Counting our third visit to this “secret” get away on Costa Allegre – the Happy Coast. After Barra de Navidad was washed away by a hurricane, we discovered La Manzanilla and this marvelous Boutique Hotel, Castillo Chulada, directly on the beach. Only four, spacious rooms, each with king size bed, built-in sofa, kitchenette and bath, balcony, WiFi, A/C and ceiling fans, clean and quiet. Steven Page is the generously accommodating Host/ Owner who lives in the main house. “You couldn’t meet a nicer guy”. We have full use of the beautiful, graceful pool, beach chairs and umbrella, even bicycles. The beach is on a gorgeous, large bay, where the water is blue and calm. We spent New Year’s at Figarro’s Restaurant, also on the beach. The sunset was glorious and after a fresh seafood dinner ( almost still wriggling), we had an enchanting surprise. All along the bay, countless small, thin balloons were sent heavenward under flaming candle power. Memorable. There are several most excellent restaurants including El Cato, Magnolia and CafeRisa for a fabulous capacino. Everything is in walking distance, should you desire and the tiendas are very good. Yes, there are crocodiles. Our hotel is just past the Crocodile Sanctuary. Fascinating. You must see for yourself. No. Don’t come here. We want to keep it our Secret”.


Ajijic, Jalisco

Staying here is like visiting your amiable wealthy cousin who just built a mansion on the beach, and you are his guest. You stay in one of his guest quarters, consisting of a large modern room with all modern fixtures, electrical, plumbing and working amenities you are promised (but often don’t get in Mexico) from a boutique hotel in the United States. You have your own semi private pool, your semi private spot on the beach, your private lanai and a large terrace around an immaculate pool facing the setting sun. But you’re not miles from town; you can be at Palapa Joe’s or any other restaurant in less than 5 minutes by foot. Your ‘cousin’ Steve is your host, and of course he knows everyone and every place in town. His staff, Javier and Matea (sp) are discreetly around to keep your room and the premises clean and secure. Steve’s dogs are a calming presence. My partner and I plan on returning during the hot, wet summer so we can swim with the crocodiles who lurk just a block away in the eco preserve.

San Francisco

My husband and I had an excellent stay in Castillo Chulada. It is an amazing house located on the beach in La Manzanilla, and we stayed in La Tortuga – a big room with a little kitchenette, big bathroom, and even a little TV. There was a beautiful view to the beach out our door. Steven was an excellent host with good tips for where to go in town, and all were within walking distance. We look forward to our next visit to this cute Mexican fishing village.

Cathleen E
San Jose, California

My wife & I stayed here spontaneously last January for 10 days – we loved it. Steve was most accommodating to our wishes, making room for us on the fly, and his son Pedro was friendly & very helpful as well, grooming the beach sand to perfection. The soft sand and warm ocean right out front is a winner – and sipping something smooth beside the pool while watching a technicolor sunset is beyond the beyond. Each room has a tiny but useful kitchenette, and it’s an easy stroll down the beach into town to pick up a fresh papaya or to take in the flavorful local culture. Early morning dips in the ocean were transcendent, as was the local kayaking. All in all very comfortable & reasonable, with easy-going hospitality. If you want to stay on the beach, the Chulada is a superb spot with a great vibe – we were like a couple of happy cocodrilos !

Victoria, Canada

I have never written a review before, but felt that I needed to share my story so more people could have an experience as wonderful as mine. I was greeted upon entrance by the humble and hilarious owner of his residence. Along with his friendly staff and luxurious location, we relaxed on the resort-esque beach, enjoyed the nearby waterfalls, ate some wonderful food and enjoyed visiting the daily markets. We were accompanied by a staff that was courteous, helped when we needed our help, and never got in the way. They kept the rooms clean and tidy daily, and even helped us find items we had lost. I plan to go back again this year, and for years coming.

Florida, Massachusetts