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.
Double rooms from AU$430.87 ($400), excluding tax at 29 per cent.
The price shown represents the lowest nightly rate for a double room available at this hotel over the next 21 days. Any price conversions from the hotel's local currency ($400) have been conducted using today's exchange rates from xe.com.
- 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.
- 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.
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...
Cuixmala KM 46.2 CARRETERA MELAQUE-PUERTO VALLARTA, Jalisco, JALISCO, 48893
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Smith extra at Cuixmala
An hour's horse-riding session for two
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.
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.
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.