My short bio: We are travelers that bought a raw piece of land and turned it into our dream. Construction took about 2.5 years since we did a lot of the work ourselves and we're now heading into our second season of being open.

My Proof: http://geckorockresort.com/ https://www.facebook.com/GeckoRockResort

EDIT: I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to all the Redditors who have shown interest in our project and helped to give us such incredible exposure. It's awesome that we've had more visits to our website (literally) in the past 24 hours than we have in the past 12 months! I never dreamed that we'd have to upgrade our hosting plan because IAmA would crash our site and use up our bandwidth :)

If anyone is interested in following our project we send out a newsletter every month or two with updates to our blog and info on any specials that we are running. The opt-in form is at the bottom of any of our blog posts: http://blog.geckorockresort.com/

So thanks again for making this AMA thing such a fun and pleasant experience!

Comments: 130 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

tomato_water25 karma

Are you aware or not that the heading of your website (grainy, mentioning the price at first sight) is kind of tacky?

(I don't mean to be a dick, I promise)

Also, is this your sole source of income?

Oax_Mike15 karma

We've tried to fix the grainy text on the header on multiple occasions and I am not sure why it's coming out that way. It's definitely on our constantly growing "to-do" list :) I actually just uploaded this image last week as the previous one was even worse.

Making the decision to post our rates in such a prominent position was actually the result of a lot of research in how to design a hotel site that converts. That being said, it's a new addition from about 2 months ago, we didn't have the price listed there in our first year of operation.

I'll definitely give your opinion some thought, though. I didn't think about the tacky aspect of it.

And the 2nd question...no, not yet. We're still pretty new and our product is quite niche, so it will be a little while longer before we have a high enough occupancy rate to live solely off income from the resort. We do freelance work part-time online to make ends meet.

LeftyLoosey10 karma

Anti-aliasing. Look into it.

Oax_Mike8 karma

Cheers. I appreciate it.

Sendoku19 karma

Here you go: http://oi57.tinypic.com/317b0ip.jpg

Save it and upload over your old one. Should be much better. Also I noticed you're using WordPress for your site. I would recommend a plugin called easy fancybox it will open the gallery images in a lightbox making it easier to scroll through images and it won't take you away from the site.

As far as a question goes, what lead you to open an adult boutique resort? Do you have any hospitality/tourism industry experience?

Oax_Mike5 karma

Cool, thanks...but when I tried to crop the image and re-save it the colors kept inverting and the transparent background turned black. For some reason my WordPress theme requires the logo be 880x95px exactly, so when I uploaded the file you made for me it overlapped onto my menu. Is there any way you could crop the image to be 880x95? Thank you very much in advance.

In terms of your question, my wife was a tour guide in Europe for 6 years or so before we met and so she had always wanted to get back into tourism, but no, neither of us have a background in hospitality.

The motivators behind opening an adult-only business are two-fold: 1. adult-only hotels is a growing market as even people with kids need a break from children from time to time and the worst thing when on vacation is someone else's kids and 2. we don't have kids and prefer the company of adults...so it was a combination of personal choice and business strategy.

We went with a boutique all-inclusive resort because my wife is an incredible cook (seriously, our food is 5-star amazing) and we didn't want to deal with the issues that would surround opening a hostel or something like that. Our business model allows us to have a personal connection with all of our guests and gives us the opportunity to really provide the best service people have ever had in their life. We only have 4 rooms and don't plan on expanding to more than 8.

canadaarm29 karma

I quickly put something together for your logo, it should be 880x95px: http://i.imgur.com/mH8vro7.png

Good luck with your venture!

Oax_Mike6 karma

Cheers, I appreciate it!

I just uploaded it and it looks great...free drinks for Sendoku & canadaarm2.

purplepooters3 karma

give him a free night stay!

Oax_Mike7 karma

I sent him a PM :)

itsmrstealyogirl3 karma

Oh and by the way, we broke your website. Everytime I try to go on it says that the amount of bandwith has exceded the limit.

Oax_Mike4 karma

I just put in a ticket to get more bandwidth. Thanks for letting me know!

