For those not familiar with the roller coaster existence led by your favorite travel agent (whoever he or she may be), this particular post should provide a window into all of our kaleidoscopic lives. You see, dear reader, we are always bouncing between feast or famine, prince or pauper, hero or zero depending on the mood / magnanimity of our suppliers and travel partners at any given moment.
As I pen these words, I am returning from a very enjoyable Travel Leaders owner’s retreat at the new Iberostar Playa Mita Resort just north of Punta Mita, Mexico. On a free afternoon, I decided to do a personal site inspection of the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. (More about the resort momentarily). I had the Iberostar sales manager contact the St. Regis sales office to set up a tour of the property. I hopped in a taxi and ten minutes later found myself at the enclave’s imposing security gate. I could tell immediately from the body language and skeptical expression on the guard’s face that gaining access was not going to be your proverbial Sunday school picnic.
In the interest of brevity I will spare you the more gruesome details but suffice it to say it took twenty arduous minutes of wheedling, begging, invoking the name of Yasmin (my contact), calling back to the Iberostar, trying to call the front desk of the St. Regis (all using the saintly taxi driver’s cell phone) and praying fervently to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers (and hopefully travel agents) . . . keep in mind that I am not even Catholic! I later learned that the security at the St. Regis is rather legendary owing to the fact that Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, is a frequent guest.
I did eventually breach the ramparts and was given a delightful tour by Karla Villaseñor. The equally gracious Yasmin, as it turned out, works at the golf course where I was first deposited and not at the resort. (If you want to finish this blog while you are still young, don’t even ask how I ended up there.) At the conclusion of the tour, Karla asked if I need a ride back to the Iberostar. One snap of her fingers and a Cadillac Escalade magically appeared to whisk me back to my hotel, at no charge I might add. When the doorman at the Iberostar who had sent me off a couple of hours earlier opened the door to my chariot, he broke out in spontaneous laughter. “Senior, you left in a taxi and return in a Cadillac!” Ah, Jose, now you understand the life of a travel agent. Our lives are spent either in first class or conversely, if not being thrown under the bus, at least hanging partially out the side of one.
THE ST. REGIS PUNTA MITA RESORT
The first thing you notice about the St. Regis is the impeccable taste (check out the pictures above). You don’t need a degree in interior design to realize that the folks who built this masterpiece obviously knew someone who has several. The furnishings, the wall treatments, the art work all exude an impressive refinement. That same flair applies to the landscaping and horticulture. This thoughtful combination creates an ambiance that soothes the soul moments after arriving.
All three or four of my regular readers know that I am a pushover for a great spa. In fact, more than once during a relaxing full body massage I have had to be pushed over just so the masseus could work on the other side. St. Regis is justifiably famous for their Remède Spa. For those considerably more refined than I, you will recognize the Remède, Bliss and Decleor line of spa products which they offer.
I was particularly impressed by the outdoor treatment options which provide striking views of the gorgeous landscape mentioned previously. Of course you will find a sauna, steam room, fitness center, salon, Jacuzzi and all the other accoutrements you would expect in a world class spa.
For a property that only has 120 rooms, there is quite the variety of options. These include deluxe rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites, luxury one-bedrooms and two-bedroom suites and, of course, a presidential suite. I think even my slower readers can guess who is one of the frequent occupants of the “Presidential” suite. It is good to rule a country!
Below are pictures of one of the Luxury Suites. Check out the view from the private pool!
Those same three or four devotees of this blog referenced above know well that if there is anything I like even better than having my entire body slathered over with priceless oils, it is sating my seemingly endless appetite. What my palate may lack in cultured refinement is more than made up for in boundless appreciation. At St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, trust me, there is plenty to be thankful for.
Click on the image above to read about each of these incredible venues!
Reverse the order of these three aspects that I have detailed above and you have pretty much constructed my definition of a perfect day in paradise. Start with a round of golf at Pacifico (with a magical birdie on the “Tail of the Whale” hole, of course), follow it with a full body massage at Remède Spa and crown the day with a relaxing dinner at Carolina Restaurant.
St Regis Punta Mita Resort bills itself as an emerging paradise. I would not quibble with the paradise part for even a second but it seems pretty darn “emerged” to me. If you are looking for a vacation spot where you will have a wonderful time AND feel completely secure, take it from someone that knows and visit the incomparable St Regis Punta Mita Resort.
Note: If you tuned in expecting another post in my series on the Quantum of the Seas, simply consider this a brief hiatus. Come back soon and I promise you will find another highly anticipated chapter in that riveting series!