It’s that time of year again. The fall is in full swing, and I’m starting to think (very seriously) about how I’ll be enjoying some warm weather during the winter while it’s too cold at home. This year, I’ll be looking into vacation rentals in Mexico.
More specifically, I’m planning to get into one of the best luxury villa rentals Mexico has to offer. I’ve been to the country twice before. I’ve gone to some of the more touristy areas. Now I’m ready to head off the beaten trail for a bit of privacy, a lot more authenticity and tons of luxury.
This year, I’ve researched the villa rentals Mexico visitors love the most, and I came across Villa Estrella. I’m in love! Of all the luxury vacation rentals Mexico has to provide, that’s where I’m headed this winter.
It’s the best of everything I liked most from my past Mexican vacations, but without being a part of a busy resort hotel. I can’t wait to go back to enjoy what I long to relive while at the same time experiencing something new.
My first trip to Mexico was to the Mayan Riviera. I stayed at a resort near Playa Del Carmen, right at Xcaret. At that time, I’d been hesitant to choose Mexico for my vacation. The pictures looked great, but I had a hard time getting past the stereotypical stories about the drinking water (Montezuma’s revenge!), and the news headlines about safety problems. I’d love to say that I rose above it, did my research and was glad with my destination choice. The truth was that my travel partner – my fiancé at the time – wanted to go and it suited our budget, so after some debate I gave in and went along.
I was barely there for an hour before I realized that I was completely enchanted with Mexico. I was so glad I gave in to my fiancé’s travel plans (and he’ll never let me forget it)! I was 100% certain this wouldn’t be my last time in the country. The experience – both on and off the resort – was friendly, clean, relaxing and fascinating. From lying on the beach to feasting on the cuisine, and from the wildlife at the Xcaret eco-archeological park that was right next door to the life-changing day trip I took to Chichen Itza, the trip was beautiful, dramatic and healing from beginning to end.
As soon as I left, I knew I’d be heading back. Two years later, I was on a plane to Cancun on my honeymoon. We stayed at another resort hotel. It had stunning views and practically endless beaches. We were back to Chichen Iza on our second day, eager to repeat the experience but from a new angle and perspective. We went on the earliest tour in the morning. It’s a great way to see it all, without the heat of the day and the crowds of headset-wearing tourists.
Back in the Hotel Zone, we took the opportunity to meet some other travelers, and my husband and I joined some of our new friends on a catamaran we rented together. The boat was small – and felt even smaller in the slightly rough water – but there were enough of us who knew what we were doing to make the trip fun instead of queasy. We stopped to go snorkeling for a while before heading on to Isla Mujeres. What a gorgeous, peaceful place. Being there made me realize that I wanted to experience a new side to Mexico that wasn’t a part of a busy hotel strip of resorts.
I had a fantastic time in Cancun, don’t get me wrong. Once again, the staff and locals were friendly, I met great new people, I tried new things and I relaxed. Wonderful memories!
This winter, two years after my last visit to the country, it’s time for me to branch out and try a new way to experience Mexican friendliness and luxury. This time, I’ve decided on a Nayarit villa rental.
I’ve been searching and researching online, reading dozens of descriptions and reviews. Now, I have my heart set on Punta el Custodio and the villas they have for rent. I’ve already fallen for the area even before going, and I specifically have my eye on Villa Estrella.
Among the various privately owned homes in the community, Villa Estrella’s descriptions, amenities and visitor reviews have me convinced. It has all the features of the resorts that I came to love, but with the privacy I want from my next vacation. Beyond that, the pictures I’ve seen of it just speak to me.
Villa Estrella is in a very safe part of Mexico, well outside of the problem areas in the country which are quite region-specific. I love that it is in a region of small villages, beaches and even farms, instead of tourist traps. I’ve done the tourist traps. I had fun with them, but I’m ready for something different. Still, the fact that Villa Estrella is one of 15 luxury villa rentals in Mexico contained within a gated community with a 24-hour gate keeping staff only tops off my sense of security.
If there is any hint of my subconscious still concerned about the water, Villa Estrella has put it at ease. The villa’s water is treated so it’s perfectly safe for bathing, laundry (which is available on site either for you to do yourself or for the staff to do for you), or brushing teeth. They also provide 5 gallon jugs of purified water for cooking and personal-sized bottles of purified drinking water to drink and take with you. Nice!
The nearest village is about a 10 minute walk from this Sayulita villa. It’s called Plantitos and it offers a rustic beach, half a dozen beachfront seafood restaurants (palapa style!). I’m hoping to stay for two weeks, so I’ll be sure to head to at least a few of those as well as those further inland in that village and others nearby. They’ll be great places to grab something to eat while I check out the local markets and shops.
I’ve heard that the nightlife in the area isn’t great because the villages are focused mainly on local life, not on tourists, but that’s good news to me. This trip, I want to see a new side of Mexico. I want to settle in at Villa Estrella to unplug, relax, spend time with my husband and the other couple traveling with us, and come home feeling like I can breathe again.