It’s a quiet 40-minute ride from Puerto Vallarta International Airport to the subtle elegance of the 5-diamond, 120-room St. Regis Punta Mita. You pull up here expecting a dramatic welcome and the resort doesn’t disappoint. The welcoming staff escort you through an open air lobby where you’re given a seat overlooking a wide, terraced fountain meandering down through the property with the teal blue ocean waiting in the background. It’s positively mesmerizing.
After check-in, we motored past the lush foliage and flowering gardens in a golf cart ride to a casita suite with a patio overlooking one of two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses: the 19-hole Jack Nicklaus Pacifico Course and 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Bahia course. This is the point where your private butler shows up and offers to unpack your belongings.
All of the 89 rooms and 31 suites boast marble baths and floors, a large tub and rain showers with an exterior shower walled in for privacy. Bath amenities are supplied by the Remede Spa. Electronics include flat screen TVs, DVD, iPod hub and a digital lifeline to your personal butler 24/7.
Out butler chauffeur us in a golf cart to explore the resort’s three acclaimed restaurants. Las Marietas features Mexican cuisine; Sea Breeze serves beautiful Italian inspired dishes; and the 5-diamond Mediterranean Carolina Restaurant is where you want to host an awards or final gala dinner. We started off with Sea Breeze for a ceviche lunch that was to die for, washed down with a Mexican beer. It was prepared with just enough spice to make it interesting without breaking into a sweat.
The Remede Spa is a luxurious 10,000-sf piece of pampering paradise with nine treatment rooms including two rooms for couples’ treatments and a deluxe spa suite with a couples’ treatment room and a private Jacuzzi. The spa also includes a sauna and steam bath with lounges for relaxation with treatments that include customized and signature facial and body treatments.
For meeting space, the Astor Ballroom and its adjoining terrace provide a grand function space that may be used in its entirety or divided for smaller gatherings. In addition to the Astor Ballroom, there are two smaller meeting rooms of 575 sf each—the Azalea Room and the Magnolia Room.
There’s plenty of activities within the resort and nearby for teambuilding. The onsite 70-foot Signature St. Regis yacht is perfect for small groups, complete with a private chef aboard. The two onsite golf courses are ranked among the best in Mexico, complemented with stand-up paddle boarding classes, ocean kayaking, and snorkeling/scuba diving at the resort’s private beach club. Offsite, there’s zip-lining through tropical forests, whale watching, dolphin swims, deep sea fishing expeditions and more—all of which can be booked through the resort.
We took a day to experience some of the nearby attractions starting off with the San Pancho Polo field where groups can take beginner polo lessons. It’s mostly about learning to sit the horse, then learning to actually use the mallet, but it’s fun, safe and a unique experience.
Next stop, the town of Sayulita is a hippie surfer paradise, dressed up by the Mexican government for last year’s Tianguis conference, and today it’s utterly charming. Multi-colored shops, restaurants and bars beckon attendees with a variety of tempting and unique products, food and drink. It’s a mix of locals artists and tourists that takes away the over-the-top touristy atmosphere.
Our last stop was the village of Punta Mita for the eclectic collection of restaurants, shops and a small beach populated by families and local vendors, along with the remnants of its fishing industry. The original village was actually on the what is now the resort enclave and the developer actually moved the village to its present site. Such is progress.