Price Band: $$$
Tags: Beach, barefoot, secluded, bungalows
Price Band: $$$
Tags: Beach, barefoot, secluded, bungalows
In a nutshell:
Romantic little hotel with quirky casitas, some like beach huts and others in tree-house style on the hillside. Fun bar and excellent restaurant, nice swimming pool. Secluded but within hiking distance of Sayulita. Access to some rooms requires many steps. Bird Canyon rooms are some distance from the main facilities.
We can’t wait to go back to this fun little hotel that’s hidden on a secluded bay near to Sayulita. The accommodations are rustic, quirky, and romantic in a simple, sensuous kind of way, with lovely ocean and jungle views, sea breezes and secluded terraces. Some units are true beachfront bungalows; others are more akin to tree houses, hidden between the tall palms and banana trees. Several have outdoor showers, most are partly open to the breezes. There’s no air-conditioning here and no televisions, leaving guests free to enjoy a healthy, fresh air beach vacation.
What sets Playa Escondida apart from other rustic hideaways is the delightful restaurant and the enticing swimming pool, set in lush tropical gardens overlooking the ocean. There’s even a cute little bar with a real tropical ambiance, reminiscent of a Caribbean beach bar. Massages, facials, manicures and pedicures can all be enjoyed at the hotel’s cozy little spa.
The hotel is big enough for guests to meet up by the pool or dine together if they wish, but there’s always a quiet corner of the beach where honeymooners can hide away too.
Playa Escondida is only a short drive from Sayulita, and you can even hike into town along the shoreline if you’re energetic. The beach is beautiful but the ocean can be rough at times. When the ocean is calm, guests can enjoy playing in the surf with boogie boards or snorkeling near the rocks. Surfing, fishing, birdwatching and snorkeling trips can all be arranged at the hotel.
The accommodations and facilities were not designed for children and the hotel is adults-only for most of the year (children are accepted over the holidays or at other times upon request).
We recommend the hotel for honeymooners and couples of all ages. If you enjoy relaxing in a hammock by the ocean with a good book, romantic candlelit dining and good margaritas, then falling asleep to the sound of the surf, this could be your favorite vacation spot.
Playa Escondida has just 22 guest rooms, but each one is unique. We suggest choosing the area that you’d like to stay in first (Beachfront, Ocean View, Garden View or the Bird Canyon) and then choosing your preferred room.
The Beachfront rooms are our favorite. The Sol and Luna style rooms are perched on the edge of the beach and all have wonderful views. These rooms have large terraces and most have space for sun loungers too. The four Beach Villas are located together in a semi-secluded setting, and share a swimming pool. They are also close to the beach and restaurant. We highly recommend the Beach Villas for a group of six to eight people, and also if you want to avoid steps.
The Ocean View rooms are located on the hillside and enjoy wonderful views and plenty of privacy. The Love Nest and the Guest House are particularly private and good for honeymooners. Choose a Garden View room if you enjoy a very tropical jungle setting, yet be only a short walk to the beach.
The Bird Canyon is a separate section of the estate, a short drive or a good walk from the main hotel. This is a very interesting concept – the accommodations are beautifully crafted Asian-style teak houses in a lush rainforest setting. The houses are self contained and would be ideal for long stays, but short stays are accepted too. Consider the Bird Canyon if you are looking to immerse yourself in nature, write a book, study the stars, or just to forget about civilization for a while.
|Luna Penthouse||Beachfront||King bed, full bathroom with bidet, Jacuzzi, private terrace|
|Luna Danzante||Beachfront||Two double beds, 1.5 bathrooms, private terrace|
|Luna Alegre||Beachfront||King bed, bathroom with shower and a view, private deck|
|Luna Serena||Beachfront||King bed, open air shower, very private|
|Sol 1||Beachfront||Queen bed, plus extra double on request, kitchen, panoramic view deck|
|Sol 2||Beachfront||Queen bed, plus extra double on request, kitchen, panoramic view deck|
|Sol 3||Beachfront||Queen bed, wonderful view, private terrace|
|Beach Villa 1||Beachfront||King bed, balcony, beach and garden view|
|Beach Villa 2||Beachfront||Round queen bed, beach and garden view|
|Beach Villa 3||Beachfront||King bed, beach and garden view, private|
|Beach Villa 4||Beachfront||King bed, pool view|
|Casa Rocosa||Ocean View||King bed plus extra double bed on request, elevated ocean view, full kitchen|
|Studio Rocosa||Ocean View||Queen bed, outdoor balcony bathroom, elevated views|
|Guest House||Ocean View||Queen bed, very private|
|Love Nest||Ocean View||Double bed, wonderful view, complete privacy|
|Casita||Garden View||Queen bed plus ladder to double bed in loft|
|Cabana||Garden View||Two queen beds (one in loft), jungle setting, short walk to beach|
|Bungalow 1||Garden View||Queen bed, very open room, thatched roof|
|Bungalow 2||Garden View||Queen bed, 100 yards to beach|
|Golondrina||Bird Canyon||Queen bed plus sofa bed, rainforest setting, individual house|
|Cezontle||Bird Canyon||King bed plus sofa bed, two bathrooms, full kitchen, full deck, rainforest setting, individual house|
|Chacalaca||Bird Canyon||Queen bed plus sofa bed, 1.5 bathrooms, full kitchen, full deck, rainforest setting, individual house|
Luna Danzante is a beachfront casita with wonderful views of the beach and the ocean. This casita is one of the few at Playa Escondida to have two double beds, so it can work for triple occupancy but is also ideal for two female friends wanting to escape from city life and try out the spa services here.
