Increased visitor arrivals now support a sprinkling of mid- to high-end accommodations. Among the loveliest is Casa Las Brisas (Playa Cayero, tel. 329/298-4114 or 866/740-7999, fax 329/298-4112, www.casademita.com) of friendly owner/manager/builder Mark Lindskog. Mark personally makes sure that his guests enjoy the best of all possible tropical worlds: a breezy creamy-sand beach, gourmet cuisine, fine wines, spacious art- and antiques-decorated rooms, and plenty of peace and quiet, around an azure pool patio. For the active, Mark provides a universal gym station and optional fishing, horseback riding, surfing, golf, and more. All this for about $415 for two, all lodging, food, and drinks included. (You may also reserve Casa Las Brisas accommodations through Mexico Boutique Hotels, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/508-7923, U.S./Can. tel. 800/728-9098, www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com.)
For an equally unusual, but completely different, lodging experience, look into the Huerta de la Paz (Km 4, Carretera Higuera Blanca, www.puntamita.com/HuertaLaPaz.htm). This ecoretreat is the life project of artist-pioneer Sandra Richards, formerly of San Francisco, California. In 10 years of solid work, Sandra has carved her version of paradise out of the Punta Mita foothill tropical forest. Now, her bucolic acreage encompasses mini-groves of mandarin orange and mango trees, and an all-organic vegetable garden. Besides her horticultural work, Sandra enjoys both cooking and company, so she has added four comfortable guest cabañas to her paradise. Two of the cabañas she describes as “rustic-elegant.” Indeed, they are spacious, art- and antiques- decorated, and enjoy luxurious panoramic forest and ocean views. The other two cabañas are also comfortable, with panoramic views, but are more modestly (although invitingly) furnished. Sandra asks $125 with breakfast for two (fruit, baked bread, scones, coffee, tea, juice) for the larger cabañas, and $55 and $85, also with breakfast, for the smaller. She closes down during the buggier rainy season (July 1–Oct. 15).
Access directions for both Casa Las Brisas and Huerta de la Paz are similar. For both, from the Punta Mita Highway at Mile 11 (Km 18) follow the Higuera Blanca road fork north. (If you reach the Four Seasons Hotel gate, turn around; you’ve gone too far.) Heading north, within a mile, cross two bridges. For Casa Las Brisas, turn left on to the dirt road after the second bridge. Continue about half a mile to the beach, where you bear left at the fork. Continue another approximately quarter-mile to Casa Las Brisas, marked by a small tile plaque, on the right.
For Huerta de la Paz, after the second bridge, continue straight ahead. Follow the signs to the Huerta de la Paz entrance driveway, a total of three miles (4.8 km) from the Punta Mita highway turnoff.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition