by Maleeha Sambur
Earlier this year, when friend was taking suggestions for destination wedding venues in Mexico, visions of a cliffside ceremony at Verana immediately began dancing in my head. Located on Yelapa Island off Puerto Vallarta, Verana is the vision of film industry veterans Heinz Legler and Veronique Lievre, and the creative duo's cinematic sensibility was certainly put to great use in crafting this uniquely beautiful retreat. Surrounded by lush jungle and perched over the deep blue Bay of Banderas, this magical hideaway would be the perfect place for a weeklong lovefest with one's nearest and dearest.
Verana isn't exactly easy to get to, but that only makes it all the more alluring in my mind. After landing in Puerto Vallarta, you'll have to catch a taxi to the beach town of Boca de Tomatlan. From there, a scenic boat ride through the bay will deposit you on a pier. Once there, you'll make the short hike up a steep hillside to the hotel, accompanied by mules and Verana welcome staff. Upon arrival, you'll promptly toss all logistical concerns to the Pacific breeze, sink into a plunge pool, sun yourself on one of the many terraces, doze in a hammock, or laze on your king size bed, elegantly draped in mosquito net. After a satisfying nap, you might freshen up with an outdoor shower (perhaps to birdsong accompaniment) before feasting on a delicious dinner prepared with fresh, local ingredients. An outdoor adventure can also be arranged by the staff, but you might never want to to leave your beautiful environs.
The most difficult part of planning a stay at Verana is selecting a room. While all of the open-air houses are wonderful, seamlessly blending both indoor and outdoor spaces, and lovingly furnished with handcrafted decor, each type of accommodation has its own unique charms, from the bi-level Palapa to the Pool House with private concrete piscina to the dramatic, glass-walled Studio and Jungle Suite. No matter what your choice, you'll feel like you've stepped into a beautiful dream, so there's really no wrong way to go.