were contracted to create décor for Mukul. Oh, and the resort is offering private homes to investors, the first of which will open this month.
Rooms from $500, including breakfast, lunch and some drinks; (800) 390-8844; mukulresort.com.
Waldorf-Astoria Panama, Panama City
Panama City's expanding canal and gentrifying neighborhoods like Casco Viejo have started a building boom unrivaled in the region. One of its newest high-rises, the Waldorf-Astoria Panama, opened in March, combining the efficiency and meeting space of a business hotel with urban resort features like a five-treatment-room spa, an outdoor pool and adjoining bar, a sushi lounge, lobby bar and brasserie. Its 248 guest rooms channel tranquillity via neutral décor and marble bathrooms. Given the hectic traffic in Panama City, the hotel's location, on the restaurant- and club-lined Calle Uruguay and a block from the oceanfront, is another selling point.
Rooms from $129; (800) 925-3673; waldorfastoriapanama.com.
B Arts Boutique Hotel, Lima
This hotel occupies a 1914 vintage mansion and former seaside presidential summer residence that has been remodeled to house 10 guest rooms and an adjoining annex with another seven rooms. The two-year restoration involved rehabilitating marble floors and wood columns, while adding modern features like spacious bathrooms and Wi-Fi to rooms and a plunge pool and sun deck on the roof. Inside the whitewashed residence, recessed skylights brighten interiors and highlight a collection of contemporary art that adds a dose of modernity. The local celebrity chef Oscar Velarde of La Gloria restaurant designed the seafood menu in the dining room, one of several places on the property to eat out. The hotel is by a contemporary art gallery and employs concierges poised to provide insights on local exhibitions.
Rooms from $450; (866) 628-1777; hotelb.pe.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.