Back up now :)

[deleted]-1 karma

[deleted]

Oax_Mike6 karma

Thanks for the input!

The bandwidth issue is now fixed. I had to upgrade our hosting plan :)

PasswordPolice15 karma

How hard was it to get the appropriate paperwork to move to Mexico and start a business?

(Their immigration system can be very bureaucratic from what I hear.)

Bonus question: What was your inspiration to start your own resort?

Thanks!

Oax_Mike20 karma

It is extremely bureaucratic, but as long as you get all the paperwork together it's easy...frustrating, but easy...they'll tell you exactly what they need and wait to get it. So you can pretty much rock up and then sort it out as you go. All in all if you have money to invest and are patient you can set up a business here...the real challenge isn't paperwork, it's just running your own business in general.

The bonus question is a bit long for here and better told over a 6-pack...but the short version is that we love to travel, got tired of teaching, wanted to live in paradise and have a business that would allow us to have a lifestyle where we're always around people who are having a good time...plus, now we live where people go on vacation. (Our house is on the property)

Oax_Mike7 karma

Something my wife just suggested that I mention for anyone thinking of doing something similar: when you initially set up your corporation, don't limit your corporate charter to just your core business. Think of any other businesses that you might be interested in expanding into down the line and have those all included. It's easier to say "I might" do X, Y, Z in the beginning than to alter your corporate charter down the line.

shotglasss11 karma

Any issues with the cartels?

grachuss12 karma

It's Oaxaca, an AK-47 is bigger than most of the locals.

Oax_Mike7 karma

Oaxaca is super chill.

Disimpaction2 karma

I've been all over Mexico and Oaxaca is the only place I really want to go back to. Well done!

Oax_Mike3 karma

Thanks! Although I'd add that there are an endless supply of amazing places to visit in Mexico. The Oaxacan coast is without question the best beach destination but Mexico City and Guadalajara are amazing big cities and colonial towns like Taxco, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are awesome, too...and then there's San Cristóbal de las Casas and the jungle of Chiapas/ruins of Palenque.

Disimpaction2 karma

I've been to all of those Mexican places and I'd still rather return to Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica or Oaxaca. Others may disagree with me, that's ok. Enjoy your adventure, I'll look up your place next time I'm down there.

Oax_Mike2 karma

I spent a couple weeks backpacking in Guatemala this past summer and fell in love with the place but of course that's a completely different experience than what we have created for our guests here :)

But you are right in that one of the beauties of the Oaxacan Coast is that vacationers can have a luxury beach holiday but then also get a taste of the "backpacker" type experiences that you just aren't going to find in super touristy places like Cabo, Vallarta or Cancun.

Speaking of Guatemala...I should give a shout-out to these guys: http://www.quetzaltrekkers.com/xela/treks/lago/

They are a charity organization that arranges treks through the mountains and all of the profit goes to a school for street kids in Quetzaltenango.

This Lago trek is one of the most amazing things I've ever done, albeit very difficult. I highly recommend that anyone visiting Guatemala do one of their treks. You literally go through villages that are 20 miles from the nearest road.

Oax_Mike11 karma

No, none whatsoever.

utopiah10 karma

I see what you did there blink if you are in trouble!

Oax_Mike7 karma

I feel safer where I live now than in my hometown. Not a single meth head around.

NWBoomer4 karma

So just for clarification, when you categorize yours as an "adult" resort, do you mean swinger resort, like Desires?

Oax_Mike3 karma

Nope, not swingers, it just means that you need to be 18 or over to stay here.

WizardEric1 karma

Clothing optional?

Oax_Mike1 karma

Clothing is definitely required at our place, but there is a nude beach about 1 hour from here in Zipolite. Zipolite is the secret beach that they were headed to in the movie Y Tú Mamá Tambien.

psumac-4 karma

because of all the orgies, right?

Oax_Mike6 karma

Yes, that's precisely why we didn't open a swingers resort...very clever and intuitive problem solving skills there, mate.

Strizz3 karma

Your resort looks amazing! Do you and your wife ever get a day off? Seems like it would be tons of work to run a resort 24/7.

Oax_Mike6 karma

Thanks Strizz.

