renowned chef enrique olvera opens an idyllic new restaurant on the pacific coast of mexico

Mar 19, 2021 Architectural Digest

The chef behind Pujol and Cosme opens his third restaurant at the brand new One&Only Mandarina hotel.

 

Enrique Olvera knew just the vibe he wanted to conjure at Carao, his new restaurant at the not-yet-year-old One&Only Mandarina in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit. “The same feeling as when you’re sitting under a palapa right next to the sea,” muses the world-renowned chef, best known for Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in Manhattan. Situated at the southernmost edge of the resort, with panoramic views of untouched coastline, Carao strikes that note and then some. Rain-forest vegetation cocoons the dining rooms, which are outfitted in organic materials and arranged around a central hearthlike kitchen. These sublime spaces give way to an adults-only pool that juts out toward the surf—the perfect spot, chef says, to raise a glass at sunset. (He recommends the guava margarita or one of the many biodynamic wines.) Nibble on seaweed chicharrón with pico de gallo, then sit down for a meal of regionally inspired dishes like pescado zarandeado, a fresh whole fish that is marinated and grilled in a traditional local fashion. Just be sure to check out the plates themselves, part of the ceramic dinner service that was custom made for the restaurant by the Veracruz-based artisan Joel Bautista Rojo.

 

Of course, there is plenty more to enjoy along this pristine stretch of Pacific coast. Opened in November of last year, the One&Only Mandarina features 105 freestanding guest villas, each constructed so as to preserve the exuberant rain forest. The result is an idyllic merging of indoors and outdoors, as contemporary yet rustic rooms (think raw timber, decorative copper leaf, Mexican textiles) open onto 82 acres of lush greenery. Tempting though it may be to while away a week in your private soaking tub or outdoor shower, an array of activities will entice— whether a hike along miles of trails to La Abuela, a magnificent tree, or an afternoon at the Jetty Beach Club, equipped with paddleboards and other aquatic accoutrements. (As a special treat, charter a boat for a private visit to nearby islands.) Unwind at the spa, where skin-care guru Tata Harper has curated a range of wellness journeys. Or let loose sampling the many mezcal offerings at The Treetop bar. Here, unsurprisingly, it goes down smooth.

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Map of Mandarina, Mexico
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Rosewood MandarinaRosewood Mandarina will have a residential-style hotel and set of unique private residences beginning in 2021.

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The JettyResidents and guests will depart The Jetty for their water adventures and gather each afternoon to enjoy the sunset.

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One&Only Private HomesThe villas are located in an exquisite private location in close proximity to the One&Only Mandarina.

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Rosewood Residences Starting in 2021, Rosewood Residences will take their residents deep into nature, offering them award-winning Rosewood hospitality.

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Canalan Beach ClubThe Canalan Beach Club is located on 1.6 kilometers of pristine and golden beaches for swimming, where you can enjoy kayaking and snorkeling.

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The Point An adult-only spot nestled on the rugged mountains, Carao captures the most spectacular views of the Mandarina sunsets.

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The PlateauA different poolside relaxation and dining experience, The Plateau overlooks The Jetty and the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

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One&Only Majahua Beach ClubLocated on the calm waters of the Pacific, the One&Only Majahua Beach Club offers a relaxing and casual elegance experience.

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One&Only SpaThe One&Only Spa offers a truly unique holistic wellness experience and outdoor treatment rooms under the trees.

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Kids' ClubThe KidsOnly Club brings Mandarina's wonders to life, with tree houses, an insect cabin, game room, nursery, sandpit, and outdoor amphitheater.

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One&Only Private HomesThe villas are located in an exquisite private location in close proximity to the One&Only Mandarina.

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The FarmLocated in the Flatlands, The Farm offers locally grown produce and a country-at-your-table restaurant.

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The OutpostThe adventures begin at The Outpost, the place to enjoy the day exploring the trails and the Mandarina jungle.

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Mandarina Polo & Equestrian ClubThe Mandarina Polo and Equestrian Club beautifies the Flatlands, offering an exceptional venue for lovers of an equine lifestyle.

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EstuaryThe Mandarina estuary houses a rich biodiversity and an exceptional bird observatory.

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