Our Latest Work: Hotelito Desconocido Renovation To Watch – Costalegre, Mexico

We’ve put a new story, originally published on itravelishop.com up on our site:
Renovation to Watch: Hotelito Desconocido – Costalegre, Mexico [link].

You can also check out our previous post about the Hotelito Desconocido [link].

Enjoy! Continue reading


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Jungle Luxe – Costalegre, Mexico

Anyplace that bills itself as a “handmade boutique hotel” gets our attention, so we hop on a small boat in the village of  Boca de Tomatlan, 15 miles south of Puerta Vallarta, for the 30 minute ride to Yelapa where our luggage  gets strapped onto mules and we hike up a trail to the hillside retreat that is Verana . It is an oasis with an infiity edge pool and nine private architecturally unique casitas carved into and around the trees and desert on a hillside overlooking Banderas Bay. It really does have a handmade feel–handmade by experts at melding luxury and style with nature and privacy.


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Which Came First, the Turtle or the Egg(s)? – Costalegre, Mexico

Early one morning, during our stay at Hotelito Desconocido (www.hotelito.com), we were alerted that there was a female turtle on the beach laying her eggs. Though the area around Hotelito Desconcido is famous for its turtle visits (in season, this beach is so prolific the resident biologist informed us he has seen over 200 nests laid on a single night), they are very uncommon after February and they generally lay their eggs at night not at seven am. [...] Continue reading


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Romance Made Solid – Costalegre, Mexico

The fantastic Las Alamandas resort, part of the Mexico Boutique Hotels group, does romantic well. Here is a photo of our villa, Casa del Sol (aka the presidential suite). We’re sure some presidents have stayed here and we know a number of Hollywood celebs have. Our oceanfront villa had 2,500 sq feet  and two bedrooms— almost four times the size of our old NYC apartment. The Las Alamamdas resort is on 1,500 acres and has four private beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.  There are only six villas and a max of 30 guests, and the service is fantastic. Worth it if you can afford it.


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Beach Chic – Costalegre, Mexico

After El Tamarindo our next stop was El Careyes Beach Resort, another member of the Mexico Boutique Hotels group.  A bit more conventional and much more affordable than the extremely exclusive El Tamarindo. All of the guests in the hotel, except for us, were there as part of a wedding party celebrating the marriage of  a girl from Guadalajara and a boy from Switzerland. Worried that we would be troubled by the music they planned to play around the pool until 4am, they simply  (and graciously) invited us to the wedding – our first Mexican wedding! The funniest part was the first few songs after the 1st dance – Beatles, Stones… then Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” with everyone singing along with the lyrics perfectly. Are we still in Mexico?


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Hide Like a Celebrity – Costalegre, Mexico

WOW is an apt reaction when you first lay eyes on the exclusive  El Tamarindo Resort both in regard to the beauty of the property and its price tag.  If you really want to splurge there are stunning four bedroom residences where French President Sarkozy stayed last month and subsequently created a bit of an stir back home for the reported $63,000 price tag for a weekend. We stayed in a still-very-over-the-top casita with stunning open-air architecture and a private plunge pool.


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Iguanas & Alligators – Costalegre, Mexico

An interesting relative newcomer to the Costalegre resort scene is Boca de Iguanas just north of the village of Melaque. They may have some work to do to really qualify as an eco-resort, as they boast, however it is an interesting melding of homes, condos and charmingly designed hotel rooms, some with outdoor bathrooms, enormous upstairs terraces and delightful sunken bathtubs. And the location simply can’t be beat. Located down a meandering dirt road, Boca de Iguanas is right on a fine white sand beach that arcs elegantly and has surf that’s gentle and swimable. For even gentler surf the resort has one of the most beautiful pools we’ve seen.  


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The Other Coast – Costa Esmeralda, Veracruz State, Mexico

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is well-known for its beaches and tourist destinations like Acapulco (currently in the midst of a re-birth) and the emerging Costalegre. The Gulf Coast of Mexico, however, remains a mystery to most except for the Mexican tourists who flock there. A brief but stunning section of the Gulf coast has been dubbed the Costa Esmeralda (Emerald Coast). Unlike the Pacific Coast, the Gulf side is punctuated by mid-size farms (vanilla is a major crop) and cattle ranches, the country’s only nuclear power plant and even some wind-whipped forests and sand dunes which make parts of the Costa Esmeralda drive feel a little like  Highway 1 in northern California. It has a much more lived-in feel than the Pacific side. We were headed for Hotel Azucar, a  sweet (get it?) little beachfront boutique hotel that’s part of Grupo Habita which operates about a dozen of the … Continue reading


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Bargains, Backbones and Bar Fights – Durango, Mexico

It’s true. Durango doesn’t have the museums or restaurants of Mexico City. Or the charro culture of Lagos de Moreno. Or the tequila of Tequila or the beach resorts of the Costalegre.  And it’s certainly not on most visitors’ itineraries. Then again, we’re not most visitors. Durango it is!       Our first stop in Durango was Cremeria Wallender where our minds were boggled by its luscious similarities–from the freshly roasted coffee to the freshly baked bread and pastries to the gourmet cuts of meat to the decadent prepared foods to the hard-to-find ingredients–to Dean & Deluca, the gourmet mecca in New York City’s swanky Soho district. It’s not the biggest food bargain in Durango (more on food bargains later), but it’s a lovely shop and cafe especially with the owner passing out free glasses of sangria, apparently inaugurating a beautiful new outdoor patio complete with  a jazz duo. … Continue reading


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