El Careyes Club & Residences, Costa Alegre
Directly after my not so wow experience at the neighbourhood, I changed to what can be called the Hamptons of the Mexican Pacific side. Careyes is a guarded private estate that hosts a number of all sorts of luxury real estate properties. It was Italian entrepreneur Gian Franco Brignone who initiated this project two hours south of Puerto Vallarta. He had a few businessmen joining him in setting up Careyes and ever since it is growing. A-list celebrities, as well as billion-Dollar CEOs, have the chance to build their dream home from scratch (there are a few regulations to maintain the typical charm and feel of the resort). From eight-bedroom stand-alone Villas to four-bedroom casitas in a town-like area and one-bedroom residences at the brand new and still developing El Careyes Club and Residences - the new centrepiece of the estate - Careyes has the right place for every traveller. Situated right in the middle of Careyes, this spot feels like a meeting place for most of the inhabitants and soon-to-be ones. Once my driver was pulling up in front of the entrance, I was already friendly welcomed by a lovely lady who showed me around the property and then accompanied me to my top floor one bedroom residence.
Living in style
Situated in the left wing of the clubhouse, my apartment was overlooking the pools, bay, beach and also partly the Playa Rosa (Careyes version of the famous Club 55 in Saint Tropez). I really enjoyed the stunning view especially since I had this wonderful terrace where one could lie on the day bed and read a book for hours with a little breeze passing by every second. For all those who can’t stand the heat of the Mexican coast, there is a day bed in the bedroom which enables to relax while watching Spanish, English or even Italian channels. Furthermore, there is a considerable kitchen area with a Nespresso coffee machine and massive fridge as well as a high table with four chairs to prepare and have a quick lunch on the go. On the other hand, you have the outdoor dining table on the terrace for a perfect dinner for the four of you. Overall the interior design was much to my liking, and it felt like a boho Mexican interpretation which I absolutely want to copy for the seaside home.
Spending the night
Moving onto the bedroom, there was a double bed with a wardrobe. Again I had plenty of storage space, and there even was an armchair in front of the windows. It’s good to know that the windows aren’t soundproofed and also not well isolated. So don’t keep lights on during the night and don’t forget to close them; otherwise, you end up with a room full of mosquitoes. I was lucky on my first night and had an excellent sleep plus not a single mosquito bite. Right next to the bedroom was the open layout bathroom with single vanity desk, separated toilet and walk-in shower with sliding doors even to access the balcony while showering. It’s cool to have a shower open-air, especially when nobody can look into the bathroom. I would have loved the idea to have another shower head on the actual balcony but then realized that once you open both sliding doors, the actual shower became an outdoor shower. All toiletries came in eco-friendly pots and smelled lovely - a pity that it was too hard to get the body lotion and conditioner out of the pot containers.
Enjoying the coast
While there was another bathroom next to the main entrance which also came with toilet, sink and shower, I never used it as I was travelling by myself and didn’t feel the need to use two bathrooms. However, it’s great when you are going with kids so they have their own bathroom and beds while you can enjoy more privacy after closing the doors to the living room. Compared to the place I stayed right before, I preferred my accommodation at El Careyes more just because it had better views, more beautiful design and a better bathroom situation. Compared to the USD 800+ you pay next door at Cuixmala, El Careyes is a superb deal with residences selling for around USD 350+ breakfast excluded at both of them. Speaking of which, breakfast is served in the main restaurant on the five pools. They also do lunch service down there. However, the dinner situation is very different and can get stressful on some days, especially when you are there without a car which is actually not the smartest idea. In every case, you need to have a vehicle to get to Careyes and to get around or buy some groceries in the towns on your way to Mexican Paradise.
Residence, Casita or Villa
Generally, El Careyes (as well as the entire properties on this coast) are perfect for a group of friends or families. You get your rental in Puerto Vallarta and drive down the absolutely European-style roads for two hours, plan cooking nights together or with a chef, make day trips with the car or drive to nearby restaurants. It’s just so much more adventurous and entertaining with a few more people than by yourself or with your partner. It’s not really a place I would recommend for honeymooners as you might feel limited with food options after the second or third evening. However your kids will love Careyes and the entire coast, the beaches are lovely, there are stunning pools, nobody blames you for doing whatever you want to do, and it’s an excellent way to re-connect while preparing dinner together. El Careyes Club & Residences for me is a great way to start your adventure in Costa Careyes, but if you are a party of five or more, definitely go for a private casita or even villa which are all rented on a daily and weekly basis including your own staff - that’s the fantastic thing about Careyes: they have got you covered. I even had the chance to do a tour of a few villas, and I was surprised that none of them looks alike. So you cannot only choose your holiday home based on your budget and size of the party but also depending on your taste of interior design.
Disclaimer: During my stay at Costa Careyes, I was guest of Careyes and El Careyes Club & Residences for editorial purposes. Opinions are our own as usual and have not been influenced. Luxury Executive is a blog published by tourism experts and all reviews purely focus on the hotel and destination.