Around Puerto Vallarta, two boutique beach hideaways are worth the extra drive from the airport. Both are in the chi-chi Punta de Mita area, about 45 minutes to an hour from Puerto Vallarta.
Deluxe Puerto Vallarta hideaways
We’ve chilled out at both of these. (We know, it’s a tough job.) And we can personally vouch that each is a worthy vacation experience in itself.
Just be forewarned: re-entering the real world is a tad difficult after staying at these deluxe Puerto Vallarta hideaways.
1) Casa de Mita
This boutique hotel in Punta de Mita is a real gem.
Tucked off a dirt road, a 45-minute drive from the airport, it would be hard to find if not for the directions emailed in advance by the concierge for Mexico Boutique Hotels, to which Casa de Mita also belongs.
Once here, we didn’t want to leave.
Powdery white beach? Check. Fab food? Check. Tasteful surroundings? Check.
The six rooms and two suites are individually decorated. Ours had a beachy feel with its pebble-floor rainshower, thatched palapa roof, gauzy curtains and even a gecko that peeked in.
But no matter the room you book, all have ocean views and are exquisite.
Think arched wooden windows, terraces, whitewashed walls, handcrafted Mexican furniture, big bathrooms with Aveda products, original oil paintings and luxurious linens.
Meals are served outside under the palm trees around a blue-tiled pool overlooking the sea.
There are no menus – the talented chef cooks what’s fresh.
Dinner might start with a crab ravioli appetizer, followed by carrot-and-zucchini soup and then your choice of entrée. It’s so delicious that guests of the neighboring Four Seasons Punta Mita often prefer to dine at Casa de Mita (which accepts a few outside reservations).
Adding to the charm of the place is its casual, barefoot vibe.
There’s no formal check-in, just an invitation to plop down in a sofa with a mojito while your bags are whisked to your room. There are no room keys (no need for locks as theft isn’t a problem). And the owner’s well-behaved dogs often pad about, looking to be petted.
If you feel the need for an outing, the friendly staff will drive you to the surf town of Sayulita or arrange stand-up paddling or snorkel excursions.
Imanta is a member of the Relais & Chateaux collection of resorts. And it’s much pricier than Casa de Mita.
Choose an ocean-front casa or bungalow, and you get unmitigated luxury in a whopping 2,500 square feet to spread out in. Private pool. Unparalleled service (dial “zero” for whatever your heart desires).
Or, if you really want to splurge, go for the 10,000 sq. ft. Casona Jaguar with a 65-foot swimming pool.
Imanta is a one-of-a-kind property though – it’s been written up by the likes of Forbes Life and Elite Traveler.
Privacy and seclusion reign. During our stay, we rubbed shoulders with European royalty (and their very discreet bodyguards – we mistook them for other guests).
There are only 11 “rooms” situated on 250 acres of wilderness in the Sierra de Vallejo national biosphere reserve (near Casa de Mita).
Each was built from stone, cut from the property’s large pink granite boulders, and they boast separate living areas, decks and outdoor showers.
Most of the rooms have private infinity pools. (Three jungle casas don’t have pools.)
Two restaurants tempt your tastebuds when it’s time to eat. For lunch, sit with your toes in the sand under a beachfront palapa to dine on freshly caught fish. For dinner, the chef tells you what’s available and fresh. Perhaps lobster with hibiscus mole?
Just make sure you indulge in a cocktail (or two) at sunset.
Imanta’s Observatorio rooftop bar is billed as “the world’s most romantic bar.”
We sipped cayenne-spiced cucumber margaritas on daybeds while gazing out over the wild jungle and mesmerizing Pacific. (But just so you don’t get too jealous, Janice was snuffling away with a cold, sniff. So it wasn’t all that romantic for us, sniff. All she wanted was to crawl back into that big casa bed!)
We stayed as media guests at these deluxe Puerto Vallarta retreats for travel articles published in various magazines and newspapers. But the gushing here is all ours – and entirely genuine :-). Photos that aren’t ours are courtesy of the two resorts. (Lead image courtesy Imanta.)