Let me start by saying Pam and Brett really, really like Playa Escondida. A LOT! Love may be more accurate! We wanted a unique, first class, quiet place to spend a week on the beach nearby modern life but still at the end of a deserted road few would want to travel. I don’t know how Pam found it, but she did! In the few weeks since we returned (home is near San Diego CA) we still tell everyone we meet that our escape to Playa Escondida was the best beach vacation we have ever had! So much so we’ve been hesitant about writing anything because we joke we don’t want a lot of other people to learn about it -- but we want them to do well too so we can come back, so here goes.
We stayed in two of the different “cottages”, and we loved the uniqueness about them and that this is not a typical box, elevator hotel for the masses (there are only 27 ‘rooms’ spread about). There are no screens or glass in the windows, and there are bugs and critters that crawl in and out; there is no room phone, tv or air conditioning and the hot water in the shower can be a little tricky. But all of this is part of its charm and appeal to those wanting to go off the beaten road (but Puerto Vallarta, the airport and the Walmart grocery store are a ½ hour or less away) yet stay in a very, very nice place!
The resort is a couple miles off the main road (& turnoff to Sayulita) and the better part of it is a narrow, one lane dirt or cobblestone road. We rented a car - the directions they provided were fine and we had no trouble finding it - and drove in and out several times, even at night. But at the end of the road is Heaven! And as it says, no kids (it is a vacation after all). This place is NOT set up for kids. There is no game room and the pool is designed for sedate relaxation, not cannon ball frivolity. As for there being employee’s or other kids about, the only one we saw was the 7 or 8 yr old son of the owner in the afternoon, and he played on the beach and was quiet and respectful of the resort’s ambience.
Jorge runs the cantina and is great! In a few minutes he is your new best friend and takes care of you every day when it is time for happy hour (drinks are 2 for 1 the hour before sunset and we enjoyed a spectacular green flash one night as it set). Because of where it is a restaurant is a necessity here, and we found all the meals were great and the setting next to the pool in the sand looking at the ocean is a postcard picture that cannot be beat! We went into Sayulita and one of the other little towns, but found no reason to stay long as the best beach and place to be and eat was at Playa Escondida. We spent each morning walking the ½ mile stretch of beautiful beach and were always alone -- everyone else I guess slept in and only lay in the beach chairs on the sand outside their cabana doors.
And yes, the ocean is very NOISY (pleasantly so, adds Pam) at night. I came prepared with ear plugs and slept fine too. We were here the last week of October -- the daytime was 90 and about 70 at night -- perfect. The room gets warm but the fans let you get to sleep. The geckos can be very loud too, but hey, it’s not a freeway ville either stuck in rush hour traffic. We checked our email each morning with the computer they keep in the restaurant. But if you need to be connected to the web and cell 24/7 this is not the place to be -- in fact the poor reception here will help you put those things away! (We also never had an issue with door keys and their working, and each room has a safe we used but never really felt it was needed).
Also, we did get hooked into Time Share Hell at the airport car rental counter (their everywhere). FYI the ‘closers’ in Puerto Vallarta are extremely nasty and unpleasant but they really liked me even less (all we did was say we were only there for the goodies and not going to buy and they got quite angry) so we got out of our 90 minute tour (with $300 car rental for the week and a $100 show) in only 45 minutes. But we met others who were trapped 5 - 10 hours. So unless you really want the punishment and are good at saying “no” and leaving, we say skip this experience or it could ruin your trip. We did the ‘Sounds of the Night’ and thought it would be cheesy 3rd rate, but it was actually done very well and the dining (private table along the water) and food was surprisingly exceptional! It made for a most enjoyable and memorable evening!
As for the owners and staff at Playa Escondida, everyone could not have been more cordial and friendly -- if you needed anything all you had to do was ask (the desk mgr. is from Canada and the others all speak English well). We partook too of the in-house massage and it was terrific. So if you want a quiet, sedate, safe (no problems in this area) 1st class beautiful place hidden in the jungle on the beach to escape from the hustle of the rest of the world for a few days, this is about the best choice you could make and we cannot wait to get back! Most of the people we met were on a return visit, and this is the one thing everyone always said! Along with: “don’t tell anyone”!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.