Nicaragua: Investment in Wellness Tourism

An announcement has been made that the Asian hotel company Six Senses has bought the hotel Aqua Wellness Resort, located in Tola beach on the Pacific coast.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The international hotel and resort Six Senses, headquartered in Thailand, specializing in tourism has acquired the "wellness" hotel Aqua Wellness Resort. As in Nicaragua, in the rest of the region growth has been projected in investments in this specialized tourism segment.

From the press release by Lionheart LLC:


Through subsidiary Lionheart Nica LLC, Lionheart Capital’s first project with Six Senses will be the conversion of Aqua Wellness Resort into Six Senses Nicaragua

May 15, 2015: (Managua, Nicaragua) Ophir Sternberg, Founding Partner and CEO of Lionheart Capital LLC, developer of The Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach and The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, Palm Beach, among a $4 billion transaction history of luxury real-estate properties in the U.S., Brazil, China and the Caribbean, today announced a partnership with Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to exclusively develop Six Senses resorts, spas and residences in Nicaragua. The Six Senses properties in Nicaragua will be owned by Lionheart and operated by Six Senses.

A Bangkok- and New York-based luxury resort, spa and residences management company that was recently acquired by US-based private equity fund manager Pegasus Capital Advisors, Six Senses currently manages 36 luxury properties across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and plans to double in size over the next three years. Through Lionheart Capital’s subsidiary company in Nicaragua, Lionheart Nica LLC, led by CEO Trevor Barran, Lionheart will develop a “travel circuit” in Nicaragua, with multiple luxury resorts, spas and residences properties operated by Six Senses, so that visitors can experience the geographical and cultural wonders of the country.

“Nicaragua recently has emerged as a thriving tourism destination, with tourist arrivals up more than 8.2 per cent annually for the past five years, and I am proud that Lionheart will be the first to establish a celebrated international luxury resort brand in the country,” said Sternberg. “Six Senses is known for offering authentic vacation experiences in sustainably developed luxury resorts, spas and residences properties set in ‘far-flung locations of exceptional beauty,’ so the brand is a perfect match for Nicaragua.”

• Lionheart Nica and Six Senses’ first co-venture in Nicaragua will be the conversion of Aqua Wellness Resort into Six Senses Nicaragua. Aqua Wellness Resort, a “barefoot-luxury” property on Nicaragua’s Pacific “Emerald Coast,” opened in 2010 and was acquired by Lionheart Nica in 2014. The largest boutique beach resort in Nicaragua, Aqua features a white-sand beach, 50 unique tree-house villas, and dining, spa and yoga facilities.

• In the next several years, Lionheart Nica will invest between US$20 million and US$40 million to enhance and enlarge Aqua over 100 acres and rebrand it as Six Senses Nicaragua. This will include adding 40 tree-house villas, swimming pools, a new spa and restaurant, and a select number of for-sale private Six Senses Residences. The conversion of Aqua into Six Senses Nicaragua will generate between 100 and 200 temporary jobs and between 300 and 500 permanent jobs for Nicaraguans.

• The new one-, two- and three-bedroom Six Senses Residences built at Six Senses Nicaragua will offer expansive indoor/outdoor living space, swimming pools, and Pacific Ocean and tropical forest views. The Six Senses Residences will be available for sale for full ownership and will be priced on average around US$2,000,000. Owners can opt to enter their residences into the Six Senses Nicaragua rental pool. A limited number of Six Senses Residences are currently available for pre-sale at preferred founders pricing.

“We are excited that Six Senses’ first foothold in the Western Hemisphere will be in a country virtually untouched by development,” said Neil Jacobs, chief executive officer of Six Senses and the former head of Asia Pacific operations for Four Seasons Hotels. “Our properties in Nicaragua will be sustainably developed, preserving the natural environment and integrating local culture, in keeping with Six Senses’ commitment to responsibly creating luxury resorts where guests can reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.”

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