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“Sweet Mexican Retreat Center”

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Mar de Jade Retreats Wellness Vacation
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chacala
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Sweet Mexican Retreat Center”
Reviewed March 1, 2009

From the moment we arrived we began to relax....the staff was so welcoming and kind. Our first room was a bit small and there was no problem in changing to a larger room with a beautiful view of the ocean, beach and palm trees. The food was simple, delicious and plentiful. Always a salad bar at lunch with lots of extras, great dinner entrees and a yummy mexican breakfast. The meditation room and yoga rooms were lovely and had outstanding views of the ocean. The instructors were also good! We both enjoyed a massage in the spa that feels like a tree house...and enjoyed evening hot tubs watching the stars. Mar de Jade is a the edge of a small crescent of a beach, the other end is a small fishing village. We were especially impressed that the owner runs a clinic and a childcare center and the Retreat Center is an integral part of the local economy....even had whale watching and others did snorkeling with local boats. The beach and town is very quiet....except on Sunday when many locals come to enjoy their beach. There is not much to do....although the staff will help arrange trips to other towns for the weekly market, a bit of hiking, if that is what you want. Overall a very lovely, sweet and well rested vacation.l

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank StillJourneying
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 20, 2008

I searched everywhere for a place that could offer my partner and I a relaxing holiday with the possibility of yoga and massage - while at the same time truly welcoming and serving our small child. This is a tall order, it seems.

Mar de Jade was a find. We don't care for big hotels, don't need exciting night life, don't need to have our whims catered to. If that's what you like, this isn't the place for you.

If you like a beautiful location on a long stretch of sand in a hotel built over time with more love than money, if you like very spacious rooms, food prepared by mothers, yoga classes overlooking the surf, great massages and easy and interesting conversation with everyone who happens to be there, then this is the place for you.

The ethos is one of caring without fuss. We've been twice and the second time was like coming home. We were remembered and welcomed like friends. We quickly fell into the easy rhythm of the place.

Importantly to us, we were able to hire wonderful, attentive child care for our small son - which include the company of the childminders own children (bonus!) - at a very reasonable cost. This gave us peace of mind and a little freedom to take a walk on the beach or a nap or read a book and made our son's holiday way more fun.

The food is lovely and fresh. Each time the bell rang announcing meal time, our son ran for the buffet saying "I wonder what good things they have to eat!" If he required something additional, the women in the kitchen were delighted to oblige. I always enjoyed a nice glass of wine at a table overlooking the surf and sunset. It's a nice way to end the day.

My partner, being a physician, lent a small helping hand at the medical clinic. It was a lovely way to connect with the community and if we had more time, we'd happily get involved with the medical and community volunteer programs that are available.

The fact that our currency helps Laura to help the local community in many important ways, and is supporting a shift to ecological septic and power systems, makes you feel even better about your holiday.

We'll be back.

Johanna

  • Liked — Spacious rooms
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank YoMaMaVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2008

I just returned from a yoga retreat with Zack Dixon. Our group has traveled to Mar De Jade for three consecutive years. The rooms we stayed in were cleaned and mopped down every day. We often relaxed by the pool, which is clear and perfect for exercise. The food is simple, fresh, and outstanding. I noticed major improvements since my visit a year ago: an enlarged bar area, new vegetable gardens, umbrellas on the beach, big, fluffy towels for guests, and an expanded menu. We went on organized shopping trips to La Penita and Sayulita, and on a hike to Las Cuevas beach.
Walking to Chacala is a bonus, with friendly shopkeepers and a chance to get to know the local residents. Mar De Jade staff are friendly and always willing to help out.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
Thank Bevi525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
1 review
Reviewed September 9, 2007

I had a wonderful and relaxing stay at the Mar de Jade resort. All of the staff were kind and always first to help in any way. The food was superb. The meals were so frequent that it was hard to make it to them all. What really sets Mar de Jade apart though is the atmosphere. There is a nice family feel to the place and while staying there you quickly see that many of the guests are repeat visitors. The rooms were very accomidating and waking up to the beach every morning was a deifnite plus. I miss it already. I will definitley go back next time I am in Mexico.

  • Liked — The view and the people
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank UMiami1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Alamos, NM
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

Beautiful setting! Next to ocean and forest. Beautiful gardens. Friendly locals.
Rooms were in bad condition. Furniture was worn out and dirty. Plumbing was not working in room properly.
Food was outstanding. Those Mexican locals were in the hot kitchen 16 hours a day, preparing three meals a day. They are not getting what they deserve.
Only thing going on for the hotel is the nature. But they were not doing anything to protect it. There was a dry creek bed right next to the hotel. It smells of sewage. I would not go and sit down on the small "private beach" at mouth of the river. This creek provides fresh water for birds in that area. It should be kept clean and cherished, so birds can stay. Not used as dirty water drain!
My husband got stung by a stingray on our last day. It is said to be the worst pain ever. Pain radiated up to his leg. Staff did a lot to help relieve the pain. Although they played it down a little, saying it only occurs during summer. It happened to us in winter. And they all talked about some yellow flower that would eleviate the pain, but they did not have this mysterious remedy at hand! It is about time to get some handy, since this accident seems to happen quite frequently in this area. Aqua shoes might be helpful for smaller rays. Better yet, stay out of the ocean starting sunset. That is when rays come to shore. Shuffle your feet before you step on sand in ocean.
Overall, not worth the money you spend. I would rent a $50 room from the local home-hotel association. Some of the houses are shown at [--]

It is hardly a "holistic lifestyle center" or an "ecotourism" location. Yoga lessons are occasional. Inspirational evening talks are life stories of a random guest who wants to talk. They do not seem to care much about conservation.

