Their story sounds like a wonderful Hollywood, or actually more Bollywood film production (only that it does not play on the beach of Goa but instead of Tulum): Young, handsome man is camping on the beach, beautiful woman passes by, he invites her for a coffee, they chat and.. fall in love. He is Nicolas Malleville, an Argentinian model spotted by photographer Mario Testino and from then face of DKNY, Burberry, Gucci, Armani Campaigns. She is Francesca Bonato, graduated translator and international relations employee from Milan. They travel together around the world, she accompanies him on his fashion shootings and in between they slowly build up their first holiday home on exactly that point where they got to know each other on Tulum beach on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. To cover the costs they start renting the rooms to their friends Jade Jagger, Sienna Miller and Daria Werbowy. A couple of years and a hurricane, that changes their life, later they have a string of three hotels along Yucatan.
Our first Coqui Coqui (www.coquicoquispa.com) experience was in Valladolid, a sleepy Spanish colonial town in the middle of Yucatan’s jungle. Today Francesca’s and Nicolas’ home base it also is the centre of their organic perfume line made out of natural ingredients of nearby flora and fauna, which they successfully sell at concept stores such as Colette in Paris. Latest masterpiece is in Cobà, a tiny village only known for the Mayan temples and otherwise home of maybe five houses along a lagoon. Though, hidden you can find two old ruins renovated into coqui-coquied earthly nirvana with only nature around you. Last but not least they expected us in Tulum, where everything began.
All Coqui Coqui residences represent the same unique atmosphere: low-key but high taste, low-tech but high relaxation. It’s actually all about luxurious downsizing, being happy and satisfied with what the surrounding offers with focus on the essential. This also includes the food, starting from breakfast with fresh mangos, papayas, natural yoghurt and granola and ending with dinner – a delicious, catch-of-the-day fish with seasonal vegetables from nearby. The friendly and helpful staff contributes to the whole free and easy atmosphere. Francesca and Nicolas definitely succeeded in this exotic experiment giving their guest sense of their ultimate gypset lifestyle.
Moreover, they really seem restless. Since the birth of their son, Francesca is also working on her fashion and accessories line Hacienda Montaecristo while sharing the same interest as www.silviagattin.com – supporting traditional and artisanal handwork.
I say muchas gracias from the bottom of my heart to have had the chance of living the dream.