Yelapa has long been a favored retreat for those looking to escape the increasingly metropolitan atmosphere of Puerto Vallarta. Still only accessible by boat, Yelapa was only connected to the local power grid a few short years ago. Luxury resort Verana, perched high up on the hill, offers a luxurious way to enjoy this remote location.
Verana, designed by professional movie set designers, is an aesthetically stunning boutique hotel that offers a rugged luxury you won't find in many places. Guests are transported by boat from the fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan to the dock that marks the beginning of the Verana journey. There is a 25-minute hike uphill on a well developed pathway, something not to be taken on by those in poor health or physical challenges. For those guests who are either unable or unwilling to huff and puff up the hill, Verana will provide a charming burro ride with advance notice.
Once you arrive, the pleasant staff will be waiting to greet you with freshly made cold lemonade. After a quick tour of the grounds, they will lead you to your guest house. The houses of Verana are incredible in their design, with amazing views of the wild jungle and Bay of Banderas. Flocks of wild parrots and parakeets chase each other in the sky overhead and the utilization of outdoor living space makes for a tropical experience indeed.
Aside from the feeling that you've just stepped into a design magazine photo shoot and the gorgeous view, one of the highlights of Verana is the food. While many remote hotels sacrifice in this area, plying their captive guests with cut-rate cuisine at inflated prices, the meal package at Verana, while not cheap, it well worth the cost. The menu starts with several options at breakfast and narrows to a single menu for dinner (with an advance notice vegetarian option). Each dish was exquisite; flavorful and in just the right portion.
There is an on-site spa where guests can enjoy jungle massages or the unique Watsu bath . For those who aren't able to stay at Verana, there is a day spa alternative just down the hill where guests can, for the day, enjoy the luxury, design and cuisine of Verana while partaking in spa treatments at the edge of the sea. Verana's season runs from November to June.