Saturday, December 31, 2016

Palmas B&B, Laid Back Luxury by Javi

We met Javi at a crossroads in her life. She was our Spanish teacher for two weeks while we were in Puerto Escondido. She was also in the process of signing paperwork for renting a luxury home for the purpose of making it into a Bed & Breakfast Inn. She has since stopped teaching and is devoting her energy to preparing her new home for business. She is already booked for the first three months.

It was fun to go through this with her. Javi invited us over to her home, before it was guest-ready, for an informal dinner party with her mother and sister from Chile, and several friends. Joe and I were very impressed with this place. Structurally it’s a beauty. The spaces flow indoors and outdoors in true Mexican style. The large kitchen, small dining table, the formal dining room, and the front room are all outdoors… as in a roof and one to three walls.

I took a bunch of photos as she toured the whole place for me. There’s a couple of connected rooms downstairs. On the second floor is the family’s quarters. The penthouse suite is the top floor. This includes a small kitchenette, a terrace overlooking the ocean two blocks away, and a sheltered open area reading room. I even got to brainstorm with her and come up with the name, Palmas… and the moto, Laid Back Luxury by Javi. Cool huh? I set her up on Instagram @javiselman.

She asked me and Joe to come stay overnight as a test run BEFORE she opened for business. We could stay for free in exchange for an honest review. I warned her that honest meant honest, but she really wanted us to stay. She felt that a stranger staying in the penthouse suite, especially Americans, would help her make adjustments.

So here’s my REVIEW:

First impression, before bedtime;
Typical big exterior wall, dirt street, house on the corner. Knocked on door and it was opened to an oasis. You enter at garden level. To the right is a lounge area. To the left palms, straight ahead is massive three story structure hidden behind giant plants.

We were led to our room and encouraged to return back to the ground level once we were settled in. The stairs actually skirt the perimeter of the property and are outdoors. There is a way to get to the penthouse without getting rained on except about twenty steps, and then you have to brave the elements.
A terrace with a couch, chairs, and a dining room are first and then snug up to the wall is an open air kitchenette. At this point she hadn’t connected the electricity to the kitchen (electrical plugs are now there), but the large refrigerator had electricity and it had a mini-gas stove. Water jug was included, which is not always the case elsewhere. To the right is a really cool space dedicated to hiding out. It’s a large mostly enclosed room with comfy couches and a large bed for the nights when sleeping outside is irresistible.

Our bedroom was gorgeous, especially the giant glass door which actually pivoted at about midpoint. As pretty as it was, it was not latching properly and kept swinging open. Javi said she’ll fix it, as that could be a huge energy loss. (Javi fixed the latch) The room has a queen-sized bed. Five windows surround the room. There is no curtain for the glass door, but the way it’s situated, no one can see in unless they’re on your terrace. Which leads me to a complaint. There is no door on the bathroom… and while you’re sitting on the toilet you can see the kitchen part of the terrace! Not to mention the problem with smells. (Javi had a pretty wood door put in before opening day.)

The hot water heater is in front of the toilet and is ugly. (Javi put a nice cabinet door in front of it.) I did think it would be nice to have counter space in the bathroom. That would be hard to fix because it’s one of those pedestal sinks. (She had a shelf built next to the sink) It always surprises me to see pedestal sinks at hotels. Our hotel, Quinta Carrizalillo was the same way… you end up putting things on the floor.

We headed back downstairs to our gracious hostess… seriously, Javi is lovely and attentive.

Time for bed;
(I won’t tell you how much fun we had at dinner with friends and family, because that’s not part of the B&B). The bed was medium firmness and basically comfortable. The air-conditioner kept the room cold, but when we decided to turn it off and open the windows we realized there is no ceiling fan. I recommended a fan to her, she said it was a good idea and would try to get it in this month (She has a fan installed now). I think it would save her some money since running the AC is super expensive in Mexico.

By-the-way, to all my American friends, try not to run the AC constantly when you’re not in the room of any third-world-country hotel. This is a baffling American habit. Several hotel owners told me they won’t put in ACs because Americans run them around the clock… I’m guilty there. I suggested that Javi have two “packages” that guests can choose from; one with AC, one without. Not sure if she’ll do that.

Waking up;
Gorgeous! Wow, what a view! Palmas is very close to the surf beach called La Punta… you can see it from the penthouse. We couldn’t make our own coffee because no electricity yet, but that will be there when guests arrive. We couldn’t experience a breakfast at Palmas because it was the day of her son’s international surfing competition over at Zicatela (but we still had the memory of dinner to assure us it would have been good). We wandered down the sand and dirt streets to a restaurant she recommended called Fruitas and Verduras. It was excellent.

You can find Javi on:
Instagram  @javiselman
airbnb under Palmas Bed and Breakfast
FaceBook for Palmas B&B