There is a lot to rave about. The food is amazing. The pool is perfection. Hugo, Rosa, and the chef (I forgot his name!) are all incredibly kind and lovely people. The massage area, towards the bottom of the property, is simple and relaxing, with perfect sea breezes. The yoga shalas are gorgeous (though I did not take a class, my friend said her instructor was phenomenal). The water pressure in the bungalows is even worth mentioning - it's very strong and you can control the the temperature -- simple things that really help make the stay enjoyable.
However, there are a few things that are imperfect and also worth mentioning. I was there in June and it was very hot. The mosquito netting they have is lovely (not your ordinary mosquito netting). However, it's very thick and does not allow for much of a breeze to get through. I slept horribly there -- under the net it was ridiculously hot. Taking the net off meant getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (which I ended up doing, even though I used bug spray). My bungalow (Agate) did not seem to get a good breeze. The palm roof hangs very low and there are many trees, presumably blocking the breeze. I explained how poorly I slept (to Lulu) and asked if I could be moved to a cabana with more of a breeze but was told that would not be possible. (Mind you, this was low season. There were 3 guests in the entire place - one of whom was my friend, and her cabana got a much better breeze than mine! And I was in the highest tier of cabana, my friend was in a middle tier cabana.)
Also -- the cabanas I saw had a light brown mesh material from the floor up about 2 or 3 feet. I imagine it's for safety, but am not sure. But the mesh made it impossible to really see the jungle or the ocean from either the bed or the hammock! Laying in the hammock, which seemed to have been thrown in as an after-thought, you look right into the mesh. And you can't really sway in the hammock because there's a wood bench that was built into the cabana that's in the way. One of my main goals during my stay was to lay in the hammock, read, and nap. I was pretty disappointed. The combo of the mesh and the low-hanging palm roof make the view much smaller, almost creating a window view. (I feel so petty writing this, but it's my honest feedback.)
Lastly - while the pool was amazing, the pool chairs aren't very comfortable. They are lovely but there's a big gap where your backside hits a bar. Sometimes I laid an extra towel down which helped.
I still can't justify calling it average -- it's better than average. But there are some imperfections than would probably keep me from going back. (If it wasn't so expensive I wouldn't have such high expectations.) Instead I will continue to search...
Tip: Cross the rocks on the beach and go left - next door is Playa Escondida Hotel. They have a full bar, food, and padded beach chairs. Because it was low season we were welcomed to use their comfy chairs (and we ordered pina coladas...) They also have an area where there are fewer rocks making for safe(r) swimming.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Described as the place "where Robinson Crusoe meets Architectural Digest," Haramara Retreat is a magical and idyllic place created and designed to provide a natural and supportive environment for individuals, couples and groups to relax, renew and restore well-being. Haramara ("Mother Sea") is an intimate and secluded oceanside adventure and yoga resort offering sensual tropical harmony to every guest, along with superior yoga and wellness experiences. We are located near the quaint fishing pueblo of Sayulita, in the spectacular Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Scattered across beautiful tropical hillsides, each spacious cabana is made of all natural materials and offers exceptional ocean and jungle canopy views. Haramara offers serenity, seclusion, and security to ensure relaxing and renewing retreats, as well as professional retreats and workshops. Enjoy our nurturing safety all in the embrace of sacred land and the stunning Pacific coastline. Your culinary experience at Haramara will be exquisite as our chef bases his culinary creations on what is fresh and local. Nearby Puerto Vallarta airport has direct flights from the US and Canada - you will be met inside the airport and transported directly to Haramara in a private, comfortable air-conditioned SUV. From the moment you leave your airport gate to the moment you re-enter the airport upon your return home, you will be cared for and nurtured. Come experience the magic of Haramara for yourself. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Haramara Retreat Hotel Sayulita