For the 2.5 years of construction we didn't really get a day off and when we have guests it's pretty much 18 hour days non-stop, but part of our "life" plan in doing this was to have a business where we work very hard for part of the year and then close up for part of the year and have an extended break for traveling.

We close during the rainy season (July-Sept) and the shoulder months of October & June are fairly quiet. November through March is the high season with April/May pretty popular as well.

To be honest, we're still new enough that we don't always have guests here at the resort so we get breaks here and there to enjoy the place for ourselves, but yes, once we get rolling and get our occupancy rates up we'll have to hire staff and work out ways to get a break...one step at a time, though :)

Strizz2 karma

Very cool. Well best of luck to the both of you! Hopefully my SO and I will get a chance to stay at your awesome resort some time in the future!

Oax_Mike3 karma

Sounds good! Remind me of this Reddit post and we'll hook you up with a discount :)

WurdSmyth1 karma

What is the nearest airport to fly into? What is the drive time from Tijuana? I'm from So Cal, and we travel lots! (Girlfriend is a travel agent with a large Auto Club)

Oax_Mike2 karma

The nearest airport is Puerto Escondido (PXM) but most guests fly into Huatulco (HUX) as it is a bigger airport with direct flights from the US and Canada whereas those who fly into Puerto stop in Mexico City or Oaxaca City first. We're located between the two but closer to Puerto Escondido.

It's probably a 4 day drive from Tijuana :) So that's not really an option. We're all the way down on the southern coast, basically right there where Mexico flattens out. When we look at the ocean we are facing due south.

This last summer I took a trip to Guatemala and it was a 12 hour bus ride to the border, so we're much closer to Mexico's "other" border than we are to the US.

We had a couple stay with us from San Diego and they said it was way cheaper to take a bus to the Tijuana airport and then they caught a low-cost airline (Volaris) from there. They said the bus specifically goes from SD directly to the airport for this purpose.

WurdSmyth1 karma

I'd love to visit some time. The prices are reasonable and the grounds look beautiful. In your opinion, what is the preferred time of year to visit. How close are the snorkeling beaches?

Oax_Mike2 karma

The absolute best time of year is Dec-Feb, in particular Feb is great because you can often whale watch from your rooftop balcony, which is incredible.

But, flights are more during this time frame so you can shave a little off by coming in Nov, Mar, Apr which are all great months, too...May and June are slightly warmer which can be good/bad depending on your tastes in weather.

There are 3 main snorkeling beaches...one is just a 10 minute walk from here down the beach...we only have one snorkel/mask at the moment but can buy more if we know in advance that guests are snorkelers...and then the best snorkel beach in town is Carizalillo, so 28km from here (we run a shuttle into town) in Puerto Escondido and you can rent gear at the beach....but this place is the best snorkel beach: http://blog.geckorockresort.com/puerto-angels-secret-beach-cove/

It's an hour or so from here but we do day trips that include first this mangrove lagoon tour: http://blog.geckorockresort.com/laguna-de-la-ventanilla-an-unforgettable-eco-tourism-adventure/ and some time in Mazunte to have lunch, explore and go to the all-natural cosmetics cooperative: http://blog.geckorockresort.com/mazunte-oaxaca-hip-beach-town-eco-tourism/

tomtom6152 karma

What have been some of the biggest challenges associated with building a resort?

Oax_Mike3 karma

Without question the biggest challenge was construction itself. All the "being in Mexico" stuff is easy, but building is extremely challenging, especially since we did a lot of the work ourselves, down to building a lot of our own furniture...and since we didn't know how to do all this stuff we often times just looked up "How to do X" on Google and give it a go.

ocr12 karma

"our kitchen sanitation standards are the same as what you’re used to at home"

So there's a cat that wants to sniff at everything and the mayonaise that was left out overnight is still good because, honestly, it's kind of cold out at night. It was only for a few hours, right?

Oax_Mike5 karma

Well, in this case "at home" is more in reference to the general standards you expect from a commercial eatery in your home country :)

cult_of_confusion2 karma

Have you always lived in Mexico?

