Boutique Travel - March 15, 2021

The V House at Verana

By Roshan McArthur

As you approach Verana by boat from Yelapa, the first thing you’ll spy are the bright orange umbrellas popping out of the Mexican jungle. Hike up to the hotel, and it starts to reveal itself, a cluster of chic little homes hidden from view. Then you see them, a trio of treehouses floating among the treetops like open-air nests. This is the V House, three inverted A-frames poised improbably on 16ft V-shaped steel stilts. 

Two decades ago, when it was carved out of the lush jungle by BoutiqueHomes founders Heinz Legler and Veronique Lievre, Verana was intended to be a single house. Over time, it evolved into a stylish compound of 10 houses, a spa, and a restaurant-bar.

Ten years ago, the V House was added as an experiment, to provide temporary accommodation for the hotel’s staff. Heinz had experience designing cabins for the often-snowbound High Sierras, and there he chose the A-frame with its emphatically sloped roof. This time he decided to invert the design, based on a garden treehouse he had spotted, and it fit the space at Verana perfectly.

The location was on a hillside, so this design meant the houses would barely touch the landscape and needed no foundations. The houses only made contact with the land below them at the narrow concrete base, making their environmental impact minimal, by preserving the landscape they were built on. It also meant they could be built in almost any situation, ideally locations with great views like this – overlooking the jungle, Yelapa bay and the open ocean.

Inevitably, building the V House took some imagination. The steel frames were constructed off-site and brought to Verana by boat. “It was the height of summer,” remembers Veronique, “so by the time they arrived, the metal was hot, which made carrying them up the hill and working with them quite an ordeal!”

The on-site construction took four weeks, remarkably without the use of any electricity. Each treehouse housed one bedroom, and the staff shared a kitchen and bathroom.

The V House defied gravity – as well as everyone’s expectations. When they helped build them, the locals were skeptical, thinking they would last a few months, but 10 years later they’re still standing. In fact, over time, due to their popularity, it became apparent that they’d make great guest accommodation.

With some small designs changes, the V House became part of the Verana experience, a private treetop compound for up to six guests. It is rented as a whole unit, with one master bedroom, two guest bedrooms, and one the original bedrooms adapted to make a deck – making the most of those incredible views.

To book the V House, visit Verana here.