I’m currently at the Wyndham Grand Bay Resort at Isla Navidad, a hotel in the Costalegre region of Pacific Mexico, north of Manzanillo. I’ve been meaning to get here for a while, but finally the stars aligned. Later I’ll give you the full rundown on the rooms, facilities, restaurants, marina, and golf course. But for now, here’s a video tour of the impressive swimming pool complex. Enjoy!
Archive for the 'Golf' Category
The April 2012 issue of Condé Nast Traveler has another reader’s poll, this time highlighting golf resorts. Six of the 20 in the International category are in Latin America.
They’re all familiar names to Luxury Latin America readers and you can follow the links to see our detailed, professional reviews.
One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico
Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun (not a luxury property)
Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Mexico
Keep in mind that these readers’ polls get distorted by lots of factors, including which places are already the most popular and who’s doing the best job at mobilizing their staffers to engage in ballot stuffing. So you’ll seldom see lesser-known gems like Tamarindo in Costalegre or a golf resort in Guatemala, of all places. You’ll have to discover those on your own.
Here are some other golf round-ups of ours to check out for ideas:
Last week I noted that we had just added a new review of a seaside boutique hotel in Uruguay. Now we’ve added another notable recent opening to our reviews of the best hotels in Uruguay with Fasano Las Piedras.
We’ve had our eye on this one for a while as it’s an offshoot of two of the best-known design hotels in Brazil: the Fasano hotels in Rio and Sao Paulo. While those are all about flash and bold artistry, Fasano Las Piedras near Punta del Este is more of a laid-back country retreat.
It’s not on the beach and it’s not in Punta del Este proper. This is a destination hotel situated on nearly 1,000 acres. It’s 15 minutes from the coast, but a different part of Uruguay entirely. If you want room to wander, you’ll find it here, plus I can’t think of another hotel where the swimming pool is inside a giant boulder. Sure, you’ve got a great spa, elegant restaurant, and a 9-hole Arnold Palmer golf course going in, but it’s the wide-open spaces that make you slow down and notice the little things.
“It’s a hotel that unveils its secrets to you over time, in layers. On the surface, it seems very minimal, discreet. The more you explore, the more you notice details in service and amenities that make you realize that you really are in a high-caliber hotel. And before you know it, you find that the place has at some point gotten under your skin and you have become completely enchanted.”
There are flashier resorts in Uruguay, for sure, but for many travelers who have seen the inside of a lot of those types already, this Fasano retreat comes out on top as the preferred address.
See our full review of hotel Fasano Las Piedras in Uruguay.
When most people think of Mendoza, Argentina, they think of the city itself and the surrounding vineyards. Mendoza is actually the name of the whole province too, however, and it’s a very large one. The grape clusters spread far beyond the capital and to San Rafael, 240 kilometers away. There you’ll find Algodon Wine Estate and Champions Club.
This is an intimate resort favored by those who really want to feel they’re away from it all and will have plenty of space to roam. With just seven suites and a villa, personal service is assured. There’s no shortage of facilities though. Besides the on-site winery, there’s a 9-hole golf course that will later have 18 holes, plus “tennis players have their choice of 7 clay courts, 1 hard court, and 2 grass courts to practice on.” You can sip Algodon wine by the pool, enjoying the sunshine in an area that’s seldom without it.
There are plenty of excursions nearby for those who want it, like wine route biking, fly fishing, rafting, or winter skiing at Las Leñas.
Just as with Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires, staying here you will likely rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of Argentine society, but here the shoulders will be bare—or at least relaxed.
See our full detailed review of Algodon Wine and Golf Estate in Mendoza.
[Photo © Algodon Wine Estates]
We often feature real estate destinations that are all about the flash and prestige. Much of the Pacific Coast of Mexico and Costa Rica has turned into a game of one-upsmanship, which showed no signs of slowing until California’s real estate crash hit.
Mazatlan was always a bit removed from all that, despite its location closer to the U.S. than many other destinations. The bubble never got very big, so the real estate market didn’t grind to a halt. Prices are off a bit from the peak, but they were never much out of whack to start with. A million bucks goes a long way in this region.
There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that Mazatlan has not been a flashy, upper-crust resort city. There’s little reason for the paparazzi to hang out here watching for celebrities. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find a luxury dream home or waterfront penthouse. It just means you’ll pay a lot less for it than you would in Cabo San Lucas or the Riviera Nayarit. Apart from Punta Mita, a golf and beach development like Estrella del Mar doesn’t even exist in those places: there’s not enough waterfront land available for such a grand scheme.
So if you want a luxury vacation or retirement home but you’re a value investor at heart, take a look at our latest real estate round-up. Pacific Mexico with Personality: Real Estate in Mazatlan.