I am neither the first nor will I be the last person to say that the only flaw attributed with a stay at Casa Majani is the inevitability of your departure. An intimate retreat located in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, this magical villa will leave you with a truly memorable experience unlike any other. When I journeyed to the notoriously beautiful Riviera Nayarit, I knew to expect a luxurious stay with tauntingly gorgeous views and quality service-I had no idea that my visit would leave me nostalgic after a short four days, and that I would feel a longing and fondness for the place as if I had known it for years.
Upon my arrival, I was quickly swooped up by the arranged VIP Vallarta Transportation driver. After a pleasant 40 minutes in the van, we were admitted to the main entrance of the Punta Mita development. Home to many different luxury resorts sported by celebrities and sometimes Mexico’s President, we passed through several security checkpoints before we finally reached Casa Majani.
Everything about the entrance to Casa Majani beckons you forwards, guiding you towards the incredible view of the Pacific. Different pathways sneak through the villa, incorporating water elements through fountains and decorative ponds. We were greeted with fresh scented towels to cool our faces before a smiling staff member placed a margarita into our hands and we began our tour of the villa. World-renowned architect and designer Manolo Mestre and Juan Collignon scrupulously planned every detail: the general manager informed us as we admired a surf board incorporated into the bar area that Manolo was unafraid of fussing over even the minutest features.
Each room was spacious but simple: natural elements of wood and stone coupled well with the odd colorful adornment. There are in total six ensuite bedrooms, five of which have beds facing a view taking up the breadth of a wall. This is intended to keep guests feeling in touch with nature; while inside, your view of the outdoors is never obstructed, even when you’re on the toilet! Fear not for your need for privacy, staff members know to avoid the areas in front of guest windows. There are blackout shades, a flat-screen TV, and an integrated sound system in every room.
I stayed in the Tao room, which was closest to the entrance and viewed the yoga studio across the way. There is both an indoor and, my personal favorite, an outdoor shower. The soaps and shampoos were scented with verveine from L’Occitane, known for its natural fragrances and traditional beauty products. I actually opted to use these over the products that I had brought with me.
Every meal at Casa Majani was enjoyed outdoors. Breakfast was usually held in the same shady spot outside of the kitchen and comprised of any drink you desired, an assortment of fruit, pancakes or waffles, and then a main dish. My particular favorite was a spicy but delicate mushroom omelet accompanied by fresh slices of avocado and the double chocolate chip pancakes.
Lunches were accompanied by a delicious fruit-infused water that varied from day to day: hibiscus, tamarind, and passion fruit. Dinner was preceded with an outside cocktail hour that was perfect for viewing the sunset over the ocean. Each night felt like a special occasion: a table beautifully set with candles and detailed linens and a recommended wine list. Each dinner was so scrumptious that I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, however, the traditional Mexican Mole and the red snapper deserve special mention. The general manager insists that the chefs prepare guests’ food the same way they would prepare it for themselves in the spirit of keeping traditional Mexican cuisine.
We visited a charming nearby town called Sayulita. Brightly decorated with colorful art and murals, vendors selling their jewelry and quaint shops lined the streets all the way to the beach. We stopped for a snack on the shore at Don Pedro’s and were delighted by a delicious local, mildly-spicy dish made with shrimp called agua chile. We ended up ordering a second plate of agua chile after devouring the first. We also toured other luxury spots within the Punta Mita complex that graciously allow guests of Casa Majani to enjoy their residential beach clubs, such as the Kapuri and Mita.
A main attraction at the Riviera Nayarit is the Marietta Islands Biosphere Reserve. We rode a panga boat out to these beautiful islands located in the National Park where we snorkeled and received a paddle-boarding lesson! While difficult at first, once you get the hang of standing on the board it’s very rewarding: you can admire the famous blue-footed boobys and pristine waters while you paddle.
Tequila tasting and fiesta
On our second night, we took part in a tequila tasting before dinner. The general manager gave us five different tequilas to sample, from basic clear (blanco) tequilas, like Herradura, to more amber ones with an almost whisky flavor. We learned how these different tequilas are prepared and received a background on several big names, such as Don Julio.
As we left the building, we were surprised by a sound so distinct that it could not be mistaken: a full Mariachi band was standing by the pool, serenading us. They led us to the palapa, an outside area beneath a roof made of palm fronds, where we took our seats and they were joined by dancers in traditional costume. Ladies balanced objects on their heads while flaring their skirts, twisting and turning before they were joined by male dancers. At one point, several dancers extended us their hands and we joined the ensemble. The concluding event before dinner was the chance to hit a piñata, with or without a blindfold. It was explained to us that traditionally, piñatas have seven cones on them to resemble the seven deadly sins.
Yoga and Massage
A small gym, yoga room, and massage service contribute to guest wellness at Casa Majani. The massage service can be in any location you desire: I picked a spot beneath the trees next to the view of the ocean, so I could hear the waves during my massage. The yoga room has natural light streaming in from all directions, creating the illusion that we were stretching outside. The instructor led us through a session that both challenged my muscles and sense of balance while also relaxing my mind.
Never before has the interaction with staff members been so central to the enjoyment of one of my trips. When you arrive, they know you by name and have all of your dietary restrictions or preferences memorized; by the time you leave, you know which one of them is married and the name of their pets, and saying goodbye is surprisingly difficult. The staff at Casa Majani are part of the experience, the pinnacle of Mexican hospitality. One night, discussion at dinner sent us into the late hours, far later than servers are usually required to stay. It took us ten long minutes of vehemently insisting that our server return home to his wife before he finally agreed to leave us. Having an interactive relationship with the staff made my stay feel much more personal and unlike any previous resort experience: a home away from home.
Seasoned luxury travelers will have to agree: Casa Majani is paradise unprecedented. From the renowned sparkling waters to the slightest details, everything is planned to guarantee not just a luxurious experience, but an unforgettable one.
For Reservations email [email protected] or call The Harlowe Group 954-345-4078
Disclaimer and Facts: We were guest of Casa Majani, and you may have guessed that I really loved it. Casa Majani has 6 bedrooms, and can accommodate 12 guest. Prices range from $5,300-$13,300 a night.