Majahuitas

Jalisco, Pacific Coast, Mexico Book from

Laid-back hideaway accessible only by boat, with 8 open-air casitas hidden among tropical greenery and overlooking a pristine beach
Pile your luggage into a motorized panga and kiss the ‘real world’ goodbye. Twenty minutes later you’re stepping out onto the beach in a secluded cove 13 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, greeted by the smiling staff at Majahuitas (pronounced mah-ha-WEE-tas). This Swiss Family Robinson-style cluster of solar-powered casitas is tucked into a lush jungle setting and backed by forested hills. There are no phones, no TVs - not even a plug socket for your hairdryer.

Guests who arrive crackling with BlackBerry-fuelled angst quickly mellow to the persistent thump of the surf and the quiet rustle of the coconut palms. Each morning a pot of coffee magically appears by your door, and breakfast is a platter of tropical fruits accompanied by an ocean view. The day is yours: borrow a kayak or snorkel gear, book a massage or a zip-lining tour, or simply sprawl out on your sun lounger, raising your flag when you’re thirsty for a Margarita. At sunset, follow a candlelit path to a dinner on the beach. This is a true, off-grid gem: go now, before the lease expires in 2018!

Highs

  • The perfect crescent-shaped white-sand beach and the crystal-clear emerald sea are ideal for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling
  • It’s an ideal hideaway for romantics seeking pure relaxation, or for adventurous families - the atmosphere is friendly and informal, with 4 resident Labradors
  • There are just 8 casitas, all with sea views
  • Three delicious meals are included in the daily rate, and there’s a full bar
  • You’re surrounded by nature - fall asleep to the sound of waves, listen to parakeets in the mango trees, spot newly-hatched sea turtles or whales just offshore

Lows

  • Day-trippers from Puerto Vallarta arrive on a mock pirate ship at around 11am. Beaches in Mexico can’t be privately owned, so there’s little the resort can do to stop them; however they keep to one end of the beach and are usually gone by 1pm
  • The lack of mod cons (no phones, electrical sockets, TVs or air conditioning) might not appeal to all, though you can recharge laptop batteries using the generator
  • This is a remote location with no road access; if you want to explore beyond the resort you'll need to take a boat or go by foot
  • The rustic open-air accommodation means there are visiting bugs and lizards (though there are mosquito nets on the beds)

Best time to go

November to April is the drier season; we recommend visiting in November, when the surrounding vegetation is a lush green after the summer rains, the weather is hot and dry and the season is relatively quiet. Come between November and March to see nesting and hatching turtles, from December to March if you want to watch dolphins and whales, or in April to spot giant manta rays. The rainy summer season lasts from June to October, when it can be very hot and humid.

Our top tips

Bring plenty of good books, a torch and any luxuries you want on holiday (Majahuitas has a small shop but the nearest town is a boat ride away). Come with binoculars if you're visiting during whale season or if you're keen birdwatcher. And watch out for the sneaky, racoon-like tejones who steal food from the rooms - don’t leave anything lying around which might tempt them in.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Beach Resort
  • 8
  • All meals included
  • Over 5s welcome
  • Closed: 1 Jul 2017 - 30 Sep 2017
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Board games
  • Ping-pong
Room:

Rooms

Built with adobe walls, dark woods and stone, the 8 thatched or tiled-roof casitas vary in size and style, from a rustic studio for 2 to a 3-bedroom casita sleeping 6. Some are open-plan, others more private. Most are open-air (except for Arcos), with mosquito nets draped over large beds, hammock and armchairs set up in spacious living areas and a sink and counter. Some also have futons suitable for children. All look out to sea, though Sunset, Chula Vista and Cliff House have the best views.

