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The short drive north from Puerto Vallarta transports you from urban jungle to a unique property exuding innovative design features and secluded luxury. Perched on the hillside above enticing, sugary white Careyeros Beach on the outside flank of Banderas Bay stands Casa de Mita, a proud member of the Mexico Boutique Hotels collection.

After his first trip to Mexico in 1986, architect Marc Lindskog returned home to the USA enchanted with this country and determined to find a way to move here. On many subsequent visits, his desire to build a life in Mexico grew stronger. But it wasn’t until a family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness in the late 1990s that he looked deep within and asked himself, “If I don’t live my dream now, when am I going to live it?” And as the days went by, he recalls, “I never even stopped long enough to consider why it wouldn’t work. I only concentrated on why it would!”

After more than a year and a half of searching, Lindskog found the property that spoke to his heart. Bringing his dreams to fruition, Casa de Mita (originally called Casa las Brisas) opened in February 2001, with three distinctive units, the pool and the bar. Lindskog continued the creative process, and by 2004 Casa de Mita was completed, featuring six stylishly decorated guest suites and two exceptional penthouse suites. Casa de Mita is a fusion of traditional local architectural styles harmoniously melded to create distinct, creatively designed spaces that, although unique in themselves, flow naturally into one another.

White stucco walls form the foundation of the structures, accented with thatched and tiled roofs. Rooms are bright, with shutter-style glass windows and doors opening onto private balconies and sheltered spaces, and offer a variety of lighting and temperature options. Walking into any of the suites is a proverbial “coming home.” The walls are adorned with unique prints, tastefully placed objects d’art personalizing the living spaces. Sculptures, candles, live orchids, cut flowers and various other special touches enhance the feeling of staying at the elegant home of a good friend.

Comfort is assured. Choose to open any or all of the doors and windows to revel in the panoramic view and breathe in the fresh sea air, while listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach below. Mosquito netting artistically draped on the carved headboards of the luxurious beds can easily be moved into place to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep in open-air comfort. Or for customized climate control, ceiling fans and air conditioning, both operated by remote control, will create your perfect temperature.

Bathroom spaces are as unique as every other facet of the property. Colorful hand-painted talavera tiles and/or hand-laid smooth river stones line the floors and walls of the oversized showers. Carrying this theme throughout the rest of the bathroom area are fine details such as talavera wastebaskets and showerheads that tie it all together. And although it feels like home, it may be even better, since hidden behind the classic dark-wood cupboard under the sink is a cleverly camouflaged bar fridge stocked with an icy assortment of beer, bottled water and soda.

Careful thought and planning during the various phases of construction resulted in the strategic placement of each suite to boast its own unique view. The terraces and sitting areas offer interesting spaces to read or relax in absolute privacy while gazing out over the pool and beyond, where you can often spot whales and dolphins enjoying the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Attention to detail and decorating also is apparent in the common areas, with an eclectic collection of art and accessories interspersed with tastefully chosen indigenous materials and objects from nature. These creative spaces, including a lobby, relaxation area, gym and business center with computer and internet, are subtly integrated into the property. Even when full to capacity, it is easy to find a private sanctuary if that’s what you’re looking for.

Casa de Mita’s crowning glory is the newest penthouse, complete with a full kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances and an island perfect for pouring evening cocktails. Although this pinnacle of construction is topped by a palapa roof, it also is equipped with air conditioning to ensure comfort. The huge bathroom is decorated with the same exacting attention to detail and elegance as the rest of the suite. A four-poster bed gives the bedroom a regal air and is positioned to take advantage of the spectacular sights stretching as far as the eye can see. And the view from the private terrace...

Canopied oversize daybeds at the beach and pool levels provide a luxurious setting for a tranquil afternoon nap or a cozy unobstructed view of the outstanding sunsets. A selection of “beach condiments” located on the pool deck is available for your use to soothe and protect your skin. In the pool area, a large, intricately woven palapa roof shades a fully stocked open-air bar and dining area, as well as the convenient swim-up bar.

The beautifully set tables sport original, hand-carved wooden chairs, their backs featuring unique images such as jungle animals. Choose this area for a memorable gourmet dinner made from the freshest ingredients, including organic fruits and vegetables, or dine under the stars, overlooking the beach. The menu changes daily, with the chef creating gastronomic works of art inspired by the choice ingredients at hand. As an all-inclusive property, guests truly feel at home since there are no checks to be signed after meals or trips to the bar.

As the sun sets over the Pacific, Casa de Mita begins to glow with soft lighting creating a romantic and soulful mood. Numerous three-dimensional, iron star lamps hanging from the palapa roof contribute to the transformation of the dining area into a romantic wonderland. Tables in this area, as well as those on the pool deck overlooking the ocean, glow in the soft flicker of candlelight. Candles also do their magic in the artistically decorated pool-level washroom, along stairways and throughout other public areas.

But one of the most charming features of this property is the attentive staff , which always seems to be a step ahead of you, anticipating your needs and desires, perhaps even before you’re aware of them yourself. The melding of Lindskog’s ingenuity in design and construction, enhanced by an unparalleled location and a staff whose genuine purpose is to make guests feel at home, creates the signature Casa de Mita experience.