It wasn’t a perfect trip. After two hot and humid days and nights, we were hit with a hurricane. Howling winds blew rain into our room. The ocean roared so loudly I had to wear earplugs. Four of us ended up in one damp bed. There was no hot water for at least 2 days (solar only works when the sun shines). The ocean was too choppy to swim in and the planned excursions were cancelled because the roads were flooded.
So, why the five stars? Because the baby turtles still hatched, storm or no storm, and needed to be released to the ocean. Because the food was still lovingly and scrumptiously prepared. Because the yoga classes were still killer, and the massage afterwards transcendent. Because all of the men on the property - staff and guests alike - worked together to re-install the very heavy umbrellas that broke in the storm. Because we got to watch two mother turtles lay their eggs in the beach at midnight on our last night. And because we felt more connected to Mother Earth and her critters - and to each other - than we do at home in our suburban jungle.
We’ve been back for a few weeks now, and I’ve had a chance to reflect on why this trip has made such a big impact on our family (3 boys - ages 11, 13 and 17). I think it’s because Playa Viva provides a sense of place that’s so hard to come by nowadays. When we went to Hawaii last year, we stayed in a two-bedroom condo with all the accouterments of home. Problem was, it was too much like home. We went to Costco for groceries and Walmart for sundries. The kids watched TV and played video games, I cooked and my husband barbecued. Same routine; different place. We could have been Anywhere, USA.
At Playa Viva, you feel a connection to the land and to the people. There’s an intimacy and authenticity you don't get with the big corporate resorts. The ethos of the resort resonated with our values. We felt cared for. We fully decompressed, and bonded with the staff and other guests. It was truly an escape. Best of all, I ate with abandon and didn’t gain a pound! Kudos to the owners, David and Sandra, for their vision, passion and execution, and many thanks to to the staff at Playa Viva for a magical, memorable experience.
No, it wasn’t a perfect trip. It was perfectly imperfect and I can't wait to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Viva is a sustainable boutique hotel with 8 rooms on a private beach located 30 minutes from Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International airport. Play Viva is located on 200 acres with 1.3 kilometers of beach front. 85% of the property is in a Private Reserve for use of guests and includes a turtle sanctuary, archaeological site, working permaculture farm, forest restoration, estuary and much more. Come enjoy yoga, surfing or any of the many local activities. Playa Viva is off grid, operating 100% on solar power, solar thermal water heating, grey and black water management systems and built with local materials and craftsmanship. We specialize in farm to table, sourcing much of our food locally and can handle a wide variety of dietary concerns from vegetarian and vegan to many types of allergies. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Viva Hotel Petatlan