Puerto Vallarta, Mexico | C.1989

Photo Credit: Lucas Torres

Tucked away along a remote stretch on the western coast of Mexico, the rolling acres of jungle, wildlife, and Pacific Ocean views of Cuixmala were not always a publicly accessible luxury retreat. The longstanding – and intriguing – history of opulence here originally began as a haven for extravagant British financier and politician Sir James Goldsmith.

In the late eighties, Sir Goldsmith built this sprawling 2,000-acre private estate as a private escape from the public eye. Here the outspoken tycoon was accompanied by members of his three families, numerous mistresses and the world’s elite – from U.S. Presidents to European Prime Ministers

When Goldsmith passed away in 1997, his daughter Alix inherited the estate and readily transformed it into a luxury resort open to the public — at first, only by word of mouth. A staunch environmentalist, Sir Goldsmith built Cuixmala on 30,000 acres of a nature preserve and for years, the estate remained comfortably hidden among the preserve’s lush jungle landscape.

Today, Cuixmala is very much a gem along Mexico’s Virgin Coast, but it’s not quite as hidden – despite the lack of roads leading to it. Guests can access the estate by private charter planes — certainly a fitting mode of transportation and homage to its former larger-than-life owner with a fondness for keeping big secrets.

:memo: Written by: Kelly Murray

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