The top hotel in Nicaragua’s Laguna de Apoyo is a vegan hotel, outranking all the other hotels in the area, according to travel site Trip Advisor.
Opened in December 2016, Apoyo Lodge, Nicaragua’s first vegan hotel, features lake view suites, forest view rooms, healthy vegan meals and yoga practice included for all guests who want it.
Apoyo Lodge is located in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, a protected area that is home to the Apoyo Lagoon, which fills the caldera of an extinct volcano.
The hotel comes highly recommended by guests — who mostly come from the United States and Canada — not only on Trip Advisor but also on Booking.com, where Apoyo Lodge has an impressive 9.5 (out of 10) rating.
The 8-bedroom hotel, which has a capacity of around 20 people, was founded by Maribel Martin and Miriam Rodriguez, two Spanish friends and business partners.
“We specialize in yoga and wellness retreats, as well as offering a healthy compassionate option to those who are travelling the region that just need a space to spend a night or two,” Rodriguez told Vegan World News.
“As a 100% vegan hotel, we are able to offer a cruelty free space for those who care about animal welfare and sustainability of the planet.”
“We also specialized in healthy vegan cuisine, so we also appeal to those who are looking to transition to a healthier lifestyle, providing a wide array of culinary options and inspiration to create their own when they return home.”
While Apoyo Lodge’s menu is different every day of the week, the hotel offers three gluten-free, globally-inspired meals each day, featuring menu items such as oat and banana pancakes for breakfast, moussaka for lunch, and Maki Sushi Roll with Tamarind for dinner.
There are also raw vegan options available, and the hotel uses seasonal ingredients and organic produce for its meals whenever possible.
Apoyo Lodge hires people from the local community and says they not only help them gain the skills necessary to succeed but also information about the benefits a vegan lifestyle can have on health and the sustainability of their land.
“We offer chemical free toiletries, as well as operating a self sustained septic tank that reduces our footprint in the natural reserve,” said Rodriguez.
“We put money on the side to spay/neuter stray cats and dogs in the community. We are not just a vegan hotel for the food, but in the bigger meaning of veganism and the yoga principle of ‘ahimsa’ or ‘no harm.'”
While the vegan lifestyle is still relatively unknown in Nicaragua, Apoyo Lodge hopes to help change that.
“Veganism is still small in the country, but surely growing, and we are happy to be pioneers supporting those who need a place to nourish their bodies and learn more about health and tips on how to live a more compassionate lifestyle.”