Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A rustic-luxe yoga retreat for those looking to get back in touch with nature
The Haramara labels itself as a yoga retreat, welcoming groups and individuals that want to practice yoga and meditation in a serene environment. To that end, there are two yoga studios housed in huge palapas with handcrafted hardwood floors and 360 degrees views that can be used for group or private classes. However, guests looking to spend some relaxing days in touch with nature, snoozing on the beach, and eating healthy will probably also find this to be a great choice.
The property is built on 12 acres of land on a hillside overlooking the rugged coast outside Sayulita. Everything has been built using traditional construction methods to cause as little environmental impact as possible. Even the largest structures were hand-built (no heavy machinery was brought to the site) using local materials such as hardwood, palm leaves, and tree trunks, and paths have been left unpaved.
There is no electricity in common areas or rooms, but the hotel provides flashlights for walking around at night, as well as oil lamps and candles in the rooms, creating a romantic, out-in-the-wild atmosphere. For those who want to recharge their electronic devices’ batteries, there are power outlets in the restaurant and the yoga pavilion, and guests are welcome to use them whenever needed.
There are few amenities aside from a rustic spa, the yoga and meditation pavilions, the restaurant, the beach and a small boutique, but a pool is currently being built. The idea is for the experience to be as unplugged and in touch with nature as possible. For those who want to explore beyond the hotel, Sayulita, a small, quaint village known for its surfing, great food, and varied boutiques, is a short drive away.
On a private beach a short drive from Sayulita
Haramara is located on a secluded spot outside Sayulita, on a hillside overlooking the ocean. A narrow dirt road leads to a gated entrance (shared with some private estates and Playa Escondida resort), where a security guard takes note of the driver’s name before waiving the vehicle in. This area is not developed and there’s not much within walking distance, but a short drive gets guests to Sayulita, where visitors can find stores, restaurants and bars. This part of the coast is rugged and practically untouched, so the resort feels remote and quiet.
Sayulita is a small, quaint seaside town located in the northern area of Riviera Nayarit. It’s lively yet laid-back, and mostly known among surfers for the gentle waves that are perfect for beginners. There are dozens of small restaurants serving tacos and Mexican bites, as well as cafes, surf shops, bars, and cool boutiques. Sayulita is not glamorous or sleek, but it has managed to keep its local flavor -- its cobblestone streets are lined with local businesses -- and has a decidedly small-town feel.
Standalone, open, palm-thatched huts set amid lush tropical grounds
The Haramara offers quite a unique experience when it comes to rooms. These are not standard hotel rooms or even villas -- they’re standalone open huts with thatched palm roofs. Units are elegant and intimate, with only the basics and no ornaments whatsoever. Gauze drapes and mosquito nets are the only separation between the wild, almost untouched grounds, offering an exceptional chance for guests to feel in touch with nature. There is no electricity in the huts, and at night only the sounds of the jungle and the ocean can be heard. The rooms have oil lamps and candles to provide light, but the grounds remain otherwise in complete darkness.
Bathrooms have curved walls and open onto the jungle, where tall trees and tropical plants offer privacy. However, inside the room, the low wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom might make some guests feel uncomfortable. The hotel provides limited toiletries, and asks guests to use organic shower gels and shampoos if possible to preserve the environment.
Groups can book the eight-bed dormitory, which features four sets of bunk beds.
Small jungle spa with great treatments and reasonable prices
The spa is housed in several thatched huts perched on the hillside among lush vegetation, allowing for ocean and jungle views from almost all treatment rooms. It’s serene, quiet and inviting in a rustic way, with few adornments and only the soothing sound of the ocean and the forest as background noise. There is an interesting treatment menu that includes reiki sessions, reflexology, and four-hand massages, and prices are surprisingly reasonable.
Private stretch of sand with loungers and shaded areas
The hotel is located right on a nice private beach outside the town of Sayulita, where the jungle meets the ocean. There are quite a few large rocks and the terrain is a little steep in some parts, but the beach is mainly sandy.
An organic, vegetarian restaurant with a few seafood options
The restaurant is housed in a huge open palapa overlooking the ocean. It serves healthy vegetarian food using organic, local and fresh ingredients, but there are also a few fish and seafood dishes on the menu. It is open for all three meals and the menu changes daily.
The hotel is tech-free.
Great respect for the surrounding ecosystem
From the way it was built to the use of local, organic ingredients in the restaurant, the hotel goes above and beyond to cause minimal environmental impact.
Haramara is arguably one of the most special hotels in Mexico. It is a luxurious yoga retreat located on 12 seaside acres of wild vegetation just outside Sayulita. The structures have been built using traditional construction techniques to minimize the environmental impact, and there is no electricity anywhere besides the restaurant and the yoga studio -- not even in the rooms. Each room is housed in a private standalone thatched hut with no window panes or screens separating it from the jungle, and only gauze curtains and mosquito nets to avoid bugs and critters. It is geared towards those in need of some detoxification and relaxation, with yoga and meditation classes, an open-air spa, a vegetarian and seafood restaurant, unpaved trails, and limited cell phone service.