This Stunning New Resort on Mexico's Pacific Coast Is the Perfect Vacation for Families With Young Children

Susurros del Corazón opened in Punta Mita, Mexico, in November 2022.

Aerial view of beachside resort in Mexico, palm trees, pools and villas

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

Our first family vacation didn’t go very well. My husband and I planned a week-long trip to Copenhagen last August when our son, Luca, was eight months old, thinking that the weather would be amazing and that Luca was young enough to just go with the flow. (Hear that? It’s the sound of more experienced parents laughing at our naivete.) While the first of our conjectures proved true, the latter did not. Between learning to crawl, experiencing major jet lag, and catching a nasty cold, Luca spent the whole trip completely out of sorts. By the end, we were all sick and exhausted.   

Eager for a do-over, my husband and I agreed that we should keep our second attempt super simple and head to a beach resort. We’d been talking about getting back down to Mexico, so I suggested checking out the new Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection, near Punta de Mita on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. We could book a direct flight from New York, it would be a measly one-hour time difference, and I’d heard raves about how well the brand caters to pint-size travelers. 

On a Thursday in mid-December, just before the holiday-travel rush, we flew down to Puerto Vallarta, which serves as the gateway to Riviera Nayarit. After zipping 45 minutes north on the highway, we pulled into a long drive that cuts through a lush green lawn and lake. As the path curled around, I spied a group of staff members waiting to greet us at the hotel entrance with ice-cold glasses of tepache, a drink made from fermented pineapple. 

“Welcome to Susurros — welcome home,” said Rodrigo Trejo, who introduced himself as our cuate. The title, shared by a team of three concierges, translates to “good friend.” In the five-minute walk to our room,  we swapped stories about where we’d each grown up and how we’d weathered the pandemic. I began to understand just how appropriate that friend designation was.

I’d been so focused on our conversation that I hadn’t taken a moment to fully appreciate the resort and its setting — until we entered our room. Designed by Glazier Le Architects, Susurros comprises an elegant clutch of 28 rooms, 33 suites, and 30 villas in contemporary white buildings overlooking the Bahía de Banderas. With Luca in my arms, I made a beeline for the terrace of our second-floor oceanview casita to soak up views of the bay and point out the Islas Marietas in the distance. Turning back around, I scanned the room — half looking for things I needed to move out of Luca’s reach, but also to appreciate the décor elements. The airy, minimal interiors by Paul Duesing put the focus on Mexican-made crafts and natural materials like terracotta animal figurines from San José del Cabo in Baja Sur, woven basket masks from Oaxaca, custom wood headboards from Guadalajara, and a totem of three pillars from Mexico City.

Guest suite bedroom with indoor outdoor patio at Susurros del Corazon in Mexico

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

After freshening up, we decided to grab an early dinner at Casamilpa, the farmhouse-inspired restaurant that fronts a 2,000-foot-long stretch of private beach. At 13 months, Luca was a somewhat new (read: messy) eater — to say nothing of his hangry streak, so I was antsy about how he’d fare after a full travel day. The team couldn’t have been more on top of things. As we sat down and said hellos, a high chair and kids’ menu appeared from around a corner, followed by a deep plate that suctioned to the tray table and kept Luca distracted for the few minutes it took for his breaded catch of the day to arrive. 

Outdoor lounge with fire pit at sunset and a bowl of ceviche with avocado and a glass of wine

Sarah Bruning

With Luca feasting away, Prashanth and I were free to browse the menu from chef Tonatiuh Cuevas, who draws inspiration from local vendors and the area’s Indigenous Huichol nation. We kicked off our meal with a pair of chili mezcal cocktails (a smoky combination of mezcal, ancho reyes, lime juice, and grilled pineapple) and the ceviche Fabiana, named for a fishmonger who put his own spin on the marinated-seafood dish (a mix of shrimp, scallops, and octopus) by serving it in a warm chile-spiked broth. We followed it up with the fileted red snapper, slicked with green salsa on one side, red on the other, and served with simply roasted vegetables, plus pliant corn tortillas for DIY tacos. The dishes reminded me of something general manager Jose Adames had said to me earlier. “We didn’t want to just offer burgers and pizza or play music that guests would hear at home,” he’d said with pride.

