At Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, a five-star resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast, I hide away in a raised cabana on the sand at Las Manzanillas Beach. Below me, a colossal iguana lolls about in the sun, his skin capturing the rays, which enchantingly transform his skin to an apparent sheath of twinkling emeralds. I know iguanas aren’t dangerous, but he’s much less threatening as a bejeweled lizard and I begin to think of him as my cabana companion. On the retreat’s more secluded beach (they have two, separated by a lava rock promontory), I fall into deep relaxation. I’ve just enjoyed a curative reiki treatment in the stunning Apuane Spa, and the pelicans in the surf are putting on a diving exhibition. When the waiter comes, followed almost immediately by a man wearing a stethoscope (the resort’s storied “sunglass doctor,” who pulls a soft cloth and cleaner from his “medical bag” to assiduously polish my frames and scrub the spots from your lenses), I don’t hesitate to order a cactus margarita, though it’s well before noon. “It seems healthy,” I say, not really believing it myself. But by the time the waiter regales me with the list of ingredients (antioxidant packed nopal, celery, spinach, green pepper and more), I’m convinced I’m tippling a tequila spiked green juice.
A thoroughly restorative area less than an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, this casually coddling enclave has earned a reputation for family friendly and group supported travel. But, I’m a solo traveler this time and I can’t emphasize enough how comfortable I feel as a woman alone here or how many adults-only nooks and crannies the resort provides. Nevertheless, I love to travel with friends and family so though I’m sleeping in an ample, lower tier room called a beach casita, I’ve visited the resort specifically to check out the hotel’s newly opened accommodations: Arena, Coral, and Marea, three immense, stylish beachfront, stand alone residences, ideal for traveling with your clan.
Inspired by the resort’s underscoring philosophy of connectedness and their mission to bring families and friend groups together in the Riviera Nayarit, the commodious beach homes accommodate larger parties in airy havens set on the sand. “The family experience is everything in Punta Mita and the ability to gather around the table, firepit, or pool is a meaningful part of every guest’s stay,” says John O’Sullivan, Regional Vice President and General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, who has four children of his own and believes that travel widely opens our minds and hearts and bonds us to others. Fortified by that creed, FS Punta Mita brought in Mexican design studios Uribe Krayer and Studio 365 to envision and execute jaw dropping beach houses meant for togetherness. Planted on Las Manzanillas Beach, the homes feel far from the hubbub, but stand conveniently steps from the action. Imagined with abundant communal gathering spaces, each unique house, helmed by a dedicated host, completely awash in Four Seasons’ amenities (including those moan-making Four Seasons beds), and armed with a handy golf cart, qualifies as a destination in itself. Don’t miss the opportunity to hire a personal chef for a bbq on the beach, meals on the terrace, or picnics around the pool.
Arena and Coral
The bigger of the three homes, Arena and Coral were designed by local maven Uribe Kyayer, who also helped refresh the resort’s original casitas and plunge pool suites in a recent renovation. Huanacaxtle (Guanacaste) wood, copper, and traditional embroideries made by artisans from Oaxaca kit out the spaces. Coral, boasting abundant wood features, spreads out across 20,451 square-feet, encompassing five ensuite bedrooms — including three primary suites, a movie theater, spa and state-of-the-art gym. Sleek Arena, a tad smaller at 18,729-square-feet, gleams with marble accents and exudes contemporary Mexican flair. Five bedrooms, two outdoor showers, a plunge pool and an infinity pool pay homage to the healing aspects of being in and near water. Both have room for twelve happy residents.
Smaller, more boutique in mood, dreamily eclectic, Marea has space for eight guests among its 7,200-square feet. Designed by Victor Jimenez of Studio 365, the four en-suite bedrooms each vaunt private terraces, sport close-enough-to-touch views of the sea and are adorned with colorful, hand-selected Mexican textiles meant to show the diversity of the country’s vibrant communities.
Other Resort News
Authentically reflecting the artistic, welcoming, vivified spirit of Mexico, Four Seasons Punta Mita occupies 52 lush acres amid the larger 1,500-acre ocean-sided community of Punta Mita on the Riviera Nayarit. Three pool areas beckon: adult-only Tamai, a kid-beloved lazy river, and Nuna, an infinity-edged masterpiece at the heart of the resort. Ten al fresco restaurants offer a variety of food from exquisitely Asian-intoned Aramara to modern Mexican Dos Catrinas to brand shiny new MEZ Bar, a rooftop oasis with panoramic views (watch for whales in season) and a mouth watering library of 200 types of spirits (sign up for the Mexican Spirit Flight to learn about indigenous spirits beyond tequila and mezcal). Bring your brood for everything from yoga on The Rock (the earlier mentioned lava promontory) to complimentary kayaking at noon. Kids adore Kids for All Seasons (KFAS), an enlightened kid’s club. Besides traditional activities for kiddos it wisely offers a number of wellness, self care, and stress relieving pursuits meant to gently undo the pandemic’s taint. These have been very popular, and likely craved by adults as well. The resort-wide, kid-focused wellness program, called KidsWell, inspires tranquility and healing with appealing programs such as wildlife encounters, mindfulness, and breath work practices, healthy cooking classes, nature walks or courses on local culture.