  • Liked — food, gardens
  • Disliked — rooms
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank New_Mexican76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MardeJade, Owner at Mar de Jade Retreats Wellness Vacation, responded to this review, August 10, 2008
We are sorry that this guest had the bad luck of being stung by a sting ray. Despite what they might say in their review, these bites ARE rare and I do not know of any "miraculous" plant that cures it. Perhaps this event, although clearly out of the control of Mar de Jade, put a damper on their vacation.

I would like to take a moment to respond to their concerns:

1. Our point of pride is the excellent conditions that our staff works in and the higher than average pay and benefits they receive. We are and have been for over 2 decades, a coveted place to work for since it is widely known in the region that our salaries are the best in the industry in our zone and we have a dignified and respectful relationship with all who work at Mar de Jade. Therefore we find this guest's comments particularly disturbing, since they neither spoke with any of our staff about this nor have any other basis to state that "they do not get what they deserve."

2. At one point the creek that runs by Mar de Jade was thriving with birds and even an occasion crocodile! Unfortunately, water has been diverted upstream by the developers on the other side of the beach and as a result our little creek has only a trickle of water running through it. We DO NOT throw our sewer water into it, we have our own treatment plant and state of the art septic system (it is a model to follow in the whole municipality). We too are saddened by disruption to the eco-system but there is little we can do about it.


3. We do apologize and assume all responsibility for the condition of their room. The particular room that they stayed in was the first adobe constructions that had been built in 1983, when everything was jungle and there was still no electricity. Some people enjoy this "rustic" feel, others don't. We are no longer renting these rooms, all other rooms have furniture and plumbing that is in top condition.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Let us know if you have any question. We hope you decide to join us at Mar de Jade!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
1 review
Reviewed June 4, 2007

My new husband and I had our wedding at Mar de Jade and it was a wonderful event! We recommend Mar de Jade for anyone looking to throw an easy, relaxing, fun, and intimate wedding.

My husband and I did not have to worry about a thing all weekend. The staff took special care to ensure that the flowers, decorations, cake, and food were all just right. The ceremony overlooked the ocean at sunset underneath a beautiful linen hanging. The reception in the dining room was a blast and the food was delicious. I think ours was perhaps the tastiest - and most beautiful - wedding cake I've ever had.

Though some were initially reticent to travel so far and, frankly, pay a bit more, our guests were thrilled with our choice. Our guests arrived exhausted from the flight and subsequent bus ride, to be greeted by beautiful vistas, margaritas, fresh grilled fish, and mariachis. The next day, Laura arranged a hike to a beautiful, isolated beach that was a hit. Everybody loved winding in the huge hot tub in the jungle at night. Perhaps the most popular activity, however, was relaxing on the gorgeous terrace, listening to the waves, and catching up with friends and family.

Thank you Laura, Robert, Cynthia, Claudia, and the rest of the staff for working so hard to make this the wedding we always wanted!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MayBrideSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2007

It is not only the beautiful location (at the end of the white beach of Chacala Bay), it is not only the wonderful food (fusion of healthy, wholesome, Mexican), it is not only the interesting conversations during meals (amazing people from all walks of life), it is not only the inviting blue pool (and the secluded jacuzzi pool), that makes this resort such an unusual holiday destination. To me, it was the spirit of the people and the surroundings and the reason for existance of this place that made it so much more special. Mexico was never on my list of countries to visit and I only came because of being accepted as a holiday volunteer at this resort - and what a great introduction to real Mexico! Mar De Jade was born because of one woman who wanted to make a difference in the community. Laura, the owner, who is also a medical doctor, opened a medical clinic in a nearby town. Soon she had to house many volunteers who wanted to help and Mar De Jade was created! In the many years it has developed into a an unique meeting place of volunteers, speciality groups (we met people who came for a yoga retreat and others who came for a holistic healing course!) and holiday makers. This resort offers a magic energy buzzing (in a good holistic way) with people doing classes, going for one of the many excursions (whale watching, hikes up the volcano, shopping in the local market), reading books or just watching the sunset. A humbling experience was visiting the Children's Project at Laura's clinic in Las Varas, where kids meet for a meal and activities. Within one hour of interaction these kids found a place in our hearts! My 5 year old loved sitting in the new hot jacuzzi pool in the recently developed spa area (and they have plans to introduce great new Spa and Lifestyle Packages, which we will definately come back for!). This resort is a must for those who no longer want white towels, waiters, parties and to be entertained. This is where you come to when you want to find peace, harmony, relax and enjoy who you are! Thanx to Laura, Angelica, Emily, Anastasia for having us there, for being able to contribute to your volunteer program and for giving us great memories that will last forever!

  • Liked — The people!!!!
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank moniquestrydom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mar de Jade Retreats Wellness Vacation

Property: Mar de Jade Retreats Wellness Vacation
Address: Mar de Jade #1, Chacala 63715, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Chacala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chacala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mar de Jade (Sea of Jade) is a Retreat, Wellness and Vacation Center hidden away between the tropical jungle and the pristine sandy beach of Chacala, Mexico. This is an open home that offers wellness vacations, transformative retreats, healing Spa treatments, romantic weddings and getaways, and volunteering and learning programs with the local community. "A place to awaken, nurture & share the best within us..." ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mar De Jade Retreats Wellness Vacation Hotel Chacala

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