While I was in Sayulita, the property manager at the house where I was staying, Nick, introduced me to the talented Vogue and Travel + Leisure photographer Anne Menke. I had the chance to hang out with Anne and her incredibly nice and welcoming husband Johann, who insisted on picking me up in town, then proceeded to give me a top-to-bottom, Pacifico-in-hand tour of their breathtaking spread on the beach. As an interiors editor/writer I get to see some pretty remarkable homes, but this place has an unusual magical quality–a thatched-roof ode to Mexican Pacific architecture at the edge of the lush tropical jungle with majestic ocean views from almost everywhere. And with details like a swing in the bedroom, a bed hanging from ropes, the theater, an infinity pool at the edge of their open-air living room and pillows made of beautiful Mexican textiles tossed in every direction, it’s every bit a playful, comfortable family home as it is architectural stunner.
It’s no wonder they moved their family from New York City a couple years ago, making TeiTiare their full-time address (they also helped start the first green school in Mexico, the The Costa Verde International School, where their three boys attend). Before building the new dream home, Casa O’Te Miti, they lived in a more modest (but still gorgeous) casita down the beach called Casa Ninamu. Painted cobalt blue, the original stucco house has two bedrooms, a surfboard hanging over the dining room table and a rooftop terrace. And now that they’re not living there, it’s regularly filled with guests–some they know, others they don’t. While I was there, Anne and Johann invited the current vacation renters over for a cocktail and were organizing a pizza dinner down on the beach for them. Even though she can see it from her current house or walk over anytime, Anne still gets a little nostalgic talking about it. “I miss it,” she says. “Sometimes I just want to go over and sleep there. We have so many family memories there.” I think that’s what makes it feel so special: They’re both emotionally invested in making sure everyone who stays there has the kind of meaningful experience that made them fall so in love with this place.
Casa Ninamu starts at $400 a night. They’re happy to accommodate weddings–which they have done, rather successfully. And in certain situations, they’re often willing to rent rooms from the tower of additional guest rooms a wooden bridge away from their own home.