Best Of Mexico

Take a Trip Through One of the Most Important Travel Destinations of the Decade
Mexico has emerged as one of the most important players in the world travel scene. While it’s a destination that has always attracted tourism because of its glittering, dual shoreline coasts, Mexico’s vast beauty and rich cultural heritage have remained mostly undiscovered until recent times. Over the years, places like Mexico City have etched a significant place for themselves on the global art scene, while a state like Oaxaca has become known for its raw, traditional beauty and world-class gastronomy. This slow and steady discovery by travelers has resulted in Mexico taking a top position as a nation full of sensory delights and deep history waiting to be explored, unearthed, and enjoyed by the world. 
The state of Oaxaca sits in the southwest region of Mexico, only one state removed from the country’s border with Guatemala. The sustained cultures of its indigenous peoples, which have remained fairly intact due to the isolating topography of the region, have come to define Oaxaca and make it someplace to experience Mexico’s true soul. Bordered on one end by mountains and the other by the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the exploration of Oaxaca brings travelers to revel in the awe-inspiring beauty of places such as the petrified waterfall hot springs of Hierve el Agua, experience the colonial splendor of Oaxaca City, and indulge in the distinct textiles for which the region is known. Oaxaca has also emerged as the gastronomical capital of Mexico and attracts renowned Mexican chefs and the foodies who adore them. 
Casa Silencio
Oaxaca, Mexico

The entrance of Casa Silencio onto the Oaxacan hotel scene officially put the region on the map for an elevated Oaxacan experience. Driven by design, ancient traditions, mysticism, sustainability, and the culture of mezcal, this hotel ties all these elements together with modern luxury within the 10-acre property in which it lives. The design of the hotel considers first the local traditions towards architecture and, as such, employs techniques such as taipal, or rammed earth (a compacted mixture of earth elements) used to create the walls of Casa Silencio. In terms of the interior design, the qualities are rustic yet contemporary. Rustic–as seen in the use of earth, repurposed wood, traditional clay tiles, and stonework–and contemporary in the use of concrete, linear aesthetics, and moments of abstractionism such as the one ton monolithic stone basins. 
Casa Silencio is an immersive experience where guests are invited to indulge in the land, the surrounding region, but especially in the traditions of mezcal, which include guided production tours and tastings. Guests can enjoy these tours alongside the culinary delights of Chef Daniel Robles Sumanos who looks after cuisine at Casa Silencio. 
With only six suites designed to house only two people at maximum, Casa Silencio is the most exclusive of Oaxacan getaways. 
Hotel Sin Nombre
Oaxaca, Mexico
Nestled in the heart of Oaxaca City, Casa Sin Nombre aims to deliver a sublime experience in the middle of it all. Situated on one of the city’s main streets around the corner from the bustling Mercado Benito Juarez, the entrance to the hotel is unmarked and hidden behind a massive wooden door with a discreet buzzer to gain access. Once inside, the atrium of the 17th-century building is awash in white tones and is situated around a sunken Northern African-style lounge which lives under archways, columns, plush pillows, and breezy, white draperies lit by natural light. 
This design is an intentional play on the hotel’s name, which translates to ‘hotel without a name,’ as the hotel’s concept is that of a blank slate within which guests can create their own experiences hidden away from the bustle outside. As such, the hotel has created nooks within which to have and create intimate experiences, such as the small bar near the front entrance. Or the secret cove lit by red lights under the main stairs where lies plush matting big enough for two to lie down, art, and a selection of books. There is also a rooftop cafe with light bites and a small plunge pool. For massages, guests can make appointments to enjoy them in-room. Not to be missed is dinner at the restaurant where Chef Israel Loyola has constructed a fully plant-based menu based on Oaxacan gastronomical traditions.
Hotel Escondido
Oaxaca, Mexico
16 bungalows situated on a strip of unspoiled beach in Puerto Escondido, Hotel Escondido creates an authentic beach getaway without ever compromising touches of luxury. Beds are outfitted with crisp, white linens, and patios are finished with spacious areas for lounging around each guest’s private plunge pool. While every bungalow is designed in traditional Mexican palapa style with pitched, thatched roofs and interiors with hefty doses of wood, there is still an overall contemporary vibe to the hotel. Lines play a large role in Hotel Escondido’s design and architecture, best seen in the long rectangular pool that runs parallel to the shoreline and along the entire length of the hotel. Graphic elements such as the geometric tiling on patio floors or painted floors under beds making for a trompe-l'oeil effect of a rug add more to this linear aesthetic vision. There are also hints of mid-century modern through the hotel's smart selection of chairs and other furnishings. 
While Puerto Escondido is still being discovered, once there, guests are ensconced with all the necessities to have a pampered stay. There is a small spa that offers massages, an oceanside restaurant, yoga classes, and excursions to the Lagoon Manialtepec. Not to be missed, however, is the surf, which is considered the top in all of Mexico. 
When Mexico began to take shape as a global destination for culture over a decade ago, Mexico City was the place that led the charge. The city is an amalgamation of disparate and unique neighborhoods which makes it a city for nearly endless exploration. Everywhere one turns in Mexico City, one is met with art, architecture, markets, food, and history. From Diego Rivera’s epic murals to mouthwatering street quesadillas to life-changing dancehalls, this is a world-class city that holds its visitors in a constant state of delight. 
Condesa DF
Mexico City, Mexico
Nestled between the neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa, two of the most culturally rich areas in all of Mexico City, is the Condesa DF. This hotel is a reflection of the scene of art galleries, fashion, architecture firms, bookstores, theaters, and music establishments (as well as the highest concentration of Mexico City’s most lauded restaurants) that surround it. Given its stylish surroundings, it's hardly a surprise the hotel is a sublime exploration of minimalist and unconventional luxury. Almost all the furniture in the hotel is custom-made by Parisian designer India Mahdavi, and while the overall palette is white and wood (particularly in the guest rooms), there is also a strong use of teal and seafoam green to bring in the brightness of the local color. This hotel is in one of Mexico City’s trendiest areas, which means everything from chic watering holes to colonial architecture is right on the Condesa DF’s doorstep. And given there are only 40 rooms, it feels like a private Mexico City domicile. 
The Four Seasons
Mexico City, Mexico
Visitors to Mexico City love to flock to the Four Seasons outpost to experience the famed luxury hotel brand’s concept in Mexico. At this location, the Four Seasons melds together its sleek yet traditional take on luxury and subtly fuses it with elements of Mexican style. The hotel’s 200 rooms and 40 suites are situated around a central courtyard to imbue the feeling of hacienda life into their brand of hospitality, while the rooms themselves are detailed with understated Mexican influences. For example, the use of a deep shade of burgundy wine complements the otherwise neutral color palette, while guest room walls are decorated with intricate tapestries. There is a pool, fitness room, and a small spa, but where this hotel excels is with its concierge services. The concierge strives to support guests in creating once-in-a-lifetime trips such as experiencing the Aztecs’ floating gardens of Xochimilco on a traditional flat-bottomed boat called a trajinera, or floating in a hot air balloon to view the Teotihuacan pyramids from the sky. 
Octavia Casa
Mexico City, Mexico
Octavia Casa, designed to be minimal and tranquil, aims to ensconce its guests in such warmth and hospitality that it refers to itself as a house rather than a hotel. The hotel’s creative direction and design were led by architect Pablo Pérez Palacios and the PPPA firm who infused lightness and warmth into every corner of the hotel. Guests can expect only king-size beds, sheets of cotton satin (from the hotel’s eponymous home line), and double-stuffed down duvets. Octavia Casa also showcases contemporary Mexican design and uses respected Mexican design brands such as Onora, Encrudo, and Ente to decorate the property. The hotel features only 7 rooms–two suites and 5 hotel-style bedrooms– all radiating light and fresh vibes through the use of neutral tones and layers of textured textiles from rugs to throws to woven benches. 