Oax_Mike5 karma

No, we moved here just under 4 years ago. I am from the US, my wife NZ, and we've lived in quite a few different countries before settling here.

BedfordGirl922 karma

Yeaaa!! NZ!

Oax_Mike7 karma

What about "Yeaaa!! USA!"? :( haha

maharshi_b22 karma

What are your plans on selling online?

Oax_Mike2 karma

We mostly try to take direct bookings through our website. The OTA's take ridiculous commissions.

mochi_crocodile2 karma

Did you borrow any money for the construction? If it took 2,5 years to build, that would be quite difficult, wouldn't it?

Oax_Mike6 karma

No, the majority of our start-up capital came from teaching English in Korea. We killed ourselves for several years to live like paupers as we both saved 85% of our income for a long time to make this happen. I also sold my house in the US. But yes, building Gecko Rock took literally every last penny of our life savings.

The reason it took us so long to build is that we did a lot of the work ourselves, but it was still cheaper to do the work ourselves and live off of savings than to hire the work done. We planned ahead of time to have enough money to live off of while we were building and of course we lived very frugally to make it last.

But it's nearly impossible to get a loan for something like this. The only way is a personal loan from friends/family.

mochi_crocodile1 karma

Thank you for your reply!

Oax_Mike1 karma

No worries.

beans262 karma

Your resort looks beautiful!! We are currently debating where to go on our second Mexican vacation. The first time, we stayed at an adults oriented resort in cancun. We LOVED it. We loved the unlimited drinks and the unlimited room service. How does your resort cater to people like us? I do see how the price is better, but your resort does not appear to be all inclusive.

Oax_Mike10 karma

Thank you for the kind words :)

Our price includes all of your food, but not drinks. Meals here are different than at a big resort, we work out your menu ahead of time and it's more like eating at a good friend's house than at a restaurant.

This page explains it more: http://geckorockresort.com/palapa-restaurant/

Our drinks are very reasonably priced, though, and unlike the big resorts made with quality liquor, fresh fruit, etc.

So even big drinkers spend less here than at an alcohol-included place...plus, we give lots of free drinks to drinkers :)

Beers are $2 and big margaritas are only $5, $20 for a bottle of wine....etc.

Our reviews on Tripadvisor give a really good description of what it's like to stay here. Our guests are better at describing what we do than we are in a way :)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g153373-d4076432-Reviews-Gecko_Rock_Resort-Puerto_Escondido_Southern_Mexico.html

beans261 karma

Okay, great! Thanks for the info. What would I do then if I am a big time snacker (fruits, veggies, chips, cookies?) . Would that be written on our food sheet and would you be able to accommodate my snacking habits?

Sorry if I'm being a pain, I just want the most information as possible before we make a decision.

Oax_Mike4 karma

Yes, that would be something that you could let us know about in advance and we'd take care of it.

And no, you're not being a pain :)

We send a questionnaire to our guests about 1 month before they arrive to get all the information we need to make their stay awesome and there's a section for adding any other additional requirements that guests might have.

We have a fridge in the bar area that is stocked with fruit, cookies/snacks (not generally with chips but that can be arranged of course), juice, soda, etc. and guests just help themselves whenever they want something, you don't even need to ask. The beer is self-service too and then we've got a chalk board where you put a tick under your room.

But yeah, for example the group we had here last week asked if they could have chips & guacamole every afternoon with their margaritas so we did that for them...and we often bring out extra snacks to have with drinks or between meals. Nobody goes hungry here.

dalek_9992 karma

Yeah, I'm sold after looking through your site, and reading the reviews on TripAdvisor. A few questions for you:

  • any special deals for Redditors? ;)
  • is early April a good time to visit?
  • how far in advance would you recommend booking?
  • is it necessary to rent a car?
  • you mention visiting Mexico City beforehand. Any recommendations on what to do there?
  • husband is paranoid about how safe the area is/isn't. Any comments on that?

Oax_Mike6 karma

  1. Great idea! 10% off for anyone who mentions Reddit when making a reservation...valid any time this season, which runs until June 30th, 2015...with the exception of Christmas/New Year week and Semana Santa (Mar 29-Apr 6) since these are the two biggest Mexican holidays of the year. I should mention that it's always cheaper to book direct with us instead of using Booking.com, especially in this case since we're offering a special discount.

