By:  Dawna L. Robertson | Travelpulse.com

A tropical wonderland stretching nearly 200 miles along the Pacific Ocean just north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport, Mexico’s sun-drenched Riviera Nayarit continues to draw development of tourism and residential projects in a manner that preserves the region’s treasured ecosystems.

Last week, Nayarit State government officials held a stone-laying ceremony to mark the construction commencement of an upscale residential and hotel development to be anchored by a pair of polo fields and equestrian center. Local leaders are banking on the $870 million (USD) endeavor to not only bolster its tourism industry, but to also spark the economy and create new jobs.

The stone was placed at what will become the One&Only Mandarina resort in the El Monteon community on Nayarit’s south coast. Set to open toward the end of 2018, Mandarina will join the brand’s Palmilla in Los Cabos as One&Only’s only two Mexico properties. The upscale Mandarina development will also include a second 125-room hotel and residential element with villas and haciendas.

As reported in the Mexico Daily News on May 18, the company behind Mandarina lauded Nayarit as one of Mexico’s “exceptional regions.” Ricardo Santa Cruz of Rasaland Development added that Nayarit’s impressive natural resources allow it to create a world-class project that remains low density and eco-tourism focused. Santa Cruz praised the state’s vision for developing a tourism corridor that includes a previously lacking highway infrastructure.

One&Only Mandarina is expected to feature 145 villas within three accommodations categories. High-end amenities will include a swimming pool offering private cabanas, dining options showcasing locally sourced ingredients, a spa, fitness center, shops, poolside lounge/café and private residence estates.

During April’s Tianguis Turistico tourism trade event in Guadalajara, it was announced that the municipality would also be home to one of the country’s largest luxury developments. Touting more than 4.3 miles of shoreline and 630 acres of beach, estuary and mountains, the $1.8 billion (USD) master-planned Costa Canuva community is a joint venture between Mexico’s Fonatur and Portugal-based Mota-Engil Tourismo.

At this point, plans call for Costa Canuva to feature five luxury hotels with some 3,200 rooms, mountain biking trails, specialty restaurants, a marina, more than 12 miles of cycling tracks designed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), a canopy park with ziplines and more than 2,500 residential units.

Set to debut in 2018, the initial phase will include a PGA-caliber golf course co-designed by Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa, an exclusive beach club and centerpiece 250-room Fairmont Costa Canuva. With 40 Gold rooms and branded residences, the Fairmont property will further indulge with the 13,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa, 22,000 square feet of event space, a swimming pool, and six restaurants and bars.

«We are delighted to be at the forefront of establishing the new Costa Canuva community in this thriving and beautiful region,» said Kevin Frid, president, Americas for Fairmont’s parent company, FRHI Hotels & Resorts. «From the Riviera Maya to the Riviera Nayarit, we are positioning Fairmont to deliver our unique brand of luxury and genuine hospitality at Mexico’s most sought-after destinations.»

Rafael Lang, CEO of Mota-Engil Tourismo, notes that his company is thrilled that Fairmont has joined it for sharing this Riviera Nayarit paradise with the rest of the world. «Our goal is to create a true community, integrating our beachfront village with residential neighborhoods, golf course and lagoons,” Lang said. “Not only do we look forward to welcoming international visitors to this wonderful region, but we are excited to create new opportunities for domestic tourists and the local people of the Riviera Nayarit.»



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