Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International

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Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Punta Mita

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
St. Regis Punta Mita Cabanas

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Margartia from Mary Mita Boat Bar

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Travel Curator's Melanie Brandman participates in the Tea Ritual

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Fish Tacos from Mary Mita Boat bar

Image courtesy of Instagram: @puntamita

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Beach Cabanas

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Tea Ritual

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Lighting Details at Remède Spa

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Remède Spa

Travel Curator’s Guide to Punta Mita, presented by Marriott International
Melanie Brandman soaks up the beauty of Punta Mita

Travel Curator loves nothing more than visiting a new destination. Though we’ve traveled to almost every city and small town in Mexico, Punta Mita remained an untapped location for our team. When we were presented with the opportunity to travel there and experience one of the most sought-after destinations on the West Coast, we leaped at the opportunity.

Punta Mita is a private peninsula situated in the Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta. The gated community is home to several prestigious residential communities, two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, and is just a 15-minute boat ride to Islas Marietas National Park. Punta Mita has become one of our most asked about destinations, and our tribe knows that we wouldn’t steer them wrong. The destination’s balmy climate is a year-round draw. Known for it’s surfing, scuba diving, paddle-boarding, and whale watching, Punta Mita is our first choice for a place to visit if you’re looking for outdoor adventure in a tropical paradise.

Last month, we took a trip to Punta Mita for three days to experience everything for ourselves.

When we were deciding where to stay in the Punta Mita area, we were met with many options, but two properties that stood out to us for obvious reasons were W Punta de Mita and The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. Marriott International has more than 60 resort experiences in 14 destinations across the Caribbean and Latin America. Each of the properties is suited to a wide variety of vacations, so there’s something for everyone in your picky tribe. Since we were looking for a more laid back vibe, we chose to stay at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.

At Travel Curator, we are all Marriott Bonvoy members, which has proven to be invaluable as we travel the globe to report back to our tribe members with the hottest spots from around the world. Both of the resorts we were interested in staying at in Punta Mita are linked by the Marriott Bonvoy rewards platform and represent the core offerings exemplary of the Marriott International brand experiences. These core offerings include coveted location, elevated food and beverage offerings and expected resort amenities such as pools and spas.

CHILL LIKE A LOCAL

Playa El Anclote – This beautiful beach is situated at the entry private Punta Mita complex, home of the St. Regis Resort. It is a local favorite for sun, sand and surfing.

Marietas Islands – Discover the beauty of these hidden islands off the coast of Nayarit. 

Whale Watching – From December to April each year, the waters off Punta Mita are filled with migrating Humpback whales. While it’s possible to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures from shore, there is no experience like watching them swim, spout and breach the water up close from a private boat.

Canopy Tours – The lush jungle canopies surrounding Punta Mita are home to some of the world’s rarest, most beautiful birds, mammals and reptiles. As you move between a series of platforms suspended 90 feet over the forest floor, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view this extraordinary wilderness community from an exhilarating perspective. You know how much we love a good thrill…

Scuba Diving – Located at the convergence of the Bay of Banderas, the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, Punta Mita is one of Mexico’s top diving destinations. From the pristine underground landscapes of the protected Marietas Islands Marine Reserve to the submerged caves, reefs and rock formations of El Morro and Los Anegados, divers of all levels can explore some of the most breathtaking dive sites in the world.

Marietas Eco-Discovery – Just offshore, in the waters of Banderas Bay, the Marietas Islands are a collection of uninhabited volcanic islands first made famous by underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. Designated as a protected National Park in 2005, the islands’ stunning rock formations, caverns and beaches provide sanctuary for a range of exotic wildlife and marine ecosystems. Experience life from above and below the water as you kayak, snorkel, scuba dive and explore the beaches with a knowledgeable guide.

AWAY Spa (at the W Punta de Mita) – Tucked within the jungle on the first floor, our nature-inspired spa is designed as a peaceful forest refuge.

 

LOCAL EATS

Although you really don’t have to leave the property for a meal because the restaurants at The St. Regis Punta Mita are that good, we spoke to the locals who really know the area to get their take on the best spots to eat like a true Punta Mita insider.

