Price From $128
Far from touristy Ixtapa, the Inn at Manzanillo Bay draws both mellow sunseekers and surfers eager to test the challenging waves of Mexico's Pacific coast.
The eight thatched-roof bungalows and two deluxe suites with marble floors and private patios are part of a complex run by American Michael Bensal, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy who cooks up Baja-style fish tacos and chiles rellenos in the hotel's casual restaurant.
There's a decidedly laid-back vibe: Guests laze on the beach with frozen margaritas made with the inn's boutique house tequila, or relax in the pool surrounded by coconut palms and bougainvilleas.
Surfers will catch the biggest swell from May through October, although the inn's private point break throws consistent waves throughout much of the year. Want to learn how to surf? Bensal will set you up with a local instructor for private lessons on a nearby sandy beach break, ideal for beginners.