A review of the St. Regis Punta Mita thanks to the SPG free resorts promotion.

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As I have mentioned before, I used nights earned via the Starwood Getaway Free promo for a stay at the SPG category 7 St. Regis Punta Mita.  It was a beautiful property, and certainly not one I would pay for out of pocket, or even necessarily with Starwood points.  Typical rates for a base room are $500 and up, and 30,000 points per night.  This seemed like the perfect sort of aspirational award that Gary talks about, a resort that is out of my price range both with something I have a lot of (points), and something I don't have a lot of (cash).  This seemed to be the ideal redemption using the Resort nights I earned primarily on business travel. 

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Since we got a good deal on flights, and weren't paying for the rooms, we decided to splurge for the US$300 or so for the car service to/from the hotel from Puerto Vallarta airport.  We could have taken a taxi or rented a car, but it was quite simple to walk from the customs hall to find a person holding a sign with our name on it.  We were quickly offered cold towels, and cold water, and then shown to a waiting Lincoln Navigator.  It was about a 50 minute drive from the airport to the resort.  Despite using the car service, the drive would not be overly difficult if one was to rent a car. 

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The St. Regis itself is within the Punta Mita gated development, which also houses the Four Seasons, several golf courses, and some high end condo developments. The nearest town is a small fishing village called Punta de Mita, with a very short tourist zone along Avenida El Anclote. 

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Once we arrived at the St. Regis, we were welcomed with an offer of either ice tea or a margarita.  Our bags were taken from the car, and we were escorted to a table near what serves as the reception area.  There the agent told us a bit about the resort, and mentioned that due to my platinum status, we would be upgraded to an ocean view junior suite.  There are apparently 10 of these junior suites on the property, and are the typical platinum upgrade.  The fact that we got an ocean view room was certainly a nice touch.  Beyond the room upgrade and free internet, as is typical with top SPG properties, at least in North America, there is no additional benefit to top tier status, such as free breakfast.

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The room itself was quite spacious, 2 TVs, a nice sitting area, plus a patio with a table, chairs and a lounge chair.  The bathroom contained a large bathtub, an excellent shower, plus an outdoor shower. 

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Details down to the logoed paper lining the drawers of the walk in closet

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bathroom with tub and shower, and outdoor shower beyond

 

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Shower

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outdoor shower

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View from patio towards Las Marietas pool and the beach.  (Sorry for the foggy lens, going from an air-conditioned room to humid Mexican air is tough on photography).

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This is a view of the back of our building.  Our room was on the ground floor, patio is in the center of picture.  This was just before one of the rains we had most evenings. 

The occupancy rate must have been pretty low, as we rarely saw a lot of other people.  One day at one of the pools, there was never more than 3 other people there besides us. 

One feature of St. Regis is the 24 hour butler service.  We didn't really use our butler a lot, but it was nice to have someone just a phone call away.  The butlers we worked with provided great friendly service, as did everyone else we interacted with.  Many of the upper managers are very visible on property and want to ensure guests are satisfied.  I only had a brief conversation with the GM, but had nice chats with an assistant manager as well as the Butler manager.

The room itself was quite comfortable.  The property is laid out with rooms in various buildings, typically containing up to 4 or so rooms each.   St_Regis_Punta_Mita_Map

This is a (sorry, rather poor) photo of a map of the property showing the various buildings, mostly grouped around pools.  Our room was in the Cielo group, second building from the left in light green, facing the center pool area.

The larger buildings on the map in red are restaurants, meeting rooms and the spa and fitness center. 

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The fitness center was well equipped, and like many public buildings had a grass roof.  There was also a aerobics classroom and locker rooms.  There are also jogging trails around the complex.  It was a nice area for running, but the humidity was heavy.

We noticed information on various spa treatments on sale when speaking to the concierge, so my wife went to the spa to enquire as to their services.  They mentioned that they were offering a 50% discount on all services for the next 2 days.  Like many parts of the resort, there didn't seem to be much business, which likely explains this discount.  We both signed up for a 60 minute massage.  The spa was very nice, and as expected, very quiet.