San Miguel de Allende is a magical escape into a Neoclassical and Baroque dream. A town so well-preserved in its architecture and identity that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural site. Yet, when one digs beyond the surface, visitors to San Miguel de Allende are met with the intangible aspects that make this destination special: warmth and hospitality that permeates every aspect of the town, strong values towards service, world-class cultural contributions, and an overall friendliness that comes from deep within the soul of the town. Located in the very center of Mexico and 150 miles away from Mexico City, this quaint mountain village with cobblestone streets has become known for its artisanal culture, vibrant street life, and gastronomy that is widely considered the best farm-to-table fare in Mexico. Its popularity and charm have turned San Miguel de Allende into an idyllic destination for events, weddings, and weekend escapes, but it’s also a place to simply enjoy the city’s otherworldly delights. 
Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Belmond brand of hotels is a Journey favorite and this 17th-century jewel box property is hardly an exception. Within its 37-rooms, the magic of San Miguel de Allende is embossed into every detail. In its former life, this hotel was a convent, fort, and the private home of the Archbishop of the city. Now, it has been restored into a property that heralds all the creature comforts of contemporary luxury and melds it with the authenticity that a hotel in a preserved city demands. As such, the property feels true to its roots through the preservation of its elaborate courtyards, stone archways, cloisters, and passageways. 
The overall vibe of the property is that of a European country house that is awash in Mexican identity–a genuine combination of the native culture and the impact of colonialism on Mexico. The fortress-like exterior holds within it casual gardens lined with bougainvillea within which sits a pool at the center where a classic Italian-style fountain pours into one end. Instead of a highly designed area, loungers are set atop the grass that borders the pool as would be done at an old European country house. 
Although, it's what’s contained within the outer walls where the artisanship of Mexico is on full display. Interiors are a mixture of earthly elements such as terracotta, wood, and mahogany, a heavy palette which is lightened through the use of gentle creams and the generous use of the color blue–patterns, prints, and solids all display various shades of the hue. Patterns play a large role in the interiors, from the Pueblo textiles to the herringbone placement of terracotta tiles along the hotel’s floors. 
After the town's sights are seen, cuisine is devoured, and art is appreciated, come back to rest and relax at the hotel’s Laja Spa. 
Casa Delphine
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Intimacy is the way at Casa Delphine, a luxury boutique property with only 5 rooms. With this small number of guest rooms combined with a white-glove commitment to service, it means that each guest is treated with near-private concierge services. 
They employ an idea of opulence that is void of cliché. Instead, Casa Delphine is a property that is all about the details. This is understandable given the founder–who simply goes by Amanda–is also a jewelry designer. So, merging elements and fineries for tangible use is something with which the owner is well-versed.
By nature, the property feels like a home, while by design each of its 5 rooms feels like a private abode. In addition to the fireplace as well as a balcony that is part of every room, the selection of furnishings lends itself to this home-like vibe. There are small details like traditional clocks or framed images on desks that subtly create this home-away-from-home feeling. 
The true beauty of the rooms is their design, both interior and architectural. The bones of the room are made up of high, vaulted ceilings, many of which are in arched shapes which mirror the massive windows and doors, which are also arched. The rooms are defined by lightness, through the copious amounts of physical light which enters as well as the lightness of the palette which is made up of soft grays, varying shades of light blue, and woods with blanched tones. 
This small boutique property also weaves in the magic of San Miguel de Allende through tactile experiences and events such as Astrology in Pajamas or Tarot Card Dinners. The hotel also offers more traditional events including nights with special guest chefs or an exclusive evening at the Casa Dragones tasting room which only hosts 6 guests per tasting. 
Under the radar, laid-back, yet just within reach, Zihauntaneo on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is a hideaway worth discovering. It has preserved its authentic fishing village personality even though it is so close to its hyper-touristy neighbor, Ixtapa. It’s been successful at this because the village is just slightly off the beaten path. This is truly the charm of Zihauntaneo–it’s quite the experience to meander through its cobblestone streets on foot or by bike and stop to indulge in one of its many seafood restaurants. It’s also a place where connecting to the outdoors is a must, whether by snorkeling, beachgoing, or whale-watching. The true highlight of each day in this quaint town of clay-colored buildings built into hills is the spectacular sunset that lights up each evening with a special kind of magic. Best of all, there is a local airport that is serviced by direct flights and it's only 15 minutes outside of town. 
