Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This cheeseburger is disgusting. I can barely allow myself to eat it.

In reality, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's something I would normally eat and usually enjoy, but in this moment I'm feeling jaded. Where was my starter? What about the fresh squeezed juice of the day? And where is Alfredo, with his peaceful demeanor and soft spoken voice, to tell me what the fresh catch of the day is? Alright, I can admit it. I'm spoiled! Three-course lunches and dinners will do that to you, even after only a few days. And I owe it all to the Verana hotel.

Verana, located in Yelapa, Mexico, encourages a five night stay, and upon my arrival I understood why. It's not the most accessible place, so staying a bit longer than just a weekend will make it worth the trek. And I do mean a trek. You literally have to travel by air, land, AND sea to get there!

After flying into Puerto Vallarta, take about a 30 minute cab ride south, and upon reaching the town of Boca de Tomatlan, you hop on to the Verana boat and take another 30 minute ride along the coast until you reach the dock. There, you will be greeted by the host who will guide you up the hill on a "leisurely" hike to (finally) reach the hotel! Note: depending on your fitness level, "leisurely" may also mean strenuous!

Upon reaching the hotel property, our welcome reception consisted of freshly squeezed lemonade, homemade chips with three different dips, and cool, aromatherapy-infused towels to wipe our faces with. After signing the registration paper, we were off to our room!

Verana has only eight houses. They are all built, decorated, and orientated, uniquely and separately from one another. Each one is private, yet completely open to the jungle at the same time. The open-air style doesn't always involve complete walls, let alone four of them.

The shower doesn't have a door or curtain, but don't worry, you don't need one! Every architectural detail allows the guest to live harmoniously with nature. And with minimal impact to the environment; all toiletries provided are organic and handmade by the Verana spa staff.

Entering each house feels like stepping into a dream world of seclusion; no televisions, no telephones, and no computers. Complete separation from the outside world, yet camaraderie is easily just a few steps away.

Such socializing is most prevalent at cocktail hour, the magical time when most guests come out to mingle about an hour or so before dinner. And the food? Well, as indicated before, the food is exquisite! Every meal is different, delicious, and centered around whatever was caught from the ocean that day. The chef, a Yelapa native and ten-year Verana staff member, is able to cater to any dietary needs. Breakfast and lunch each have an extensive list of choices, while the dinner menu is fixed. And as I said before, both lunch AND dinner are comprised of three courses each. Believe me, you will not go hungry!

If you worry about being bored, don't! The hotel has plenty of activities and excursions that can be arranged. From on-site activities such as yoga, one on one cooking classes with the chef, and spa treatments galore; to off-site excursions such as fishing, kayaking, a waterfall hike, or a picnic on the beach.

Not to miss: the Starlight Aromatherapy Bath. After dinner, your hot bath will be ready for you, decorated with some 100+ candles. The place is then yours for the night!

Verana does have electricity, albeit sometimes sporadic, (you are in the jungle remember!) It's really not necessary though. The hotel supplies each room with a small, LED flashlight, which comes in handy when making your way back to your casita after dinner. Upon returning, you'll discover that while you were enjoying your evening repast, the maid-staff has already come around to light all the candles in your room. If it were possible, the entire experience just got even more breathtaking than the first time you set your sights on the amazing view! I simply can't wait to go back!

Find out more on their website, and don't miss their captivating promo video! http://been-seen.com/verana/


  1. Hi BFF!

    First of all, you are such an amazing writer. I really think you need to keep up with this and see where it takes you!

    Second, this place looks amazing and I'm so glad you guys had a great time! You definitely persuaded me...I clicked on their website to see more...and wish I was there right now! They should be paying you...

    Love you,

  2. I want to go! Did you go for your birthday? I love it Kayla, keep writing, you're great!