A felt knit whale toy and note for guest's son

Sarah Bruning

The next morning began with another proof point: a pot of fresh coffee, spiked with cinnamon in the local style and delivered right to our room. Prashanth and I poured ourselves multiple cups on the terrace as Luca sat nearby, examining the embroidered wool whale that had been waiting for him when we arrived. After breakfast at Casamilpa — chilaquiles for the adults, fluffy pancakes for the tot, and conchas all around — we made our way to a private cabana at the family pool. Flanked by the relaxation and adult pools on either side, it’s distinguished by toddler-friendly shallows and waterfall features built into the wall. We gingerly encouraged Luca to dip his toes in, while another trio of Americans with a slightly older son splashed around the far side of the pool. Behind us, a mom and college-age daughter made their way to the adult pool’s swim-up bar for cocktails.    

Outdoor bar at golden hour and a chilaquiles breakfast plate

Sarah Bruning

While the guys lingered in the cabana, I headed to an energy healing session with a local healer named Azucena Medina. The full 31,000-square-foot spa, Onda, will debut in the coming months, but my Cielo treatment made good use of one of the property’s spacious suites. Combining elements of traditional massage and reiki therapy, Azucena took inventory of my body, methodically working my muscles to unblock areas of trapped stress and fatigue. “You’re a mother, right?” she said quietly in my ear. “It’s so easy to get swept up in everything and forget that you are enough. But you are doing enough. You are a good mother. A good partner. A good daughter.” 

Suite with private plunge pool and views of palm trees

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

I felt myself getting weepy. Somehow, she had tapped into my inner monologue and pinpointed the anxieties that had been running through my mind on an endless loop for the past year. I took a deep breath and bit my lip as she encouraged me to take a series of deep breaths. When our hour was up, I gathered myself and exited the room. 

“How do you feel?” asked Medina.

 “Lighter,” I replied. “Much, much lighter.”

That evening, we’d scheduled an early wine tasting, so we left Luca in the care of Janeth Pérez Sandoval, a member of the Los Morritos kids’ club team — and a mom herself. Prashanth and I strolled down to the beach as the sun started to set and found a private table decked out with glasses and a sizable spread of local meats and cheeses. The Mexican Wine Club experience is designed as an introduction to the country’s wine regions. Our sommelier, Luis Fernando Villega, explained that we’d sample five different wines and circle three words from the given lists to describe the aroma and three for the mouth feel. At the end, we’d tally up who had the most correct guesses. Prashanth and I exchanged a competitive glance. Game on.

We ended up tied, score-wise, but the real fun was in discovering new-to-us producers, including Puerta del Lobo. Located in Querétaro, which Villega dubbed one of the country’s most interesting appellations, the vineyard sits about 90 minutes southeast of San Miguel de Allende (or three hours north of Mexico City). Sparkling wines are a specialty of the region, so we tried a 2020 brut, which I loved for its high acidity and subtle honeycomb notes. 

After repeating our new breakfast ritual at Casamilpa, with Luca swapping his beloved pancakes for scrambled eggs and me trading chilaquiles for a huitlacoche-flecked omelet, we spent the morning on the beach. We zig-zagged along the nearly 2,000-foot-long stretch of sand, dodging the cool waves that crept up the shoreline and watching a pair of guests learning how to surf the beginner-friendly waves. When we ducked back under our umbrella, a bevy of sand toys were waiting for Luca to play with.

For lunch, we grabbed a table at La Boquita, the property’s more casual bar, and ordered the full slate of tacos: shrimp, grilled fish, rib eye, and gringa, an al pastor riff with melted cheese. The mom and daughter we’d seen the day prior struck up a conversation after Luca popped his head over the bench to wave hello. As it turned out, the Atlanta-based duo had booked their girls’ trip after the mom had spent a week at Susurros after it opened in November 2022. “And I’ll be back again in March,” she admitted, with a laugh. 

Honestly, I couldn’t blame her. Susurros had all the shine of a brand-new hotel, but the hospitality, food, and experiences had the polish of a resort that had been operating for much longer. I suspect that comes from ensuring every aspect of the property demonstrates a deep sense of place. One of the people tasked with making that happen is Koa Fernandez, the resort’s experiences curator, who has been developing the resort’s programming and encouraged me to attend that evening’s cacao ceremony, a ritual that weaves together songs and stories drawn from Mayan traditions. 

As the four of us in attendance that night sat around the communal IxCacao altar sipping the ceremony-grade cacao, healer Gina Cordova invited us to take turns offering intentions and sprinkling seeds and flowers to complete the arrangement. At various points, she paused to determine each person’s nahuatl, or spirit totem. Mine was kej, or the deer, a guardian whose characteristics include leadership and loyalty. 

“You have a deep love inside you,” Cordova told me. “It is your guiding force, but you must nurture yourself to nurture it.” 

Her words resonated deeply and once again reminded me how much of the past year I’d spent in pure survival mode. When it came time to close the session, Cordova asked us to close our eyes and reflect on gratitude. I bowed my head and thought back over the past few days. Our first family trip had been so consumed by logistics, like figuring out how to schlep everything we needed and squeeze in sightseeing between Luca’s all-too-short naps. This time around, we’d been able to relax and revel in all the new experiences he was having. Gratitude felt like a wholly insufficient way of describing that feeling. 

By our last full day, it seemed like Luca had been elected mayor of the place. The pool attendant we’d met at the cabana remembered his name. He blew kisses to the staff as we walked up to the hostess stand. We soaked up the warm weather with another morning hang on the beach and tried coaxing Luca to splash in the crisp waves one last time. He still wasn’t a fan, but the Southern Californian in me refuses to give up hope. 

Before grabbing another round of tacos at La Boquita for lunch, I popped by Sombrero del Alma, a recurring pop-up from local artisan Mariana Ortega, the owner of Mowi Hats. Several times a month, Ortega arrives to customize handmade felt and straw hats she sources from Indigenous communities in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. “I work with Montecristi women in Panama to design them, and I get beading from the local Huichol people here in Nayarit,” Ortega told me. “My main goal is to support as many jobs as I can. Right now, I work with six communities, with about 10 people in each.”  (An emphasis on sustainable sourcing is also present in Fashionkind, the boutique from Nina Farran and Sophia Bush, which was set to open just days after our departure.)

Although part of me was eager to hit up Loteria Night at La Boquita (who doesn’t love a little bingo?), I was curious about another activity I’d seen on the schedule: Modern Ancestral. So while Prashanth put Luca down for the night, I wandered down to the beach. In a quiet outcropping, tucked away from the pools and Casamilpa, I found a half-dozen blankets and cushy chairs clustered in a semi-circle around a crackling fire pit. Positioned at the front was Bart Kropff, a Dutch expat who leads this music-meets-meditation sound bath every Sunday at dusk. I hunkered down in one of the chairs and settled under a heavy blanket as Kropff began looping layers of flute, saxophone, and synthesizers to create an otherworldly song. 

The hamster wheel in my brain habitually resists shutting off, so I was surprised to find myself lost in the track Kropff created. At various points, he came around to play his sax directly in front of each person, close enough for us to feel the vibrations and, surprisingly, lull me into a state of actual relaxation. When I met Prashanth for dinner and a private raicilla tasting about an hour later, he even commented on how atypically calm I looked. 

Our last morning came all too quickly. Luca, the early worm to my night owl, was up and eager to greet the day at 7 a.m. sharp, but oddly enough, so was I. Not only had our little crew been able to spend some much-needed quality time focused on each other, but I’d been able to carve out space for myself, too. Driving away, I remembered what Cordova had said about making room in my schedule for more things that feel restorative. It may not be a full vacation or even a massage, but a weekly taco night with the fam? Yeah, that I can commit to.

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