Marea Villas
Zihuatanejo, Mexico
A collection of 1-,2-, and 3-bedroom beachside villas, Marea Villas is a tranquil escape onto Zihanutaneo’s shores. It prides itself in being a true getaway; a place to melt into the 9 miles of quiet beach that make up the area or explore the 200 acres of nature preserve that surround it. While the property is located on a quiet coastal road, it’s just a stone’s throw from the main town as well as a neighboring fishing village which makes it the perfect place from which to explore the region.
Each villa is a home unto itself with a full kitchen, terrace, and private plunge pool, and since laidback is the theme at this property, the interior design is true to this authentic beach house vibe. Villas are clean and bright, with white and terracotta as the main color palette. Sofas and beds are a delicate shade of tan, cream, or white while wood furnishings, such as dining room tables, accent the spaces. In some of the larger villas, bedrooms open directly to the oceanfront through massive sliding doors. 
While each villa may be its own independent entity, unlike traditional villas, the villas here are part of a hotel which means hotel services are included and there is a restaurant on the property. Ultimately, it’s hard to go wrong here as each accommodation is its own private beachfront escape. 
Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Built into a hillside perched high above the sea and designed in traditional Mexican palapa architecture is Amuleto. This intimate hotel of only 5 suites is probably Zihaunataneo’s best-kept secret because of its breathtaking location of only panoramic views over the water and the white sand beach below. 
Amuelto was created with the intention to be a gem, and it starts with the hotel’s architecture. Designed by the famed Mexican architect Enrique Zozaya, the goal with this property was to create something that is authentically Mexican but also smart and modern in its design so that it would stand out as an architectural highlight of Mexican hospitality. It has succeeded on all fronts in these respects. 
All of the materials that make up each suite–from the bamboo to the indigenous art to the Mexican tile–are locally sourced and are highlighted with stones, ceramic, and wood, the last of which is the defining material of the hotel. Each suite features a private plunge pool and sweeping sea views. To create a full-circle experience, the cuisine prepared at Ameulto’s restaurant is just as elevated as the hotel itself. 
Careyes is considered to be one of the most exclusive destinations in Mexico. It has long been the North American hideaway for the Italian elite, celebrities, and other notable types who decamp there for its stunning beachside location and ultra-privacy. Its exclusivity comes from its provenance–Careyes was founded by Italian banker Gian Franco Brignon who purchased 20,000 acres of land which he used to host his bevy of interesting international friends. Eventually, others invested in property in the region which created a community of full- and part-time residents. This is what Careyes is today; 100 or so homes (about 60 villas and 40 casitas), 7 or so restaurants and bars, and a smattering of hotels all joined together by a strong sense of community heralded by its residents. This idea of exclusivity and privacy continues and it does so without an air of pretension, which makes Careyes one of the most desirable destinations in the entire country. 
Careyes, Mexico
An eco-resort of mind-blowing luxury, the Cuixmala hotel sits on a 30,000-acre nature reserve which was once the property of Sir James Goldsmith. A small collection of 4 suites, a handful of bungalows, and 3 villas sit amidst an imposing central building–a sunset-colored casa built atop a gentle hill which was the former Goldsmith residence. It’s a dreamscape where zebras roam free, three private beaches border the estate, and a 5,000-acre biodynamic farm feeds guests. 
The architecture and interiors are a sublime rendition of Northern African aesthetics. There are a plethora of courtyards, archways, and columns while suites themselves are awash in crisp white–from the double-vaulted ceilings to the floors to the walls, white is the backdrop of the experience. Although color is no stranger to the interiors. Rooms are edged and accented in bright splashes of hues from deep teal borders to yellow lemon throw pillows and rich wine-toned shades. The design is particularly stunning because of the negative space of each setting–guest suites are so large and the ceilings so high and all perfectly white, the backdrop of each room is a massive blank canvas on which the clean, colorful furnishings create a dramatic effect. 
Cuixmala is 45 minutes from Manzanillo National airport, which has direct flights from Los Angeles and Houston. And because the property is so large they recommend a rental car or private chauffeur to fully explore it. Both are available for hire on site. 
