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One&Only Opens in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit

Set on an undiscovered stretch of coastline along the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, One&Only Mandarina opened its doors and welcomed guests to its spectacular cliff-side location yesterday, 1 November 2020. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with dramatic vistas and an awe-inspiring beachfront rainforest setting, the resort is a hidden retreat complete with secluded eco-designed treehouses and clifftop villas, swimmable shores, destination dining from Chef Enrique Olvera, active and mindful experiences, and an environment crafted for reconnection.

An ultra-luxury beach sanctuary, One&Only Mandarina stretches across a 33-hectare landscape of unspoiled nature, just 45 minutes from Punta Mita. In this volcanic and fertile region, three different microclimates are steeped in natural beauty with some of the richest biodiversity in North America. Over 50 species of ancient trees dot the jungle, alongside exotic wildlife, a rare and treasured part of the ecosystem. Most notable are the revered Higuera Blanca trees with their huge, powerful roots found throughout the resort, the crowning jewel of which is La Abuela – The Grandmother Tree – believed to be 235 years old. One&Only Mandarina was built around the unique topography of the land, allowing nature to take centre stage and preserving the precious environment. The resort was sensitively designed to embrace the dramatic setting, rather than reshape it, and careful low-density planning in consultation with botany experts has preserved the land and the historic and ecological importance of the destination.

The resort showcases low-impact contemporary style and sustainable design, coupled with unrivalled seclusion in an adventurous beachfront setting. Amid the jungle surrounds are 105 chic standalone treehouses and villas either elevated amongst the canopy or perched cliffside, all designed for indoor and outdoor living with breath-taking views of the Pacific Coast, Sierra del Vallejo mountains or rainforest. Accommodations boast private plunge pools and terraces, floor to ceiling windows, glass walls and expansive bathrooms – all framing the natural surroundings – as well as interiors complemented by custom woodwork and artefacts by local designers. Constructed with clay, wood, precious metal and stone, and the finest raw materials indigenous to the region, the villas are private sanctuaries, grounded in the earthen spirit of the local Cora and Huichol cultures.

One&Only is renowned for its collection of expansive villas offering the ultimate in space and privacy within each resort. One&Only Mandarina will be home to Villa One, the pinnacle of resort living, stretching over 1,747m2 and boasting three bedrooms, infinity pool, private spa and gym, full screen cinema, wine cellar and generous outdoor dining terrace. The resort’s signature villas have all been thoughtfully designed to hero local craftsmanship, such as Villa Pacifico – a 342m2 sanctuary sleeping up to eight guests with two private swimming pools, plenty of entertaining and living space including a full-screen cinema and outdoor covered dining terrace with barbeque grill, it is ideal for family gatherings and celebrations.

The resort also offers an intimate community of One&Only Private Homes available to own or rent. Each home is designed specifically for its location, seamlessly integrating with the surrounding environment and boasting rich and varied vistas of the jungle canopy or the sun setting behind the ocean. Featuring two distinct residence styles to choose from, owners can work with the One&Only design team to customise every aspect of their residence. The designs range from four to eight-bedroom villas and include infinity-edged pools and gracious outdoor spaces for gathering and entertaining. Residents will enjoy the exceptional amenities of One&Only Mandarina, as well as those of the Mandarina community. A host of residential services is designed for turnkey, effortless ownership, as well as to provide unforgettable experiences, from private chef dinners to outdoor adventures. Owners can choose to take advantage of the Private Homes Rental Programme.

Cuisine

One&Only Mandarina embraces the cultural traditions and signature warmth of Mexican cuisine and hospitality, from casual beachside dining to award-winning cuisine. The elegant culinary masterpiece Carao from world-renowned Mexican Chef Enrique Olvera showcases Mexican specialties reinvented through a combination of modern approaches and revered ancient technique. Located at southernmost peak of the resort, the newest concept from the famed chef is an extraordinary dining destination reflective of his globally recognised skill and passion for contemporary Mexican fare. The menu highlights locally sourced ingredients in an ambiance inspired by the soul of the Riviera Nayarit and Mandarina, with reinvented dishes such as Horse Mackerel Ceviche with soybean germ and cucumber, Aged Whole Fish Zarandeado-style, a regional cooking method using a marinade of dried chile paste, slow roasted over hot coals and Catch of the Day fillet with sweet chard and plantain puree. An infinity-edged adults-only pool extends out over the mountainside, as if extended high above the ocean, where guests can also enjoy a curated poolside menu featuring light bites from Carao throughout the day.

The relaxed Jetty Beach Club located on the resort’s private beach serves fresh seafood grilled to perfection over charcoal, as well as snacks, quick bites and inventive cocktails overlooking the ocean. The family-friendly, all-day dining destination Alma provides a variety of garden-to-plate menus featuring seasonal specialties mixed amongst Pan-American dishes designed with remarkable attention to flavour. The open kitchen concept features two striking, wood-fired hornos, or ovens, and an intimate dining room and citrus-tree lined patio for al-fresco gatherings. The adjacent botanical bar, The Treetop, showcases refined yet playful versions of classic cocktails paired with sweeping views of the coast.