Perched just above the beach, Luna Danzante offers plenty of space to relax outdoors. There’s a sand floor terrace with sun loungers, and a shady terrace just above with a hammock and further seating. If you enjoy cocktails at sunset, Luna Danzante is a good choice too. It has a little bar area topped with a thatched roof and overlooking the sea. Access to the beach is via a few steps.
Inside, there are two double beds, a good size vanity area, and a bathroom with walk-in shower. A small kitchen area is equipped with a basin, coffee maker, and a refrigerator. Luna Danzante has a ceiling fan above the beds and there is good ventilation in the room. You’re guaranteed to sleep well, with the lapping of the ocean in your dreams.
Luna Serena is one of our favorite rooms for a couple. It is one of the newest rooms at Playa Escondida, and has a prime location just above the beach. The terrace is furnished with armchairs and a sofa, and offers the perfect shady vantage point for watching the surf.
Inside, there is a romantic four poster bed and a sitting area. The sliding doors to the balcony are shuttered and the window above is screened, so there is good protection from the night air should you prefer it. In the daytime, there is nothing nicer than opening up the room to the gentle breezes.
Luna Serena has a wonderful outdoor shower, divided from the rest of the bathroom by a half wall. There is also a small refrigerator and a closet with half-height hanging space.
Sol 1 was one of the first casitas at Playa Escondida. It’s a quirky house, with a huge wraparound deck that offers breathtaking ocean views. The terrace is partly sunny and partly shady, and is furnished with seating and a dining area. There is also a lower terrace with a sandy floor and sun loungers, just above the beach.
The interior has two levels; a spacious and breezy sitting area and kitchen on the ground floor, and bedroom above. The bedroom has a fairly low ceiling, so it is quite cozy and romantic. The bathroom is on the ground floor.
Sol 2 is a cozy, intimate room, almost like a little cave house. It would be a nice choice for honeymooners or for single occupancy. It has a cute curved bed, from which you can see the ocean through a unique arched window. The wonderful beach vistas can also be enjoyed from the shower.
We love the ourdoor areas of Sol 2; there’s a shady sitting area and below it a sun deck with a sandy floor perched just above the shore. Residents of Sol 2 also have their own private access to the beautiful beach.
Sol 3 is a great room for beach lovers. The canopy four poster bed faces the ocean and you can even see the beach from the bathroom. This room also has a private, shady terrace just above the beach, furnished with sun loungers and a hammock. Choose Sol 3 and you really couldn’t get much closer to the ocean; this is a great little beach house.
To make your stay just perfect, Sol 3 is equipped with a coffee maker so that you can enjoy an early morning drink before heading to the restaurant for breakfast. There’s also a small refrigerator.
Villa 3 has plenty of privacy for a couple, but the proximity to the other three Beach Villas makes it a great choice for a small group too. As a couple, you won’t notice the other guests – villa 3 looks straight out to the ocean via the gardens and villa swimming pool. However, there is also a communal terrace area (including a kitchen) that would be a good place to meet up with friends.
Villa 1 and 2 are above and below each other in a separate building just slightly set back from Villa 3. Villa 4 is down below, on the same level as the swimming pool. For a group of six people, we’d recommend booking villas 1,2 and 3. These are the nicest of the villas and also the closest together.
There are very few steps in the Villas section and they are also some of the closest accommodations to the main pool and the restaurant, so they would be a good choice for those wanting to avoid too much climbing.
Villa 3 has a spacious interior with a king size four poster bed. The drapes can be closed around the bed and there’s a small fan inside. This villa has a amazing conical roof and lots of curves (including hand crafted curved doors). The bathroom has a peak of the ocean from the shower, and the door is full height, so there’s good privacy from the sleeping area. The villa has a small refrigerator and a coffee maker.
Step outside the villa and you have a wonderful view of the ocean. Chairs and a hammock are provided for wave watching and star gazing. The swimming pool below is for use of the residents of the four Beach Villas. It’s not as large as the main pool, but it is very inviting.
The Rocosa Studio is a whimsical little casita perched above Rocosa Casa. The two units are independent but could be booked together for a family group (the Studio has a queen bed and the Casa has a king bed plus an optional extra double bed).
There are ninety nine steps up to the Studio from the beach, but don’t let that put you off! If you are energetic and fit, the walk is well worth it. Here you are nestled in the jungle, with wonderful views of the ocean, and surrounded by birdsong.
To add to the tropical ambiance, the Studio has a semi-outdoor bathroom, so you can feel close to nature while you shower. This casita has a kitchenette, including a hob and a coffee maker, and a cute fireplace for the occasional cool winter evening.
The Bird Canyon is a very unusual concept for a beach hotel. Realizing that many guests want to experience a real tranquility and closeness to nature, the architects of Playa Escondida created these incredible teak houses that are seemingly suspended in the jungle canopy. The houses showcase impressive craftmanship and it is a delight to see and touch the smooth, fine quality teak. The houses were actually designed and built on location in Thailand, using selected trees from Thai government approved plantations, then “flat packed” and imported to Mexico. Their new setting is just as tropical, inviting and exotic as the original.
There are two large houses (Cezontle and Chacalaca) and one smaller unit (Golondrina). Each is self contained and ideal for a couple, with a king or queen bed and a sofa bed. The houses are a short drive or a long, steep walk from the main hotel, so car rental would be recommended. We could imagine that an author or artist would enjoy renting one of the casas for an extended stay, but they would also make a lovely contrast to a more traditional beach vacation. When you tire of solitude and nature, the convivial restaurant and refreshing pool at Playa Escondida are close by.
Cezontle has two stories, with a magnificent living area on the lower level. A huge deck, furnished with lounge chairs and a dining area, offers impressive vistas over the canyon. There is a fully equipped kitchen (including a large fridge-freezer, oven and microwave) and a sitting area with two sofas that could also be made up as beds. This house has two full bathrooms, one one the ground floor and one on the upper floor.
An exterior staircase, also made of teak, leads to the spacious bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The wooden floor is smooth and warming to bare feet. All the windows are well screened but can be left open to allow breezes to circulate throughout the house. There are ceiling fans too, but no air-conditioning. All the fittings in the houses, including stylish bathrooms, are of the highest quality.
Golondrina is a single story teak house in the lush Bird Canyon section of Playa Escondida. Like Cezontle, the house is crafted from fine teak imported from Thailand.
A dozen steps lead to the entrance of Golondrina, which is built on stilts amongst plam trees and banana plants. Inside, there is a beautiful queen size canopy bed and a sofa that could be made into a bed too (in the same room). There is also a modern bathroom with a shower, and a small deck overlooking the canyon.
Golondrina is equipped with a coffee maker and small refrigerator, but doesn’t have a kitchen. We’d recommend car rental so that you can take advantage of the excellent facilities in the main section of Playa Escondida, or visit the town of Sayulita.
Dining at Playa Escondida’s poolside restaurant is a real treat. There are plenty of restaurants in the town of Sayulita, but we can’t imagine being tempted to eat anywhere else, except perhaps during a long stay. The setting is gorgeous; we prefer the tables by the pool that are caressed by sea breezes, but there’s also an interior, fan cooled section.
Breakfast is served from 8am to 11am, with a good choice of Mexican or American dishes. Lunch is available between 12 noon and 3:30pm and you can choose from a full meal or a light snack. The fish tacos are highly recommended! There is even a snack and pizza menu to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner.
In the evening, the restaurant is lit by lanterns and candles; a magical setting. There is a special four course menu that changes daily, together with a further page of a la carte options. The four course menu includes a soup, appetizer, entree and dessert (with choices available for appetizers and entrees). Guests can take the full four course menu, or just choose certain courses. We were very impressed by the quality of the dishes and the presentation.
This beautiful beach is virtually private – no crowds or souvenir vendors here! There are sun loungers and shades available, and there’s even a little thatched roof beach bar. Watch out for happy hour, with two-for-one cocktails!
Snorkeling equipment and boogie boards are available for guests’ use free of charge. The ocean can be rough at times, but mostly it is good for swimming and snorkeling.
Spa treatments at Playa Escondida come with the added bonus of ocean views and sea breezes. These tropical little palapa huts are perched on the hillside above the swimming pool.
A variety of treatments are available, including massages and facials. Massage options include relaxing, deep tissue and hot stones massages. Facials include the delicious-sounding Avocado and Banana Facial, and the cooling Playa Escondida facial (with cucumber, mineral salts and essential oils). Manicures and pedicures can be arranged too.
Playa Escondida is located just outside of Sayulita, around 40 minutes drive from Puerto Vallarta International airport.
The hotel is not easy to find and we recommend taking their transfers if possible. If not, driving directions will be provided when your reservation is confirmed.