Las Alamandas
Costalegre Coast, Mexico
Spread over the beach and into the small hills above the Careyes shoreline are the 2,000 acres that make up the beach getaway of Las Alamandas. Like most of the properties in Careyes, it, too, is intimate with only a handful of guest residences. In the case of Las Alamandas in particular, it is made up of 8 graciously-sized villas which contain 18 suites that accommodate up to 45 guests in total. Because of the layout, beauty, intimacy, and exclusivity of this hotel, the property is often rented out in its entirety for special events, photoshoots, and retreats. 
Bright bougainvillea bushes heave all over the hotel and its colorful buildings which are painted in bright, tropical colors. The main shade of sunrise pink covers many of the buildings and villas, however, each suite is designed with its own color palette so every guest experience is unique. Within each suite are accents that reflect the artisan culture of Mexico from hand-painted details around doors and walls, to paintings and sculptures from different regions, to custom-designed bathroom tiles, and hand-embroidered textiles. 
The entire property including the rooms has been designed by the founder, Isabel Goldsmith-Patiño, for whom the hospitality of the region is in her blood. She is the granddaughter of the late Sir Goldsmith (the creator of Cuixmala). Her other grandfather, Don Antenor Patiño, a hotelier in his own right, bequeathed to her the land on which Las Alamandas sits. 
There is no dearth of activities at this colorful retreat. From spa time to horseback riding to tennis and yoga, Las Alamandas is a proper getaway from which to experience the soul of Careyes built by one of its very own daughters of the land.
It is impossible to speak of traveling to Mexico without mention of its famed Riviera Maya. For decades, tourists have been enjoying the soft white sands on which lap the gentle waves of the warm Caribbean Sea. The region became famous for Cancun which has now developed into a hub for mega-resorts and American-style developments, but as more and more strips of undiscovered beach further south were found, more interesting and exclusive areas have popped up, places such as Tulum amongst them. People come to visit the Riviera Maya in droves for its beauty, climate, world-class beaches, access to nature, and easy transfer via Cancun Airport. While it sometimes feels as though the region has become saturated with tourism, that hardly means there isn’t exclusivity to be found. 
Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Amidst 500 acres of protected mangrove forests with miles of untouched shoreline, this latest offering from the Auberge Resorts Collection sits within the ultra-exclusive development, Kanai. Aimed to redefine the Riviera Maya experience towards something incredibly elevated beyond what currently exists, this protected area only 45 minutes south of Cancun is not meant to be developed beyond what it is now. This is to preserve Kanai’s exclusivity along with its biodiversity and as such will remain with only three hotels in the area, including Etéreo. 
Award-winning, New York-based design studio Meyer Davis was the designer of the property and the firm knew that an authentic experience could only be created by melding the regional culture with the hotel brand’s contemporary concept of luxury. To execute this concept, art and design play an important role throughout the hotel. As such, well-respected Mexican artists and artisans were commissioned to create the public and private spaces of Etéreo. Most notably, it's the work of famed Mexican artist Manuel Felguerez that takes pride of place at this property. 
The Mayan culture is what drives much of the region and at Etéreo it has been lovingly incorporated into the wellness program so guests can experience the unique elements of the indigenous culture. They offer everything from reiki circles to full moon ceremonies to crystal healings and sound baths and even have an in-house Shaman for performing rituals. These offerings live alongside more traditional ones such as massage and facials, which are done with organic, wild-crafted Circe Brujeria de Origen skincare products.
The Rosewood Mayakoba
Playa del Carmen , Mexico
Another exclusive region of the Riviera Maya is Mayakoba, a 600-acre gated enclave situated around lagoons and bordered by the Riviera Maya’s glittering coastline. Mayakoba is a self-contained environment within which all the spoils of life are at every guest’s disposal.
At the center of it all is The Rosewood. A hotel brand known for its distinctive, residential-style hotels, the Mayakoba property is a collection of 129 suites and several villas where the ultimate Mayakoba experience is created through amenities and services such as private plunge pools, butler service, and private boat docks. 
Guests are treated to a variety of accommodations which include lagoon- and ocean-view suites, massive villas, but also unique rooms such as wellness suites which are loft-like residences that feature a serenity pavilion, reflexology fountain, and a dedicated well-being butler to help guests achieve the ultimate unwind. 