Teresas Tacos  –  This cute, locally run food truck style set up receives rave reviews for their tasty and authentic Mexican street food. +52 322 278 4304

El Pirata – Cool, casual spot just off the beach in Punta Mita serving with some of the best pizzas you’ll ever taste. +52 311 243 8204

Restaurant La Cabana – Waterfront dining with great views and equally great seafood and local dishes.  +52 322 188 2333

Hector’s Kitchen – Contemporary and more sophisticated than its beachside neighbors, this restaurant received top points for a creative and mouthwatering menu. +52 322 888 3388

Lobster Paradise – Fabulous views, fresh lobster and a cheeky Pinot Grigio.  What more do you need?  +52 329 291 6296

*Tribe Tip: This local restaurant has one of the best views in the area. Come here for a romantic night or if you need a heavy pour of Pinot Grigio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

STAY

The St. Regis Resort had its grand opening in 2008 and is coming up on their 11th anniversary. The 120-room property, in few words, is a romantic paradise. Laden with young couples, small groups of best friends, newlyweds, and families looking for some R&R, we knew that we were checking in to pure relaxation and world-class service immediately upon arrival. Fresh off of our transport from the airport, we were greeted with delicious margaritas…which if you know us, is the perfect way to say “welcome.”

The rooms are set up casita-style, with beautiful rust-colored Mediterranean roofs and are adorned simplistic Mexican motifs. Each room has a private terrace, soaker tub, and spacious balcony for early morning reads and coffee service – just one of the many things that the signature St. Regis personal butler service offers.

Although we always encourage our tribe to take a jaunt into town to experience the local offerings, you almost don’t have to leave the property at all. From the three infinity pools, a world-renowned spa, award-winning restaurants, and thoughtful amenities, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort truly has it all.

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is our first choice when we’re looking for a relaxing escape, but if you’re looking for more of a nightlife vibe and something a bit more modern, we recommend staying at W Punta de Mita.

EAT

Image courtesy of Instagram: @justinmikita

Mita Mary Boat Bar & Bistro

If you’re looking for fresh seafood with an unbeatable ocean view, this is the spot to indulge. Mita Mary Boat Bar & Bistro is a resort (and guest) favorite, and served us some of the best fish tacos we’ve ever had. Dress casually here! Your toes will be in the sand. Mita Mary Boat Bar & Bistro is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations: +52 329 291 5800

Sea Breeze Restaurant & Bar

This was our go-to restaurant for breakfast. The offerings at Sea Breeze’s breakfast buffet (way more glamorous than it sounds, trust me) had something for everyone. We also came to Sea Breeze for dinner on our first night at the resort. We had the jalapeno and miso catch of the day (seabass) and the empanadas. Everything was generously seasoned and cooked to perfection. Reservations: +52 329 291 5955

Oyster Bar

I mean…can we have one of these built in our house? The Oyster & Champagne Bar offers hand-rolled sushi, a premier selection of exclusive champagne, and of course oysters. Reservations: +52 329 291 5800

Altamira Cantina Gourmet

The standout moment we had at Altamira was when we ordered the tacos al pastor. Let’s just say we were nowhere near prepared for what was about to come out. As the table on wheels got closer to us, we were able to see the absolute deliciousness that we were about to get ourselves into. Pork cooked with distinctive Mexican spices and flavors was skewered on a slow-turning spit, and the smell of freshly grilled pineapple made our mouths water. The tacos al pastor is cooked tableside, and it a full experience adorned with fun additions to make your taco completely custom. Reservations: +52 329 291 5950

Carolina

Our last dinner at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort took place at Carolina, and it was by far our favorite meal from start to finish. Carolina is the most formal of the dining options on the resort, and has been honored with the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award. Though the stunning interior décor and impeccable service impressed us, nothing impressed us more than meeting Chef Miguel Soltero, who graciously walked us through his inspirations behind each of his intricate dishes. At just 28 years old, Chef Miguel has created a menu that is both creatively innovative in flavor pairings, all the while veiled with a familiar taste of home. Chef Miguel’s goal after being brought in as the head chef was to sit down with all of his staff and sous-chefs and learn more about what flavors and dishes reminded them of their childhoods. From their feedback and his own experiences, he created a menu that is full of elevated, whimsical, Mexican-inspired plates that could rival any of the top Michelin Star restaurants.

