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“Pure relaxation”
Review of Playa Escondida

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Playa Escondida
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Sayulita
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
1 review
“Pure relaxation”
Reviewed 23 August 2009

So, my wife and I went to Playa Escondida to try something new - a vacation without plans, family, schedules, camping, or tasks (unless you count walking into town to go surfing). In short, without effort. This was hard at first, and I struggled to believe I really didn't have to remember anything, or call anyone, or attend any type of meeting. I got the hang of it after about two days. That's what this place excels at though - convincing you that it's OK to totally relax.
Here's a pretty good description of what we did for 9 days: wake up, eat, do yoga (complimentary), lay in the sun, swim in the ocean, lay in the sun and read a book, swim in the pool, get a snack, swim in the ocean, eat lunch, read more, order drinks, take a nap, wake up in time to swim before dinner, eat, walk on the beach and look at constellations, go to bed. Repeat. Once in a while we walked into town and ate fish tacos and/or went surfing. When we were motivated.
The staff are really friendly. Everybody speaks English, so if you don't speak Spanish you don't have to worry. The bungalows are perfect, with balconies and open air showers and big beds and fans, lounging areas, etc. The swimming pool is great, and the beach has nice soft, fine sand, and waves without being too crazy. The whole place just feels very nicely integrated right into the natural jungle-scape. There are parrots and little trails that wind around to get from bungalow to restaurant to beach to where ever. The yoga was awesome. The super nice staff let us use the internet on their lap-top in the restaurant. Another great feature of this place is the fact that you get to put 20% of your daily room fee toward other services such as dinner or massage.
Here are my only criticisms:
1. I wouldn't mind more Mexican food. The restaurant chef is quite accomplished, but he cooks mostly other types of cuisine. I like Mexican food a lot, and I was hoping I would get to eat more of it without having to go into town. That said, it's easy to get into town by walking or inexpensive taxi.
2. I felt like the place wasn't all that "eco" or could have been more "eco." Like, they replaced our toilet paper roll often and brought us new bars of packaged soap every day. At one point we got some ants in our room and were given a can of Raid to address the issue. Maybe "eco" is different in Mexico than in California. This could be construed as whining or snobbery, so I'll let it go.
3. Also, I guess I wouldn't have minded speaking more Spanish, and the assumption seemed to be that we would prefer English.

All in all, a big thank you to the gracious hosts and friendly staff at Playa Escondida!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JCH1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2009

The place is gorgeous: private beach + lush jungle. Perfecto balance between wild and simple with some unexpected luxuries (great food + wifi). The bungalows are beautiful and spacious with enough privacy between one and the next one. Service is fabulous, everyone is friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Given that the hotel is hidden in the jungle and to get to town you need a cab or a hike over a hill, it is nice to have the option of not going anywhere because the restaurant in the hotel is very good: great diverse menu that changes everyday for dinner at reasonable prices.The only two times we ventured out of the hotel (to Sayulita and to nearby PuntaMita) we just wanted to come back and stay. My husband and I stayed there for 9 days and loved the place. He also visited the spa twice and got excellent massages. The only thing to be aware of is that the bungalows are pretty open because the windows have not glass but a bamboo lattice, this could bother some people in summer when it is hot and mosquitos are around. So if you prefer an AC room with windows, TV, etc, go somewhere else.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ABNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2009

What a wonderful surprise discovery to find this down below the highway on the beach. The tree houses were fantastic. Each had been individually designed modeled on the first one built by the owners when they were hippies. The accomodations were special, the beach beautiful, and the bar and restaurant actually had the best drinks and food.

There was only room for about 32 people to stay on the resort at a time, so it was never crowded or noisy. When we finally got bored (in a good way) we ventured to the beach around the bend and watched surfers and a '70's Mexican beach experience. Good shopping too.

Please don't bring kids here. It would ruin it for couples.

  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jzina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palo Alto
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2009

We stayed at Playa Escondida during spring break 2009 with our almost 9 and almost 13 year old children. (They discourage to bring children, however, it is really a perfect property for all kids over toddler age and there are always playmates - the owner's children!)
The property itself is just as described by the other guests, beautiful pool and restaurant area, good food (better than most places in town), rustic charm, incredible beach - albeit with rougher sea. We stayed in the Casita since it had a loft where the kids could sleep very comfortably. A word of caution: if you are a light sleeper, Casita and Cabana may not be for you (or only with ear plugs). While it is relatively quiet in the evening it gets really loud in the morning around 6 or 6:30 AM when the staff start to arrive in their trucks and on their motorcycles (and with them unfortunately a big smell of gasoline which wafts right into the open walled Casita), twice during our stay we were also abruptly awaken by the scream of the wild turkeys in the jungle. Those two aspects were the only negatives during our stay, but I'd choose a different room if I'd go again. I can also recommend a massage in the lovely open air "spa area", it was one of the better massages I had at a resort. I also tried the yoga lesson at the beach with a couple of friends but if you have done yoga before this lesson is to skip. We ventured out into town every other day (the kids took surfing lessons, Sayulita beach is perfect for beginners) but were always happy to return to the peaceful Playa Escondida. When in town go to Sayulita Fish Taco and Restaurant - great food at extremely reasonable prices, afterward grab dessert at the main plaza with the pie lady who sells cakes and flans, one more delicious than the next, for a couple of dollars per piece. There is also a new Italian restaurant on the main plaza opened by a guy from Perugia which was pretty decent (but a tad pricier than most). Don't miss the beautiful gallery La Hamaca and haggling at the beach.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hamzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2009

My husband and I spent 5 days at Playa Escondida for our Honeymoon. What an amazingly rustic, yet elegant tropical paradise.

Getting there: We arrived by plane into PV, then crossed the pedestrian bridge and hopped the public bus to Sayulita. Total cost: $3 USD. Once in Sayulita, we grabbed a taxi to the resort (about $7USD). Very easy and affordable. On the way back, we opted for the van from the resort. Quite expensive but the better option for making a flight.

Resort: The resort itself is breathtaking...quaint, romantic, and elegant. Winding stone and dirt paths weave through the tropical jungle and thatched huts, reaching down to the secluded beach and cove. Colorful and aromatic flowers line the trails. At night, lit candles iluminate the passages between the huts and the restaurant. So utterly romantic.

Room: We stayed in Sol 2...very small, but VERY romantic. The bed was tucked into the wall, shrouded by canopied linens. No windows to obstruct the views to the ocean. The outdoor shower and private patio were perfect for a couple who wanted to steal away. Ample shelves and hooks provided plenty of storage. Fresh water was delivered daily. With a small fridge and an ipod player, we barely needed to leave the room.

Pools/Beach: The main pool is small yet inviting. Lined by sand, a few rustic tables, and a small waterfall, it empties into the sky above the beach. We spent hours just floating and talking while the attentive hosts freshened our drinks and brought us the yummiest guac we'd ever tasted. The southern pool was intimate and perfect for when we wanted to sneak away. The beach was lovely, but home to the thousands of crabs migrating from jungle, so we enjoyed it from afar (more on the crabs later).

Food: Authentic and fresh. We enjoyed traditional dishes each morning, then snacked on shrimp tacos and guac for lunch. Dinner was always a treat. Lots of fresh seafood and steaks. I highly recommend the filet and lobster. And don't miss the happy hour on the beach...2 for 1 drinks. In general, the drinks were a bit disappointing. We don't drink hard liquor and were bored with Pacifico and "cheap" red wine by day 3, especially for the price ($$$). Sayulita did not offer any better selections. Oh, the trauma:)

Service: Outstanding. The staff is tops in my book.

Activities: None, the way we like it. When we ached to get out a bit, we hiked into Sayulita. Don't be fooled, it is a hike but a pleasant one over a rocky beach, then through the jungle. You can also catch a taxi for $7 USD.

Crab migration: Crab migration started the night we arrived and lasted until we left. It was straight out of National Geographic...tens of thousands of land crabs moving through the resort, from the jungle to the beach. Every inch of path and beach was covered with clickety-clackety crabs. I enjoyed the chance to observe nature in action but also found it a bit unnerving to hear them moving through the room in the middle of the night. More than once I opted to forego a nighly bathroom visit...hahahaha.

Pros: Rustic, secluded, romantic, relaxing, beautiful. A perfect honeymoon.

Cons:
$$$: A bit pricey. The food, , spa, and drinks are expensive, not for someone looking for a value.
Tolilet: Didn't flush in our room, not even a small sliver of TP would go down. We had to plan accordingly:)
No electricity: We didn't have electricity more than we had it. Not a big deal for us because we don't drink coffee and haven't owned a hairdryer in 20 years, but I can see how no lights, no fans, no morning coffee, etc. could annoy someone. Navigating ones way to a hut amidst thousands of crabs with only a candle was a bit of an adventure, too.
Swine flu: Didn't expect to see it and didn't HOWEVER, all the hoopla delivered a blow to the local economy. Many restaurants and shops were closed due to lack of tourists. Very sad for PV and Sayulita.

Overall, this was an excellent honeymoon. I would defintiely return.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank ColoradoEasyPeasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2009

My wife and I wanted a secluded and laid back resort where we could relax and spend some time together on our honeymoon. After months of searching, we found Playa Escondida. If you like large resorts with lots of parties and shopping….this is not the place. We had high hopes for a romantic, relaxing tropical destination, but our imagination could not possibly match the reality we discovered. The beach was clean and quiet. The view from our room was spectacular. The staff became our friends after just a few days. Although we ventured away from Playa Escondida several times for horseback riding, a zipline tour and surfing lessons, we always returned for the food and romance setting. We’ll be back! If you're high maintenance and require 5 star amenities.... don't come and mess it up for the rest of us.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seattledan9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern California
1 review
Reviewed 8 May 2009

An architectural gem and location that invites relaxation and reconnection with you best self ... a perfect place for couples and not for children. The staff is exceptional. One of the most, if not the most enjoyable, resorts that we have experienced ... absolutely wonderful.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spiritart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Escondida

Property: Playa Escondida
Address: Ave Playa Escondida # 1 | Sayulita Nayarit, Sayulita 63734, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Sayulita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Sayulita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate experience with nature in eco-chic comfort on a private jungle-beach. Playa Escondida is a secluded private resort, nested in a beachfront setting surrounded by hills covered with jungle. We feature 30 unique rooms, perfectly integrated with the natural surroundings. Playa Escondida is located one mile from the quaint fishing village and colorful surfer enclave, Sayulita, on the Riviera Nayarit...and a world away from anywhere else. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Escondida Sayulita
Playa Escondida Hotel Sayulita

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