Las Alamandas

Jalisco, Pacific Coast, Mexico Book from

Reviewed by Arabella Daniell
Exclusive beach resort with a handful of colourful villas, lush gardens and excellent facilities, set on a vast private ecological reserve
Wonderfully isolated, Las Alamandas is set on a sweeping bay on Mexico's Pacific coast, 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta. The rural province of Jalisco is tequila country, where fields of cactus cover the arid landscape. A dirt track leads from the coastal highway to the resort, passing ramshackle villages and sleepy farms before opening into an oasis of verdant manicured gardens. Hidden amid the palm trees, 7 villas painted in vivid hues of pink, orange and blue house just 16 exquisite suites. Private Jacuzzis and sun terraces add to the sense of seclusion; 2 of the most luxurious suites even have their own pools.

Owner Isabel Goldsmith (daughter of the late Sir James Goldsmith) ensures that every whim is catered for by professional and friendly staff, from a romantic picnic on a private beach to a family fishing trip on the San Nicolas river. There is also horse riding, surfing, yoga, spa treatments, cliff-top hikes and salsa dancing, but the atmosphere is so peaceful and soporific that you can't help but just want to laze around soaking up the sunshine. This intimate hotel is the place to come to get away from it all, and where you may well find yourself sharing the pool with movie stars.


  • Low-key luxury melds with a warm and colourful Mexican feel
  • The 5* facilities include a private airstrip, and Jacuzzis in most suites
  • It's private, peaceful and relaxing; with just 16 suites in 1,500 acres you may never see another guest
  • The service is very attentive - there's a staff-to-guest ratio of 10 to 1
  • The attention to detail - from hand-embroidered towels in the bathrooms to crochet-fringed parasols by the pool - is excellent
  • It's surrounded by pristine nature, including deserted sandy beaches, lush tropical gardens and hidden lagoons rich with birdlife


  • Powerful, unpredictable currents and crashing waves make swimming in the ocean unsafe at times
  • Harmless racoon-like tejones invade the restaurant at meal times, but if you don’t feed them they won’t bother you
  • The isolated location may not suit all - don't expect nightlife, shopping or sightseeing nearby
  • WiFi is limited to the Presidential Suite, the art gallery and the front office - a plus for some!

Best time to go

October to May is dry and warm, with temperatures averaging 70-80F. The best month to visit is November, when the surrounding countryside is verdant after the summer rains. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with rain falling most afternoons in the wettest months of June to September, when temperatures average 80-90F.

Our top tips

Not much is not catered for in this 5* paradise: “If we can do it, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t” says Isabel Goldsmith. Make sure you bring binoculars if you're keen on wildlife, and pack evening wear for dining beside the ocean - the hotel’s ‘little guidebook’ suggests gentlemen wear long trousers after 6pm, but no jacket or tie is required.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Beach Resort
  • 16
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Presidential Terrace


Located at one end of the vast hotel grounds, 7 brightly painted casitas house 16 suites decorated with Mexican folk art. With pretty embroidered fabrics, chunky wooden furniture, an abundance of hot pink and a faultless attention to detail, the property has the sophisticated and feminine style. Spacious rooms have kingsize beds, ceiling fans, air conditioning, TVs, CD and DVD players, safe boxes and well-stocked minibars with 8 different tequilas.

Each of the casitas has between 1 and 3 guest suites, which can be booked individually or you can take the whole villa. The most private and luxurious suite is the Casa del Sol - Presidential Suite (the only 2-bed villa, with no upper level), a vast space with its own TV den, Spa area and infinity lap pool.

The Master Suites of Casa del Domo, Casa Isabel and Casa Azul are also pretty comfortable with ocean views and spacious rooms. The Casa del Domo Suite has a kitchenette so it’s a good option for families. Our favourite is the Casa Isabel Suite - close to the beach and it has a private plunge pool.

The other suites are divided up according to their proximity to the ocean. The Beach Front Suites are in Casa del Sol, Casa del Domo and Casa Isabel. They have space for an extra bed and some have outdoor Jacuzzis. The other suite (Casa Azul, Casa San Antonio, Casa San Isidro and Casa San Miguel) are set further back among palm trees: they are more affordable and you can choose a Garden View Suite or an Ocean View Suite.

The large bathrooms are tiled with colourful Talavera tiles. Louvered shutters frame spotless windows and sunny terraces have built-in sofas, wooden loungers and comfy cushions in the ubiquitous pink, yellow and blue colour scheme. Many of the suites also have private outdoor Jacuzzis, where you can enjoy a soak while gazing over the peaceful gardens.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace


The cuisine at Las Alamandas is simple, fresh and healthy. Mexican specialities (poblano crepes, tortilla soup and ceviches) as well as continental dishes (chicken breast stuffed with spinach and ham, fettuccini carbonara or sirloin beef and pepper brochettes) are offered. Delicious puddings included exotic homemade ice cream (avocado and chilli or lemon tea), berry crème brulée, lemon pie and organic cheeses.

The menu at the restaurant, Oasis, changes daily and there are 3 or 4 choices for each course. The fruit and vegetables are grown organically on the property, fish and seafood are brought in daily from local fishermen, eggs and chickens are free-range, and the meat is flown in from an organic farm in Monterrey. Romantic dinners can be arranged around the property (you can even have a stretch of beach to yourself), and private parties can be organised at the beach club, La Palapa, with a Mexican buffet and grill, a bonfire and a mariachi band.

A breakfast of tropical fruits, freshly-baked pastries and a selection of hot dishes is served at La Palapa overlooking the beach, or brought to your suite.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Casa San Isidro 2 Terrace
Activity: Casa Isabel Master Splash Pool


  • Soak up the sunshine by the pool, watch thunderous waves fall on the beach, relax in the privacy of your own terrace, or doze in a hammock under a palm tree

  • Take a boat ride on the San Nicolas river, which runs through the property

  • Discover the estate’s 1,500 acres on a mountain bike or by horse (the first hour is free), and picnic on nearby beaches. Guides are available

  • Hit the ocean with a surf board or boogie board

  • Play board games (backgammon, monopoly, Chinese checkers, chess, etc), or have a game of ping pong in the shade of the beach club’s palapa. Volleyball and croquet are also available in the garden

  • Play tennis (the first hour is free) or work out in the fully-equipped gym

  • Other activities - fishing, diving, snorkelling, canoeing and golf - can also be arranged

  • Admire the wildlife - you might spot pelicans, hawks, storks, herons, iguanas, tejones and whales

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Wildlife


Children are welcome and catered for, with under 10s staying for free if sharing with their parents. Cots and babysitting can be arranged.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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