Las Alamandas is a colorful, comfortable hotel with just 16 suites located on Mexico's Costalegre, or “Happy Coast.” Rooms here are spacious, comfortable, and bright, suffused with natural sunlight washing over the vivid colors of the furniture and decor. While design details differ from one room to another, expect Mexican accents such as a cotton bedspread embroidered with colorful traditional Mexican textiles. Pinks, yellows, greens, and blues abound. Despite the limited number of rooms, the property itself is expansive at 1,500 acres, and guests find that they are able to stake out their own private space on the grounds. Amenities and services at the individual room level and across the property include personal pools and spaces for a variety of physical activities, such as yoga, and sports, including basketball, tennis, and bocce ball.
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Las Alamandas is located on Mexico's Pacific Coast, about halfway between the cities of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. The hotel's small-town location may not make for exciting shopping excursions, but there are plenty of outdoor activities, both natural and man-made, to enjoy in the vicinity. Snorkeling and boating excursions can be arranged through the hotel, as can surfing lessons or recommendations about where to find the best breaks. Also nearby is El Tamarindo, an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones; it cuts through junglelike foliage and opens up to views of the Pacific Ocean. Offshore, guests can explore islands such as Isla Pajarareas, which has a wide variety of endemic bird species.
Need to Know
Rooms: 16 suites; from $260. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: There are two dining options at Las Alamandas, both of which are overseen by executive chef Alejandro Morales. The first is Oasis Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner; most dishes are updated classic Mexican favorites. The second is La Palapa Beach Club, which serves traditional poolside fare and cocktails. Spa and gym details: Las Alamandas has both a spa and a gym. The former offers a wide variety of massages, from hot stone to maternity, as well as facials. There is a yoga palapa for those who want to bend and stretch; the palapa is an outdoor platform, covered by thatch, with a view of the beach. Guests are welcome to do their own routine there; if they prefer instruction, a yoga teacher's services can be retained by advance reservation. In addition to a fully equipped gym, the hotel has a running path and tennis courts; less strenuous activities include bocce, croquet, and ping-pong.
Who it's for: Travelers who want resort-style amenities and service without the sprawl of a resort. Our favorite rooms: The Isabel Master, a one-bedroom master suite, is spacious and luxurious. It has comfortable spots to relax inside—a plush, hot pink sofa and oversized chairs in the same color—as well as outside—think hammock and a day bed. Guests who book this room also have their own splash pool with Jacuzzi. Bird-watching: Bird-watchers might want to consider booking a private viewing excursion with a local biologist, whose services are available through the hotel's concierge. Black ibis and ospreys are common, and the lucky might see a roseate spoonbill.