Pacaya Lodge & Spa
Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
The new resort, designed by Cooper Carry, is located in the nature reserve Laguna de Apoyo. The project site is approximately five acres and is seated at a high elevation with magnificent views to the volcanic lake. The lodging facilities consist of a main building; restaurant and bar with a featured extended outdoor dining terrace; and two meeting rooms. Complementary to the main building, the project also includes 16 two-story eco-casitas that carefully disperse to create a striking sense of arrival and surprise. Each casita level is a self-contained bedroom/bathroom unit with individual private decks and hammocks overlooking the lake. This allows for near privacy, one of the key draws of Pacaya Eco-lodge. Managed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA), the reserve houses a tropical dry forest ecosystem with a very special flora and fauna, making it an attractive destination for nature lovers. The eco-resort has been envisioned to act as a satellite campus for an educational center founded by OIN, where the students get a traditional high school diploma while being trained in agriculture and eco-tourism; the connection between the resort and the educational center will be similar to the well-known link between the Cornell Hospitality School and the Statler Hotel. This initiative has been an important part of the project, stemming from the social responsibility values that have guided the entire project development. The Pacaya Eco-lodge is pursuing sustainable and green certifications from some of the world’s most recognized certifications including USGBC LEED Global Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs). Cooper Carry provided design services pro bono for Opportunity International Nicaragua, a nonprofit organization. Profits from the resort go directly to support Opportunity International Nicaragua’s Emprendedora, a rural technical high school in the area.