More perks in the works at Boca de Iguanas hotel


Boca de Iguanas, a 12-room boutique hotel that opened last year about a 40-minute drive north of Mexico's Manzanillo Airport, is planning to add amenities, services and guest quarters in the coming months.

Still to open this year are a group of cabanas and a holistic spa, the Alma Spa & Wellness Center, which will offer a range of massage treatments, including traditional Mayan treatments, Reiki massage, aromatherapy and reflexology.

For the first year of operation, "the wellness center will function as a 'spa without walls,' with treatments being administered in the privacy of hotel rooms and on the beach in thatched huts with linen curtains," said Robert Oveson, president of Moksa Development, which owns the property. "After that, a spa facility will be [open], and we will put more emphasis on the wellness and spa aspect and introduce full packages."

The property, which is managed by Granada Royale Resorts & Residences, is also planning to add 20 rooms a year for the next three years, according to Oveson.

Set on 18 acres of beachfront property on the Costalegre coast, Boca de Iguanas aims to combine colonial hacienda architectural elements with contemporary design.

The hotel is part of a larger, gated community that features solar-powered homes.

The complex is the first mixed-use project for Mexico-based Moksa.

"Moksa Development strives to find areas where natural surroundings are lush and ecologically sound, and low-impact building can take place with as little disturbance to the environment as possible," said Oveson. "The Boca de Iguanas site has all the makings of an ideal ecoresort community: a fabulous beachfront, lots of space surrounded by jungle and palms and an on-site mangrove forest that developers have painstakingly worked to preserve during all construction efforts."

Great outdoors

In January, the property opened a beach club with an infinity swimming pool and a new restaurant set beneath a thatch-roofed palapa.

Rooms feature names that are inspired by nature, including the Selva (jungle) Suite, which features an outdoor Jacuzzi, and the Noche (night) suite, which has its own spiral wooden staircase that leads to an open-air terrace and bed.

The resort's wine cellar features roughly 400 labels from a variety of wineries worldwide, and the on-site organic fruit and vegetable garden provides many of the ingredients for the hotel's cuisine.

On-site activities include Thursday-night bonfires and nightly sea turtle patrols, led by a biologist during turtle season (October to March).

"To show our commitment to preserving the local ecology, 1% of all hotel and real estate sales goes toward supporting our turtle program and other ecological initiatives," Oveson said.

"Boca de Iguanas appeals to people seeking an active, outdoor lifestyle in a resort community setting," he said. "Because we are right on the beach, we are targeting people who have a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for Mexican culture."

"We've got a natural, 100-foot-high rock-climbing wall on a cliff overlooking the beach, bird-watching on the preserved mangrove estuary that runs throughout the property, boogie boarding and surfing right off the Boca de Iguanas beach."

Less than 30 minutes away, Oveson added, are two championship golf courses: the 27-hole Isla Navidad and the 18-hole course at El Tamarindo.

The resort's location is a reflection of the region's growing popularity, according to Oveson.

"The Manzanillo and Costalegre regions are just on the cusp of a huge real estate boom," he said. "Witness Fonatur's commitment to build on the undeveloped beach of Playa de Oro, just south of the Manzanillo airport. And Costalegre has more developments going up now, and talk of its own airport, that definitely signal impending growth."

"Manzanillo is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mexico, thanks to the strength of its international commercial port, and [it] is positioned to become a leading city in all of Latin America," he added. "Costalegre has made its name as a high-end destination in its own right, and already includes some of the most prestigious developments in all of Mexico, such as Careyes and Tamarindo."

Oveson's company, meanwhile, is also scouting other regions for growth.

"Moksa Development is looking for key investment areas ripe for ecologically sound communities in Mexico, Central and South America," Oveson said, explaining that the long-range plan is "to build a chain of eco-developments featuring hotel, spa, condos and houses sold in full and fractional ownership."

Rates at Boca de Iguanas start at $240 per night, including a hot made-to-order breakfast and daily happy-hour cocktails. To book, call (888) 508-2405 or visit

To contact reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].


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