The most remote hotel on the Bay of Banderas. Nestled in the jungle, it is located high above a little place called Yelapa – a sleepy fishing village and beach destination on the coast of Jalisco. Surrounded by dense rainforest, the area is in a largely uninhabited part of the country that is inaccessible by road. There are no cars, lending it a very quiet and old-fashioned feel, and the only ways to get around are by boat or on foot.
The architecture of Verana is sleek and contemporary, yet surrounded by nature and built of locally avail- able materials. On one side it faces the ocean and on the other, another small village. Whichever way you look, jungle-covered mountains provide the backdrop, stretching right down towards the bay in the distance.
Designed by Heinz Legler and Veronique Lievre – a Los Angeles based set designer and dec- orator – the hotel’s aesthetic is a cool blend of traditional Mexican architecture and more modern, sparse design elements, including polished concrete walls and floors, and wrought iron-framed picture windows.
The interiors reflect this new aesthetic too: traditional in terms of materials and craftsmanship but minimal and modern in execution. Here, that means lots of creamy sandstone and indigenous hard- wood, updated Equipales chairs, and woven throws and wall hangings. The houses are low-slung, which, of course, means greater privacy and peace.
Verana’s reliance on local vendors and artisans is one way that guests know they’re helping the community, but they also come for the hotel’s dedication to wellness. The hotel’s ethos is one of eco-friendliness – the water, for instance, comes from a natural spring located just three miles up in the mountains.
The staff are genuine and quick to offer a gem of advice about where to eat in the village or what their favourite tequila is. Each interaction here feels natural and sincere.
Verana’s remote location – on quiet, undeveloped land and right in front of a rare stretch of swimmable beach – makes it completely worth the trip. Whether you’re in tune with your chakras, and if you’re able to stand on your head or not, you’ll find a path here that suits.