We have just returned from a fantastic week in Sayulita where we booked Casa Cumpleanos, an ideal home on the north side of Sayulita. I’ve noticed several posts about bringing teens to Sayulita and about rental homes, and thought our experience might be helpful, if slightly long-winded.
We took our 15 year old son and 16 year old French daughter to Sayulita last week. We had debated between Sayulita and San Pancho, and ultimately chose Sayulita thinking the kids would have more options and thus, the parents wouldn’t be nagged constantly when we are also trying to decompress! One visit to San Pancho absolutely confirmed my decision – they would have felt like Robinson Crusoe there – way way way too isolated. And do NOT go to the Costa Azul Adventure Resort – not with teens at least. Creepy vibe and really dated place – but that’s another story.
Honed in on Casa Cumpleanos because of its north Sayulita location (remote without being too much so, and beautiful, frankly) and lush grounds. Key things to me. We are not big fans of those homes that are all deck and high stories with no land. We can get that here (LA), thanks. We want lush tropics. Casa Cumpleanos – first off – has incredible grounds. We’re talking lawn, fantastic pool and jungle (with a bridge) that the kids thought made the place uber cool. There is even a smaller backyard area with an outdoor kitchen. C’mon!
In addition, there is a guest house where you can throw a kid, although definitely an older one that is OK with the idea of being separate from mom & dad at night as it is a bit of a distance from the main house. While older kids would no doubt love the space, mine were a bit too young for the guest house on their own, but not a problem at all as they bunked together in the 2nd bdrm. in the main house, which worked out perfectly for us.
The house is about 1 min walk to the beach – but still has the good views (especially from the top terrace), so don’t let the fact that its not ON THE BEACH stop you. Super easy for the kids to meander down to the beach, including the fun of crossing a little stream over a make-shift plank/bridge, and frankly, close enough to hear their screeches (apologies to anyone in the area last week – my daughter is verrrrrry loud) as they frolicked on the beach. Note: definitely must have an adult with the kids on this beach, though. Rough water.
In addition, the location is just far enough from town to feel you are remote, but if you want to jump into the car (i recommend a car for sure – this was another debate) to pick up dinner from the Sayulita Cafe or go into town and check out the action, or go to the beach, its a fast and fun experience (lots of potholes – a huge kidney-shattering scream for the kids, often requiring military precision to avoid some of the muddier or deeper crevices).
Another plus – the entire upstairs is the main bedroom, or as we called it – THE PARENT-ONLY ZONE – including a fabulous – I mean fabulous-with-views-for-days – private terrace. Kids were not granted access upstairs, allowing us to sneak up for a quiet cigarette or strictly-medicinal glass of wine before returning to the cacophony of ipods, taunts and splashes that seem to accompany our children wherever they go. That luxury alone was worth the price of admission.
The house is funky and maybe a little rough around the edges, but in our house, we call that character, (ramshackle chic, actually) and with kids, that’s exactly what you want. Trust me – the details are there for parents with a penchant for good pieces of art and furniture, so not to worry. Kitchen is well-stocked with everything you need – stacks of plates, bowls, utensils, glasses (plastic, glass, wine and tumblers, shot and oversized margarita), pots & pans, serving dishes and utensils. This is a family house that is actually functional, practical AND chic.
Another bonus for us was the outdoor bathrooms – OK – who doesn’t love these? In fact, much of the bottom floor of the house, while covered, was outdoors – which lends completely to its charm. Once the kids grasped the concept that the gekkos weren’t going to jump onto them while they were showering (or worse – on the toilet), they loved using the bathroom, and showers became endless (sorry for the water bills – and admittedly, we were all guilty of the experience). We didn’t have any problems with bugs or critters while hanging out in the outside lounge area – keep the bug spray handy, though.
Another bonus about Casa Cumpleanos is Bella, your go-to gal Friday and all around amazing cook for those evenings when you are oversurfed so too tired to cook, and don’t feel like going out. Bella will ask you what sounds good to eat, and will go off and do the shopping. The nice thing, versus other ways it can be done, is that Bella cooks the meal at the house – rather than cooking it at her own home and bringing it. That gave us an opportunity to chat, learn some cooking tips, and take part in the process. We didn’t have Bella cook every night, but our best meals that trip were prepared by Bella. Her chicken tacos, rice and chille reillenos (sp) could bring me to tears, even now.
Sayulita is a great place to visit. There is a tremendous amount of things to do both with and without teens. And Casa Cumpleanos is a home away from home, making the entire experience very comfortable.
Casa Cumpleanos – http://www.sayulitalife.com/cump/reservations.htm