Playa Viva, the Antidote to AI

Posted by Playa Viva on July 2, 2024

When Did we Forget About Nature’s Knowledge?

It seems like everyone is rushing to celebrate their advancements in AI technology, even in the Hospitality Industry where companies like the Mandarin Oriental promote headlines such as “Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group invests in AI tech to reduce food waste.” We here at Playa Viva think it’s time to flex about good old-fashioned AI of a different kind.  

Don’t get us wrong, we definitely are not luddites and do believe in adopting technologies that work and make our lives better, healthier and more regenerative. However, we believe that travel is inherently about “the experience” and the feelings generated by raw adventure, immersion in the luxury of nature and discovering the unknown. Should AI be included on that list, we do not think so! As per the 1982 book “Megatrends” by John NaisbittIn one of the top trends for the future was “High Tech/High Touch.” The more high-tech our society becomes, the more “high-touch” experiences we will seek out and value as members of that society. 


The travel experience at B-Corp Certified, Regenerative Travel founding member hotel Playa Viva provides the key high-touch experiences to balance out our lives. So while we appreciate advancements in Artificial Intelligence we are here to showcase our unique ‘AI’ commitments that make Playa Viva the antidote to this increasingly artificial world we live in: 

Marriott International is experimenting with AI-powered room tech Vs. Playa Viva’s ‘Atmospheric Immersion’ offering:

With 200 acres of unspoiled coastline, Playa Viva’s award-winning treehouses and Eco-Casitas luxuriate you with the abundance of nature. We don’t need fancy AI technology to “power”  your room. As a matter of fact, the one thing the rooms are missing is the constant hum of machines (no TV’s, no mini-bars, no A/C), just the hum of nature to reconnect you to a deeper self that can only come from being fully immersed in the sounds, sights, and scents of nature. We do not provide a daily schedule update to an iPad in the room because the wifi is only available in the common area and the schedule is written on a chalkboard. The only rush here is the baby sea turtles scampering to the ocean to get on with their life’s journey. Our ‘Atmospheric Immersion’ harnesses all the natural intelligence you need to “disconnect to reconnect” at Playa Viva. 

Mandarian Orientals are testing AI to combat food waste Vs. Playa Viva using ‘Animal Instinct’ to do what nature has always done best, put food waste to good use.

The seasonal produce that is the cornerstone of our food offering has a closed-loop lifecycle, it is largely grown on our 20-acre permaculture farm or by local producer partners, it travels 5 minutes to the kitchen, it is served to guests and our team, any leftovers are composted, some goes straight on to become natural fertilizer for the farm and gardens and the rest feeds our pigs and chickens before eventually becoming natural fertilizer for the next crop. The animals on our farm are a key part of our whole systems thinking approach, they not only help us deal with food waste, one of the largest contributors to global warming; but also act as an organic meat source and help us to regenerate our soil without the use of heavy machinery. After 15 years of operation, our team is aware of the quantities they need, so no, we do not require AI to tell us how much food you need on your plate, enjoy Playa Viva’s bountiful bouquet of healthy and locally sourced Mexican food, and, what you don’t eat, we put Animal Instinct to work on how to best turn food waste into abundance.

Expedia has launched Romi, an AI travel assistant, to support you through your journey Vs. Playa Viva’s focus on ‘Authentic Interactions’ to create more meaningful community: 

Each of our experiences starts with AI – Authentic Interactions – connections to and between real people. When arriving through Playa Viva’s plant-fringed tunnel that separates a guest’s normal life, you are greeted by one of Playa Viva’s Holistic Hosts. Real humans who are your personal guides to maximize your transformation during your fully immersive, luxury regenerative hotel experience.  Our Holistic Hosts also guide guests through morning yoga and beachside massages to connect with nature and self. Guests are invited to join each other at “the big table” to enjoy delicious farm-to-table meals and rich conversations, getting to know values-aligned individuals. Meals celebrate produce from our farm, individuals in the community, and our women’s cooperative, our team can tell you the names of the producers and their life stories. Our farm tour is one of the most popular offerings that connects guests to the team passionately working in harmony with the land to ensure our colorful dishes are talked about long after leaving. Meanwhile, all our excursions are designed by the community and led by community members. We don’t have a branded PV yacht because that takes away the opportunity for us to provide guests with a REAL experience out fishing and sharing tales with local fishermen on their lanchas. We don’t have a branded 4×4 because instead, we prefer to pay locals to drive guests up on their quad-bikes to share lunch all-together with the Guiterrez family in the mountains. These are priceless opportunities to experience life in rural Mexico by connecting with locals and in sharing that with fellow guests Playa Viva is offering what everyone craves in this modern age, surprisingly not AI but rather human connection. Authentic Interactions with our team, fellow guests and the local community seems to be the right answer for all.


So in today’s High Tech world promoting fancy solutions backed by AI, we here at Playa Viva are committed to focus on some old-tech versions of AI:

  • Atmospheric Immersion
  • Animal Instinct
  • Authentic Interactions


Sometimes progress looks like stepping back from the crowd, we are proud to promote that these nature-based solutions create truly transformational experiences for our guests and local community and are as far from ‘artificial’ as you can get.

“What makes Playa Viva one of the world’s leading regenerative boutique hotels is our dedication to simple, nature-based solutions. We love good technology when we find it, but when we read about all the ways tech, especially AI – Artificial Intelligence – is being promoted as part of hospitality, we, at Playa Viva, remind ourselves that nature often has the answer. AI uses up a lot of carbon compared to “regular” search. So before running after new tech solutions, we hope the hospitality sector will look as well at the knowledge that nature has to offer us. I truly believe that Tourism can be a catalyst for the change we know we need, while AI can support our goals, harnessing nature should remain our focus for the benefit of the planet and the real tourism experience that makes our industry so impactful.” says David Leventhal, Co-Founder and Operating Manager of Playa Viva and Founder of Regenerative Travel, adding, “Full Disclaimer, I used AI to help edit this, we are not perfect”


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