Last year, VIVA GLAM MAGAZINE had the pleasure of traveling to the Imanta Resort in Mexico. Imanta is a luxury resort, an undiscovered gem hidden amidst the lush tropical jungles of Punta de Mita.
After our short, two-and-a-half-hour flight from Los Angeles, we landed at the Puerta Vallarta airport and were greeted by Imanta representatives. The Imanta Resort is only 45 minutes from Puerta Vallarta, and the drive to Punta de Mita was charming. We enjoyed watching the city’s colorful inhabitants selling local goods, the pristine beaches and the lush vegetation on our short trip.
Half an hour later, we drove down an ancient cobble stone street to the entry of Imanta. It reminded us of Jurassic Park with its tall wooden gates that completely hid what was waiting behind. A guard ushered us in, and we were in paradise.
Imanta Resort Location
Imanta is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta. It is surrounded by jungle. And it has the secluded look and feel of an island on the mainland. It is a private luxury enclave beyond words that awaits you in a jungle paradise.
As you wind up the mountain towards Imanta, you start to see wildlife. In fact, there are humorous stop signs for land crabs, coatamundis and horses. Flocks of exquisite black and yellow songbirds swooped over our caravan and this only further built our anticipation of what was to come.
Imanta is built on the side of a mountain and the first thing we noticed were views to die for!
When we came to the main lobby, we felt like Christopher Columbus discovering the New World. The anticipation of exploring this new tropical paradise was at our fingertips!
Our first thought was, “Pictures don’t do it justice!” And the second thing that came to mind was, “How did they build Imanta on a mountainside?” We stood in wonderment and awe at the beauty that was laid before us.
The Owner of Imanta Resort
In actuality, the owner is a true visionary who started imagining Imanta over 20 years ago. He designed a jungle paradise that fits all of your needs by comfortably bringing the outdoors inside; the line between indoors and outdoors is seamless at this resort.
He had a true vision of what he wanted. This open space design also incorporates high-end furnishings and creature comforts such as high thread 100% cotton sheets and hand made luxury soap for his guests. And every suite has a view that will take your breath away.
It is important to note that Imanta is also environmentally friendly. In fact, all of the wood used to create Imanta was taken from the exact location. And all of the stone was also harvested on site. Local products were also used within the design of this sprawling hillside paradise.
After arriving to Imanta, we were greeted by a warm and welcoming staff bearing refreshing hibiscus juice and cool towels. What a wonderful surprise! We were then escorted to our suites. At Imanta, the suites are not numbered, rather there are 13 suites all with different names.
Mine was the Aramana Suite which is 2500 square feet in size. High vaulted ceilings made each suite open and airy. Each has a private balcony with outdoor bathtub where you can take a midnight bath underneath the stars. Also, some suites have a private swimming pool! The oceanfront suites immediately made you surrender to the soothing presence of the Pacific Ocean.
These rooms allow you to appreciate both the jungle and the ocean at the same time because Imanta sits surrounded by the jungle and overlooks the ocean. And it is a place where you can appreciate the stunning harmony of nature and architecture at the same time.
Perhaps the most impressive suite is the Presidential Suite: Casona Jaguar, or Jaguar House. Everyone from royalty to Hollywood celebrities such as Kanye West, Julio Englesias and Ciara have stayed at Casona Jaguar. The Presidential Suite stands out like a true gem in this tropical paradise.
Casona Jaguar is 10,000 square feet in size and offers two master bedrooms and a third smaller bedroom for children, staff or a nanny. It also has a 65 ft. private infinity pool, state-of-the-art kitchen, stunning living room and dining room. The view of Imanta’s private beach is stellar from this suite and one feels on top of the world as you can view Imanta’s 250 acres all around you.
Imanta is also a spiritual retreat where you can relax and unwind.
The world class Imanta spa offers facials, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, shiatsu, pedicures and manicures to put you into a relaxed splendor.
There is high end shopping at the Imanta boutique where you can find exquisite pieces from jewelry designers, purse makers and other local artisans. Or if you are the more active type, horseback riding, surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, ATV riding, hiking, yoga, kayaking, golf and fishing await you.
We were happy to lounge in one of several pools at Imanta, all were like bathwater, the perfect temperature. Then, we beach combed Imanta’s private beach and had our lunch on the beach at the bar.
The Food at Imanta
And speaking of meals at Imanta, their world-class chef, Olivier Deboise and his wife, Emmanuelle Chene, oversee all meals presented at this luxury resort. Chef Olivier presides over the main courses and appetizers while his wife, Emmanuelle, creates the delectable desserts.
We enjoyed Embodegados eggs in the morning which are fried eggs inside a homemade corn tortilla topped with Molcajete sauce and served with refried beans, asparagus, baby new potatoes, tomatoes and Oaxaca cheese. Another morning favorite was Motulenos eggs that are fried over a corn tortilla with red tomato sauce and served with banana, peas and ham. Chef Olivier does not have a menu for Imanta.
Rather, he believes it is important to create based on availability of fresh items daily. He said, “We search for the best products, the closest possible, and we try to give it the best treatment possible.” Meaning, he uses only the freshest, locally produced products to create menus on a daily basis. After all, why have tuna on the menu if it was not fresh that day?
The staff on the whole offers impeccable service. They are available 24 hours a day and were on hand to offer advice on where to go, what to see and do. For example, we were up late at night watching television and needed help with the remote.
The front desk sent a staff member down immediately to help, even though it was well past midnight. Room service was prompt and there seemed to always be someone around to help. This is a service-oriented resort with most of the staff speaking both Spanish and English fluently.
Imanta Tree House
Another wonderful and unexpected addition to the Imanta Resort is the Imanta Tree house.
This is Imanta’s private escape, located only a stone’s throw away from the resort. An Imanta shuttle will drive you five minutes further up the mountain through the jungle canopy to the Tree house.
This Tree house is a three-story home over looking the Pacific Ocean. Its open-air design allows for no walls on the sides of the house facing the sea. Perched high above, it is the perfect way to view a gorgeous Mexican sunset.
While we were there, we were charmed by local resident, Pancho, a Coatis, or Mexican tejon. This badger-like creature is a playful member of the raccoon family and Pancho is a regular at the Tree house. He entertained guests by standing on his hind legs while begging for crackers!
In addition to the Coatis, Imanta is full of friendly creatures. We observed large land crabs, comical hermit crabs, lizards, butterflies and a wide array of colorful tropical birds. At night, we were serenaded to sleep by the sounds of nature; tree frogs and birds of paradise gently cooed in the dark providing soothing sounds that lulled us to sleep each night.
The Tree house is ideal for a romantic hideaway, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.
Plants and Wildlife
Imanta sits on 250 acres of jungle, exotic wildlife, mountain views, private beaches and ocean splendor. And future plans for Imanta include developing 10 residential lots between Imanta Resort and the Tree house.
The Imanta staff best describes the resort as:
Imanta: The harmonious interaction of natural beauty in magnificent places with environmentally sensitive architectural design, bringing the individual charm of each site fully to life.
It truly is a slice of heaven where you can relax in awe and splendor where the jungle meets the ocean. Whether you want to simply walk on the beach, sit and read a good book, or share valuable time with a loved one, Imanta is able to meet all of your needs.
As we left our secluded paradise nestled in a lush jungle environment, we knew we would one day return. And we remembered the phrase: “The keys to the kingdom await you at The Imanta Resort!”
To book your next vacation at The Imanta Resort, contact Donna Wong at www.allureplus.com!