Experiences

Ocean adventures and water activities abound at One&Only Mandarina. The Jetty extends out to sea over 180 metres and from here guests can moor their yachts or watercrafts, experience sea excursions, and swim and paddle board in the blue-water cove unique to the region. As night sets in and the stars rise through the inky black skies, guests are invited to gather at the end of The Jetty at the striking fire pit at the centre of a long dormant volcano that helped shape the landscape years ago.

Those in search of adventure and physical conditioning can challenge themselves with the Mandarina Wellness Race, an endurance test created for high performance athletes. Participants begin by running through the jungle to the beach, then using a paddle board or kayak to paddle the sailing circuit. After returning to the beach, the final challenge is to swim in the open ocean.

Land adventures take advantage of the sprawling environment that surrounds the resort and Mandarina area. Guests can hike to Meet La Abuela (the “Grandmother Tree”) with an expert guide who shares knowledge about the ancient trees and the different species of endemic plants and birds found along the way. Ecological Treasure Hunts allow the whole family to explore the beautiful landscape by mountain bike, capturing photos of interesting flowers and trees in bloom along the way. Guests can also discover the scenery by Segway or on a guided bike tour.

At the Jetty Beach Club chaise lounges recline under umbrellas on the sand and on beachside terraces in a relaxed, yet elegant setting. Day beds welcome families and group gatherings, while offering a secluded haven for peaceful poolside spa treatments. Two cascading infinity-edge pools, one of which is child-friendly, are tranquil oases offering a glistening view of the Pacific Ocean.

Younger guests are immersed in a world of wonder and education at the 12,800m2 KidsOnly, where the wonders of the Riviera Nayarit are brought to life. Designed by Brigitte Broch, the Academy Award-winning art director and production designer from Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet, KidsOnly introduces children to the magnificent jungle via uninhibited exploration amidst the flora and fauna. Encouraged to discover, a series of treehouses connected by suspended bridges, slides, climbing walls, and wildlife trails offer a friendly landscape for imaginations to flourish. Within the masterfully thought-out space, children can learn about local animals, birds, insects, and ancient archaeological artifacts from the indigenous Cora civilization at the Nature Hut. Additional activities and adventures await in the outdoor amphitheatre, cinema, butterfly sanctuary, nursery, fame room, and indoor activity spaces.

In addition to the resort amenities and curated One&Only experiences, guests of One&Only Mandarina have access to the Mandarina development and Flatlands, a sprawling green landscape which stretches from the Riviera Nayarit rainforest to the magnificent water’s edge, waiting to be explored. Winding through The Flatlands as mountain rivers meet the Pacific Ocean, The Estuary is home to a diverse ecosystem with hundreds of bird species that migrate through the region. Both kayaks and paddle boards allow an immersive exploration through the twisting and serene waterways. Additionally, within the Mandarina community lies Mandarina Experiences, where guests can enjoy daily activities including archery, bike and Segway rentals, ziplining through the Mandarina jungle course, tennis, soccer, pickle ball, biking and more. Adjacent is Canalan Beach Club, a family-oriented destination situated along a one-mile stretch of secluded, sandy beach, while the nearby Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club brings world-class equestrian activities to Mexico’s western coast. Envisioned by famed designer Alejandro Battro, the club is a sister club to Aspen Valley’s renowned equestrian centre and guests can take part in horseback riding lessons and trail rides to nearby waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes.

Wellness

Situated in a natural volcanic rock garden, One&Only Spa features a collection of six isolated, enclosed treatment rooms, offering experiences cocooned beneath a canopy of large Higuera trees, where guests can find privacy and serenity amidst the pristine, tropical rainforest. A world of ancient healing, the Spa blends indigenous traditions with potent organic products. Enlisting global natural skincare brand Tata Harper, One&Only Spa is the first and only spa in the world to introduce Tata Harper’s Sensorial Reset, a holistic wellness immersion that goes beyond traditional spa experiences to elevate the senses and radically transform the skin. Additional treatments include Tata Harper’s Mystique Herbal Codex, inspired by the Badianus Manuscript, the earliest text on Mexican medicinal plants and ancestral remedies, and Nature’s Sanctuary Treatment, created exclusively for the resort it is designed to calm and relax the mind and body. The spa design accommodates local treatments and cultural experiences, including mud baths and a Temazcal. In addition, the resort features a fully equipped, state-of-the-art fitness studio and outdoor yoga palapa, as well as a specialised outdoor gym carved from the surrounding landscape.

Woven seamlessly into Mexico’s most awe-inspiring coastal rainforest, One&Only Mandarina balances unparalleled seclusion with the signature One&Only atmosphere. Discovering the sanctuary of unspoiled nature, open space and cultural heritage in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, resort guests experience a unifying environment amidst the palm-fringed sands, emerald cliffsides, sparkling lagoons and wandering estuaries that encourage guests to reconnect with themselves, loved ones, and the natural world around them

Iuliia Tore