Mexico is an appealing beach destination from December through May when the weather is good — there are many non-stop flights to the tourist hubs from major cities and in recent months, airfare to Mexico has been much less expensive than flights to places like Hawaii.
I was thrilled to discover that 3 months ago a St. Regis resort opened on the Riviera Nayarit near Puerto Vallarta. The resort is in Punta Mita — best known in past years as the home of the Four Seasons. Competition is definitely a good thing, and after staying at both properties last month, I’m happy to report that The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is an amazing option for families with young children seeking luxury accommodations (I’ll compare the properties in a post over the next few weeks).
Quite simply, the St. Regis is stunning — the décor has been described as Provence meets Mexico — the perfect analogy — the fabrics and furnishings are European, but otherwise the construction is distinctly Mexican using natural materials from the region. Guest rooms are as extraordinary as public areas, and unlike the Four Seasons where there are many rooms looking at an unremarkable garden, the layout of the St. Regis is ingenious — practically every room seems to have some kind of ocean view and is no more than a 3-minute walk to the beach. The other phenomenal feature at this property is the personal butler who is assigned to every room — this person proactively offers to do whatever you need which feels very pampering and distinctly different than trying to figure out who to call for different requests.
All swimming pools here are oceanfront and gorgeous. The pool configuration is ideal including an adult-only pool with private cabanas and a family pool area with multiple, shallow pools that are good for toddlers and school-age kids that aren’t ready for the deep-end. This set-up is so refreshing — nothing is more frustrating than having the family pool feel substandard compared to the adult facilities. Pool toys and floaties are on hand, and poolside service is readily available. The kids club here is a bright, clean, and friendly place noting that the club is available for ages 5 to 12 —disappointing for me since the space seems ideal for ages 3 to 12, but I learned this is a brand-driven policy. At this point the kids club is closer to childcare than an interesting cultural or nature-focused experience and is less appealing for kids that are 9 and up, but that may change as the program matures. The spa is worth mentioning with an exceptional get-away-from-it-all ambiance and customizable treatments using the Remede product line.
All properties have some trade-offs and the St. Regis is no exception — the beach is on the rocky side and the surf is too rough for young kids to wade with any independence. The property has limited overall activities of interest for older kids and teenagers given the limitations of the beach, so I did not rate the property as Cool For Teens in our review. The service here is impressive considering the property is so new; the only complaint was around the speed of meals (room service and restaurant) — but I’m confident that will improve over time. In addition, onsite evening dining options with kids are limited to one restaurant or room service, but the town of Punta de Mita is a 5-minute drive.
If you want an outrageously beautiful hotel in a setting that is all about relaxation, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort will not disappoint. Read the full review.