‘Mooning in Mexico

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Accommodations at Hotelito Desconocido in Costalegre
Accommodations at Hotelito Desconocido in Costalegre


We’ve uncovered some of Mexico’s best-kept secrets—and added a couple of well-known favorites—for your clients’ honeymooning pleasure.

hotelito desconocido, costalegre

Fresh off a $10 million renovation and expansion, this “little, unknown hotel” will appeal to newlyweds looking to really disconnect from the rest of the world. The hotel sits in the middle of a vast nature reserve along a lagoon on Mexico’s Costalegre, with nothing but candles and torches providing mood lighting when the sun goes down and solar and wind power fueling the property.

The 26 new palafitos or stilt dwellings where guests stay—including the aptly named El Corazon (The Heart), popular among honeymooners—all have outdoor Vichy showers, stone and mosaic soaking tubs and expansive terraces from which to enjoy the view. There’s also a Presidential Suite ensconced on its own island with a private chromotherapy infinity pool and ‘round-the-clock butler service. The suite is made up of three interconnected palafitos that add a living and dining room where couples can enjoy an intimate dinner prepared by their own chef. Thanks to the hotel’s location and commitment to protecting the environment, visitors can spend their days kayaking as they discover multiple types of birds, helping release a few of the thousands of sea turtles saved each year, or go horseback riding along the quiet beach. For added indulgence, there’s a brand-new Thalasso spa with an extensive water therapy circuit and two gourmet restaurants featuring organic ingredients from the hotel’s gardens and local fish and meats. Rates start at $423 per night dbl and include meals, non-alcoholic beverages and use of kayaks; honeymoon packages are also available.

Contact: (800) 851-1143; hotelito.com

rancho la puerta, baja california

Clients ready to leave all the wedding stress behind? They can hike, tai chi and dance it all away at this 3,000-acre haven of clean, serene living just an hour’s drive from San Diego. You might know this as a spa-and-fitness destination and spiritual retreat, but that’s precisely what makes it so perfect for a post-ceremony escape—it’s a paradise of resident and migrating birds, wildflowers, art work and tons of one-on-one time, all tucked away amid meadows and hills outside of the town of Tecate. Best of all, there’s lots and lots of breathing room to decompress. The natural surroundings alone are worth the visit, but celebrities and “regular” folk also come for its famous cooking school, organic veggies and fish cuisine, as well as classes and lectures on everything from yoga to photography to writing. No less than three health and beauty centers go well beyond the norm, covering the gamut of herbal wraps and four-hand massages and extending to acupuncture, craniosacral therapy and more. It’s little wonder that this has been a favorite getaway since its opening in 1940, counting Burt Lancaster, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Aldous Huxley as just some of its more distinguished visitors.

Homey, charm-filled accommodations range from Ranchera studio rooms to casita-style Haciendas to bigger villas, all adorned in Mexican folk art and most with a fireplace. Summer rates start at $3,000 pp per week, inclusive of accommodations, meals, group fitness classes and other activities; spa treatments and cooking classes are extra.

Contact: (800) 443-7565; rancholapuerta.com

hacienda de los santos, alamos

With a staff ready to pamper and plenty of hidden corners in its patios and gardens for private moments, this is a real find for romantics—an 18th century hacienda right in the colonial town of Alamos, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Mexican history and tranquility go hand-in-hand in this elegant retreat, awash in the nostalgia for another time through antique colonial furnishings and fireplaces in rooms and suites, four tiled pools and even a private hangar. Another guest favorite: a 75-seat theater welcoming live performances or film classics—perhaps even your clients’ wedding video—as couples sink into well-worn leather love seats with a nonstop order of wine and snacks.

There’s also a full-service spa and mountain bikes available, but guests will want to also look into the many a la carte experiences the hacienda can put together: a horseback ride into the mountains, a tequila class in-house at the Revolution-era Zapata Bar, or a private guitar serenade just outside their suite. They can also book a photographer to tag along for a day to record clients’ favorite moments together or arrange for a made-from-scratch breakfast atop the town’s lookout point—approximately 377 steps later—which provides an incredible postcard view of Alamos. Clients might also want to sign up for a relaxing float tour along the Mayo River, past ancient petroglyphs and abandoned haciendas and into the natural beauty of this region. Rates start at $155 per night.

Contact: mexicoboutiquehotels.com