Millionaire’s Moorish Playground – Cuixmala – Jalisco, Mexico.

Cuixmala

Stay at Sir James Goldsmith’s 25,000-acre Mexican estate. Live like royalty with a full complement of staff at your disposal. Admire wildlife roaming free including zebras, gazelle, antelope, coati and caiman, and watch whales from the beach.

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A sprawling swathe of jungles, beach, wilderness and fruit plantations two hours from Puerto Vallarta, Cuixmala is one of Mexico’s biodiversity hotspots, but it’s the Moorish Palace-inspired casas and casitas that make this Costa Alegre boutique hotel such a breath-taking stay. Kissinger, Reagan and Nixon holidayed here when it was home to British billionaire James Goldsmith. Now managed by his daughter Alix, this Pacific paradise attracts A-listers to its immaculate suites like butterflies to bonfires.

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At the hotel

Massages and beauty treatments, free WiFi in the villas and the clubhouse, 25,000 acres of grounds, tennis court, airstrip, DVD library. In rooms: TV, DVD/CD player, bar, open fireplace. The four villas each come with a full complement of staff.

Poolside

The villas all feature their own private pool area, and the casitas share a pool overlooking the coconut groves and the turquoise waters of the Pacific.

Packing tips

Guests are often given a sarong on arrival, but you may want to bring a sun hat to go with it, especially if you plan on horse riding during your stay.

Also

Dogs weighing less than 9lbs are welcome, but you’ll be expected to feed them and ensure they’re appropriately leashed in communal areas.

Children

Under-12s stay free and cots are available. Babysitting can be arranged with two days’ notice ($15 an hour). Meals are free for under-fives, and half the adult rate for under-11s.

Eco‐friendly

Sir James Goldsmith became something of conservationist during his last years, and it shows: Cuixmala includes a wildlife sanctuary, and food is sourced from the grounds or the nearby farm. Even the lobsters are plucked straight from the sea.

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Hotel Restaurant

Each casa has its own cook who can prepare whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want it; casita guests dine in the clubhouse on a menu of classic Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, mole and chiles rellenos.

Hotel Bar

Each villa has a bar area where you can help yourself to drinks or have ‘your’ staff mix a cocktail for you. Casa Gomez, the clubhouse, is a relaxed spot to enjoy a margarita, and there’s waiter service around the pool.

Last orders

Everything about Cuixmala is tailored to your needs, including meal times.

Room service

Only available in the casas, where staff are on hand to provide whatever you require, 24 hours a day.

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Dress Code

Boho beach style with linen trousers and espadrilles, supplemented with a flash of stupidly expensive jewellery – you may not be a holidaying billionaire, but you can certainly look the part.

Top table

Most tables in the clubhouse and on the villa terraces offer beautiful views of the estate, but for an added romantic frisson, ask staff to set up a low table on the beach and dine on cushions in candlelight.

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