Our Story

1 5 Years to Achieve the Dream: Our Journey to own a Vacation Beach House

Since 2003

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The creation of Xocotla

Xocotla (Sho-cot-la) is an indigenous Nahuatl word meaning “where the fruit trees are plentiful”. A canopy of ancient white fig trees provided the name for our home, which is tucked into the corner of a huge jungle garden. 

Constructed in 2003/2004, Xocotla was designed by acclaimed architect Jose Enrique del Valle in conjunction with the owners, in an elegant and eco-friendly manner.  Combining the very best of modern and traditional Mexican styles, cooling ocean breezes and ceiling fans provide the only air-conditioning you might need. Enjoy the sound of the surf as it lulls you to sleep. 

The house is centrally located part-way up a small hill above the village in a quiet residential neighborhood.



The takeover

Delivering this experience is hard work and in 2023, Michael and David to find a new steward for Xocotla

While spending the summer in 2022 we visited many locations and originally intended to build something of our own, But when we saw Xocotla, we knew we had found our dream casa.

The Gringo Hill location being the perfect combination of convenience and tranquility – being  5 minutes walk from the town plaza, but sheltered from the noise by the hilly terrain and largest natural forest in central Sayulita. The view of both the garden and the ocean. 

We took the reins in June 2023, moving our family on the first day we moved past the lawyers.


Our Fantastic of Four

Steve originally hails from rural NH and Coco from not so rural Beijing, where they met while Coco was finishing up law studies and Steve was an entrepreneur helping building clean energy projects in China and Southeast Asia. We moved to the Bay Area from China in 2016 and have welcomed team members Zoe (9) and Logan (6). Both are learning to surf and are avid swimmers. Zoe commands golf carts on back roads and Logan likes to shoot hoops with unpredictable bounces in our cobblestone driveway.


We are passionate travelers with a bent for exploring harder to get to places and staying there longer. 


After hundreds of nights we believe we have developed a sense of the details that make a hotel stay a true home away from home. Although sometimes the greatest traveling stories involve challenges, no one enjoys an unsafe balcony, being devoured by mosquitos or music blaring away all night downstairs.


Since our original trips to Thai islands off the coast of Thailand, we had a dream of opening a B&B or small, family friendly hotel in a beach town with a blend of adventure, character and relaxation. This dream, in its hazy outline included small/cozy, local sensibilities, comfortable, and a true ‘get away’ that is not that far away..


15 years later we finally realized this dream.  

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1 Room , 1 Adult , 0 Children