ust over a half an hour drive from Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta airport, the eclectic fishing village of Sayulita hugs the bay of the Riviera Nayarit.
Nestled into the Sierra Madre jungle on the west side of the village sits the Hotel Villa Amor, consisting of about 35 canary yellow villas cascading down the hillside, stopping just short of the sapphire-blue water’s edge. This bohemian retreat is surrounded by tropical hills and lush landscaping comprised of torch ginger, fan palms and bird of paradise.
Situated at the end of a dirt road only seven minutes walk from the town-center, the tranquil Villa Amor feels as if it is miles away from the hustle and bustle of town. You’ll soon realize that rushing is not an option here. Although no two villas are alike, most of the rooms are rustic, with open-air floor plans, thatched roofs, a kitchenette or full kitchen, and a veranda.
Instead of TVs each room has sweeping 180-degree views of the Pacific. Some rooms offer infinity plunge pools while others have mosaic tiled bathrooms and gossamer mosquito netting. A neutral color palette and amorous stone sculptures and paintings lend a soothing and romantic vibe to the interiors.
To encourage the intimate at-home feeling the hotel purveys, the staff can arrange for a private chef to cook a meal for you in the privacy of your own villa. In lieu of a spa the staff can also arrange for in-room massages, facials and mani/pedis. The staff are friendly and eager to help you discover the best that Sayulita has to offer, and once you’ve settled into your room they will likely direct you to head over to the nearby Playa des Los Muertos to experience the best Micheladas in town.
This pastoral sandy-bottomed beach is named after the short walk through a candle-lit cemetery you take to get there. Lunch on the terrace at The “O” Restaurant epitomizes the Villa Amor experience. The terrace extends over the beach below and waves peacefully lap against the rocks as pelicans cruise by scanning the water for their own pescatarian meal.
The wait staff will recommend you begin with the freshly made guacamole and a variety of salsas and fresh baked chips, accompanied by a house margarita. Follow this with the fish of the day “a la plancha” (grilled) with a side of grilled vegetables and finish it off with a creamy flan.
In the evening at “O” Restaurant, as the hot sun dips below the horizon and the twinkling lights go on in the trees, the outdoor dining area turns into a dreamy magazine spread with the bucolic ocean reflecting the glittering lights off of candle-lit tables. The pool can be found a short walk up a hill past the restaurant.
A few lounge chairs and umbrellas dot the terrace and a full outdoor cooking area with barbeque and sink give the feeling of being in your own backyard; the casual set-up welcomes guests to come cook their own fresh catch of the day while sipping margaritas poolside. Located next to the pool is a modest yoga center where free yoga is offered each morning. There is no gym at the hotel and instead guests are encouraged to use the pool, ocean and the plethora of outdoor activities offered in Sayulita as exercise.
If you need guidance on what to do in Sayulita the staff will help organize your day to your specifications, whether it be to simply do nothing but indulge yourself with massages and decadent meals, or whether you desire action packed days filled with surfing and zip-lining. Either way, if your idea of the good life is a warm gentle breeze washing over you, then the Hotel Villa Amor is the place for you to come and unwind.
Photography Ed Dorsett
Written by Alex Winston