  2. April is a great time to visit. Pretty much any time from now until mid May is 100% guaranteed no rain and perfect weather every day. It starts to get a little warmer in April but just a degree or two.

  3. Because we are a boutique place with just 4 rooms we do require a 30% deposit to secure a booking. We do actually have a few bookings already for April and like I said, the first week is a huge travel week here, so I wouldn't wait "too" long, but you should still have a month at least before there would be a risk of there not being at least 1 room available. What you can also do is send me an email with the dates you are thinking of coming and then I can let you know if we start taking more reservations over that time.

  4. No, there is almost no reason to rent a car. We run an inexpensive shuttle into Puerto Escondido ($5 per person each way) and also do other day trips depending on how many guests are here and taxis are very inexpensive and safe. We've got a guy who picks people up at the airport and brings them here for $45 (less from Puerto Escondido). The only couple that rented a car literally had it sit there for 6 days and they didn't use it once. They drove here from the airport, it sat for a week, and they drove it back. We help you arrange any transportation you need.

  5. Depends on how long you've got there and what you like to do...if you like ruins, the pyramids of Teotihuacan is awesome, but its about an hour from the city and it definitely a day trip...the zocalo (central plaza/historical district) is a must with the presidential palace, cathedral, aztec ruins....if you like museums the Anthropology Museum of Mexico is perhaps the best museum of its type in the world...an afternoon wandering around Coyoacan and visiting Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's house is great...I really enjoyed visiting Leon Trotsky's house, complete with bullet holes (he was eventually assassinated there by Soviet spies)...if you are there on the weekend, going to Mexican wrestling at Arena Azteca is an experience unlike any other. Upscale neighborhoods like La Condessa are filled with parks, plazas, architecture....La Condesa is just as nice as any neighborhood in Madrid or Paris....and we generally make a stop at Krispy Kreme, haha

  6. I have been living overseas for 10+ years now in a variety of countries and my father has never come to see me because he is a scaredy cat when it comes to traveling. He came here and he loved it. It is so ridiculously safe here, especially at the resort. I am 100% confident that he will be blown away at how safe he will feel here. Feel free to have him give us a call and we will be more than willing to answer any questions that he might have. We have a US number that rings here via Skype: 206 923 9233

jereman752 karma

Does "adult-only resort" mean it's for swingers? Serious question. That's the first thing that comes to my mind.

Oax_Mike2 karma

No, it just means no guests under 18.

This question has come up a lot on this thread and honestly the industry term for what we do is adult only and it has nothing to do with any sort of sex-based tourism...the thing is, there's no way to word it that couldn't be perceived in that way by some people...but if you look at the big adult only places in places like Cancun, they use the same phrase "adult only"....the only way to word it with no potentially sexual connotation would be "no children allowed" but that phrase is off-putting because it is negative.

Adult only hotels is a rapidly growing trend, so my guess is that in a few years less and less people will associate the term with swingers.

cara1234567892 karma

What about 'children-free'?

Oax_Mike1 karma

I definitely appreciate all the interest in helping us, but adult only really is the industry term and we'll probably just roll with it. When it comes to web copy, it's always a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

jereman751 karma

Thank you. I've been reading through the comments and saw that this was coming up a lot. Sounds like you guys are having a great time with this. Good luck.

Oax_Mike1 karma

Thanks!

QuintusVS1 karma

Do you mind if I start my own beach resort next to yours? A little competition never hurt anyone!

Oax_Mike1 karma

Why not?

Competition isn't our challenge, it's getting enough people to know we exist! :)

QuintusVS0 karma

I will find you, and I will build a vacation resort next to yours, then we'll compete and drive prices up and build a solid base of people that recurrently visit, then we'll merge and start expanding around the coasts of the Americas, we'll become a world wide chain and live the rest of our lives at the beach front. Then finally I screw you out of your part of the business and take all the billions of dollars for myself >:D

Oax_Mike1 karma

Sounds like a plan...of course the easiest way to find us would be to just make a reservation ;)

Although I have no desire to expand and start a chain...the whole idea behind this project was to have a unique lifestyle, not to get rich.

ssweetimpalass1 karma

Do you take payments in Bitcoin?

