Luxury Hotel Careyes

Was it Walt Whitman or the nation of Mexico that said “I am large, I contain multitudes”? It was the poet, of course, but it’s equally true of Mexico — whether your picture of it is the ruined pyramids of the Yucatán or the hip nightspots of the Distrito Federal, you can bet there’s another side of Mexico you’re not considering. In the case of Costa Careyes, it’s the exclusive, relatively undeveloped, upscale yet unpretentious side.

There’s something almost European about it, like a classic Riviera resort town — except there isn’t actually a town. This is still the New World, and there’s nothing on these shores but the fifty-odd villas, casitas, bungalows and castles of Costa Careyes. Yes, castles — not fortified, but rather something like mega-villas, each one positioned for the best possible view, and surrounded by a moat-like swimming pool.

Not all of them are quite so lavish, but they’re not far off. You might not know it just looking at it — note the absence of limousines and liveried bellmen — but Costa Careyes is among the most luxurious resorts in the Americas. The sea is your playground here, from the miles and miles of beach to any seafaring activity you could ask for, from surfing to deep-sea fishing. There’s a polo club three miles to the south — that’s the kind of entertainment we’re talking about here.

And though it feels as remote as anywhere, it’s not that far off the beaten track: Manzanillo airport is an hour to the south, and Puerto Vallarta airport a little more than double that to the north.