"Here you don't buy planks of wood. You buy a tree," says Yvan Cussigh, who designed the Nicaragua hotel with his New York-based partner, Jean-Marc Houmard. He embraced the practice by turning castaway pieces from local lumber suppliers into art pieces, which adorn bedrooms and common spaces. Yvan keeps a close eye on every detail, including his three attentive and personable clerks: Ezekiel (left), Erick, and Byron (previously pictured), who manage the desk, bartend and guide. Their pineapple caipirinha game is strong, and they're happy to teach bachata to anyone with willing hips.