Sprawling over 40,000 square feet, this sybaritic getaway in the resort enclave of Punta Mita, Mexico, has more in common with a boutique hotel than your run-of-the-mill supersize vacation home. Fourteen guest rooms, three swimming pools, a spa, basketball and tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym—everything here is at your service and very much built for pleasure. Even the frolicking and courting humpback whales that migrate annually to breed in the warm waters just off the property’s private beach seem to get the point.
“This place is my sanctuary—where my soul feels most at home,” says the house’s owner, a high-flying Hollywood entrepreneur. “I get to relax, recharge, have fun, and entertain my friends and business associates in the first-class style that represents who I really am.”
The design of the complex marries the thatched roofs of a traditional Mexican palapa with restrained modern architecture and is subtly accented with fountains, pebble-inlaid columns, and brightly colored Talavera tiles. As one might expect, the residence is oriented to embrace the beach, and glass pocket doors give way to majestic ocean views, lending the property the open-air mood of an (enormous) seaside cabana.
Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard first began his work here during the house’s construction in 2005, when he was a partner in the firm Martynus-Tripp (the predecessor to his current independent practice). He has since overseen several extensive additions and enhancements. The most recent of these, completed late last year, resulted in a new haute-cuisine kitchen and an outdoor bar, plus a series of fire pits sited along the border between the lawn, which spreads out beyond the main pool, and the postcard-perfect white-sand beach.
“When we started the client had just returned from one of the Aman resorts in Bali, and he wanted to create a similar environment, one in which his guests’ every possible whim would be catered to,” Bullard says. “He was interested in something with an international feeling—not exclusively Mexican—so we thought to add elements of Indonesia, Hawaii, and Morocco.”
In fact, the designer would range wider still. Gathering exotic furniture, fabrics, artwork, and accessories from India, Turkey, Japan, and other points around the globe, Bullard fashioned an ambience untethered to any specific place or style. He also blended in aesthetically sympathetic furnishings of his own design. “We even threw in odd bits of 18th-century Italian to keep it all twisted up and unpredictable,” he says. For instance, in just one of the property’s polyglot compositions, a Syrian side table joins carved Indonesian screen panels, an antique door table from India, and simple metal candleholders sourced locally from Puerto Vallarta.
Strategic jolts of color—in the form of red and green ikats, blue-glass Moroccan light fixtures, and hot-yellow tiles—are meant to spice up the decorative olio without overwhelming it. “We purposely didn’t go mad with color because we didn’t want the decorating to be a distraction,” Bullard says. The result is a mood the designer calls romantic and languorous. “The most important thing here,” he adds, “is relaxation.”