We took part in the 4-course tasting menu that was made up of the following spectacular dishes:

Kale Salad

Tatemada leaves | Caesar dressing | Dehydrated tuna eggs

Mextlapique

Catch of the Day totomoxtle style | Beans | Tomato consommé

Suckling Pig

Pumpkin flower sauce | Marinated carrots with bitter orange | Salty tortilla

Corn Gordita

Totomoxtle ice cream | Sugar palm gordita | Mascarpone cream| Jocoque

We also opted in for the 4-course wine pairing (because… of course), and it certainly did not disappoint. Reservations: +52 329 291 5957

Do

Remède Spa

 

Remède Spa at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort was one of the highlights of our stay on the property. This 10,000 square-foot spa features all of the elements for ultimate indulgence. Remède has a sauna, steam room, fitness center, salon, jacuzzi, cold plunge pools, relaxation gardens, and nine private treatment rooms.

The spa offers a healthy selection of body scrubs, eye treatments, foot baths, body wraps, facials, men’s services, couple’s massage, paraffin hand treatments, and sound baths.

We were lucky enough to experience two treatments at the stunning Remède Spa, which included a 90-minute Sound Massage and a 90-minute Green Nourishing Luffa.

90 Mins Sound Massage

The sound massage is a millenary healing technique that uses Tibetan singing bowls to balance the body’s energy. Originally used by Buddhist lamas or gurus, it’s based on the principle of resonance in which an intense vibration is transmitted into another of less intensity, eliminating dissonant frequencies and balancing each cell of the body to foster the body’s perfect harmony.

*Tribe Tip: This is not a typical massage, so if you’re looking to get a traditional massage, we recommend one of the other treatments.

90 Mins Green Nourishing Luffa  

Enjoy an extra soft and creamy body ceremony with luffas brimming with an exquisite handcrafted spirulina and hydrating actives-based elixir, followed by a complete massage with 100% organic oils, in which olive, borage, coconut and sweet almonds stand out.

Punta Mita Jack Nicklaus Golf Course

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort proudly features 36 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf. Set on 380 acres of peninsula, enjoy our clubhouse, golf shop and clubhouse restaurant. The golf center also offers golf lessons, rentals, a driving range, putting green, and golf program available for juniors.

Guacamole Class

We were greeted by Chef Angelina Ramos with a traditional molcajete, fresh avocados, vibrant tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and jalapeños to create the perfect guacamole. The Guacamole class took place on the beach, and was the ideal setting for learning to make a true Mexican staple.

Champagne Sabering Ritual

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort continues a tradition started by John Jacob Astor IV when he founded the first St. Regis Hotel in New York, circa 1904. Guests gather for a ceremonial champagne sabering to celebrate the transition from the day into night. Experience the St. Regis tradition at sunset every Friday, approximately 6:00pm during the winter season and 7:00pm during the summer season

Bloody Mary’s

In 1934, Fernand Petiot became a bartender at The St. Regis New York Hotel, bringing with him the “Bloody Mary,” a vodka and tomato juice drink he started making in Paris. It was in the St. Regis King Cole bar that Petiot perfected his original formula, adding salt, pepper, lemon, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to create the drink that is beloved today. Following Fernand Petiot’s tradition, every St. Regis in the world has created their signature Bloody Mary by adding a special hint, so The St. Regis Punta Mita created the “Mita Mary” prepared with white tequila instead, and other local ingredients.

Tea Ritual

For the Astors, Mrs. Caroline Astor in particular, afternoon tea was a hallowed tradition and the opportunity to host intimate gatherings with her closest associates – a dignified prelude to her more noteworthy social events. Today, afternoon tea remains a treasured fixture of the St. Regis experience.

*Tribe Tip: If you are visiting Punta in the summer months, ask for the tea to be poured over ice for a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up.