When Italian ex-pat Gian Franco Brignone founded the private Costa Careyes resort community in 1968, the idea was to transport his trademark zest for life into an eccentric Mexican jungle town. Over the years, the bohemian enclave, located just an hour north of the Manzanillo airport and 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, has become symbolic of ambitious architecture that blends bold indigenous colors and geometric shapes into the rugged hillsides that overlook expanses of undeveloped coastline.
Now, as the area approaches a forthcoming influx of development (Four Seasons, One&Only, and Cheval Blanc are all rumored to be coming to the surrounding Costalegre region within the next few years), the decades-old El Careyes Resort is being completely re-imagined as a mix of 36 one- to four-bedroom units called the El Careyes Club and Residences.
Architects Taller de Arquitectura and interior designers Uribe Krayer kept the original U-shaped design, but expanded the scale of the building. Exteriors in shades of terra cotta plaster meld with the surrounding estate homes, while interiors are a light, modern mix of crisp whites, dark woods, and expansive windows along with appliances from Sub-Zero and Wolf.
In keeping with the low-key, relaxed vibe of the region, the project is not aimed at those looking for a vibrant party atmosphere. Instead, the restaurant, common areas, and pool—all of which overlook a serene private beach—will mostly cater to residents, creating a peaceful hub for the neighborhood, rather than attracting an influx of transient tourists.
While homesites in the El Careyes development are still available for sale (as are sites at the nearby Las Rosadas development), the condo-hotel product is exclusive for the region and allows owners to place their units in the hotel rental pool. The option is especially intriguing as the region garners increased attention.
This fall, the five-day Ondalinda x Careyes festival returns to the region for its second year, using art, music, culinary, and health and wellness experiences to celebrate the indigenous culture. And at the beginning of the year, the Las Rosadas development will host an art exhibit in conjunction with Oaxaca’s Nuun Gallery on its 350 acres, showcasing the works of some of Mexico’s most compelling contemporary artists.
Prices for units at El Careyes range from around $300,000 to just over $3 million. The project, which is on track to be completed in November, will be a welcome addition to a community that continues to grow and thrive nearly 50 years after its inception.