Oax_Mike1 karma

No, we either do PayPal or bank transfer.

Do you have Bitcoin burning a hole in your pocket? :)

therbgang1 karma

Are you willing to answer any financial questions? How much to buy the land? Investment into building?

of staff & wages?

Thanks!

Oax_Mike1 karma

I'd be willing to answer most of these types of more sensitive questions via email, but would rather not post them here. Use eredosd2 gmail

We don't have much staff and do almost everything ourselves. We have a guy who helps in the garden and recently hired someone to help with cleaning, but neither are full time.

TheBagman071 karma

What's the hardest part about starting a new business in Mexico? How bad is the permitting process?

Oax_Mike3 karma

The hardest part of starting a new business in Mexico is the same as starting a new business anywhere, getting your name out there and getting customers.

All of the bureaucratic stuff (permits, licenses, visas, forming a corporation, etc.) is way easier here than it would be at home. I can only imagine the inspection/permit process of building a hotel/restaurant in the US/Europe/Oceania. I speak Spanish so that makes it easier of course, but the challenge has very little to do with getting permission. The challenge was physically building the place and then now getting our message out to enough people who are in our demographic.

Now, that isn't to say that there aren't bureaucratic nightmares, there are...but driving back to City Hall or Immigration 3-4 times until you have all the right documents isn't the end of the world. Everyone here is very helpful. They might ask for dumb stuff but they help you through the process and will wait for you to get it right....but yeah, there are times that you shake your head about having to pay an "approved" translator to translate your degree and stamp it with the right stamp and then get a copy and stamp the copy with the right stamp when the moon is full on a Tuesday, but you learn to laugh this stuff off and just do it.

At the end of the day being in Mexico is probably a wash...some things are easier and some things are harder...the real challenge is learning the hard way why they say it takes 5 years to get a business truly cooking.

SenorMeximelt1 karma

Definitely proofread your website. There are errors. Looks nice though.

Oax_Mike2 karma

Thanks. I will take a look. We recently made some pretty major format changes to the copy and we did proofread the new text but I'll look through it again.

Bgordy20131 karma

On mobile the banner at the top makes the website stretch too far and not look very mobiley if you get what I am trying to say.

Oax_Mike1 karma

Yeah...we know that our site isn't very mobile friendly.

We bought a "hotel" Wordpress theme a couple years ago when we were initially setting up the site because we built the site DIY and aren't web developers. I like having the Wordpress theme because it's very quick and easy to make updates, changes and additions, but the theme is also very limited. The "bones" are there and that is great, but when you want to change the bones too much you encounter problems.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience on our site.

shotglasss1 karma

What type of sight-seeing is there in the area? Surfing and snorkeling? Scuba?

Oax_Mike1 karma

Here is a link to our Things to Do page:

http://geckorockresort.com/things-to-do/

Yes, there is all of that stuff and more. Zicatela Beach is often ranked top 10 in the world for surfing...that wave is generally expert only, but there are plenty of beginner and mid-range waves, too.

This is the best place to snorkel and we arrange day trips here for our guests: http://blog.geckorockresort.com/puerto-angels-secret-beach-cove/

The most popular activities for our guests are horseback riding, mountain bike tour, dolphin/sea turtle watching tour, artisan mezcal tasting and of course snorkeling/diving or sport fishing. Some guests like to go for a massage as well.

noracoombs1 karma

How far are you from Oaxaca city? I've been thinking about doing a Oaxaca trip for my husband's 50th bday--he really wants to do a cooking/food-centric Oaxaca trip. Your resort looks great--just not sure is located near somewhere where we could get in some intensive cooking classes. Any advice? thanks!

Oax_Mike1 karma

Oaxaca City is pretty far from the coast in terms of travel time. It's either 6 hours on a gorgeous but VERY windy mountain road that is really only suitable for pretty adventurous travelers or about 1 hour on http://www.aerotucan.com.mx/php/index.php which is a 12-seater airplane.

