Breeze and I have been together a long time and there’s no doubt in my mind that she’s won the Girlfriend of the Year Award pretty much every year I’ve known her. I don’t know where (or who) I’d be today if it wasn’t for the lessons she’s taught me and the encouragement she’s given me. Now it’s my turn for Boyfriend of the Year Award, and I came up with the most awesome plan for winning it, guys.
My strategy involved surprising Breeze with a romantic, off the grid vacation that would give us all the luxury with zero distraction. At first, I started Googling some of the big resorts. They looked great, I have to say. They’re designed for the traveler who wants to relax at the pool, relax at the beach and eat and drink as much as they want. Pretty much the opposite of everything I’ve written about so far, but they are meant for a vacation after all.
As I searched and compared hotels, I discovered that there are villa rentals in Mexico and some of them are seriously lit. There are a lot of different kinds. Some are a part of their own resorts while others offer vacation rentals by owner in Mexico. This had a lot of appeal to me. I’ve already been on a trip when I rented someone’s cabin for a kind of natural retreat. That went well, so I had a hunch that a similar idea – only a lot more luxurious – would be just the thing for Breeze and me.
My challenge was to find something that combined the escape from technology (that rare, sweet JOMO) that we needed from a getaway with the super-luxury level accommodations I wanted to seriously wow Breeze. I don’t know if I was lucky or if I’m a Google ninja, but I found the most unbelievably awesome Sayulita villa rental.
This was a level of luxury I’d never experienced before. It was definitely the first time I’d ever found myself looking for Mexico vacation rentals with a chef to prepare our meals. Still, it wasn’t pretentious. It let us keep it 100 but still enjoy the good things in life.
So, here’s how it went…
We flew into Puerto Vallarta and rented a car, heading north to our Nayarit villa right near this little fishing village of Platanitos. The drive was amazing, and we got views of everything from the Sierra Madre mountains to the ocean and from jungles to plantations growing bananas and mangos and fields where there were sugar cane, corn, beans and even pineapples growing. We hadn’t even arrived at the villa yet and we knew we were going to have some serious Instagram pics building up for when we returned home. The villages and farms we saw along the way are something I just knew we’d have missed out on if we’d stayed in a resort.
We arrived at the Punta el Custodio gated community and found Villa Estrella very easily. The directions we got from the villa owners were super easy to follow. We pulled into the driveway and knew we were in the right place.
The Villa Estrella is right near the beach and has 3 bedrooms. They were all great but there was no doubt that we’d choose that master bedroom with the king size bed and ensuite bath. The view of the ocean was right out our window! Who needs a TV or Wi-Fi?
We spent a bit of time getting settled and learning the ropes, but it was all pretty easy to figure out. There was tested and treated spring and well water coming from the taps for bathing and brushing teeth, big jugs of purified water for cooking and even smaller bottles of purified water to bring with us when we headed outside or off the property. It was this kind of detail that really took this place to the next level.
While there was a staff to help out with anything we needed, the villa gave us the ideal amount of privacy – perfect for a romantic vacation. Ismael could be found at the gatehouse and answered every question we had, no matter how weird or obscure. Regardless of what it was or what we needed, he knew about it, could arrange it, or could get it for us. I need to meet someone who can do that in my life while I’m not on vacation!
Every morning and early afternoon, Rosa whipped up the most mouthwatering, authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s the kind of stuff that forces you to remind yourself that it’s healthy because it feels like you’re really indulging – which you are. There just happen to be a lot of nutrients in there. Everything she made was fresh, balanced and delicious. I’d love to have Rosa’s skills in the kitchen. I’ve tried to replicate some of the things Rosa made for Breeze and me but it’s just not the same.
At Villa Estrella, it felt like life slowed down. It was easy to be mindful and meditative there. We took our time eating while we listened to music (on one impressive sound system). Breeze did yoga on the beach every morning. I joined her a few times.
While we did take the chance to just lie out on the beach, we didn’t just sit around the whole time. There are tons of these beachfront palapas about a ten-minute walk down the beach in Platanitos where there are all these amazing little seafood restaurants. Great for a light dinner since Rosa made us our breakfast and a big lunch. We hit up the local towns with their Tianguis markets and La Penita surprised us with a craft market that is apparently only open on Thursdays. That was more Breeze’s thing than mine, but it was great to check everything out.
Instead of trying to head out to find a night life (which, I’m under the impression is pretty non-existent in the area), we spent time together. The view of the stars is over the top and I saw fireflies for the first time. The evenings cool down nicely, but I really didn’t find that the heat of the day was too much. I always think of Mexico as HOT, but our Nayarit villa rental seemed to have just the right amount of heat in the air to feel like a vacation without being so hot that romance is out of the question.
Will I win the Boyfriend of the Year Award? I’m definitely in the running, guys. Villa Estrella had a pretty big hand in it, but I’d like to take the credit for finding it at the very least!