Under $50: Sayulita’s perennial favorite budget accommodations are the economical and clean and comfortable rooms at Sayulita Trailer Park, (Dec.–May tel./fax 329/291-3126, year-round fax 55/5390-2750, www.pacificbungalow.com) on the north-end beachfront. Besides the clean and comfortable budget rooms ($30/day d, one day free per week), you also can opt for one of about a dozen simply but thoughtfully furnished kitchenette bungalows ($75/day d, one day free per week), four of them smack on the lovely palm-shaded beachfront ($475/week d). (Add about $50/week per extra person.) During the two weeks before Easter and December 15–31, rates rise about 20 percent and reservations must include a minimum seven-day stay and a 50 percent deposit. Get reservations—for winter, best six months in advance—through the owners, Thies and Cristina Rohlfs, either in Mexico City (office 55/5390-2750, home 55/5572-1335, www.pacificbungalow.com) or in Sayulita directly (tel./fax 329/291-3126, Nov.–May).
Right in the center of town find the 1950s-vintage auto court–style Bungalows Las Gaviotas (Calle Gaviotas 12, tel. 329/291-3218). Here, you can choose between three fan-only rooms ($25 low season, $35 high), sleeping in one double bed; or five bungalows ($55), with two beds and kitchenette, sleeping at least four. All units are clean, with a reading lamp and bright blue-and-white tile floors. Other plusses include its quiet side-street location, one block from the beautiful beach on one side, and half a block from good restaurants and the colorful village square on the other. One negative is that you’ll probably have to put up with noise from the cars coming and going from the parking lot outside your door. Best reserve ahead, especially on weekends and the very busy Christmas and Easter holidays.
The lodging most likely to have a room when everything else is filled is the downscale, emergency-only Hotel Sayulita, on the beach. Although the owner, at the hardware store next door, asks about $27 d, $36 t, for 33 very basic rooms around a cavernous interior courtyard, you might be able to bargain for a better price. He accepts no reservations; during the crowded winter season arrive early enough to assure yourself a room.
$50–100: Longtime expatriate resident Adrienne “Tía Adriana” Adams, owner, and son Greg Adams, on-site manager, of the bed-and-breakfast Villa Buena Salud, rent about a dozen comfortable, thoughtfully decorated rooms and suites with bath ($50–120 d high season, $30–60 d low), including breakfast high season for two, minimum three nights. Her airy, art-draped, three-story house is a short block from the main Sayulita beachfront. Although her upper-floor rooms are for adults only, families with children are welcome in two downstairs apartments ($55 low season and $110 high), with kitchen, VCR, and TV. (Adriana also offers five comfortable lodgings in a hilltop view “Hideaway” designer villa, $40–120 high season.) Adrienne enjoys dozens of repeat customers; get your winter reservations in early. She receives reservations July–October in California (1495 San Elijo, Cardiff, CA 92007, tel. 760/632-7716, fax 760/632-8585) and November–June in Sayulita (tel./fax 329/291-3029).
On the north side of town, find luxuriously lovely Villas Sayulita (tel. 329/291-3065, tel./fax 329/291-3063) on a quiet street about two long blocks uphill from the beach. Owners offer about a dozen spacious kitchenette suites ($65 d low season, $75 d high), on lower and upper floors, adjacent to an invitingly intimate tropical pool patio, with picnic palapa. The suites themselves are lovingly designed and immaculately maintained, with TV, air-conditioning, attractive rustic tile floors, deluxe modern baths, and soaring arched ceilings. Some beds are king-size, with a pullout for kids, other rooms have two double beds.
Back near the town center, the gorgeous palapa-chic Bungalows Aurinko (Calle Marlin, tel. 329/291-3150, www.sayulita-vacations.com) offers an excellent alternative. Labor of love of its friendly owner/builder Nazario Carranza, Aurinko (sun in the Finnish language) glows with his handiwork: hand-crafted natural wood bedstands and dressers, rustically luxurious whitewashed walls adorned with native arts and crafts, all beneath a handsome, towering palapa roof, only a block from the beach. The five one-bedroom units rent from about $80 d in high season, $65 d low. A pair of two-bedroom units go for about $125 d each in high season, $97 d low, and a gorgeous penthouse suite goes for about $105 d high season, $95 d low; all with modern bathrooms, airy patio kitchens, and ceiling fans.
At the end of the south-side beach road, the designer cabañas of hotel Villa Amor (tel. 329/291-3010, fax 329/291-3018, U.S. tel. 619/291-3010, www.villaamor.com) dot the leafy headland. Villa Amor offers about 35 owner-designed architecture-as-art rustic palapa-chic view dwellings ($85–370, higher Christmas–New Year’s and Easter seasons). Accommodations, many open-air, vary from two-bedroom, 2.5-bath house-sized full kitchen suites, down to modest but still deluxe refrigerator-and-sink studios, all enjoying vistas of Sayulita’s petite bay, with fans only, no phones, and no TV. Most beds are king- or queen-size; colors range from soft pastels to white. Credit cards are not accepted. (The only possible drawback to all this luxury might be the open-air palapa architecture of some, but not all, of the accommodations, which although inviting, might be a bit buggy and damp during summer rainy spells or chilly during midwinter cool snaps.)
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition