Price Band: $$$$
Tags: Beach, eco-chic, secluded, romantic
Price Band: $$$$
Tags: Beach, eco-chic, secluded, romantic
In a nutshell:
Rustic and romantic hotel on a pretty beach just south of Puerto Vallarta, accessible only by boat. Gourmet restaurant and romantic rooms with claw-foot tubs. Best for active couples, ideal for escapist, adventurous honeymooners.
Desert island fantasists look no further – tiny Hotelito Mio is the ideal location for a romantic castaway vacation. Its beautiful beach, backed by tall palm trees and scattered with smooth boulders, would be the perfect setting for an adventure movie. You can stroll along the beach or hike in the lush forest behind it for miles – and an hour’s walk will take you to the nearest highway at the town of Boca de Tomatlan. So how to get here? By boat, of course!
The journey by boat is part of the fun of a stay here. You may see dolphins or manta rays as the small “panga” boat hugs the pristine coastline on the way to the Hotelito. You’ll pass several pretty beaches, but none more inviting nor tranquil than the one at your destination. As the hotel comes into sight, you’ll notice the quaint thatched roof casitas that seem to merge with the forest behind. These are the guest rooms; four duplex villas right on the beach, and four more smaller units perched on the hillside.
The rooms are rustic (no air-conditioning or TVs) but have lots of indulgent features that will make your stay memorable, including freestanding claw-foot bathtubs, antique furnishings, and wide open views of the beach, ocean and jungle.
If it takes more than a fabulous beach and romantic bedrooms to lure you to your next destination, you need to know that this little gem has one of the best restaurants in the region. The chef is seriously good (his scallop tiradito was some of the best food we’ve eaten, ever). What’s more, the restaurant is open only to guests, so you don’t need to worry about finding a table.
Only adults are accepted at the Hotelito, and we recommend it especially for honeymooners, couples, and friends who enjoy each others company. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife – just lingering candlelit dinners and cocktails at the bar – but if you are looking for the perfect place to disconnect and relax, you’ve found it.
Hotelito Mio has just eight guest rooms, each one an individual thatched roof casita. Four of the casitas are beach front and have two levels, with the bedroom being on the top level for added privacy and spectacular views. The remaining four casitas (the Jungle Villas) are scattered over the hillside, like little tree houses.
To reach the Jungle Villas, guests must climb a stone path with numerous steep steps, so these accommodations are not recommended for anyone with limited mobility. We love that these villas are nicely spaced out and surrounded by trees, so that each unit has plenty of privacy (although the foliage does compromise the views a little). These villas are perfect for a couple as they are essentially one large room, with a queen bed and claw foot bathtub taking center stage.
The Beach villas are more spacious, with ample living space for a long stay. If you dream of having a perfect sea view from your bed, these are the units to choose. One of the villas has two bedrooms and could sleep up to four people, whilst the other three are ideal for couples.
Summary of room facilities
Ceiling fans, coffee maker, iPod dock with alarm clock, minibar, hairdryer. Satellite internet access.
San Daniel, San Eyael, San Andres, San Ariel
Queen bed, bathtub with shower above, sitting area.
Beach Villa San Rafael
Two bedrooms (each with a queen bed), two bathrooms (each with a shower), large sitting room, terrace with Jacuzzi.
Beach Villa San Uriel
Ground floor sitting room, upper floor bedroom with queen bed and bathtub, bathroom with shower, upper floor balcony.
Beach Villa San Jeliel
Ground floor sitting room and half-bathroom, terrace with outdoor seating, upper floor with queen bed, bathtub, bathroom with shower
Beach Villa San Gabriel
Sitting room and bathroom with shower and tub on the ground floor, uppper floor bedroom with high palapa roof feature
The Jungle Villas are individual buildings nestled in the hillside. The interior comprises one large room almost completely surrounded by full length windows dressed in white drapes. There’s a small bathroom with a vanity unit and toilet that has full height walls and a saloon door.
In these guest rooms, the bathtub is prominently positioned near to the windows, so that you can enjoy the views as you shower or bathe (the tub has a shower above, but no shower curtains). Since the villas are surrounded by jungle, you can open several curtains to take in the vistas without sacrificing privacy.
The villas at the Hotelito Mio don’t have air-conditioning, but a large ceiling fan is postioned above the bed. We visited in the hot summer months and found the room comfortable for sleeping. The beds are furnished with goose down comforters and dressed in high threadcount cotton. Note that the Jungle villas don’t have closets, just open hanging space.
