Open to All – Playa Viva Thrives on Diversity

Open to All

Playa Viva is not the type of place that attracts or is of interest to everyone. No A/C, no TV’s in room, no MiniBars, that definitely sends a strong message of who we are, and we do get a certain “self selection” that happens as a result.  When Sandra, my wife and I, designed and built Playa Viva, we definitely had in mind that we did want to attract a certain type of person.  But our “type” was defined by its diversity, not by exclusivity.  We wanted to attract the “conscious consumer” traveler who makes their purchase decisions based on their values, doing right by communities and our planet, and being open to all lifestyles.  We envisioned that Playa Viva would be open to “families” of all types, those with kids those without, those who have “traditional” partners and those with LGBT Partners, solo travelers, etc.

It is a measure of our success that Playa Viva has managed to attract loyal customers who return year after year representing all these different types of families.  Read below to hear, in their own words, from some of the many different types of travelers who have joined our Playa Viva family over the years.

Pam Page:

I just smile every time I think of Playa Viva and my family growing up there.

Pam Page is the matriarch of a multi-generational family who come to Playa Viva every other holiday season. When asked about why they keep coming back to Playa Viva, Pam replied, “ what is special about [Playa Viva] is the sense of community and connection with the staff as well as the sense of serenity and calm on the miles of beach that you can’t experience anywhere else. I just smile every time I think of Playa Viva and my family growing up there. It has been such a special place for us. It’s a big deep breathe and a great relaxing release.  We think you all are doing everything perfectly- so glad we found you and have grown with you.”

Marc Antoine:

Even if all the guests came from different countries… they came to Playa Viva to connect with themselves, with the nature and the authentic rustic luxury of the place.

Since Marc Antoine and family are originally from France but living in Mexico, I asked him how he feels Playa Viva is inclusive, to which he responded, “Even if all the guests came from different countries, with different languages and religions, they all are running away from the material and ego luxury and come to Playa Viva to connect with themselves, with the nature and the authentic rustic luxury of the place.”  When asked about why bring his extended family, Marc adds, “I think Playa Viva is a real place with no lie, where the memory you remember and the moment you share are pristine pure, it’s real beautiful life. That’s why I want my extended family to know this particular place which means a lot for me, my wife and my daughters.”

Theresa and Zak:

As a couple-no-kids we love to try to infuse our lives at home with our favorite aspects of Playa Viva and every visit helps us to disconnect more often and just “be”.” 

 

Not all families involve multi-generations, grandma, kids, extended family. Often the core family is a couple. Theresa and Zak are one such couple who come to Playa Viva year after year and we ask them about how they feel included in the Playa Viva family. “In general we always feel welcomed and special at Playa Viva.  Seeing the same staff year after year has only deepened our enjoyment of our time there and the changes to the land and buildings have been both subtle and dramatic but never jarring or disappointing. We’ve really enjoyed watching it grow and change over this time.” 

Theresa adds, “We do actually view Playa Viva as a more couple-no-kids kind of place, and find ourselves a little surprised (but not upset) when families with kids show up, but that might just be our perspective.  We view our week there as our yearly retreat to rest from and reassess our lives in order to come back feeling more creative and resilient. For the most part we have enjoyed sharing meals with families with young kids (of course there’s always exceptions to that!!). As a couple-no-kids we love to try to infuse our lives at home with our favorite aspects of Playa Viva and every visit helps us to disconnect more often and just “be”.”

Fred and Ran:

“Playa Viva is perfect as a place to appreciate nature, relax, explore the best of the Mexican coast and a wonderful community of environmentally active visitors. We’ve always felt welcome, by everyone.

Another couple who are repeat guests are Fred and Ran, a gay couple from Oakland, CA.  They were among our first guests and in fact many of the room photos you see on the Playa Viva website were taken by Ran who is a great photographer (among his many skills).  When asking Fred about why he and Ran keep coming back to Playa Viva and how they feel included in our extended family, Fred responded, “Playa Viva is perfect as a place to appreciate nature, relax, explore the best of the Mexican coast and a wonderful community of environmentally active visitors. We’ve always felt welcome, by everyone.”

When asked if they ever felt excluded at Playa Viva, Fred stated, “I’ve never felt excluded at Playa Viva, and the two of us have always been treated with absolute respect by everyone as a couple — no problems at all.” 

Fred does find issue with the images on Playa Viva’s social media and does express his desire that we show fewer images which he has “found … overtly heterosexist and sexist as well – mostly in the images of ‘sexy women’ clad in bikinis, whereas I’ve never seen a sexy man who is overtly gay in the ads.” Fred also asks about pictures of kids with their two dads or two moms.”

Want to Share Your Playa Viva Experience?

We agree with Fred.  Our social media feeds are largely a reflection of a subset of our guests; those who have chosen to share their pictures with us.  We would love to have more pictures showing the full diversity of guests we receive, rather than merely that subset, and would happily share them.  We will redouble our efforts to include exactly the types of photos Fred is inquiring about.  Why not? This is a reflection of who we are and who we want to be, open to all and reflection of the larger society of which we are a part. 

Get in touch, we’d love to share your experience and photos on social media, or in a future blog post!  Additionally, all photos posted to Facebook and Instagram and hashtagged #PlayaViva are automatically entered into our photo contest where you can win a free stay.  

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