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Sauna and Steam room

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soaking pools at spa

There were several dining options available within the St. Regis, depending on the time of day.  Dining on property was very expensive, but simply out of convenience, we did so for several meals.  One evening we took advantage of another discount, 50% off margaritas at the Sea Breeze restaurant.  This was a California style restaurant. 

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Nearing dusk at Sea Breeze bar

One interesting experience we had was the traditional St. Regis champagne sabering.  Apparently this is done at many St. Regis properties.  At Punta Mita, they do this each Friday evening at the Altamira lobby where we checked in.  They opened 3 bottles of Taittinger Brut with a sword, and distributed it to guests.  It was an unique experience.

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We also visited the nearby Punta de Mita area for some scuba diving and cheaper dining options.  Just as a point of comparison, prices for a bottle of Pacifico at the St. Regis was 85 pesos, approximately US$7.30.  At one of the touristy places, the same beer was 30 pesos, or less than US$2.60.   

One restaurant that the concierge highly recommended served what she termed "Mexi-terranean" food.  Sufi was located within the Punta Mita complex, but just outside the St. Regis, in a condo development.  The food was very good, and while not cheap, much more reasonable.  The setting was very nice, overlooking the water.  I highly recommend the tasting menu. 

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Shell chandelier at Sufi

 

Overall, it was a great stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita.  I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a secluded getaway.  Its out of my typical price range, but its an excellent deal for a free night promotion such as the Getaway Free promo that I used to stay here.  Hurry, as the earning period for this promotion ends July 31, 2011, but redemption is through mid-December.  The resort is on a beautiful piece of land, and the service is top-notch.  Its easily accessible from the PVR airport, but away from the madness of the hotel zone. I know Kevin has an upcoming stay here, anyone else care to share their experience?

Comments

#1
andrew July 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

just stayed at the St. Regis Bahia Resort in San Juan, PR. It opened recently and looks very similar to the property in Mexico.

Service was fantastic.

One our of favorite St. Regis properties and we typically go here about once a year. Your review covered the property pretty nicely. We're jonesing to get back there after looking at your pictures.

#3
Keith & Carolina March 4, 2015 at 05:59 pm

My wife and I have stayed at this particular property some 4 times over the past 3 years and love the hotel and the staff. We know nearly everyone by name, just as they personally have come to know us.

We love the area and the little town of Punta Mita is wonderful for dining rather than eating at the hotel or within the compound. Si Senor is a great place for fresh fish that won't break the bank. But if you're more adventurous and want to get off the resort, head north to the beach town of Sayulita. You can rent a car for the day from National Car Rental in Punta Mita right off the main street, it will cost you about $70USD for the day which includes all Mexican insurance as well as dropping off and picking up the car at your hotel inside the compound at either the St. Regis or the Four Seasons (although Bill Gates has purchased this resort so who knows what is going to happen to it). The car won't be a fancy ride, but it will be a clean and comfortable car to drive to Sayulita by yourself. Plan to spend the WHOLE day there at the beach and walking through the shops, although very touristy at certain times of the year, bargain with the merchants or they;ll know you're a Gringo.

Some of the best food we had there was actually from the little roadside taqueria shops, less than $1USD for a taco made with fresh ingredients and the food is perfectly safe there. We have even stayed in the town of Sayulita in a private villa for a week $7500 for a 4 bedroom home complete with staff is a heck of a deal.

Back to the Regis, yes sometimes the resort can seem empty but rarely now that everyone has discovered this property. Room rates are now $700+ a night in the off-peak season and there really isn't an off-peak now. We've stayed there at 4 different times of the year and only once did we feel like we truly had the resort all to ourselves. We've ran into Tori Spelling during one visit and Jessica Simpson during another. Kim Kardashian was also sighted in the area, but luckily she was staying at a private home and not at the resort. The resort is very private and frown upon people snapping photos of other guests so you'll never see any paparazzi on the property.

Can't wait to get back and see our friends Luis, Tony, Antonio, and Carlos. They truly treat their guests right.

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