Mexico is a favorite destination for many. At ICONIC LIFE, we have favored the bohemian town of Tulum for its culinary offerings along the Caribbean and indulged at Cabo’s VIP experiences set on the Pacific Ocean. This time, we invite you to Mexico’s less-developed region of Riviera Nayarit, where untouched jungle sweeps straight to the ocean’s edge. Just an hour from the tourist haven of Puerta Vallarta, the 200-mile expanse of coastline is home to rustic pueblos, outstanding restaurants and a collection of locally owned boutique hotels, high-design villas and opulent vacation rentals—the ultimate luxe crash pads.
From the colorful cobbled streets of Sayulita, to the laid-back hideout of San Pancho, the region offers plenty of unique destinations for solo travelers, families and couples to choose from. When traveling Nayarit, Mexico, make sure to hit the nearby hiking trails where monkeys and birds abound or hit the famous surf at Playa Sayulita. And you can’t miss taking a boat ride to the iconic Marietas Islands National Park where snorkelers can marvel at the hidden beach.
From the colorful cobbled streets of Sayulita, to the laid-back hideout of San Pancho, the region offers plenty of unique destinations for solo travelers, families and couples to choose from.
Come nighttime, walking the streets reveals energetic dancers and local musicians ready to entertain as you savor street tacos al pastor. Try the local’s favorite mezcal or a craft beer at the many cerveceria’s tucked into the pueblos before settling into your luxe crash pad for the night.
For a more upscale flavor, consider Punta Mita, set on a private peninsula and considered by Forbes Magazine to be the “ultimate luxury travel destination” for its tranquility and exclusivity. In addition, The New York Times has written about the rise in real estate along this sport-driven oasis, making it a tempting place to see for yourselves. The Riviera Nayarit also has a new property on the horizon, a luxury development named Mandarina, where high-profile buyers are building homes against the sweeping mountainside.
When it comes to your vacay accommodations, we have you covered. From eco-chic hotels to high-design villas, these five boutique crash pads are ready to host you—and 10 of your closest friends along the glittering waters of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
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HOTEL MARII | San Pancho
The eight-room eco-chic hotel is located off the cobblestone streets of the charmingly rustic town of San Francisco (San Pancho) and is a must visit for wellness seeking travelers looking for respite. The owners, Sofía and Toño, are the epitome of local hospitality, showing off the best of what makes this region so memorable by providing hand-crafted, seasonally sourced meals, homemade bath products (package-free) and insider recommendations on all the town has to offer.
Amongst the white-washed walls and poured concrete flooring, you will discover Mediterranean interiors with natural décor all glancing out to the verdant courtyard and pool. Rising early means a sunlit garden view while sipping on a hot coffee and freshly-prepped local breakfast before heading to the beaches in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit—just a short walk away.
Juan José Sieiro
CASA DE LA BALLENA | Sayulita
You can’t miss the magenta exterior and hand-painted ballena (Spanish for whale) that is artfully displayed on the exterior of this luxury boutique hotel. Set just off the bustling streets of the surf-centric and digital nomad-filled town of Sayulita in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico is the eco-friendly crash pad hideaway. Casa de la Ballena is powered by solar energy, has an integrated water filtration system and a water recycling plant to minimize wasted resources in the region.
Keeping nature in mind, the interiors are styled with blossoming pink interiors, palm fronds and cacti around a glistening swimming pool surrounded by private suites.
Keeping nature in mind, the interiors are styled with blossoming pink interiors, palm fronds and cacti around a glistening swimming pool surrounded by private suites. These apartment-style rooms would rival any contemporary studio living space as they come equipped with a modern kitchen, full closet, a lounge area, large beds laid with bamboo-sheets and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the open-air hotel below. Ask the owner JJ for the best spot to rent a surfboard before jetting off to test the legendary break for yourself.
Alexandré Brexa Hooson
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Whether dipping into the infinity-edge pool or imbibing at the al-fresco wine-tasting space, here lies your invitation to surrender in paradise.
Casa Buena Vista
CASA BUENA VISTA | Punta Sayulita
Having seen this property firsthand, ICONIC LIFE is thrilled to say it is one of our favorite luxe crash pads on the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico especially for those who need a detox from the pedestrian-filled streets of Sayulita. Located on the verdant lookout point of Sayulita, Casa Buena Vista provides a palapa-style home with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and tropical wood accents framing the property, for a contemporary take on traditional design.
Sleeping up to 14 guests, the five-bedroom jungle estate is decadently crafted with polished stone, vibrant and locally sourced décor and enough gathering spaces to entertain children, adults, partygoers and sun-loungers.
Casa Buena Vista
Whether dipping into the infinity-edge pool or imbibing at the al-fresco wine-tasting space, here lies your invitation to surrender in paradise. Consider spending a day at the Beach & Surf Club, where decadent cocktails are served poolside and set above meandering walkways leading straight to the turquoise waters. We recommend taking the sea kayaks out for a cruise to Playa Los Muertos where the daquiris are cold and the water is warm—signature Nayarit, Mexico.
CASA KOKO | Punta Mita
Described as the “best of barefoot luxury style,” Casa Koko is an exemplary villa boasting nine suites spread across a nature-centric development home to grand palapas and polished bedrooms. The property, located in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, is set on a tropical peninsula just a short drive from the coastal hub of Puerta Vallarta, is for the family looking for a crash pad with complete privacy.
The entire villa is available for full-use and comes equipped with a spa sanctuary and a memorable infinity pool that stretches along the length of the property with views of the ocean, including the infamous Marietas Islands. Guests can partake in whale watching, jungle treks, surfing and have access to the Four Seasons Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course—all just a stone’s throw from the exquisite Casa Koko.
Sueños del Alma
SUEÑOS DEL ALMA | Punta Mita
This is the villa of your dreams in Nayarit, Mexico. That is if your dreams are made of infinity pools, swaying daybeds, seaside terraces and breezy living spaces overlooking the ocean. The gated Punta Mita property is located on a peninsula also home to a Four Seasons and a St. Regis, that are all set on a stretch of powdery white-sand coastline. The five-bedroom estate in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico sleeps 12—making it prime for a family gathering or celebration between friends who prefer their own three-story villa crash pad, where they can dine on chef-prepared meals and indulge in private yoga classes on the beach.
Sueños del Alma
With a collection of amenities, like housekeeping and a concierge, the property is inspired by an experience offered at a modern hotel—with the perk of having all the privacy in the world at this high-design crash pad. The landscape beyond offers zip-lining tours, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling and is only a short drive from the quaint village of Punta de Mita—where culture and traditional Mexican food can be found at every corner.