The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort: Seriously Secure!

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.

St. Regis Punta MitaAs 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 PUnta Mita, Mexicotook 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

St. Regis Punta Mita GroundsThe 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.

Remède Spa

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 SpaFor those considerably more refined than I, you will recognize the Remède, Bliss and Decleor line of spa products which they offer. 

St. Regis Punta Mita Remede Spa 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.

Guest Rooms

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!

St. Regis Punta Mita Luxury Suite 1   St. Regis Punta Mita Luxury Suite 2

St. Regis Punta Mita Luxury Suite 3 St. Regis Punta Mita Luxury Suite 4

Divine Dining

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.

St. Regis Punta Mita Restaurants

Click on the image above to read about each of these incredible venues!

Glorious Golf

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 GolfSt 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!

Build A Travel Bridge To Somewhere

Last post I shared some thoughts on my attempt to bridge the generational divide in my own family through multi-generational travel.  Here is the rest of my personal quest.

Endless Activities

If your grandchildren are at all like mine, they will constantly crave ever more stimulating activities and this is where Marival Residences really shines.  I have been to countless all-inclusive properties over the years but never to a property quite as ALL-inclusive as this one.  There is something for every generation.

Speaking personally, I no longer…actually, I am pretty sure I never did…associate terror with pleasure.  In fact, to me they are pretty much mutually exclusive.  Therefore, to say that careening through the jungle canopy sixty feet off the ground suspended by a narrow wire cable with decades of deeds and misdeeds flashing through my conscience did not appeal to me is a gross understatement.  I left that particular temptation of fate to the pure hearted sons-in-law and grandsons.  My hunger for excitement was more than satiated hitting a towering four- iron from 185 yards out  that nestled close to the pin on the fifth hole of the Weiskopf course at Vista Vallarta.  Asking if I sunk the birdie putt would only interrupt the flow of this blog.

One activity that we immensely enjoyed as a group was the dolphin and the sea-lion encounters.  Of the two, surprisingly the bigger hit by far was the sea-lion experience.  Both experiences are offered at the same location and you can book them back to back one hour apart as we did.  (Insider tip # 3:  If you only have time to do one, choose the sea-lion experience.)  These gentle behemoths interact with people in amazing ways.

I wish I could tell you all about the spectacular sunset cruise that is also included in the Marival Residences package.  The reason I cannot brings us to another tip.  (Insider tip # 4:  Do not schedule the sunset cruise on your last night in paradise.) 

Dinner cruise

The reason for this is you might well face the same ugly insurrection I confronted when the family realized they would not get back until well after 10 o’clock at night to face packing and an early wake up call for the flight home.  The fact that they stormed my room wearing straw hats and brandishing pitchforks is merely another testament to the resourcefulness of Carlos, the ubiquitous concierge who seemingly can supply anything.

Your New Best Friends

Which leads me to another pearl of wisdom.  (Insider tip # 5:  Make Carlos your new best friend…which will be quite easy to do…within the first twenty minutes you are at the resort.)  Carlos and his assistant Mayte are the kind of people for whom you would gladly risk human smuggling charges to bring them back in your suitcase.  If God has fashioned two more earnest and enchanting souls, I have yet to meet them.

Take it to the bank (as long as it’s not my bank), if you are looking for the perfect multi-generational vacation, the Marival Residences & World Spa deserves some serious consideration.  But wherever you decide to travel, take heart in hand and seize the opportunity to bridge the generational gap in your family.   I would be thrilled for the chance to make it happen for you (guacamole and all).

Have you ever experienced multi-generational travel?  Tell me about it.  Until we meet again, travel safe.

Bridging The Generations Down Mexico Way

Multi-generational Family Vacations

Have you ever seriously considered taking a multi-generational family vacation? Absent the influence of any adult libation, I mean. In case you are not familiar with the term, it describes some combination of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Z seeking common ground in an uncommon setting.

If you are a boomer like me, your first challenge will be the internal clash of two primal instincts. On one hand, we all love our children and grandkids and long to forge stronger bonds by spending quality time with them. On our less altruistic side, ever since emptying the nest of the last boomerang, we baby boomers have also grown exceedingly fond of…..to borrow a song title from our generation… The Sounds of Silence. So you are probably wondering, would a family vacation be pure nirvana or closer to one of the outermost rings of Dante’s Inferno?

Insu Sky Lounge

Take heart, fellow boomer. Having had such an experience, I can happily report that with proper forethought, such a venture can prove much closer to the former than the latter.

My personal multi-generational jaunt was spent at the Marival Residences and World Spa in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Nuevo Vallarta, or Riviera Nayarit as the entire region is called, is just north of Puerto Vallarta and is very similar to the more familiar Mayan Riviera south of Cancun. In addition to Nuevo Vallarta, exciting new resorts have sprung up in Punta Mita and Litibu.

Insider Travel Tips

For all sorts or reasons which I enumerate below, I could not have made a better choice. There are six adults and five children in my immediate family with the children ranging in age from eight to thirteen. We selected a four bedroom, four bathroom residence (Insider Tip #1: every additional bathroom is worth its weight in porcelain.) with a large living area, fully furnished kitchen and a balcony overlooking the Bay of Banderas larger than my first starter home. It took my family roughly 15 minutes to discover the complimentary 24-hour room service and the beleaguered staff 15 weeks to recover.

The property offers numerous activities without ever leaving the resort. There is a swimming pool half the size of Lake Michigan. It is no more that four feet deep which proved perfect for the grand munchkins. The pool is bordered on one side by a

Family fun around the pool.

wide section only six inches deep which was extremely popular with one of my sons-in-law. Corey spent a significant portion of the trip giving a credible simulation of a beached whale and became quite the topic of conversation among other guests. “Is he alive?” I heard one mutter. “I’m sure I saw him move.” chimed in another.

The Marival Residences is located within walking distance of their sister property called the Marival Resort and a private section of their beautiful beach is reserved as a private Beach Club for Residences guests only. Not that you have to walk – cart shuttles are always at the ready for the two minute ride. This cozy private area is staffed by entertaining waiters eager to see if they can magically replace your piña colada between your downing the last swig and setting your glass on the table. (Insider tip # 2: The guacamole and chips make a great afternoon snack. Corollary to this rule: Make sure your table is level if you prefer your guacamole sans sand.)

Next post, I will share some more insider travel tips from this great family adventure. A shorter version of this experience appeared earlier in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine, a great read by the way. As always, a Follow and a Forward are greatly appreciated. Until next time, travel safe!