more in a hotel setting,” as Elizabeth Moriarty, vice president of product development for MLT Vacations, pointed out. In the context of this article, a villa is a free
standing private home; a hacienda may have multiple rooms but it was usually
built in the style of a private home. Even under that definition, options are many
and growing. MLT Vacations offers a wide scope of villa/hacienda product in
Mexico from private homes and villas in Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco
and Los Cabos to unique accommodations like the Starwood Luxury Collection
Haciendas and historic homes and villas in Mexico’s colonial cities, said Moriarty.
Villas of Distinction, now a World Travel Holdings subsidiary, has a large and varied selection in Mexico—ranging from an intimate bungalow to a 22-bedroom
estate with a full staff, said Steven Lassman, vice president and general manager.
the villa difference
What most villa clients are looking for is privacy, space and value. “Customers are
looking for an environment where they do not need to mix with the crowd, can
BRANDS you know
While familiar brands do not tend to be associated with villas and haciendas, there are exceptions. A high-profile one is Starwood, whose Luxury Collection Haciendas “are very unique,”
according to Moriarty.
The five properties in The Luxury Collection Haciendas Group are housed in what were
once grand homes—not unlike Mexican versions of southern plantations in the U.S. Each has
been restored and updated with modern amenities and they are “located close to the most
relevant archeological sites of the Mayan Culture such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal; combining
private visits to this sites while staying at the haciendas are a unique experience,” according
to Alan Duggan, vice president of sales, Latin America, for Starwood. The haciendas have a
limited number of rooms (the largest has 28) but offer amenities like spas and swimming pools.
Other brands that boast resort-style villas and private homes are the Four Seasons Punta
Mita, Fairmont Pierre Marques in Los Cabos and One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos.