A trip to The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is pure paradise. With 22 acres filled with lush greenery, 120 rooms, three infinity swimming pools, two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses (Pacifico and Bahia) and a beachfront location perfect for everything from stand-up paddleboarding to snorkeling, you will relish every minute on the property, which is located in Punta de Mita, Nayarit, Mexico. And although there are a plethora of things to keep you busy while at the resort, which just celebrated its five-year anniversary, we’ve selected our top must-do activities.
1. Barbecue on the beach. Every Friday night, expect a lavish beachside barbecue hosted by the resort’s fun-loving Australian-born and Spanish-speaking general manager, Carl Emberson. Savor dishes such as succulent pig, Cobb salad and lobster tail prepared by executive chef Sylvain Desbois and paired with wines such as Casa Madero and artisan tequila such as Maestro Tequilero. You’ll be able to watch the colorful sunset while enjoying the company of others as plates are passed at the long white-cloth-covered table. But be sure to dress appropriately. Fellas, put on a pair of comfy pants with an elastic waistband. And ladies, wear a loose maxi dress. The food is so good that you’re not going to want to say no when the server comes by to offer you another slab of meaty ribs.
2. Teatime. Head to Altamira lobby at 3 p.m. for the tea ritual (check the luxury hotel’s activities program listing for specific days). A staff member from Carolina (named after Caroline Astor, the mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV), the resort’s signature Mediterranean restaurant, will roll a white wooden cart filled with teas, teacups and saucers over to you. Expect a five-minute history lesson divulging details like why tea parties were so important to Caroline Astor before choosing which varieties you’d like to try. Although our favorites included Peace Through Water (a caffeine-free green tea), Shanghai Rose (green tea) and Imperial English Breakfast (a caffeinated black tea), the resort’s own St. Regis Blend (black tea) is a favorite as well.
3. Las Marietas Islands National Park. Sign up with the concierge for the three-hour snorkeling Marine Safari tour of Las Marietas Islands. A tour guide from Punta Mita Expeditions alongside his boat captain will pick you up from the beach (in front of the hotel’s Sea Breeze Restaurant) in a 10-person speedboat and chauffeur you to Marietas Islands National Park (in about 20 minutes), where you’ll be able to do some snorkeling and see everything from king angelfish to dolphins. While enjoying the sights, look out for the blue-footed booby birds, which can only be seen in western Mexico and on the Galapagos Island.
4. SPG Moments. If you sign up to be a Starwood Preferred Guest, you’ll have access to amazing events such as the Golf Challenge & Culinary Experience with Corey Pavin. Last month, the professional golfer spent a weekend with exclusive guests chatting it up over a dinner prepared by noted chef Lula Martin Del Campo, hosting an hourlong golf clinic in which he gave tips like, “…maintain your strengths, work on your weaknesses,” and playing in a tourney on the Pacifica course. As par for the course, members received an SPG hat, towel, two golf balls with pin and a pair of purple sunglasses. The next event is the IV Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic, which will showcase former golfer Lorena Ochoa Reyes. Plan now to attend the April 3 to 6, 2014, outing for some one-on-one time with the pro.
5. Sweet suite amenities. There’s lots to love about your suite, but our favorites include the outdoor garden shower, Jacuzzi with a prime view of the ocean, Remède bathroom products (Energizing Cleansing Cream face wash and Hydra Contour Complex For Body lotion) and the tried-and-true St. Regis butler service — whether you need help unpacking or would like someone to prepare a bath after a long day out on the links, your wish is his command — it’s the St. Regis way.
Photos Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc