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Can you please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
My name is Leyla and my parents are Barbara and Gerry Morris. My parents recently purchased a house in Sayulita, Casa Sonrisa, so they would be able to have their own place to stay here when they visit. They plan on visiting a lot so they can spend time with their new grandson, Matson! Matson and I live here in Sayulita with his father Mathew, and together we own Stand Up Paddle Sayulita, a paddle board and surf shop. Matt was born in Mexico and I have lived here for 5 years now!
What is it about Sayulita that made you want to buy a vacation rental here?
It seemed like a great time to invest in a vacation rental while having the option to use it for family trips as well. I will be managing the reservations, so it also makes it nice living here and being able to have contact with our guests and assist them with their needs. Sayulita is so charming and is a great vacation spot for families, as well as single travelers.
How long after your first visit to Sayulita did you purchase your house?
My family has been visiting me over the past 5 years, usually coming at least twice a year. Now with Matson in our family, I´m sure they will be here even more!
How long have you owned your home in Sayulita?
We purchased the house in June and spent the last four months renovating it so it really feels brand new. It just became available for the rental season at the beginning of November. Our first guests absolutely loved their stay and were kind enough to write us a wonderful review.
Will you please tell us one of the classic "you won't believe this" stories during the remodeling?
I´m not sure where to begin. Anyone who has built or remodeled a home knows there are always challenges. I guess for us the classic ¨you won´t believe this¨ would be every time we thought something was finished, it wouldn’t work, and when you had it fixed, something else was broken in the process. So, naturally it took a while to actually finish the project! It was pretty unbelievable how many times that happened.
You made a lot of renovations to this home after purchasing it. Would you tell me more about this?
We had a vision for how we wanted the house to turn out to make the most of its potential and it really couldn’t have come out more perfectly. We have added several balconies to relax and enjoy the ocean views, and we created a larger lounging and dining area on our pool level suite that gives our guests a super comfortable indoor/outdoor space. We have filled the gardens with beautiful tropical plants, and we created a beautiful artistic natural wood privacy fence, so it feels like a peaceful and relaxing oasis. It is very inviting for lounging at the pool or using the new BBQ. We added beautifully crafted furniture, art, and oversized sofas for both the indoor and outdoor living areas and gave our upstairs palapa penthouse a lighter beachy feel that is both romantic and relaxing with gorgeous ocean views and the new large balcony. We kept the decor simple, adding nice touches of Sayulita´s bohemian charm, combined with the colorful art of the Huichol and Atomi.
Can you share with us some of the changes you have seen around town?
For anyone that has been in Sayulita more than once, they have experienced the changes in Sayulita! Every year it grows and changes so much, bringing new friends and shops, but also new challenges. While I appreciate the simple lifestyle Sayulita offers, it has also become somewhat more complicated over the years. Driving across town has become a challenge and parking even more so. It has also become a little dangerous with the increasing number of surfers all going for the same wave and not knowing proper etiquette. I could list a few more challenges, but prefer to always focus on the positive side of things. Life here is beautiful, colorful, and simple.
What in particular made you decide on this house rather than other listings available at the time?
Our budget was on the lower end of what houses sell for here and we feel we were very lucky in finding our house. It really had a lot to offer and at a reduced price, made it just perfect. We knew there was a certain amount we would need to do to fix it up, and we had fun with the remodel. We really were looking for a house with a pool, ocean views, and of course, location. While we aren´t right on the beach, we are still very central located and close to everything.
How would you describe the neighborhood your vacation rental is in?
We are in a nice, quiet location that is a combination of residents and vacation rentals. We are up a little cobbled driveway with only a handful of other houses.
What is the most interesting guest you have hosted at your home?
Well, right now we have a giant swan floating in our pool, but since we are new to the market, we haven´t experienced anything other than very nice people.
What are your favorite things to recommend your guests do while in Sayulita?
Well, naturally I´m a little biased to paddle boarding and surfing! It really is a great destination and the reason a lot of travelers choose Sayulita. We offer discounted rates to our guests for surf and sup lessons and rentals, and we now offer tours and excursions to great locations outside of Sayulita.
What do you feel sets your house apart from other vacation rentals in Sayulita?
We have put a lot of thought into the details and really wanted to offer a place that would be as comfortable, or more so, than your own home. When you are on vacation, it is your time to be spoiled and indulge and we have tried to provide all the comforts of home with a fully equipped kitchen and plush bedding. While we still have a few more upgrades we would like to do over time, it is now very much a tranquil getaway in this beautiful paradise.
What advice do you have for someone searching for a home/land in Sayulita?
It´s not as scary as you think! Do your research and find people you can trust to work with. There are some great realtors here that can really make it as smooth of a process as possible!