News from Around Banderas Bay | November 2009
|Dreaming in Green: Guadalupe Dipp's los Arroyos Verdes|
Roberta Rand - SF Productions
November 09, 2009
The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
|Los Arroyos Verdes is a place where artists, poets and others could come and find peace, rest and inspiration; a unique place, east of Bucerias, for people who love nature and want to connect with their spirituality.|
- Henry David Thoreau
When you first step onto the lush grounds of the brand-new Los Arroyos Verdes resort Somos, east of Bucerias, you can't decide where to look first. Your attention is seized by lines of poetry splashed happily across a wall, flanked by two large statues of the Hindu goddess Ganesha.
Straight ahead, a contemplative area with a glider swing and pergola boasts a large wind chime collection. Gorgeous bronze nudes share space with old wheelbarrows brimming with flowers. Stenciled on walls throughout the resort is the mantra: "Reuse, Reduce, Rethink, Renew, Recycle."
Stroll around the 35,000 meters of Los Arroyos Verdes and you'll find your jaw dragging at the whimsy and wonders tucked around every turn. Museum-quality sculptures share space with old surfboards. The gnarled root systems of trees hang suspended like headhunters' trophies from other trees. And don't forget that iconic 1970 Air Stream trailer shimmering in all its riveted aluminum glory on its own patch of grass (the only thing missing are pink plastic flamingos).
An intricately-tiled swimming pool creates a wide moat around a central covered patio where stone Buddhas, two massive winged horses and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces from India reside. Overlooking the pool is a tree with naked limbs finished off with leafy pom-poms reminiscent of manicured poodle tails. Multiple birdbaths hold mounds of gazing balls stacked like Christmas ornaments on steroids.
Exactly what IS this place? A botanical garden? A museum? A retreat center?
Los Arroyos Verdes is all of the above - and more. In fact, the place sprung practically full-grown from the imagination of Guadalupe Dipp, an accomplished architect and woman of means whose love of nature, design and human possibility have found expression in a sprawling plot of ranchland deliberately away from the ocean. Guadalupe purposely chose this spot for its verdant, unspoiled beauty and rural location.
"I wanted to have a place where artists, poets and others could come and find peace, rest and inspiration. Los Arroyos Verdes is a unique place for people who love nature and want to connect with their spirituality - whatever that looks like for them."
Guadalupe wants to share the wealth - the wealth of her beautiful art, natural surroundings and life affirming philosophy. Los Arroyos Verdes is the culmination of a dream to create a serene space where creativity can flourish and a "green" lifestyle can be practiced and celebrated.
Los Arroyos Verdes is still very much a luxury retreat with true Mexican sabor. The domed Temazcal - a traditional herbal sweat bath - offers a womblike purification experience. An onsite spa provides an assortment of massage therapies, hot stone therapies and Mayan body wraps. There's also a fully stocked gift shop and computer center.
The Making of a Spa Maven
You would never guess as Guadalupe casually rocks back and forth on a swing suspended by ropes from an enormous shade tree, that she had a long career in industry, overseeing large companies like the Ford manufacturing plant in Guadalajara. But as she strolls the grounds of Los Arroyos Verdes with walkie-talkie in hand, followed closely by her dogs Guera and Laica, there is no mistaking that she is a woman comfortable with being in charge.
Guadalupe has an architect's eye for detail and a keen business sense. But she also has a playful side. Note the old bicycle perched high over the entrance to los Arroyos Verdes, or the birdhouses she decorates herself and hangs in multiple locations around the resort. And of course, there's all that wonderful inspirational poetry stenciled everywhere.
Tour Guadalupe's home and you'll see clues to other passions and past lives: a glass case full of equestrian trophies, birdcages full of lovebirds and parakeets, an orchid collection and a regatta of model sailboats - she met her husband while living and sailing her own boat, The Moon and the Stars.
Designing with Both Sides of Her Brain
Los Arroyos Verdes is a quirky combination of "left" brain and "right" brain sensibilities. Guadalupe's "right" brain passions are evident in her love of poetry, fine art, ethnic textiles and bold Indian jewelry. Her "left" brain finds expression in the sleek, minimalist casitas she's designed and outfitted with stainless steel appliances and sexy, low-slung modernist furniture.
Guadalupe's natural inclination to create order out of chaos shows up in the repetition of objects and themes throughout los Arroyos Verdes. Silk throw pillows lined up regimentally on window seats. An open-air nursery with shelves of artistically pruned bonsai trees. Bicycles hanging in elegant symmetry, beckoning someone to ride.
Guadalupe's tenet of "rethinking" is represented by her imaginative repurposing of items that others might call junk. A sophisticated wall sculpture is actually brightly-painted wheel hubs from old wheelbarrows arranged in a wave pattern. Planters in the shapes of tropical birds are fashioned from old car tires. Shards of broken Mexican pottery are repurposed to decorate the bases of newly planted trees.
The green living aspect of los Arroyos Verdes is epitomized by kitchen facilities that encourage guests to separate organic from inorganic matter. Recycling bins dot the grounds to receive plastic waste. An onsite nursery utilizes composting techniques. A new restaurant will feature vegetarian dishes with vegetables harvested from the resort's organic garden.
Perhaps Guadalupe's life philosophy can be summed up by a line of poetry stenciled on the wall in a remote corner of the Los Arroyos Verdes compound: "Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment." Guadalupe has clearly mastered the art of both creative expression and living authentically, unabashedly in the moment. With Los Arroyos Verdes, she now hopes to help others achieve a similar state of bliss in their own lives.
For more information on Los Arroyos Verdes, call (329) 298-6267.
Roberta Rand is Public Relations Manager for SF Productions TV, a full service production and marketing company in Puerto Vallarta. Prior to relocating to Mexico from Colorado Springs with her dog, Bo, Roberta worked as a magazine editor, web editor and marketing copywriter. She is also an essayist and author, whose book "Playing the Tuba at Midnight" explored the quirks of living single.
To learn more about SF Productions, click HERE or visit SFProductionsTV.com.