We actually had a couple stay with us that was in Oaxaca City for cooking courses and then flew down to stay with us for a few nights. They loved the flight and said it was beautiful but it isn't cheap. Aerotucan tickets are usually about $100 each way. Of course this isn't "expensive" per se, just a lot more than the bus. Then again, taking a small plane through the Sierra Madres would be an adventure in itself (I've never personally done it, though.)

There are a couple of options for cooking classes in Puerto but I don't have any personal experience or know anybody who has taken one. My gut feeling is that they would be good but probably not on par with the courses in Oaxaca city:

http://ginainpuertoescondido.wordpress.com/cooking-with-gina/ http://www.themexykan.com/mexican-cooking-classes-market-tours-in-puerto-escondido/

As a side note...it was interesting to find out from talking to this couple that the courses they took in Oaxaca were 100% hands-off and that students watched the chef and didn't actually prepare anything. They were cool with this, but we were surprised. They had taken courses at several different places, I am not sure which one. Anyhow, this info isn't meant to discourage you, but just to give you the head's up.

In short...I'm not going to lie to you, if the core purpose of your trip is to take cooking courses and eat nothing but Oaxacan food and experience Oaxacan culture, then Oaxaca City is where you'll want to be.

But if you had 8 or more days to travel and a beach/city half and half trip is something that would interest you then send me an email and I can help you sort that out :)

noracoombs1 karma

Thanks for the great response and great info! We'll see...can hopefully make it work!

Oax_Mike1 karma

Send me an email at [email protected] and if you're serious I can get more detailed information about the cooking classes that are available here...and I'd be glad to help you out with information about Oaxaca whether you decide to stay with us or not.

But I'll tell you right now that there is no better foodie experience in the world than tasting Aileen's Oaxacan Slow Roasted Chipotle Pork or her fusion New Zealand beer-battered Baja Style mahi-mahi fish tacos :) haha

pulpfamous1 karma

Checked out the website and the place looks like a dream :) COngrats on making it happen. My question might seem unusual, but as an arachnophobic person, I am (sadly) always interested in the Spider-situation when travelling ... I'm from Europe and sadly don't know much about Mexico and even less about places this far south of the US border.
So ... spiders?

Oax_Mike1 karma

Thank you.

You don't need to worry about poisonous spiders in this part of Mexico, but it is the tropics.

XXMUAHXX0 karma

Curious to know if the Mexican People there have any issues with the resort. Mexican people are mostly catholic and very conservative, making something like this taboo. Do locals embrace your new venture? If so, what percentage?

Oax_Mike17 karma

Why would a beach hotel be taboo? By adult-only it just means that we don't allow children here, to maintain peace and tranquility. There's nothing shady about our place, just a chill resort to spend quality time with friends or your partner.

And we've had no issues with the locals. In general the people in the nearby village are happy that there is something different going on here and everyone is super friendly.

As a side note, the idea that Mexicans are catholic and conservative is definitely antiquated. You'll find the same mix of ideologies and ways of life here as anywhere else.

XXMUAHXX5 karma

My mistake, I thought it was a nude beach.

Oax_Mike4 karma

There is a nude beach about 40 minutes from here, in Zipolite.

XXMUAHXX0 karma

In Southern California there are some adult parks but, they have an age limit like 65. Does your park have an age limit?

Oax_Mike2 karma

We don't have an age limit...but this isn't really a "park"...we're a boutique resort set in a secluded setting...there's a path to the beach and it is a 1 minute walk, but it's just virgin beach. There's nobody there except for our guests and the occasional fisherman.

People who come here like the idea of an empty beach all to themselves...there are no services there...but 10 minutes walk down the beach is a small beach village where there are beach restaurants.

XXMUAHXX2 karma

Sounds like an awesome place.

Oax_Mike2 karma

Cheers.

malau1-8 karma

Ah, it means THAT? You're going to have to make it explicit clear on your website, because "adult only" obviously means sex hotel.

Oax_Mike12 karma

Adult only is actually the industry term for what we do. We've never had anyone contact us thinking we were a sex hotel.

