Like a fearless surfer, Stan Parish watches the waves of the Pacific from the headlands of the Imanta Punta de Mita, a reassuring shelter that makes a sweet lullaby of the crashing ocean.
THE SCALE AND SOLIDITY SEEM EXACTLY RIGHT HERE, and these things matter on Mexico’s wild west coast. Flimsy, breezy palapa huts are all well and good at the edge of the Caribbean, with its bathwater temperatures and kiddie-pool surf. But when the Pacific is unloading on the cliffs under your feet, you want exactly what Imanta offers: smooth, soaring walls made from million-year old stone, and slab tables cut from wood as thick as car doors.
Of course, you also get a view, through the floor-to-ceiling windows made from heavy glass, or from the glassy, heated plunge pool that sits between you and the sea.
“The glassy, heated plunge pool that sits between you and the sea.”
DURING THE DAY YOU CAN FEAST ON FRESH FRUIT AND ABSOLUTE SECLUSION, or call for a car to ferry you to another world just 20 minutes north in Sayulita; the sandy, sunbaked town with a beginner-friendly surf break, packed beachfront cevicherias and brightly painted houses stacked up on the hills.
BUT IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO MISS A MEAL AT THE RESORT. At dinner, the chef riffs like a great jazz musician throwing in a perfect off-key chord to show how deep his understanding runs (think: fresh tuna, with fresher blueberries and a delicate coffee sauce, or osso bucco paired with shockingly good Nebbiolo made from grapes grown in Baja).
At breakfast he settles into a reassuring rhythm, with tropical fruit jams and perfectly cooked huevos of all kinds.
“The violence of the ocean can also be a lullaby.”
THERE IS NO BAD TIME OF DAY TO SIP SOME RARE TEQUILA at the sky-high observatorio bar; there’s also no better place to watch the sun go down. And once you’re down for the night, you realize that the violence of the ocean can also be a lullaby when you’re sinking into a soft mattress and surrounded by those stately, reassuring walls.