Huge, high-rise hotels have their benefits, but sometimes you just want an escape from the crowds, and a more intimate experience. Mexico’s Pacific Coast has a number of small, secluded boutique resorts where you can limit your exposure to others without limiting your choices of things to do. For your next trip, here are a few places to check out:
Remotely situated south of Puerto Vallarta, Verana (pictured above) is a small property perched on a jungle-covered hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. By day, snorkel, kayak, go whale watching, visit the nearby village — or just lounge around the hotel's ocean-themed spa and enjoy the surroundings. You won’t have to compete for tables in the restaurant, as it’s open only to guests; and with only eight houses to choose from, the crowds will be small indeed. Rates from $175.
Occupying 15 acres in Baja California Sur, Rancho Pescadero lies just outside the tiny town of Pescadero. Use it as your base to head into nearby Todos Santos for shopping and culture, or just enjoy the huge stretch of beach. You can take free daily yoga sessions, learn to surf, and enjoy fresh veggies right out of the resort’s garden (not to mention seafood caught offshore). Considering this is an adults-only resort, you may never want to come home. Rates from $205.
When you want the convenience of being close to town, but enough distance to feel a sense of quiet and seclusion, check into Hotel Casa Tota, a boutique hotel in Todos Santos. The small town has just enough to entertain you, but at a sleepy, relaxed pace. The hotel’s 15 rooms ensure that you'll get plenty of personal attention, and the courtyard pool and rooftop terrace are a serene, crowd-free delight. Rates from $108.
No phone lines and no electricity are two off-the-grid highlights of Villa del Faro, a solar-powered complex located deep in the desert, about an hour from the craziness of Los Cabos. Set on a large, private beach, this is the place to leave it all behind and just relax. The restaurant features local and organic cuisine, and in your spare time (which is pretty much your entire trip), you can enjoy miles of empty beach, mountain trails, surfing, swimming, bird watching, or just detoxing from your daily life. Rates from $140.
At the edge of the small surf town of Sayulita, Villa Amor’s rooms run up the hillside and offer beautiful views of the Pacific — and the closest surf spot, so you can keep tabs on it. Within the 36 villas, you can choose between combinations of one and five rooms. So if you think you might be a little lonely, bring a group of friends along and make it a collective holiday. No two villas are alike, and all offer wide verandas to enjoy the view. A short walk into town allows you to escape from the escape when you want. Rates from $198.