Some resorts use "couples only" but we are not couples only as we also cater to groups of friends and we do get singles coming to chill out and get "me" time.

Any way you word it can be taken to have a different connotation. 18+, adult only, couples only....all of these wordings can evoke OMG reactions if someone is unaware that there are a lot of hotels that simply don't allow children.

I think that anyone who reads through a couple pages of our website will quickly see that we are not a sex hotel.

thegreatgazoo2 karma

Ah, I figured it was more like the Desires resorts.

Oax_Mike1 karma

I am not familiar with Desires, but our concept is different. Gecko Rock is a peaceful place to chill out and relax and to spend time with your partner, but the setting is equally appropriate for friends. It's romantic here and we are mostly geared towards couples, but it isn't the same vibe as Sandals or something like that.

coldddp1 karma

I also totally thought it was a hedonism style resort. I accept that it is the industry standard because you say so but there will be some people that don't make the connection.

Oax_Mike2 karma

I am sure that there will people who don't make the connection, but we looked at a wide range of wordings and decided to just stick with adult-only since it is the most commonly used.

88342343441 karma

I also thought "adults only" means...well... like the "adults only" section of the video store. :)

I can't think of a better way to word things though...

Oax_Mike2 karma

Yup, that is the challenge...we looked at a wide range of wordings but found that every other similar hotel was using "adult only" so that is what we went with.

Pastryface1 karma

I must admit that I find it odd so many people thought it meant sex resort, ha! I feel like people that travel a lot, the type of people that would happen upon your place or seek out a place such as yours, would always know exactly what you mean by "adult-only". It looks awesome by the way! I've saved this thread for a day in the distant future when my husband and I are no longer paupers.

Oax_Mike2 karma

I hope that things improve for you on the financial front, we went for 2.5 years with no income to make this happen and so I understand entirely how difficult it is to live on an extremely tight budget.

catsandicecream-5 karma

200 a night in Mexico? Oof

Oax_Mike7 karma

There are different levels of quality/service with every product. Of course our resort isn't for everyone as what we do here is special and niche.

Our rates are actually very affordable when compared to other all-inclusive resorts, which generally run $350-400/night. For $199 you get 3 high quality meals for 2 people per day and all non-alcoholic drinks are free all day...plus, our service truly is unique and we provide our guests will all sorts of extras throughout their stay. And unlike big resorts our food is prepared fresh and not buffet style and we cater each menu to the needs of that particular couple...vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, extra seafood, food allergies, whatever it is you need we find out ahead of time and prepare a menu especially for you.

Mexico isn't as cheap as you think, especially for quality. Sure, you can get basic tacos for 4 bucks but just to have dinner out at a restaurant comparable to the food we serve easily costs $60+ for two people.

I am not getting defensive or trying to "sell" you by the way, just pointing out that we are going for a different market.

Ironically when we travel we don't stay at places like ours, either. I'd rather travel for a month and stay at hostels (although we're now old enough to go private room over the dorm, haha) than have 6 nights of luxury, but for people that only travel for 1 or 2 weeks a year, of course you are going to spend more and want to get pampered...we cater to vacationers, not travelers.

nixiedust6 karma

really? $200 for full-service anywhere seems really reasonable to me. like OP says, if you only have a few weeks a year to travel, you might want a more luxurious experience.

When we travel for a week, we'll spend 2-3 nights in a high-end spot and then go more rustic for the rest. Then we get a nice taste of luxury but don't destroy our bank accounts :)

Oax_Mike3 karma

Honestly, I don't even consider what we do "high end"...it's very nice and not for budget travelers, but $200 for a nice hotel room, 3 great meals and all your soda, juice, snacks, etc. is meant to target middle to middle-upper class clientele and not the wealthy.

nixiedust1 karma

That makes sense and the price point seems right on. I would definitely check you guys out if I found myself headed to Mexico :)

Oax_Mike3 karma

Cheers, thanks :)

FetusFajitas13-9 karma

People still go to Mexico?

Oax_Mike14 karma

Actually more people are coming to Mexico than ever. The number of Americans has dropped something like 3%, but in general people who have misconceptions about traveling to Mexico aren't big international travelers to begin with.