– Carrie Harrison-Ell, Senior Vice President of Hotel Programs for Kiwi Collection and mother of three; she is an expert on family travel. Carrie’s not-so-secret pleasures include: romantic trips to Siena, wine and cheese pairings and everything about the Mayan Riviera.
Attention all those looking for a great beach vacation spot for the family, Carrie Harrison-Ell has three kids and six reasons to make The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico the place.
Punta Mita is a 45-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport. Every one of us fell in love with this destination. We had the pleasure of staying at the three-year-old St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. This is one of those properties that takes your breath away from the minute you step out of the car.
What a view! Manicured gardens of greenery and bright pink flowers lead your eye to pools, waterfalls and, at the end of it all, the ocean.
General Manager Carl Emberson does his best to greet all newly arriving guests when he’s on the property, which really impressed me.
My children on the other hand were wildly impressed with the gifts awaiting them when we entered our bright, clean and beautiful room-with-a-view. Boy and girl teddy bears and homemade cookies decorated like dogs, plus St. Regis beach bags packed with water bottles, hats and some treats, made the kids squeal (literally) with delight.
And this was only the beginning. All I can say is that we impressed many times over during our stay. Here is a list of a six more things we loved:
1. Bean-bringing Butler
Each morning we were pleased to know we could ring our butler and within 15 minutes we’d have to two complimentary piping hot pots of fresh coffee delivered to our door. This was a huge perk (pun intended) for us. For a small additional charge we’d have him add some hot cocoa to the order for the kids.
2. A See and Be Seen Kids Club
Now I know a lot of family resorts have kids clubs these days (thank goodness!), but this one impressed me for two reasons. First of all, rather than have the kids at the back of the resort, indoors all day long, St. Regis Punta Mita has a small tent right on the beach, where the kids gather until early afternoon to paint shirts, make pinatas, and do other fun things. Because of its location, my husband and I could sit by the family pool overlooking the beach and kids tent and relax while still peeking in on the kids from time to time from the comfort of our chairs. We love to have adult time like any parent, but I also love to be able to watch my kids having a great time too.
Second, I was also extremely impressed by the St. Regis kids club staff. They made it a priority to pop by the family pool throughout the day to announce which activities were coming up.
3. Pass Me the Food Pass, Please
The resort offers families an option to pay a set daily price for kids’ food and drinks, it’s call the SPG® Kids Pass. It applies to children ages 12 and younger, and is extremely convenient for parents.
4. Out Showered
It was a treat to have the option to shower in or out. The kids had a riot in the outdoor marble shower. When we were back in our room, we still felt we were having a beach experience. Aside from the shower, we had a great deck with a day-bed that made staring at the ocean and watching the sunset all the more enjoyable.
5. Fore the Love of Golf
If you’re a golfer you have to know you’re surrounded by championship golf courses when you’re in Punta Mita. In fact, the resort holds an annual Gourmet & Golf Classic event with the opportunity to play Jack Nicklaus’ world class courses Bahia or Pacifico.
6. A Welcome to Make You Want to Come Again
We felt welcome, and this includes the kids! I travel a lot for work, and I’ve become somewhat accustomed to the resorts knowing who I am (perk of the job!). For this reason I’m also very observant of how staff treat other guests. The poolside staff at St. Regis Punta Mita knew everybody by name. They even knew the kids. My kids also loved the staff that kept a steady supply of drinks coming to them (which included a lot of chilled water bottles) and also brought them random treats like suckers.
And during dinner at the family restaurant Sea Breeze, the wait staff were very in tune with our table. The could tell the kids were getting a bit restless waiting for Mom and Dad to finish their wine, so they took them around the restaurant and neighboring patio to seek out Geckos. How fun!
As you can see, I can’t say enough great things about the St. Regis Punta Mita. It’s on my favorites list for sure.
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