“Intimate boho-chic jungle retreat high on a hillside overlooking Mexico's beautiful Bay of Banderas”
Verana's accommodation is as eclectic and unencumbered as the guests - so, how many walls would you like? Casa Piedra has all 4 for those who like to 'lock up' at night. Its traditional Mexican artisan style makes the cool, dark interior cosy and very comfortable.
In contrast, the multi-level Tea House is completely open. Relax on the Japanese-style sitting platform, gaze on the blue sea and green jungle, then pad across to your palm-fronded bedroom.Extremely popular with honeymooners, you needn't worry about passers-by: each house is screened to feel completely private.
At the top of the hill is the Jungle Suite, with commanding ocean views, a jungle-facing patio and 12-foot ceilings. An additional bedroom and a living room make it ideal for groups; if you're more than 4, rent it in conjunction with 1-bedroom Casa Amor to make Casa Grande.
Another favourite is open-sided Palapa, which is also very romantic, with enough loungers on the panoramic terrace to create a private sun-tanning circuit. We also liked the Bungalow (very private and well-appointed), and the Studio (2 patios and an open-air shower).
However many rooms (and walls) you've got, the warm, candlelit evenings and the cacophony of the jungle seem to melt behind the palapa fronds, wooden decks and mosquito nets blowing in the Pacific breeze. You won't find any of the usual diversions: phones or TVs. But you will find bathrooms lavishly stocked with hand-made soaps and lotions, hot showers, and plenty of purified drinking water. There's reliable electricity and hundreds of candles dotted about the resort.
Food marks time in the jungle, and a typical Verana day goes something like this. As the sun slants through your walls (or lack of them), a tray of coffee is quietly laid out on your private patio. When you're ready, the terrace restaurant serves an invigorating breakfast : a home-grown fruit platter, plenty of fresh juice, eggs cooked to order, perhaps a serving of huevos rancheros.
If you're staying put for lunch, the pool restaurant offers healthy Asian-inspired fare: coconut shrimp soup, spring rolls, fresh watermelon. If you have activities planned, you'll get a specially prepared picnic: ceviche, cous-cous, carrot salad and cold beers.
Pre-dinner drinks include excellent tequilas, including some only found in Mexico - ask for a sampler or join one of the Tequila classes. Dinner is served at candlelit tables on the terrace. It's a fixed (and fairly limited) weekly menu, offering regional Mexican dishes with an international twist. You might get coconut prawns served in curry with ginger mash or even filet mignon - all excellent. Adventurous appetisers and desserts include a delicious chocolate and chilli cheesecake. Everyone raves about 'Taco Tuesdays' (with 15 or more gourmet salsas), so try and include one in your stay.