The St. Regis Punta Mita, Redefining Luxury in Mexico
Home to world-renowned resorts such as the Four Seasons and Grand Velas - both more than a decade old, the Riviera Nayarit is no stranger to luxury. The St. Regis Punta Mita, the newest member of this AAA Five Diamond club, however, has been steadily redefining what it means to be a top-tier luxury resort in Mexico. By weaving the traditional rituals defined by The St. Regis over the years with some of the local of traditions of the Bay of Banderas area, The St. Regis Punta Mita offers guests a unique "Mex-Lux" experience.
Officially opening in November of 2008, The St. Regis Punta Mita has been receiving accolades since its inception. The resort's architect, Roy Azar, was awarded Best Interior Design project in Mexico for his ability to successfully incorporate and showcase the surrounding nature of Punta Mita into the design of the resort and in 2010, the resort's signature restaurant Carolina was also awarded AAA Five Diamond status, making it the only Five Diamond restaurant on Mexico's Pacific Coast.
What has guests really raving, however, are the daily activities ranging from culinary lessons to extreme sports - all designed to introduce visitors to the local culture of Punta Mita. On Mondays, guests meet with local chefs to learn how to make Ceviche, a Mexican favorite consisting of diced onions, cilantro, tomato, cucumber, and raw fish or shrimp "cooked" with the acids of lime juice. Tuesdays offer Mexican cocktail classes at one of the resorts four bars and on Wednesdays, guests can learn how to make another staple of Mexican cuisine, Guacamole. Thursdays showcase a Mexican twist on the classic Spanish favorite, Paella, as chefs walk guests through the creation of the dish as they cook the seemingly endless ingredients over a massive fire pit on the beach.
In addition to the culinary experiences, a new partnership with Punta Mita Expeditions has allowed The St. Regis Punta Mita to offer their guests a variety of physical adventures, all departing from the resort's beaches. The activities range in difficulty-level from family-friendly adventures like Snorkeling and Stand Up Paddling to more serious excursions like SCUBA Diving and Spear Fishing. According to Nicolas Melani of Punta Mita Expeditions, the most popular expedition at The St. Regis Punta Mita has been the Sea Safari, a three-hour boat trip to the nearby Marieta Islands where guests Snorkel and Stand Up Paddle Board. "Guests have been very responsive to our new line of experiences at The St. Regis," commented Carl Emberson, the resort's General Manager, "as they don't waste any vacation time shuttling to and from external activities. Everything happens from our beach."
The weekdays are certainly jammed packed with fun activities, but it's the Fridays at The St. Regis Punta Mita that you don't want to miss. Early risers can join a scheduled walk to the nearby fishing village of Punta Mita at 9am, thrill seekers can try their hand at Stand Up Paddle Boarding at 10am, and fishermen can cast some lines at 11. And if your favorite angler strikes out, you're still in luck as the 11:30 bell on the beach means it's time for "The Catch of the Day."
Each Friday at half past eleven, a boat full of local fishermen parks on the resorts Sea Breeze beach, loaded with the freshest of the morning's catch. Local fish such as Mahi Mahi, Bonito, Sea Bass, Parrot fish, and Red Snapper (often massive in size) are laid out on a bed of ice for guests to inspect. The resort's executive chef is on hand during the event to describe the difference between various fish and make recommendations as to the most delicious ways for each to be prepared. Guests can then choose what sounds best to have for lunch or that night's dinner.
After the Catch of the Day, the remainder of the afternoon is one of leisure. At sundown, guests and staff meet in the stunning Altamira lobby for the famous St. Regis Champagne Ritual. The open-air lobby overlooks a seemingly endless river of infinity pools that run down the heart of the resort to the beach. Needless to say, the views are breathtaking and on Fridays, the sunset is made even more picturesque with the addition of a meticulously arranged pedestal, covered in white linen, upon which sit a golden-hilted saber and bottle of Veuve Clicquot on ice. True to the ritual, a staff member unsheathes the saber, which he swipes up the shaft of the bottle, slicing both the cork and the neck clean off in an explosion of bubbly excellence. Naturally, the champagne begins to flow and guests and staff mingle as the sun dips lazily below the horizon.
Freshly caught fish for lunch, a day by the pool overlooking the ocean, swords and champagne at sunset… what more could you ask for from the perfect Friday? How about a torch-lit, family style barbecue dinner on the beach? Each Friday evening, guests gather on the resort's Sea Breeze beach where a dinner table fit for a royal feast awaits on the sand. The aroma of grilling BBQ ribs, steak, chicken, fish, and Mexican sausage wafts the beach as guests have the chance to meet, mingle, and dine together. A trio of local musicians strum classic tunes as the evening unfolds leaving many guests to conclude that at The St. Regis Punta Mita, luxury is truly paradise found.