- Style Millionaire’s Moorish playground
- Setting Sprawling plantation estate
A sprawling swathe of jungles, beach, wilderness and fruit plantations two hours from Puerto Vallarta, Cuixmala is one of Mexico’s biodiversity hotspots, but it’s the Moorish Palace-inspired casas and casitas that make this Costa Alegre boutique hotel such a breath-taking stay. Kissinger, Reagan and Nixon holidayed here when it was home to British billionaire James Goldsmith. Now managed by his daughter Alix, this Pacific paradise attracts A-listers to its immaculate suites like butterflies to bonfires.
Need to know
- Rooms 13, including nine casitas and four private villas.
- Rates Double rooms from $500.00, excluding tax at 29 per cent.
- More details Casita rates include breakfast; additional meals are US$95 a person a day. In villas, meals are $140 each a day.
- Facilities Massages and beauty treatments, free WiFi in the villas and the clubhouse, 25,000 acres of grounds, tennis court, airstrip, DVD library. In rooms: TV, DVD/CD player, bar, open fireplace. The four villas each come with a full complement of staff.
- Poolside The villas all feature their own private pool area, and the casitas share a pool overlooking the coconut groves and the turquoise waters of the Pacific.
- Check–out There are no set times for check-in or check-out; each is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Children Under-12s stay free and cots are available. Babysitting can be arranged with two days’ notice ($15 an hour). Meals are free for under-fives, and half the adult rate for under-11s.
- Eco‐friendly Sir James Goldsmith became something of conservationist during his last years, and it shows: Cuixmala includes a wildlife sanctuary, and food is sourced from the grounds or the nearby farm. Even the lobsters are plucked straight from the sea.
- Also Dogs weighing less than 9lbs are welcome, but you’ll be expected to feed them and ensure they’re appropriately leashed in communal areas.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Of the four casas, the enormous La Loma was Sir Jimmy’s private house, so naturally it’s the most gasp-inducingly opulent, with four bedrooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the beach, a movie lounge, lounges and dining rooms galore, and more than a passing resemblance to Florence’s Duomo. Casa Alborada, perched on a hillside with great views of the estate, is humbler, but still magnificent: a three-bedroom villa with a sparse white sheen, complemented by blue accents and light terracotta hues. Artworks and ornaments from Mexico and India are dotted around and there’s a team of four staff on hand to ensure your every need is met instantly. Guests staying in the casitas share a pool, clubhouse and restaurant – Gardenia and Primavera have pretty day-bed terraces with enviable views.
- Packing tips Guests are often given a sarong on arrival, but you may want to bring a sun hat to go with it, especially if you plan on horse riding during your stay.
- Also You can hop on board Cuixmala’s 47ft sailing boat available for trips to the nearby Chamera Islands nature reserve, and there’s a smaller Boston Whaler available for fishing jaunts.
Food and drink at Cuixmala
- Hotel restaurant Each casa has its own cook who can prepare whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want it; casita guests dine in the clubhouse on a menu of classic Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, mole and chiles rellenos.
- Dress code Boho beach style with linen trousers and espadrilles, supplemented with a flash of stupidly expensive jewellery – you may not be a holidaying billionaire, but you can certainly look the part.
- Top table Most tables in the clubhouse and on the villa terraces offer beautiful views of the estate, but for an added romantic frisson, ask staff to set up a low table on the beach and dine on cushions in candlelight.
- Last orders Everything about Cuixmala is tailored to your needs, including meal times.
- Room service Only available in the casas, where staff are on hand to provide whatever you require, 24 hours a day.
- Hotel bar Each villa has a bar area where you can help yourself to drinks or have ‘your’ staff mix a cocktail for you. Casa Gomez, the clubhouse, is a relaxed spot to enjoy a margarita, and there’s waiter service around the pool.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details