San Rafael is the Hotelito Mio’s only two bedroom villa. It is a spacious two story unit with a light and airy sitting room on the ground floor. This villa has a terrace with sun loungers and a Jacuzzi plunge pool.
The two bedrooms are both on the second floor and each has an ocean view. They are very similar in size and amenities and each has a queen bed. San Rafael can sleep up to 4 people, but it would also work well for two friends traveling together who preferred to have separate bedrooms.
This villa has two bathrooms, one on the ground floor and one on the second floor. The bathroom on the upper level has two doors, one to the hallway and another door to one of the bedrooms. The ground floor bathroom is especially large, with a spectacular stone shower.
San Uriel is a one bedroom beach villa located at the water’s edge. It’s similar to San Jeliel in layout. Both have a sitting room on the ground floor and a bedroom with a queen bed on the upper floor.
San Uriel has a balcony on the upper floor from which guests can enjoy wonderful views of the Pacific. The Ocean is visible from both the bed and the bathtub (drapes can be closed for privacy if desired, but the elevation means that the bedroom is quite private).
This spacious beach villa would be a wonderful choice for a tropical beach vacation, with accommodations arranged over two levels. On the ground floor there is a comfortable sitting room that opens onto a sea view terrace. The terrace is furnished with a table and chairs, where guests can enjoy room service from the excellent restaurant if desired. There is also a half-bathroom on the ground floor.
The bedroom is on the upper level to maximize the views and the privacy. It has a canopy queen bed and a high palapa roof. San Jeliel has a balcony on the upper level too, so that it’s easy to step outside and watch the activity on the water as soon as you awake.
The bathtub is also positioned to take advantage of the views. To the rear of the room is a bathroom that has a large walk-in shower, similar to the one in the villa San Rafael.
This one bedroom beach villa is a little different to the others. The bedroom is housed in the eaves of the soaring palapa roof and has lots of tropical character. It’s a very romantic and pictureque room that would make a memorable choice for honeymooners.
San Gabriel is positioned almost perpendicular to the beach, but still has nice ocean views. It’s also very private, and has a balcony on the upper floor. In this villa, the bathroom is on the ground floor. It has both a bathtub and a large shower. There’s also a sitting room on the ground floor, with plenty of space to relax or maybe enjoy room service together.
It’s safe to say that you could justify a visit to the Hotelito Mio just for the food. The Argentinian chef is skillful and creative, and we rate the cuisine here as some of the very best in the region. It’s hard to beat the spectacular setting too, whether you enjoy lunch al fresco by the pool, or take a romantic dinner for two by torchlight on the beach.
It’s possible to walk north along the beach to Las Animas beach for simple beach restaurants and bars, but after one meal here we reckon you’ll not stray far. Lunch and dinner are offered a la carte, and there’s a good selection of dishes available.
The restaurant has tables nestled beneath a grand palapa, or outside on the terrace. There’s also a bar serving an enticing range of tropical cocktails.
Our top tip – the scallop tiradito is incredible!
Picture your ideal desert island beach, and chances are it will look something like the one at the Hotelito Mio. Exploring it is a bit of an adventure – it’s backed by dense forest with magnificent palm trees and strewn with occasional rocks. There are crabs and birds, fallen coconuts and intriguing rock pools. You could follow the meandering coastline for miles along a hiking path that stretches to Boca de Tomatlan, or just relax on the wide stretch of the soft white sand beach near to the hotel.
One of the best places to admire the scenery is the shady group of sun loungers and hammocks set near to the beach bar. Here you can dream of being cast away on a remote island, but wake up to a refreshing margarita. The best of both worlds!
The Hotelito Mio’s swimming pool is pretty impressive for such a remote location. The infinity edge means that you can cool off whilst watching for dolphins, manta rays or even whales crossing the bay. There’s even a Jacuzzi section to sooth aching limbs after an energetic hike or vigorous kayaking session.
Beach towels are provided, and there’s plenty of shade nearby for a sleepy siesta after your swim. The Pacific coast sunsets are spectacular here.
Arrival at the Hotelito Mio is by boat, departing from the town of Boca de Tomatlan (just south of Puerto Vallarta). Boca is about 20 miles (50 minutes) buy road from the nearest airport at Puerto Vallarta.
Parking is available in the town of Boca de Tomatlan, so it is possible to leave a car there and take the boat transfers to the hotel. However, transfers from the airport to the embarkation point can be arranged as well as the boat transfers to the hotel.