Mexico › Riviera Nayarit Hotels
Updated: March 10, 2022
The days when the Riviera Nayarit used to piggyback off its then most famous neighbor, Puerto Vallarta, to gain visitors are long gone. The Riviera Nayarit has a personality of its own, with its nearly 200 miles of coastline extending from Nuevo Vallarta in the south all the way to San Blás in the north.
With 23 seaside towns that make up this tourist destination, visitors can find a host of different accommodation options, some as unique as the towns where they’re located. Sayulita and Punta de Mita might have put it on the map, but lesser-known towns like Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacastle, and San Francisco – affectionately known as San Pancho – are also worth a visit. Here are 7 unique hotels in the Riviera Nayarit that are sure to attract those seeking intriguing decor, extraordinary service, and striking locations, with options for every budget.
1. Casa de Mita – Punta de Mita
This eight-room adults-only property is everything you’d want a boutique hotel to be. It’s located outside the gated community the Punta de Mita area is known for, but don’t let the bumpy gravel road you’ll travel down to get there fool you into thinking you picked the wrong spot. The staff pampers you from the moment you arrive and the hardest decisions you’ll have to make are whether you’ll have that second signature margarita, or whether you should move from your reading nook on a secluded Balinese bed full of pillows to a plush sunbed in a sunnier spot by the pool. Art and color abound, each room has a private terrace and the white-sand beach the hotel sits on is practically private. You’ll feel like you’re royalty at this place.
• Address: Playa Careyeros, 63734 Punta de Mita
• Phone: 329 298 4114
• Current prices starting at $775 USD per night
2. W Punta de Mita – Punta de Mita
The contemporary design of this hotel will make each and every one of your shots Instagram-worthy. The headboards in some rooms are made from surfing boards, private patios have colorful Acapulco-chair-style floating cocoons, and surfing or skating Frida posters in bold hues hang on the walls. But the rooms aren’t the only thing that oozes cool at this luxury property, the pool has hot tubs inside it, and a ceviche bar in an old Chevy truck sits right beside it. Spice Market, its pan Asian restaurant, has a sophisticated Buddha Bar feel to it, and the spa is undoubtedly one of the best in the area —if not the world. You’ll swoon as soon as you walk into the reception area and stumble upon the mosaic tapestry that climbs down steps, extends across the pool area, and reaches a bridge where you’ll want to be at sunset.
• Address: Km 8.5, Carr. Federal la Cruz de Huanacaxtle – Punta de Mita, Desarrollo Costa Banderas, 63734 Punta de Mita, Nay.
• Phone: 329 226 8333
• Current prices starting at $254 USD per night
3. Imanta Resorts Punta de Mita – Higuera Blanca
Despite its name, this luxury property is located in the town of Higuera Blanca and offers eco-luxe at its best. Sitting on a 250-acre ecological jungle preserve, the resort’s suites and larger “casas” provide great views of the jungle or ocean while offering lavish indoor comforts. All the suites of this boutique hotel, which belong to the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection, are incredibly spacious and many have their own pool. The Jungle Spa is completely outdoors and the “cabins” have thatched walls —without much else— so the guests can hear the sounds of nature while receiving their treatments. The beach has Balinese beds and boulders of different sizes arranged in interesting formations, adding to the property’s Zen vibe.
• Address: Monte Nahuac Lote L, 63734 Higuera Blanca, Nay.
• Phone: 329 298 4200
• Current prices starting at $596 USD per night
4. Hotel Cielo Rojo – San Francisco
This small nine-room hotel is located in the town of San Francisco, Nayarit, affectionately referred to as San Pancho. The town’s laid-back atmosphere is one of the main reasons to visit, especially now that neighboring Sayulita gets jam-packed with tourists. Charming and decorated in minimalist yet very Mexican details, Hotel Cielo Rojo is the perfect base to explore the community. While it doesn’t have a pool, its restaurant is a definite highlight, both for the local artwork on its walls and its innovative and organic menu. Don’t leave this place without trying the avocado and cacao nibs smoothie.
• Address: Asia 6, 63734 San Francisco, Nay.
• Phone: 311 258 4155
• Current prices starting at $58 USD per night
5. Villa Bella B&B – La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
The views at this B&B in the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle are truly breathtaking. Perched high on a hill, the property overlooks the town below —nestled among the greenery— and the ocean as far as the eye can see. The best part is that the spectacular views can be enjoyed by all the guests from the pool area, not just by the select few with the rooms on the top floors. Each of the seven rooms is different from the rest and some have separate living rooms, terraces, and kitchens, ideal for guests looking to feel right at home on longer stays.
• Address: Calle Monte Calvario 12, Nayarit, 63732 Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nay.
• Phone: 329 295 5161
• Current prices starting at $64 USD per night
6. Refugio del Mar – Bucerías
Balconies overlooking a street covered with bunting, colorful sitting rooms, full-size kitchens, and Mexican accents throughout are some of the reasons to pick this boutique hotel located in the understated town of Bucerías, an older sibling to Sayulita, and a more casual cousin to Punta de Mita. Visitors will enjoy a relaxing stay surrounded by an eclectic decoration that combines the traditional with the contemporary. The hotel does not have direct access to the beach —it’s only a brisk walk away— but it’s the space granted by the suites and its three outdoor pools that will have you returning time and time again.
• Address: Benito Juárez 51, Bucerías, Nay.
• Phone: 322 101 8705
• Current prices starting at $132 USD per night
7. Casablanca Sayulita Hotel – Sayulita
This beachfront property with thatched-roof villas and bungalows is located on the quieter side of the bustling town of Sayulita. Sure, you’ve seen the pictures with the colorful bunting on the main road and the cute bohemian boutiques lining the streets, but when it’s at its peak, the main beach is nothing to write home about. Opt to stay instead in a laid-back, affordable haven that —at least during the low season— can make you feel like you own beachfront property with access to a semi-private beach. The rooms all have a separate sitting area, a kitchenette, and a balcony overlooking the pool. If you’re traveling as a group, consider booking the main house. Consisting of 3 bedrooms, your party of 10 will have a private pool, unobstructed beach views, and an outdoor palapa with a BBQ grill.
• Address: Av. del Palmar 79, Sayulita, Nay.
• Phone: 329 298 8565
• Current prices starting at $100 USD per night
Tips & Advice
• When to Visit: June through August are the hottest months to visit the region, so if you’re looking for a bit of a cooler climate, you might want to wait till November –although temperatures don’t vary significantly throughout the year. If you want to ensure that it doesn’t rain while you’re there (and you don’t mind the crowds), consider visiting during the high season of January, February, or March.
• Arrival: Your flight will arrive at Puerto Vallarta airport, which is about an hour’s drive to Punta de Mita, 45 minutes to Sayulita, San Pancho, and Higuera Blanca, 30 minutes to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, and 22 minutes to Bucerías. Airport taxis can be expensive if you’re going to the towns further away, as is private transportation arranged in advance by the hotel, but you can get an Uber in Puerto Vallarta for much less. Alternatively, there are several private and group transportation options leaving from the Puerto Vallarta airport.
• How to Get Around: Local taxis are okay to get around from one neighboring town to the next. Some towns are small enough for you to walk from your hotel to the beach, the shops, and other places of interest, and you can also get around by bike or buggy in towns like Sayulita and Bucerías (hotels like Refugio del Mar even have some available for their guests).
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