If your search for the perfect secluded Mexican retreat is on, look no further than the Costa Alegre on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Just a couple hours south of the cruise ship port town of Puerto Vallarta are two fantastic sister properties formerly owned by 80’s corporate raider - billionaire (turned organic farmer) Sir James Goldsmith.
The first is Cuixmala, the former home of Goldsmith; a Moorish style palace overlooking 25,000 acres of jungle, palms, lagoon and ocean coast. Goldsmith built the sprawling palace in the 80’s. He would fly down guests like Ronald Reagan and Henry Kissinger on his silk lined Indian themed Boeing 757. Sir Goldsmith died in 1997 and his daughter Alix now handles the management of the property, so you can now rent the entire family property out for a lavish vacation for you and some of your closest chums. It really feels like you’re weekending in a James Bond set. There are lavish suites with massive baths and incredible views in the main house, a terrific restaurant, beautifully appointed studies and of course a screening room. There are also a few charming small houses (or Casitas) on the property to handle the overflow of your guests.
The restaurant, Casa Gomez serves thoughtful Mexican cuisine with most of the product coming from the estate’s organic farms. There is a wonderful pool at the beach where you can listen to the roar of the Pacific, swim and grab a bite and a drink. They also have a private cove called Playa Econdida that they can shuttle you down to in order to sunbathe, snorkel and have a beach barbecue complete with chilled wine and ice-cold Mexican beer. If horses are your thing, they are available to ride around the 25,000 acres that is home to a variety of wildlife - jaguars, crocs, sea turtles and a massive herd of zebras, that started as a pair gifted to Goldsmith.
"They also have a private cove called Playa Econdida that they can shuttle you down to in order to sunbathe, snorkel and have a beach barbecue complete with chilled wine and ice-cold Mexican beer."
The other property, Hacienda de San Antonio is a highland retreat nestled at the base of an active volcano near Colima. The hotel is some 2.5 hours inland from the coast. The Hacienda is a 19th century coffee plantation that stills supplies both properties with their coffee (and it is delicious!) The interior design is in sharp contrast to the bright whites and minimalist Moorish interiors of Cuixmala. Here European antiques, stone and dark wood prevail. There is a 110-foot swimming pool to bathe in, tennis, horses and hikes. The food is equally divine here and again all the fruit, veg, cheese and meat comes from the Hacienda’s farms and ranches.
Cuixmala and Hacienda de San Antonio are two of those rare properties that feel really special when you are there. You immediately sense the care and passion that went into these places. The staff are very kind and thoughtful and go out of their way to make your stay a special one. The details here are sophisticated and refined. You really feel very far away and cared for. It also feels like Mexico in all the best ways, so pack your linen and hustle down to Costa Alegre.
BONUS: Both properties are accessible by private plane if that suits you (props only.)