Behold! Paradise does exist, and I have found it.

I know what you are thinking – is it just another resort with an average menu, a kitsch decor and a superfluous evening program? Let me reassure you, it is quite the opposite. I had the pleasure of staying at the most wonderful place, which is truly the definition of a small paradise. The reason why it is such a special place is because it made me realize how important it is to get away, and to be in the warm embrace of unfamiliarity and illumination. Let me explain. I believe that discovering a new place or being immersed in a new environment is such a healthy experience, we get distracted with new images, smells and sounds, we get drawn in by the excitement of finding something new…it takes us far away from our troubles, insecurities and preoccupations . As for illumination, I am convinced that being in a light, warm and inviting place is essential to a perfect getaway – our bodies relax, our skin’s thirst is satisfied with the much needed vitamin D and the biggest decision you will have to make that day is what hat to wear.

The place that convinced me that it is in fact possible to get away from your own thoughts is in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I won’t focus on the resort itself, but I will tell you about an experience that took my breath away – lunch at the Hacienda San Angel Gourmet. The Hacienda San Angel is a boutique hotel with stunning colonial architecture and a romantic past. Walking through it, I immediately immersed myself in a state of tranquility and bliss. The rooms are bright and spacious, with stunning views of Sierra Madre mountain range and the Guadalupe Church. Looking out from the balcony, the cobblestone streets and the terra cotta rooftops reminded me of Europe, with an array of beautiful shops, galleries and restaurants. The hotel is indeed a fusion of culture, history and beauty (no wonder it was one of Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite vacation spots)!

At my luncheon at the Hacienda San Angel Gourmet, I started with the oysters on the half shell from Baja and finished with the Pablano Chile stuffed with shrimp, accompanied by lemon risotto – absolutely delicious! While sitting at a table in one of the main verandas, I was mesmerised by the lightness of the room, a very unusual experience in such a hot climate, but it was so calming to me that I was convinced – I found it, a little piece of paradise. There is something very comforting about being able to close your eyes and feel like you are swept away by the warm breeze and brought closer to the sun. I let go of all my thoughts, and I let the warmth of the air fill my body. Now that is truly something heavenly.