A Gorgeous Jungle Hideaway: Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort Mexico – Review

By Mary Lussiana

6 months ago

This adults-only, all-inclusive resort is a real showstopper


Mary Lussiana takes a trip to Naviva, a gorgeous Four Seasons Resort in Mexico.

Review: Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico

Aerial view of luxury tent accommodation with outdoor terrace and plunge pool.

I came late to the party as far as Mexico is concerned, but when I finally made it to the Mayan Riviera a couple of years ago, I could not understand what had taken me so long.  Since then I have headed back as often as I can, and each time, in each new place, I have the same rush of wonder.  Last time it was San Miguel de Allende and the colours. Cobbled streets there are framed by mustard yellow walls, turquoise doorways are sunk deep into terracotta-coloured houses, while the women are clad in clothes, hats, and shoes riotously embroidered with flowers. To wander is to be uplifted.

This time, on the east coast, it was the nature which wowed me. This was a different Mexico from what I had seen previously; a jungle green, wild Mexico where crocodiles surfaced in estuaries, armadillos scuttled across pathways and coatis played hide and seek on your doorstep.  Amid all this lies Naviva, a hop and a skip away from the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita.  But this is a real departure from their norm.  It is an adults-only, all-inclusive tented camp, a first in the Americas for the Four Seasons group.

Terrace at Naviva resort in Mexico, overlooking the ocean.

Just 15 tents – as luxurious as you can get – sit on the edge of a private peninsula facing the ocean.  Around it are 48 forested acres to explore, with thoughtful preservation of the landscape one of the key pillars in Naviva’s construction, which was done with Luxury Frontiers, an award-winning design firm and a pioneer in alternative lodgings.  Biophilic in design, sustainability was also a must, and Naviva successfully blurs the line between manmade and natural in the way it attunes to the surrounding jungle. Low-impact construction materials such as reclaimed wood, local stone, copper, bamboo and concrete were all utilised, and the resort partnered with SOURCE Water to bottle all drinking water onsite using hydropanel technology that extracts clean, pollutant-free water from the air.  Air conditioning has been limited to essential spaces only.

The tents have an air-conditioned bathroom and bedroom with picture windows inset in canvas zipped walls which lead through to an open-air sitting room and onwards to a private plunge pool. It sits within a large terrace with firepit, hammock, eating area and outdoor shower. These tents do, honestly, make the kind of base which you could settle in, with a few weeks’ worth of books, surrounded by nature writ large.

Aerial view of Naviva accommodation including outdoor terrace and pool, surrounded by jungle

But sadly our stay was just a few days, and we wanted to explore. We hiked with one of the local guides through pathways along the clifftop, accompanied by the insistent scream of the local Chachalaca bird. We had cooking classes with Chef Sofia, learning how to make an authentic guacamole and a dizzying variety of spicy Mexican sauces. We had a lesson in cocktail making, which ended in a Tequila tasting and the imparted knowledge that next time we go into a Mexican bar we should ask for a couple of ‘banderas’ (lime, sangrita and tequila, whose respective colours make up the Mexican flag).

We fed the soul as well as the body. We had a temazcal with a local shaman, the increasingly hot logs in Naviva’s closed stone hut encouraging a total cleansing, banishing evil spirits and harmful cells. Here with my closest friend beside me, who had just come through breast cancer, it took on particular importance. And we finished that afternoon wallowing in the swimming pool as the sun set. Sunsets may be all too cliched, but this one hanging over the ocean was redder and more intense and lasted longer than anything either of us had ever seen. It ensured that our stay at Naviva will always be emblazoned in our memories.

BOOK IT

All inclusive rates are from US$3,950++ based on double occupancy. fourseasons.com