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At El Careyes...Cares Drift Away

By Linda-Marie Singer

Jalisco, Mexico: Wonder what it's like to enter a world of sheer indulgence where you feel special, pampered, and important?  Want to stay at a top-notch getaway that's romantic and tropical?  Welcome to El Careyes in Jalisco, Mexico, a sun-sprinkled five star property that's part of the Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels. 

Mind-Body relaxation

I know.  You say you haven't heard much about it, but you will.  In fact, El Careyes, positioned along the Costa Alegre on the Pacific Ocean, is fast becoming the address of Hollywood stars and enterprising travelers who favor basking in the sweetness of luxury and romance.  

South of Puerto Vallarta, it's a two and one-half hour drive along the scenic highway before you reach your destination surrounded by lush forests.

Founded by Italian entrepreneur Gian Franco Brignone in 1968, the businessman knew he had discovered a piece of paradise when he saw this stretch of the pacific coastline.  To some world travelers, the first glimpse seems more like a mirage -- a Moorish playground of the rich and famous.  Look again. 

Pool-sized luxury

Dipped in a patina of bold Mexican colors, the resort combines Mediterranean sensuality with Mexican architectural elements.  And with forty-eight deluxe rooms and suites, a tranquil setting and undisturbed scenery, just one stay will do wonders for the mind and body.


Mexican-Mediterranean folk style with matching walls

All accommodations are set within a pueblo-style horseshoe building around a courtyard.  Many have a partial or full ocean view. If you reserve before December 21st, a Resort Room runs $289.  A Junior Suite Oceanfront is $495, but includes a spacious living area and plunge pool with indoor or outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the beachfront. 

Splurge on the Casita Three Bedrooms and the price moves up to $879.  Comforts include an ocean view, private Jacuzzi, large living room and dining area, plus a kitchenette. Whatever your choice, all rooms feature interior rustic styles blended with Mexican and Mediterranean touches like Parota wood (local hardwood), elaborate hand painted furniture, and decorative objects.

Brightly colored El Careyes

And yet perhaps the nicest amenity is the main pool surrounded by swaying palm trees.  Guests appear mesmerized by its bright, clear blue water kept warm year round by the ideal Mexican climate.  Once they walk a few steps, they'll be following their footprints along a private beach.

At El Careyes…Cares drift away.  Take what happened when I visited The Spa. I opted for a Self-Healing Clay treatment ($90) to burn away fat and cellulite.  The next day it was The Papaya Body Scrub ($50) that consisted of a mix of honey, papaya and salts to clean and exfoliate the skin and regenerate the tissues.

Now if you are looking for exercise, just walk next door to The Gym, a fully equipped fitness center with the latest cardiovascular regimen.  Looking to arrange a polo game (November-April), lagoon exploration, go mountain bike riding? Read on.  If you're game for fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, horseback riding, or a trip to a turtle cove sanctuary, visit EcoSportz.  Meanwhile avid golfers can take advantage of El Tamarindo championship golf course forty minutes down the road. 

Staff prepares beach chairs

Of course it's no secret that in order to maintain a lavish hideaway, the staff must be exceptional.  So look to be catered to especially by the service at the Lantana Restaurant and The Bar. 

However, the one time I indulged myself by ordering Room Service, I found some dishes unintentionally amusing.  For instance, I read where I could select my own "choose" and order a dessert with a "peakly pear," or a breakfast served with "pouched eggs."

El Careyes has a toe-hold on luxury

About the only drawback will be a lack of activities at evening time especially if you bring children.  But on my last night, the kids there were fascinated to see wedding party guests arrive for dinner.  Once the dessert came, kids couldn't help but stare.  "Can I have a piece?" a child asked.  Just then the bride turned to the little boy and happily cut him a piece of the wedding cake.


A 5-star Starwood Hotel property with all rooms and suites set within a pueblo-style horseshoe building around a courtyard.

*Room Rates
Through December 21st
Resort View = $289
($335 from December 21,2004-January 4, 2005)
Master Suite = $529
($889 from December 21-2004-January 4, 2005)
Casita Three Bedroom = $879
($1,005 from December 21, 2004-January 4, 2005)
*Internet Rates may be lower

Luxury Romance Package: Minimum stay two nights 
Luxury Room or Junior Suite

Full breakfast includes room service 
1 hour Deluxe Careyes Massage per person on chosen day
1 hour European Aromatherapy Massage per person on chosen day 
Complimentary tennis and spa.
Cost = $649 per couple per day


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For more information:

El Careyes
Km. 53.5 Carretera  Barra de Navidad
Costa Careyes
Jalisco, Mexico

Phone: 1-800-325-3589 or (011)52-315-351-0000

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