Once the private escape of 80s corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith, Cuixmala has emerged as a hedonist escape reserved for the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Mick Jagger and Madonna. An eco-sanctuary the size of most resort cities, but with just five villas and nine hotel-inspired casitas, manages to dazzle even skeptics with a mix of beach jungle living that's equal parts Lilly Pulitzer and Jane Goodall.
You arrive to an entrance guarded by federal police that open the gate to a world of dirt roads where only ethereal white butterflies, 8-ft. caiman and wild pigs cross your path. Along this near 8-mile circular, private road is a preserve of earthly decadence that leads to two beachfront villas, La Loma and La Playa, and newer buildings like architectural Villa Torre. With Moorish copula that looms like Babylon over a deserted Pacific shoreline, La Loma is the villa you really want with meandering staircase that leads to an oceanfront pavilion with checkerboard tile pool and such bourgeois grandeur that even William Randolph Hearst would blush.
Days at Cuixmala are spent between morning bicycle rides around the property (no easy trek) to horseback riding through herds of zebra and a private beach club that’s 20-minutes away via police escort and when you arrive, it’s literally a private beach cove teaming with sand crabs and clubhouse with full staff just for you. The property has been impeccably managed by Goldsmith’s daughter since his death and now operates by an eco-manifest that includes organic farm, coconut plantation, citrus orchard and schoolhouse. To not experience Cuixmala is to miss one of travel’s great modern marvels.