This New Resort in Mexico Has Incredible Villas and Tree Houses With Infinity Pools and Ocean Views
One&Only Mandarina opened its doors Nov. 1, along the Riviera Nayarit, about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The property is the second new One&Only to open this year, along with the One&Only Desaru Coast, which debuted in Malaysia in early September.
The jaw-dropping resort is one piece of the larger Mandarina development, which also features a still-under-development Rosewood hotel and a polo club. It’s sure to be in demand this winter, as Puerto Vallarta, the gateway to the Riviera Nayarit, is just three hours by air from Los Angeles and less than three hours flying from Dallas. While the Mexico-U.S. land border is still closed to non-essential travel due to COVID-19 concerns, U.S. travelers can enter Mexico by air.
The property is also compelling because it won’t have any standard issue guest rooms, instead offering a selection of 105 villas and “tree houses,” which have features like infinity pools, outdoor terraces, skylights, ocean views, spacious bathrooms, and outdoor showers. You better believe there’s butler service.
A few extra special options include the Villa Pacífico and Villa One, which have room for larger families or small groups, with multiple bedrooms and plenty of privacy. Villa Pacífico, which sleeps eight, counts among its amenities “two private pools, walk-in closets, an office, a butler room, a Jacuzzi, a fully stocked wine fridge, full-screen cinema, outdoor rain shower, and an outdoor covered dining terrace with barbecue grill,” according to One&Only. The top-tier Villa One spans nearly 19,000 square feet over two stories, with sweeping ocean views, twin master suites, and many of the same amenities found in the Villa Pacífico.
If those aren’t enough, the property also has 55 One&Only Private Homes, which are available for sale, from $4.95 million. (They join the existing portfolio of private residences at One&Only resorts in Greece, Malaysia, and Mauritius, plus a forthcoming Montenegro property.)
As for what to do when not luxuriating in one’s villa, hotel reps say the sky is pretty much the limit, with sailing, fishing, scuba diving, spearfishing, and “marine safaris” available to guests, along with “miles” of jungle hiking trails and activities at the nearby Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club. The massive kids club has numerous tree houses, a cinema, a butterfly garden, climbing walls, and other diversions, all designed by Brigitte Broch, a set decorator and designer who won an Academy Award, with Catherine Martin, for her work on the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge!
It’s not the only celebrity connection on property: One&Only has tapped Enrique Olvera, probably the most famous Mexican chef in the world, to oversee one of the restaurants on property. Carao will offer an adults-only dining room, with Olvera’s “menu that reflects a broad spectrum of influence from Oaxaca to the modern Mediterranean,” One&Only says, featuring “refreshing flavors that leave an impression, from roasted palm hearts to aged fish or smokey octopus zarandeado,” spiced and grilled in the local style. Other, more casual options, are also available, including poolside crab tacos and in-villa private dining.
Guests considering a trip should also take heed of some warnings: Puerto Vallarta announced new restrictions due to COVID-19 on Friday, including a curfew, early closure of many businesses, and limits on beaches. (Needless to say, One&Only has a full suite of new health and safety policies.) Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State currently advises citizens to “reconsider travel” to both Jalisco and Nayarit states due to crime, having issued a level three advisory on Mexico on Sept. 8; the Riviera Nayarit is specifically mentioned in that bulletin as safer than other areas in the region.
Nightly rates for the One&Only Mandarina start at $990.