True to its name, Playa Escondida (“hidden beach” in Spanish) is tucked far off the beaten path, nestled in the lush Nayarit jungle on a beach cove protected from casual beachcombers and annoying vendors by rocky outcroppings on each end. This is beachfront hippie-chic at its finest: palapas and canopied beds, sensual organic architecture and scads of luscious lounge-worthy spots. Add to that al fresco yoga and massage, jungle horseback explorations followed by a gourmet repast and glorious waves for hanging ten and you have a recipe for eco-perfection. Rooms are wide open and offer a combination of beach views, jungle views and even canyon views from five palapa-topped teak bungalows situated a quarter-mile from the main hotel. Service is personalized and unobtrusive—it’s a place where everybody knows your name, if only to make sure you’re having the best time possible and you have everything you need to zen out. We suggest packing light, namely a carry-on with a selection of teeny bikinis, one perfect pair of sandals, three linen dresses and a brand new tube of Bain de Soleil Orange Gelée.
Why we love it
We love the seclusion: you’ll feel as if you’re on your very own island, thoughtfully fixed up with your comfort in mind. We love that you go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the waves, that the night sky is so clear you can reach up and touch the stars. We love the cliff-top massages and the quiet little golf carts that zoom from the canyon rooms down to the main resort. We also love bartender Jorge’s “Forever Yours” martinis… Served with a side of sunset, of course.
This is a jungle retreat, which means there are critters around including curious tejones (Mexican raccoons) and chattering birds. The rooms are not air-conditioned (they’re very conscious of their carbon footprint), but do enjoy ocean breezes helped along by ceiling fans, as well as mosquito netting for the beds (though mosquitoes are normally non-existent.) The town of Sayulita is only a 20 minute walk, where you can enjoy fresh fish tacos and dollar Pacífico beers.