Even without a wellness suite, rejuvenation takes on new meaning at the Rosewood Mayakoba as the hotel’s spa sits on its own private jungle island that can be reached via a short boat ride. It’s a place to detach completely into relaxation bliss. The hotel also offers personalized wellness experiences including the Journey to Resilience, a nature walk designed to boost immunity through revitalizing practices, and a Marry Oneself Journey, a four-day ceremony led by the Rosewood Shaman to explore the depths of one’s innermost self for a life-changing experience towards self-acceptance and self-love. 
On the opposite coast to the Riviera Maya are Mexico’s shores on the Pacific Ocean which include the massive stretch of land that is the Baja Peninsula. Hidden within the peninsula just on the outskirts of Cabo San Lucas is the village of Todos Santos. It’s known as the Pueblo Magico to Mexicans and was originally founded as a mission in 1724. A visually astounding town rife with colonial architecture, Todos Santos is experiencing a sort of renaissance which has recently attracted artists, craftspeople, surfers, and anyone looking to experience a laidback and healthy lifestyle within this lush desert oasis. 
Paradera Todos Santos
Degollado, Mexico
At Paradero Todos Santos they describe themselves as “less of a hotel and more of a high-design landscaping project with luxurious suites.” Here, it is all about erasing borders between the inside and outside. Handmade hammocks called ‘star nets’ jut out of suites and overhang into the landscape, showers are indoor-outdoor and separated by privacy screens, and ground floor suites have expansive gardens and terraces with outdoor soaking tubs. 
When it comes to dining, the cuisine is anchored to health, and for Paradara Todos Santos proper health–like everything else here–begins in nature. The ingredients for the simple but elegant Mexican dishes served in the restaurant come from local farms or the onsite organic garden while fish comes from the nearby sea and the meats are sustainably-raised.
Material aspects aside, this property is about feeling. It’s about the feeling of nature, the feeling of the painted colors of a desert sunset, the feeling of having no barriers between the inside and outside, and the feeling of the interiors which have been designed to amplify the impalpable and intangible elements of being in this utterly mesmerizing environment. 
The 200 miles of coast that lie between the Pacific Ocean and the Western Sierra Madre Mountains is Mexico’s West Coast beach paradise, the Riviera Nayarit. The Southern border of this stretch of land aside the Pacific Ocean starts just 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta National Airport which gives easy access to the region. Riviera Nayarit doesn’t rival its East Coast sister in terms of tourism–the East Coast sees a heavy stream of visitors year-round. However, this is exactly why visitors loyal to this region tend to prefer it–it has all the beaches but with a more laid back and relaxed experience and more idyllic beach towns and hidden gems that await discovery. 
One & Only Mandarina
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Only 30 miles from Puerto Vallarta Airport through pineapple fields, palm-lined streets, and Mexican villages is where ultra-luxury hotel brand One & Only has recently opened their second resort in Mexico, the Mandarina. 
105 standalone villas and tree houses consist of the Mandarina’s accommodations to create this luxe jungle-meets-ocean hideaway within white-sand beaches, jungle flatlands, one-of-a-kind estuaries where saltwater and freshwater mix, and the two massive mountain peaks that hold court in the background. 
As a result, The One & Only Mandarina is a sensory experience that includes oneness with nature, wellness, and fine dining. It’s here where surfing the famed waves of Mexico’s west coast lives alongside ziplining adventures and ancient indigenous rituals. 
This property is a truly upmarket definition of eco-chic bringing together Mexican craftsmanship, forward-thinking design, and local materials to create this unique hideaway. Rich, teak-colored wood, finely-woven rattan style rugs, cream-toned upholsteries and drapes, dark stone, deep copper accents, and white porcelain are the elements used for the property’s interior decor. 
By design, each accommodation takes on a different identity where no two are the same. Treehouses stand 12 meters above the ground, while villas are perched on cliffs and are sea- or rainforest-facing. Some accommodations are designed with couples in mind, while others are for total indulgence. 
Dining on the property consists of three restaurants which range from fine dining to stylish beachside vibes. Or even better, arrange with the chef to source local ingredients for a custom meal served on your room’s terrace. 
This is a place of discovery and wonder. Whether by sea, land, wellness, or gastronomy, the One & Only Mandarina is bound to leave guests with memories of an unforgettable experience.