We just returned from an amazing trip to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. The wedding was in Puerto Vallarta proper, but post-wedding, we wanted to get away for a few days and pamper ourselves at a beautiful resort. I’ve always been a huge fan of W Hotels, so everywhere I go, I try to check them out. Having had several friends recommend the W in Punta Mita, we decided to check it out ourselves.
The hotel property is set on a private area in Punta de Mita (Punta Mita for short) and has it’s own beach that it shares with other beautiful properties nearby. It has two private gates on the road that leads to the property, so if you’re looking for privacy and seclusion, look no further. Similar to other W Hotels, the design is impeccable.
As you walk out of the Living Room, you immediately find yourself on the beautiful mosaic tiled walkway leading to pool and beach. The pool is relaxed and low key and the beach is fairly private with lounge chairs and a water sports/rec area if you care to kayak, stand up paddle board, etc. The pool is surround by cabanas and plenty of loungers and we were easily able to get a great spot despite being at the resort during a holiday week.
There is also an AWAY spa tucked up in the furthest corner of the property. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to enjoy it, but the pictures of the spa looked fantastic.
There aren’t many nearby dining options within the area (a taxi or private car is a must), so most of our meals were enjoyed onsite at the property. Our favorite spot was the Chevycheria. It was our first stop immediate after we dropped our bags – a great little beach bar serving the most amazing tacos, fresh fish and ceviche right out of the back of an old Chevy, painted turquoise to match the sea behind it.
In the evening, our friends treated us to an amazing meal at Spice Market, Asian fusion at it’s best. If you’re familiar with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants (he seems to have one on every block in NYC), this is his only Mexican location. And the food didn’t disappoint.
And last, I need not forget the breakfast/brunch. As a Marriott Platinum member, we received free breakfast each morning with our stay and the food, selection and drinks (bloody mary and mimosa bar) are fabulous. A great way to kick start your morning with literally something for everyone in their fabulous buffet spread. The breakfast takes place daily at Venazu. We also ate from the Venazu menu one evening on the beach. It was certainly good, but not memorable. However, the service was fantastic!
Despite having booked the hotel with our Marriott Reward Points, the hotel was kind enough to upgrade us from the Jungle area to the top of the Lake area where we had a full terrace and daybed with a beautiful Lake and Ocean view. The rooms are fun – bright turquoise walls, a surfboard headboard, serape blankets and pops of color throughout. In addition, there are great plus ups including a fully stocked fridge, a Nespresso machine, and a large bathtub with a full window overlooking the lake. Despite the floor to ceiling windows the hotel design certainly allows for plenty of seclusion and privacy.
Having been to Sayulita several years ago, I wanted to take Josh, who had never been, to experience the quaint and colorful town. While Ubers are readily available in Puerto Vallarta proper, we were told by the front desk at the W that they are not available in Nayarit. However, after doing a little more research, it appears that they just aren’t able to pick up at hotels in Nayarit at the moment. We basically had no other options other than to take the black car service one way to Sayulita for 1100 pesos or about $55 USD. Pretty steep if you consider it’s only about 30 minutes away and you’re in Mexico. However, we went to check out the town anyway. Also, we assumed we could get an Uber on the return trip. Although it wasn’t easy, we did, for the much better price of 189 pesos ($9 USD).
Sayulita used to be a small fishing village and surf town, but today, the beach was absolutely packed with tourists. There are cute shops throughout and some great restaurants, but after a few hours of wandering and eating (we were not drinking and detoxing that day), we pretty much had seen all there was to see and decided to return to the resort. It was a good getaway for an afternoon, but my advice would be to visit during the late afternoon hours, into the evening and enjoy food and drinks during your visit. The city really comes alive at night.
Also, word to the wise, although ATMs are now readily available in Sayulita, almost all of the ones we checked were out of service. We finally had to settle on the one working one we found. When all was said and done, we had to pay about $25 in fees, just to take out $200 USD.
We really enjoyed our stay at the W Hotel in Punta Mita. If you’re looking for a relaxing retreat, you’ll most definitely find it here. Personally, I would recommend no more than 3 nights, but I also can’t sit still for too long. However, with any length of stay, there is one thing that’s for certain – you won’t be disappointed.