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Careyes is the ultimate in a hot, sexy, Mexican hideaway.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s by design.  A luxury development tucked away on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Careyes is the home to numerous Sports Illustrated cover shoots, and is the destination of choice for Hollywood types and jet-set internationals for whom privacy is paramount.

It’s not difficult to relax in a place like this, and my first experience with Careyes – on a recent weekend getaway with friends – did not disappoint.  Arrival to our private villa had us feasting on freshly made cheese quesadillas, truly out of sight guacamole, and margaritas, as well as the view from our infinity edge pool overlooking the jagged cliffs and ocean below.  Hello holiday.

While Careyes boasts no shortage of extravagant comforts, the 3,000+ acre property has a decidedly quirky feel reflecting the eclectic taste of its founder, Italian-born financier and artist, Gian Franco Brignone.  His private home fashions an external stairway to the stars with a giant question mark aside a giant explanation point on the roof that must be visible from space.  Signage here and there on the vast property has this same ‘?!’ which a friend says is because when asked ‘why Careyes?’ Giancarlo would say ‘Careyes? Careyes!’   Inside a giant ‘stairway to heaven’ leads to a king size mattress under a huge skylight.  Careyes?!

Stephanie-Johnson,-Careyes,Lazy days consisted of reading by the pool, hiking down the cliffs to an ocean dip in the sea below, following along the rocky coast in a boat for more saltwater swimming, and eating from the gorgeous seaside buffet at the ‘club.’  And massages.  Plenty of them.  At least one a day for at least an hour a piece, on the beach under swaying palms. Crazy nights involved inspired dancing on tabletops under the starry sky and midnight skinny dipping.  Ah, Careyes?!  Yes, Careyes definitely cast its spell.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this trip – the brightly-painted bungalows, the seaside revelry, the stunning stretches of beach, and Careyes’s distinctly bohemian sensibility – stayed with me long after my return to Manhattan.  So much so, it’s the inspiration behind our Stephanie Johnson Careyes Collection, new for Spring 2014.  Get to know the Careyes Collection – and take a peek at what I packed for this magical getaway – on next week’s post, Style Guide:  Careyes.

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