Condé Nast Traveler: Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection

Condé Nast Traveler: Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection

Come for the relaxed, down-to-earth vibe and stay for whales breaching at sunset on Bahía de Banderas—the largest bay in Mexico.

Why book?
 Spacious, thoughtfully designed rooms where everything is sourced locally—from the soap to the furniture, a completely private white-sand beach with a direct view of the Marietas islands, three giant infinity pools leading down to the beach, and comforting Mexican food thoughtfully elevated by chef Tonatiuh Cuevas. But it’s the relaxed, down-to-earth vibe and the whales breaching as the sun sets behind Bahía de Banderas, the largest bay in Mexico, that seals the deal.

Set the scene At the heart of the resort are three pools (one lively, one for families, one for zen) that cascade toward the private beach. At the beach, with perfect waves for both swimming and surfing, a Huisache tree and an art installation of three pieces of driftwood stick straight up in the sand are on show. The same trio of wooden pillars are a somewhat mascot of the resort, on display at the entrance and in each room, representing the “soul and power of the local origin people,” the Indigenous Huichol. At the swim up bar of the lively top pool, I sipped a chili mezcal margarita alongside a double date of speedo-clad men exclusively chugging Ruinart, a chic middle-aged couple reigniting their flame, and successful 30-to -40 somethings sporting black Alo hats and Hermès sandals, the latter is who I’d expect you’ll most likely encounter here.

Everything about this property is seemingly curated to feel more like a boutique hotel than an all-inclusive. It’s normal to stumble upon things like a sound bath experience on the beach led by a local bohemian who infuses jazz with the singing bowls or a sombrero making class. The on-site boutique, a Fashionkind outpost (opening in December), co-owned by Nina Farran and Sophia Bush will comprise only of Latin American designers creating positive social and environmental impact, and the design by Paul Duesing and Glazier Le Architects, sporting stone walls that continue from the balcony to the interior of the room with pebble-floored rain showers clad in colorful tiles almost entirely Mexican made and also supports local and regional makers, artisans, artists, and purveyors, solidifies the POV of being a boho-fresh, intentional, and barefoot sanctuary for those in-the-know. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels like a resort. Just a resort that is focused on what is important to today’s customer: A sense of place with a sustainable slant and a celebration of the local culture, with a transparent and direct line to how the resort is investing in its community—this one is through the sourcing of staff, food supply, design details, and everything in between.

The backstory A completely new build managed by Auberge Resorts Collection, a U.S.-based company with 26 resorts from New York to Cabo, it's the pristine location that has been front-of-mind for owner, Tim Koogle, ever since he purchased the plot over a decade ago. He was drawn to this specific coastline of Punta de Mita for its rather untouched beach, the views of Isla Marietas, and the region’s history, as well as a big investment to the Carib-Mexico region in recent years.

The rooms With touches such as a dream catcher made from sea shells and driftwood found along the sand that looks like a craft project a family made after a day by the ocean, the room design brings elements of the beach inside. These elements contrast with the more sleek additions like the high-end rugs and furniture, creating a singular design language. The piece-de-resistance though is the spacious patios that overlook the resort’s cascading pools and the beach, or for lower level rooms a private splash pool and private lawn area. Depending on your preference: view or pool—request a room either on the second floor or ground level. Rates from $1,332 per night.

Food and drink The restaurant, Casamilpa, is informed by the area’s Indigenous Huichol culinary traditions, offering a Mexican farmhouse concept by chef Tonatiuh Cuevas. I particularly enjoyed the warm ceviche that is a tribute to a local street vendor, Fabian, who, as the story goes, mixed all of his already famous Aguachile with hot shrimp broth in his cart one day, in the region of Nayarit. Cuevas wanted to pay homage to the fluke of a dish by elevating the techniques and ingredients and placing it on his fine-dining menu. But don’t miss the Al Pastor spit-roasted tacos and Raicilla margs at the beach bar. I had the pleasure of learning about Raicilla (one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets!) during an educational tasting, which the resort offers in partnership with La Reina distillery, a hand-crafted Raicilla distillery led by Ana López and Juan Pablo Mercado. The spirit is a sister to Mezcal and Tequila, also produced from agave, but is unique to this region of Mexico.

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