Playon de Mismaloya SN, Cruz de Loreto-Tomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Hotelito Desconocido is a beachfront resort quite unlike any other. Where many resorts strive to offer an extravagant, high-consumption experience, this “small hotel” is a model of sustainable tourism, of ecologically sound hospitality. The location is the Playon de Mismaloya, a marine turtle sanctuary and sea bird habitat, along a pristine estuary on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Hotelito Desconocido is absolutely committed to preserving these surroundings and making as little impact as possible on the environment — the hotel runs on solar power by day, and at night is illuminated solely by candlelight.
Conventional wisdom holds that anything healthy must be boring, that anything beneficial must sacrifice some pleasure — as though the good things in life are inherently destructive, and one must choose between enjoyment and conservation. Not so at this hotel. The concept here, since its opening in 1997, is “eco-luxury,” a resort that forgoes no comfort while living in harmony with its surroundings.
On this score, the accommodations do not disappoint. The style is that of an indigenous Mexican fishing village, with individual palafitos, bungalows on stilts, lining the waters of the estuary. Interiors are decorated in a manner recalling the Mexican lottery, a bingo-like game using pictures rather than numbers. There is no electricity and, naturally, no television or telephone, and the palafitos are cooled by solar-powered ceiling fans. All rooms have private terraces, and open-air showers, stocked with natural (and biodegradable) soaps, shampoos, and lotions.
Relaxation and escape, obviously, are key to Hotelito Desconocido’s appeal. Contact with the outside world is minimal — there are no shops to browse, no local cafés or restaurants, and no nearby town to tour. There is, however, no shortage of sporting activities, from kayaking and sailing to mountain biking, fishing, even horseback riding. There is an emphasis on ecological activities as well; tours of the sea turtle habitats are available, as are bird-watching boat trips, and from January to July guests are welcome to participate in the Sea Turtle Liberation, which is not a political movement but a release of newly hatched turtles from the protected nesting area.
Those more focused on their own creature comforts (and there’s nothing wrong with that) may prefer a massage or a spa treatment, or a few laps in the outdoor pool. Simply relaxing in one’s palafito is not frowned upon either — it would be difficult to match this level of quiet and peaceful seclusion at most resorts, in Mexico or elsewhere.
Hotelito Desconocido is proof positive that just because “eco-luxury” is good for the planet doesn’t mean it is any less impressive an experience for the guests. The surroundings are breathtaking and the lifestyle is absolutely guilt-free, making this little hotel a truly unique place.
How to get there:
The Hotel is a two hour trip from Puerto Vallarta. Pick up and transfer can be arranged for $320 USD roundtrip for two people. Please contact email@example.com to arrange a transfer.
- 26 Rooms
- Style: Traditional Elegance
- Atmosphere: Secluded
- Hotelito Desconocido
- Playon de Mismaloya SN
- Cruz de Loreto-Tomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico
Hotel amenities and services
- 24 hour concierge
- 24 hour medical assistance
- Babysitting (on request)
- Bicycle rentals nearby
- Free parking
- Game room
- No pets allowed
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Room service
- Shopping area nearby
- Spa treatments (on request)