A beach at Mandarina in Nayarit. A beach at Mandarina in Nayarit.

Billion-dollar bet by One & Only Resorts

Mandarina is residential project, hotel in Riviera Nayarit

An international ultra-luxury resort operator is making a billion-dollar bet on a new oceanfront residential development in Nayarit, just north of the Pacific coast city of Puerto Vallarta.


One & Only Resorts, owned by the Dubai-based company Kerzner International Holdings Ltd., is selling private homes in the US $1 billion Mandarina project, located around 50 kilometers or less than an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta in the Riviera Nayarit.

It is the first time that One & Only Resorts has put its brand on a residential project. Kerzner partners RLH Properties and RSC Development pre-sold the first branded residences late last year.

A total of 55 residences make up the first phase of the project, which was designed by Arizona-based architect Rick Joy to incorporate the natural environment including jungle vegetation and cliffs which drop down to the Pacific Ocean.

Each residence is priced between US $4 million and US $12 million. There is also a 108-room One & Only hotel.

A later stage of development will add another section of residences and a second hotel as well as a beachfront polo field and an equestrian center.

“The community that these people are buying into, they realize that this is the last large tract of land,” said Ricardo Santa Cruz, CEO of RSC Development.


“It’s very difficult to replicate, if you’re interested in this part of the country.”

Santa Cruz began acquiring land for the Mandarina project in 2008. With backing from a private-equity firm in which Goldman Sachs was an investor, he eventually purchased properties owned by 58 families.

The land was placed in a new company, RLH Properties SAPIB, and in 2015 shares in the company were sold to the public.

The new development comes amid a construction boom that, since 2011, has increased the number of luxury hotel rooms in Mexico by 33%, according to lodging industry provider STR Inc.

Last month, hotel chain Hilton announced that it was planning five new properties in Mexico, including a luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in Cancún, Quintana Roo.

One & Only has one property already in operation in Mexico, the luxury Palmilla resort in San José de los Cabos, Baja California Sur. It is also developing another property about 100 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta called Santa María de Xala.

Source: Bloomberg (en)

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  • ss

    Wouldn’t want to have bought in the San Jose del Cabo project. Buyers remorse. Cartel wars!

  • cocoshela2

    I can’t think of anything worse than being stuck in a luxury comples, 50 miles from a City with a group of millionaires. The ego fog would be pretty dense.

    • Vernon King

      Agreed….spent time in luxury in Mayan Riviera and it was agony for a week. It was a good lesson in what I don’t like. Much prefer Puerto Morales to the north where people are somewhat normal. Hated most wearing those stupid rubber wrist bands which to me basically said rob me I am rich when away from resort. I remember security chasing me around because I wouldn’t wear the band. Finally tied it to my hat which got them off my butt.

  • Pogo

    Have they found a way to eradicate the no-see-ums around there?

  • Mike S

    Should have been made into a national park with only limited Mexican based hotel/housing development. Mexico sells off a national treasure to a bunch of decadent oil-rich Muslims Arabs from UAE. Will there be a mosque in the middle of it? Will they bring their slaves with them? It will be perfect for boring people with more money than sense. A polo field?

  • WestCoastHwy

    Russian Jewish immigrants from South Africa (Sol Kerzner) that are well versed in dealing with the Natives! Maybe a part of the Golden Cow that the Israelite’ had stolen from Egypt is part of the capital investment. Bernard Madoff is rolling in he’s cell.

  • Ralph Conner

    the heat and humidity are bringing more expats back to other areas and it is increasing.. lived in san felipe baja nord until i got tired of being in my house with a/c for 7 months and nothing to do. that is why, this should be a park or a reserve. even billionaires get bored of being enclosed and i doubt the hotels and restaurants buying into this can survive on winter only. they are billionaires for a reason and not all spend money. . it is still just a project but i do not believe they will get the response they want or need.

  • David Nichols

    They are going to play polo in the heat and humidity around Banderas Bay…??
    Look for a sale on horse meat at a mercado near you…!