Recommended place to stay:
Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Ixtapa, Guerrero, Mexico|www.calademar.com|
Official star rating:
Carved into a cliff-face between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and blanketed by a tropical rainforest, this chic hideaway is so romantic that if you aren’t madly in love when you arrive, you will be by the time you leave. It’s about pure unashamed decadence.
Each suite exudes a sense of place, with a classic ochre colour palette and classy Mexican art. All have acres of space, including a wide terrace with a discreetly positioned plunge pool for guaranteed privacy. A can-do butler will arrange candlelit dinners in your room or picnics on the private white-sand beach.
The spa takes inspiration from ancient Aztec wellness traditions; treatment rooms are scented with the healing toronjil flower and lotions feature cacao, coffee, aloe and cactus.
A local artist has decorated the hotel’s beach cruiser bikes and curated a flora and fauna tour of a nearby nature reserve. Guests can also help at his art classes for local children. The hotel also offers a Mexican-food cooking lesson – with a trip to the local market first for ingredients – yoga, golf, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and surfing.
Try the 2-hour temazcal, a traditional sweat lodge where a shaman guides your purification ceremony in searing herb-scented heat, sparking an intense physical, emotional and mental release.
The hotel is just off a highway and close to several resorts and the Marina Ixtapa golf course, but the design focuses your attention on the sea and it feels pleasingly secluded.
The twin towns of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo are a 20-minute drive away. The action in Ixtapa is around its marina’s super yachts and glamorous bars and restaurants. Zihuatanejo remains a traditional fishing village at heart, with an old-fashioned harbour and town square.
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