The Bold and the Beautiful

A weekend well spent at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, a vibrant designer hotel perched on the edge of a lush, emerald jungle

Though I adore the Bay Area’s proximity to the rolling hills of wine country, dewy coastal forests, and powdery slopes of Lake Tahoe, sometimes I’m seeking a little sun and sand. Fortunately, Puerto Vallarta has more than enough of that to offer—and it’s just a hop, skip, and jump from the Bay. Finding myself in need of a short and sweet getaway, I journeyed to Hotel Mousai on Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore for an all-inclusive vacation to destress and decompress.

Just minutes from the beach, this 5-diamond luxury boutique resort offers chic design and coastal views with 145 suites: 73 in its North Tower and 72 in its newest South Tower. The secluded, adults-only property is a few miles south of downtown and situated on the picturesque Garza Blanca Preserve where development is limited to safeguard its bountiful tropical surroundings. Though R&R is certainly on the menu—all suites feature a private terrace with a hot tub and hammock to enjoy exquisite views of the Pacific Ocean—culinary and outdoor adventures also abound.

Start your morning with exclusive resort experiences such as beach, river, and mountainside kundalini yoga sessions, which combine breathing techniques with meditation and asanas for a relaxing and restorative experience. Nature lovers also have their choice of jungle jaunts with hiking trails and guided walks to explore the wild rainforests—and even a splendid waterfall—around the preserve. From November through March, you might even spot humpback whales from the viewing deck.

Having invested in a new GoPro and underwater filters, however, I was keen to explore underwater. We jumped at the chance to join the resort’s early morning kayaking and snorkeling trip to the beautiful Los Arcos rock formations in Banderas Bay, where we paddled through the towering natural arches and dove into azure waters to discover the subaquatic wildlife. Satisfactorily sunned and in need of a little recuperation from the morning’s adventures, a hydrotherapy ritual at the resort’s spa was in store for the remainder of the day.

Featuring a stunning, open-air deck with unspoiled views of the ocean, Hotel Mousai’s Spa Imagine is an idyllic space for a variety of treatments to feel utterly pampered in addition to its cutting-edge hydrotherapy circuit. Complete with a sauna, steam room, heated whirlpools, warm and cold plunge pools, the circuit also includes a unique pressure massage shower that targets weary muscles in the shoulders and upper back—perfect for post-kayaking escapades. Tip: Be sure to schedule your treatment in time to wrap up and catch the sun dip into the ocean while you relax on the spa deck.

Guests can also indulge in afternoon activities such as tequila tasting sessions set in a tropical oasis, where the hotel’s jefe de bares led us through the distinctive tastes, aromas, and color variations of white, reposado, and añejo tequilas. (If you’re already a connoisseur, visit the bar at Blanca Blue restaurant which offers more than 100 varieties of tequila.) As night falls, indulge in Hotel Mousai’s vast culinary offerings which include contemporary takes on international fare with options such as the Japanese-influenced Hiroshi, and DAO’s contemporary Chinese dishes. (For casual, daytime meals or sunset libations, enjoy garden-fresh selections and handcrafted cocktails poolside at the property’s two rooftop restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding Sierra Madre mountains.)

An eclectic retreat with modern amenities in the heart of the jungle, Hotel Mousai is a destination that merges the indoors with its spectacular natural environment. Whether you seek to reconnect with nature by immersing yourself in outdoor pursuits or by simply enjoying the dazzling sunset from your suite’s private terrace, what’s certain is that you won’t run out of divertissements before the weekend is up.

For more information, visit Hotel Mousai.