When I was thinking about where to go this past spring with friends for a fun, relaxing getaway, there was one option I could not get off my mind. Since seeing pictures of Casa Colina, a private villa in Mexico located between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, I knew that was where I needed to retreat for a long weekend of sunbathing, cocktails, snorkeling and more. So, I called my friends, and away we went, to paradise.
After a private chauffeur picked us up at the airport, we were escorted to the secluded Casa Colina located high above the turquois waters of the Pacific Ocean below. The views from this villa almost stopped me dead in my tracks. Not only could we see the ocean below, but soaring mountaintops also surrounded us. No matter where I looked, there was a view worthy of a photo.
Our driver graciously handled our bags as the villa’s staff greeted us at Casa Colina’s private entrance. I bring up “private” because Mexico, in recent news, has gotten a bad rap for its violence and security issues. A private home like Casa Colina with its own gated entrance, on-site staff and security, and a location in one of Mexico’s safest states Jalisco, is a place I felt absolutely comfortable staying at.
We arrived at Casa Colina just in time for lunch, which the staff had prepared poolside on the villa’s outdoor deck. Casa Colina’s gourmet BBQ, also located by the pool, serves up a delicious lunch of roasted pork and chicken with vegetables and homemade salsa. After lunch, we lingered for a bit to finish our welcome sangria cocktails before heading to our rooms to unpack.
Casa Colina’s guestrooms are stunning, each fully furnished with balconies, mountain and ocean views and Jacuzzi tubs. There are six bedrooms in total, so one for each of my friends, giving us plenty of space, or time alone if needed. One interesting thing about Casa is if you don’t use a room during your stay, the villa will give you a 5% discount per unused room. Guestrooms at Casa, include the Laguna Suite, which is the master bedroom with a California King bed, shower, Jacuzzi tub, private garden, breakfast table and plush loungers. The Sueno Suite is another master bedroom suite with a California King bed, shower, Jacuzzi tub, outdoor shower, and private garden. Even the corner bedroom called the Vista Suite had a lovely walkout balcony.
Now that we had toured the guestrooms and chosen where everyone was sleeping, it was time to put on our bathing suits and enjoy the villa’s infinity-edge pool and outdoor Jacuzzi. We lounged for a couple hours while the staff brought snacks and beverages. A couple friends indulged with poolside massages.
After an afternoon of sunbathing, we showered and got ready for a special sunset happy hour by the pool. The villa’s staff really did an incredible job setting up a mini outdoor bar, and also enhanced the ambience with floating candles and flowers in the pool. Afterwards, we sat down for a gourmet dinner served by Casa Colina’s private chef in the villa’s chic indoor/outdoor “Top of the World Palapa” with a custom-built Estrella chandelier, fully-stocked bar and 250-degree views of the mountains and ocean. (Another dining option is the Lagoon View Lounge with a hand-laid brick cathedral ceiling and Balinese furnishings.) Dinner included a Mexican feast with lots of guacamole!
After dinner, Casa Colina’s staff can set up the villa’s entertainment system to play music out on the patio by the pool. Some of my friends opted to watch a movie and enjoy Casa Colina’s surround-sound home theatre with a 65” Panasonic plasma TV.
One of the things I liked most about a vacation at Casa Colina was that you had the option to relax at the villa and enjoy its pool, on-site workout room, and let the staff pamper you with specially prepared meals and cocktails. Or you could go off site and enjoy one of the many activities in the area, including snorkeling, diving and fishing in the sea, as well as kayaking and horseback riding along the miles of unspoiled beaches and lagoons. One day, we visited the five million-year-old Colima volcano and then toured the quaint town of Barra, full of local flavor and authentic shops, and the famous Playa La Audiencia on Santiago Peninsula (the beach where Bo Derek’s movie “10” was filmed).
After all the adventure we spent a couple days close to the villa before returning to the U.S. As guests of Casa Colina, we had access to the nearby AAA four-diamond Isla Navidad Grand Bay Resort where we played tennis and golfed. Horseback riding is also offered, as is access to the resort’s full service spa.
Room rates for Casa Colina start at US$2900 per week. Rates include airport pick-up and drop-off, chef, staff, laundry but exclude food, beverages and phone, which are charged at actual cost without markup. Casa Colina also offers a 5% discount per room not needed. Closest airports include regular domestic flights from Guadalajara (30 minutes) and Mexico City (50 minutes) and Playa de Oro International Airport is just 25 minutes away. For reservations, or more information, please visit www.casacolina.com or call 312-961-3280.