Décor is rustic Mexican, with woodcarvings, pottery, Rivera-style portraits, masks and tree-trunk coffee tables. Tiled bathrooms have Talavera sinks and many are partly open-air - we stayed in Chula Vista and loved our outdoor rock-lined shower and pumice sink. There are no phones, TVs, minibars or electrical sockets for appliances. Solar panels heat the water and provide enough light to read all night if you wish, as well as powering a tiny oscillating fan. A hand-cranked flashlight is provided to help you find your way along the resort’s paths, which are lined with flickering votive candles at night.

The largest casita is Cliff House, built into the rock high above the bay and surrounded by trees and vegetation. It's great for romantics and families (though not those with small children). It has 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and a twin), one of which is reached by a steep stepladder, and a wooden gallery leading to a small balcony under the roof, with wonderful views. This is the only casita where meals can be brought to you if you want to eat privately.

A word of warning: bring ear plugs if you need complete quiet to sleep. The thundering surf can be noisy in the wee hours.

Features include:

  • Beach towels
  • Bottled water
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Flashlight
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • Terrace

Eating

Most nights, dinner is served by candlelight at a communal table set in the breezeway of the main building or on the beach. There's a set menu (usually with a continental bias), but guests are asked about any dietary requirements on arrival and meals are prepared accordingly. Our dinner was delicious - spinach tartlets, followed by grilled mahi mahi with toasted almonds and then apple strudel for dessert. Red and white wines are offered for an extra charge.

Drinks flow and guests often end up lingering for hours, chatting around a crackling fire under the stars. If you prefer not to mingle, you can request dinner at a separate candlelit table, romantically set on the beach. Room service is available for those staying in Cliff House.

In the morning, coffee and/or tea are delivered to your room, before a breakfast of fresh fruit, orange juice and a huge plate of French toast or burritos (tortilla-wrapped scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado and salsa). Both breakfast and lunch are served at individual tables on the beach terrace. For lunch, we ate a mouth-watering mix of freshly-prepared Mexican and European dishes - frijoles, prawn empanadas, guacamole, chile relleno, beef fajitas and tuna salad.

All meals (but not drinks) are included in the daily rate. Times change depending on the season (listen for the gong calling you to the table), but generally breakfast is served at 9:30am, lunch at about 2:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm. The full bar is open from 8am to 11pm.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Communal dining
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sip a refreshing limonada while lazing on the beach; just raise the flag beside your cushioned sun lounger if you want another and a staff member will appear to serve you

  • Go snorkelling or kayaking in the clear, emerald waters of Majahuitas Bay (you can borrow equipment for free)

  • Take a 20-minute boat trip to the fishing village of Yelapa, or to Puerto Vallarta

  • Take a 2-hour hike (scheduled twice a week) through the jungle to a waterfall, guided by a member of Majahuitas’ staff

  • Fishing, diving excursions and zip-lining canopy tours through the tree tops can be arranged

  • Play board games in the covered terrace of the main house

  • Explore the mountains and surrounding indigenous-owned land, or hike to nearby villages

  • Have a massage in a tent by the river, soothed by the sound of water running over the rocks

  • Play ping pong or have an energetic game of beach volleyball

  • Relax in the hammock on your private terrace, watching the sun set and the birds and butterflies fluttering by

  • Look out for the many marine animals (including dolphins, giant manta rays and gray and humpback whales) in the sea around the resort. From November to March the bay is full of sea turtles - you might spot them venturing up the beach to lay their eggs, or see newly-hatched youngsters making their way to the surf

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Massages
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Volleyball
  • Whalewatching
  • Wildlife
  • Zip-lining

Kids

We don’t recommend the resort for kids under 5 - some casitas are not suited to younger children because of their open balconies and the steep ladders up to the rooms. It’s a great place for families with older kids though, particularly if they like wildlife, swimming and snorkelling. Many of the casitas have 2 or 3 bedrooms, as well as futons that can be used as extra beds. Toys are provided, babysitting can be arranged and there are even mini deckchairs. The beach is gently shelving and the water is calm, making it suitable for children's paddling.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Majahuitas