the st. regis punta mita
To get to Punta Mita, many North American guests fly into Puerto Vallarta, gateway to the Riviera Nayarit. On the 40-minute drive from the airport in the hotel’s private car, guests will get a taste of the steamy and sultry ambiance of this doorway into the Riviera Nayarit as they pass lush, verdant landscapes with brief glimpses into the bright, blue ocean beyond the trees.
Upon arrival at the traditional palapa-style guardhouse and gate, clients wait while the guard ensures they’re supposed to be there—a subtle assurance to high-end guests that they’re in a safe and secure place—then drive into an enormous, impeccably groomed compound that includes three other sprawling resorts. However, because of the size of this enormous compound, guests are rarely aware of the other properties during their stay. Indeed, after guests pass through the front gates of the St. Regis itself and step into an elegantly decorated open-air lobby, they’re immediately enveloped in an elegant resort cocoon that radiates relaxation. This is where guests are checked-in as they look out over the expansive property with the ocean in the background and the deep-blue sky overhead. It’s positively mesmerizing.
The 89 spacious guestrooms and 31 suites are all ensconced in individual casitas, an accommodation that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also lends a sense of privacy. Our suite had 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.
Once clients have arrived at their accommodations, the private butler shows up, offers to unpack their belongings, and shows them how to work the various digital equipment in their room, including how to operate the electronic umbilical cord that will attach him to them for the remainder of their stay.
The various suites and guestrooms all have the requisite indulgences as well as an exterior shower walled in for privacy and perfect for a cool down after an hour or so at one of the resort’s three infinity pools, the tennis center or the property’s private beach club. Each room and suite also offers bath amenities supplied by the 10,000-sq.-ft. Remede Spa, which—like its Mexico City counterpart—is a pampering paradise with nine treatment rooms including two rooms for couples’ 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 and an assortment of signature facial and body treatments.
Dining options include Las Marietas, with its Mexican cuisine-focused menu; Sea Breeze, with an Italian-inspired offering that also doubles as the Beach Club; and the five-diamond Mediterranean-inspired Carolina Restaurant.
For families, La Tortuga Children’s Club welcomes children ages 5-12 with a children’s spa—yep, you read right, a spa—sand box, multi-use court and cozy nap room. There’s also the SPG Kids Pass program, an all-inclusive dining program created by Starwood specifically for young guests and their parents. For a flat daily rate, children (ages 12 and younger) of Starwood Preferred Guest members can take advantage of all-inclusive access to a variety of dining options, including children’s menus, buffets (when available), and beverages. Clients can sign up for the SPG Kids Pass program when they check in or at any time throughout their stay.
According to Andrea Carneiro, director of sales and marketing for The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, “We’re about 27 or 30 percent on the group side, the rest is leisure.” On that leisure side, Carneiro says, “the average stay is about 3.6 nights, so they’ll spend a lot of their time on the property, but they’ll go out at least once and do some day tours. They really come here to enjoy the beach and the spa.”
And indeed, there are plenty of activities on site to keep travelers busy. There’s daily aquaerobic classes; yoga by the pool; spinning; salsa and merengue dance classes; snorkeling; fishing on the beach; kayak lessons; volleyball and soccer. There’s also ceviche and guacamole cooking classes, a pastry making class for the kids, Mexican cocktail classes, an animal show and the traditional St. Regis tea ritual. A must experience is the onsite 70-ft. St. Regis yacht, complete with a private chef.
For offsite fun, Carneiro says, “We started working with Punta Mita Expeditions about two months ago and to be honest, we have a lot more activities than we used to have including scuba, surfing, and spearfishing. The good thing is, we’ve got the ocean and the mountains, so you can do both land and water activities.”
And that, says Smith, is the best aspect of this resort. Nearby, she says, “There are a lot of little towns that are still undiscovered. They’re beautiful with gorgeous beaches where they have these shacks with these thatched roofs where you can find ceviche, shrimp and fish—it’s all so laid-back. And if you’re not comfortable driving, St. Regis will be happy to organize a driver for you.” She adds that, “I’m very familiar with both of these properties. I’ve been twice—they’re great and it’s a great brand.”
That’s exactly what Carneiro wants to hear, saying that, “We’re a young brand but our numbers are looking quite a lot better than last year. There’s a good sign things are recovering. We were the first St. Regis in Mexico when we opened in November 2008 right when the economy faltered, so we’ve been a little overshadowed by that. And the Four Seasons has been here for so long, that people often think they are Punta Mita. So we’re working very hard to promote our brand to travel agents and tell them about our very special resort.”
Call for information on packages that combine both properties.
Interjet Airlines offers nonstop flights between Miami and Mexico City, as well as from New York (JFK) to Mexico City with an introductory airfare of $399 roundtrip through Jan. 31, 2013.
Travel agents can register with Interjet to sell tickets and receive attractive incentives. Contact Paloma Arias-Vega, New York sales manager for initial registration and more information at (718) 751-2623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archived related articles (available on recommend.com):
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun (February 2012)
The St. Regis Mexico City and The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort: