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Villa Bella, A Hidden Treasure in La Cruz
email this pageprint this pageemail usGina Naya -
April 09, 2010

Villa Bella Bed and Breakfast is located on a hilltop overlooking the spectacular Banderas Bay in the charming Riviera Nayarit town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. For more information call (329) 295-5161, US Toll free 1-877-273-6244, or visit
Discover Villa Bella... a hidden treasure in the hills of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, in the beautiful and rapidly developing Riviera Nayarit located on Banderas Bay, one of the biggest and most beautiful bays in the world!

Villa Bella Bed & Breakfast has 5 rooms, all decorated in a different style but always showing off the beauty of Mexican art crafts hand made by talented artists, you'll enjoy breathtaking views from the privacy of each room and the main areas, always taken care by the the typical friendly, Mexican service of the staff.

I spent 4 days at Villa Bella and I want to share the great experience I had in this amazing place.

I arrived on a sunny, quiet afternoon; Elsa, the owner, gave me a very friendly welcome with a big smile and a cocktail and showed me the place and my room.

I was amazed because I had no idea that hidden in the hills of La Cruz, was a place with such charm and the personalized service we all crave for when taking some time off from our busy lives. A place that will give you a very relaxed feeling, enjoying the surroundings: the mountains and town of La Cruz offer amazing views, the beautiful, luscious garden, the infinity pool, the song of the birds and much more!

While unpacking I could not believe the views I had in front of me, the sea had a deep blue color, the boats where anchored in the Bay, balancing to the rhythm of the waves. I could see and hear the sea gulls and the doves... and soon, the sun started to fade in one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen.

I read a bit by the pool living and feeling the wonderful surroundings, until it was time to get ready to visit La Cruz and go to dinner at a local restaurant. My choice for the first night was La Cruz Bistro, so I got ready and went down the hills to discover what La Cruz offers to visitors and locals.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a small fisherman village that was suddenly taken by the fast development of the Riviera Nayarit. Located only 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport, it's a picturesque town with cobblestone streets.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle owes it's name to the legend that a native Mexican woman was buried under the shadows of a Huanacaxtle, a local tree, and as a tribute to her, a big cross was carved in the body of the tree. Since then, all the locals started to use this place as a sign for meetings: let's meet at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

The tree and the cross are in the middle of a roundabout in the main street that ends at the sea shore. Here, you will find the local Fish Market where you can buy fresh seafood and the best fresh fish around! I know many Chefs from the restaurants come to buy here their products that later on the day you can enjoy at your table, each one adding their own "magical touch."

From this point you'll also get to the new Marina Riviera Nayarit, a world class marina recently opened, that hosts more than 340 slips, ranging from 31' to 400' each with top quality services that can accommodate even the largest vessels sailing the Pacific Ocean. Here a variety of Nautical events are hold each year; the Latin American Boat Show, Expo Nautical Marina Riviera Nayarit, Fishing Tournament 2009 Riviera Nayarit, Mexorc and much, much more!

The town was originally a fishermen's town, that has been growing but without losing its ingenuity; the peace and the authenticity are the signature of this place, just what makes it so special. All this combined with the emerging development of the area, led to the opening of many nice restaurants, art galleries, bars and street stands where you can find all kinds or excellent food. All this very close to some of the most beautiful beaches of Banderas Bay: La Manzanilla, Destiladeras, Punta de Mita, Careyeros, etc.

I arrived at La Cruz Bistro Grill, and as soon as I saw the building I fell in love! Even before entering the restaurant, you get caught up by the French accents, like the windows with the cute curtains, the door and the general appearance of the place.

A very friendly waiter opens the door for you and Voilá! you suddenly are in a very contemporary French Restaurant, full of very nice and original details in the decoration and a small cellar that immediately caught my eye (yes along with the French manager that is très beau too! girls, keep an eye on him!)

The Menu goes from the original French Onion Soup, to the many fancy dishes product of the great imagination of the executive Chef Jean Michel Channal.

I had a great time, enjoyed a delicious dinner: Tuna Tartare with Beet Vinaigrette, Lamb Chops with green pepper sauce and Lemon Sorbet with green tomatoes and Tequila marmalade, all very well paired with the wines recommended by the Maître, I had a nice chat with the many tourists that packed the place that night and went back to my beautiful, provisional home at Villa Bella.

WOW! The palapa, the pool, the casitas and the garden were nicely illuminated and I have no words to explain the beauty of the view of the Bay at night, specially directly from the balcony with full open doors of my room!

I can't even explain to you the three nights I spent there, I was constantly opening my eyes to enjoy this view, directly from my bed, feeling such peace; many emotions and thoughts came to my mind, feeling the night cool breeze, it's like being on a cloud enjoying a piece of heaven!!!

I saw the sunrises, the lights of the Town fading while the sun was changing the colors of my surrounding: the sea, the palms, the trees, the flowers... I woke up each morning feeling blessed, very relaxed and of course, invigorated by all this beauty!

Rosa, the cook had the breakfast ready in the mornings, I sat at the table with a typical Mexican setting and got fresh coffee, fresh orange juice, fruit, Mexican home made bread, fried plantains and eggs each day to my specifications. All this surrounded by flowers, birds, arts & crafts and the incomparable company of Elsa, the owner and a wonderful hostess that made me feel at home.

Now picture this... you are having your breakfast while watching the boats on the Bay, some of them are fishing boats leaving or entering the bay and the palm trees dancing to the rhythm of the cool early morning breeze, while in the background, at a low, comfortable volume, you hear the caressing voice of Alejandro Fernandez, one of the most beautiful voices in Mexico singing romantic Mexican songs (ok this was my choice of music for my dreamy moment, you can ask Elsa for the kind of music that inspires you, but I really recommend this one!)

Now, back to our picture perfect moment... sip your fresh orange juice... take a deep breath, enjoy the moment... close your eyes, and when you open them, if you are as lucky as I was, you might see a couple of whales and their baby playing in the bay, jumping and showing off their impetuosity, their beauty... Can life get any better than this? I think not!

I spent the days reading while tanning by the infinity pool or sipping a Margarita or a Piña Colada under the palapa in the afternoon. Relaxing my senses, meditating... I even asked Rosa for a Guacamole or something to keep the stomach happy before getting ready for another dinner.

The second night I went back to La Cruz Bistro Grill (no, I didn't go to see again the handsome manager... I went because I was craving the Onion Soup - and believe me, I wasn't disappointed at all!)

On the last night, my dining choice was Frascati, an Italian restaurant located just in front of the famous Cross, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The staff is warm and friendly, the atmosphere inviting and their cellar offers a very good wine list too. I was very happy to get the recommendation of Mexican and Italian wines that paired perfectly with my dinner, one of the signature dishes of Chef Miguel Angel Hernández: Fetuccini Fruti di Mare... yummy!

The dinner was delicious and time passed quickly, so I went back to Villa Bella, because I didn't want to miss a second of my last night at this magical place.

If you want to feel as blessed and relaxed as I did; if you want to enjoy some days of privacy, fulfilling your senses, thinking about and being grateful for this beautiful life; if you want to run away from the stress, the city noise, the pressures of business life, the routine; if you want to boost the romance and passion with your partner; or if, like me, you need some time with yourself to think about what you want to do in your life, come to Villa Bella Bed & Breakfast, live it, feel it... I am sure your experience will be as great as mine!

Villa Bella is located at Calle de Monte Calvario #12 in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico. For more information, click HERE. For reservations, visit their website at

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus