Paradise in Punta Mita

written by | Posted on August 15th, 2012

A deluxe oceanview room at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.

In this, the second of a two-part series on St. Regis properties in Mexico City and Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit, Recommend contributing editor Rick Shively highlights the joys of a 2-day stay at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.

It’s an early morning flight from Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta, gateway to Riviera Nayarit and the first stop en-route to the spacious compound that’s home to the simple elegance of The St. Regis Punta Mita. On the 40-minute drive from the airport in the hotel’s private car, we pass through lush vegetation, small towns and a collection of beachside and oceanview condos, many of which, the driver explains, are owned by expats from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Upon arrival at the resort, you access it through a gate that leads you into an enormous compound that includes three other sprawling resorts—including the Four Seasons Punta Mita—and it’s an almost 5-minute ride to the front gates of the AAA five-diamond resort where you drive up to an open-air reception where you’re greeted by a welcoming staff and taken through the lobby and given a seat overlooking a wide, terraced fountain that meanders down through the property with the ocean in the background and the deep blue sky overhead—it’s positively mesmerizing. “We check in our guests here,” the duty manager says, “so they can take in these relaxing surroundings and take a few minutes to relax after their journey here.” Trust us, it works. The complimentary margarita doesn’t hurt either.

After check-in, you’re given a golf cart ride from the lobby to your casita—driving past the 89 spacious guestrooms and 31 suites, weaving along the pathways past lush foliage—an accommodation that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also lends a sense of privacy that you don’t get in most resorts. It can be a bit challenging finding your way around on foot the first day or so because the property is quite large.

We made ourselves at home in a small suite with a patio overlooking one of two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses on the resort—the 19-hole Jack Nicklaus Pacifico Course and the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Bahia Course. This is the point where your private butler shows up, offers to unpack your belongings, and shows you how to work the various digital goodies in your room, including how to operate the electronic umbilical cord that will attach him to you for your stay.

First stop, a butler-chauffeured golf cart ride to one of the resort’s three acclaimed restaurants—Las Marietas with its Mexican cuisine-focused menu, Sea Breeze with an Italian-inspired offering, and the AAA five-diamond Mediterranean-inspired Carolina Restaurant. In this case, we started off with the Sea Breeze for a ceviche lunch that was to die for, washed down with a Mexican beer, with just enough spice to make it interesting without breaking into a sweat.

Next, it was off for a quick tour of the various suites and guestrooms, all boasting marble baths and floors, large tubs and an exterior shower walled in for privacy—an idyllic spot after an hour or so at one of the resort’s pools or the property’s private beach club. Each room and suite also offers bath amenities supplied by the Remede Spa.

The Remede Spa itself is a luxurious 10,000-sq.-ft. piece of pampering paradise with nine treatment rooms including two rooms for couple’s treatments and a deluxe spa suite with a couple’s treatment room and a private jacuzzi. The spa also includes a sauna and steam bath with lounges for relaxation. Treatments  include customized and signature facial and body treatments, but it’s the massage that’s the star treatment in our view. This was the second day in a row we were  taken to Nirvana and back with a customized massage, and the experience was just as exotic as the first one we experienced at the sister property in Mexico City. This is something a person could get used to.

For more on the St. Regis properties, look for our coverage in the October issue of Recommend magazine. For more information on the properties, visit starwoodhotels.com/stregis.