Last September, I headed down to the Four Seasons Punta Mita (Mexico) located on an idyllic stretch of (gated off) peninsula just outside Puerto Vallarta. The resort’s simply stunning and serene nature, coupled with the everything’s-easy hospitality that the Four Seasons staff is famous for, makes this a destination not only worth visiting, but worth re-visiting. Having been there once, I want to return for whale-watching season.
Somehow, despite offering everything, nothing here seems too far away, and each destination delivers a welcoming statement of refreshment upon arrival, whether that be a small smoothie shot, a cupful of chilled tropical fruit wedges, cold towels or water, or a complimentary foot massage. Mmmmmm… foot massages.
The signature treatment at the spa at Punta Mita is two massage therapists working your knots out simultaneously – yep, that’s four hands!). For those preferring a walk around, the championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus has a resort-worthy, picture perfect green situated on its own tiny whale’s tail-shaped island just off the coast.
In addition to running cooking classes for guests at Bahia, a beachside grill that takes full viewing advantage of the sculpted rocks jutting out of the peninsula, the resort’s chefs also run a “Catch of the Day” experience that actively engages residents in an educational encounter with the fish caught just off shore that day.
Gathering on the beach, the chefs display the morning’s haul – parrot fish, mahi mahi, several types of snapper, Pacific spiny lobsters - and tout each species’ specific tastes and textures, tempting guests to choose the time and place for their feast (“I’ll take it on the balcony of my suite at seven,” for example).
As the founder of an arts blog, I loved that the resort has its own cultural center showcasing regional Nayarit art and artisans. The books in here were really beautiful also, so if you happen to get a rainy day, or get sick of sunlight, duck in here for an afternoon.
I love the sound of kids in the pool but luckily, for when I really needed to relax, the property caters to singles seeking solitude, and to couples and cavorting parents by addressing their needs with an adults-only pool and cabana corrale (with its own menu and distinctive music mix) to provide peace, privacy and, possibly, romance away from the fray.
Testament to the resort is that I’ve managed to highlight so many facets without touching upon the infinity pool overlooking the beaches, the individual plunge pools that privately service each of the suites, and the kid-friendly lazy (a little too lazy for me, but for small kids it's great) river rides. The childcare center's facilities are really amazing - activities that adults would be proud to partake in.
Take a trip into neighboring Sayulita for great, warm surf and fresh coconuts or local tacos at 10 pesos a piece.
Most unbelievably, getting here was a direct three hour flight from LAX to Puerto Vallarta’s international airport. Put it this way, it would've taken me the same time to get into Chicago! In winter, the choice is waaay too easy.