The lobby features the work of regional artists and artisans. // © 2014 Iberostar
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts based in Majorca, Spain, recently christened its 10th property in Mexico with the grand opening of Iberostar Playa Mita, a 452-room, all-inclusive, five-star resort on the Nayarit coast north of Puerto Vallarta. The $136 million property is the company’s first on the Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile stretch of Pacific Coast that is quickly becoming one of Mexico’s premiere luxury vacation destinations.
With Playa Mita, Iberostar has made a solid bet on Nayarit’s future. From the minute you walk into the lobby, it’s clear that Iberostar intends to distinguish its brand in this upscale market with Playa Mita. Nature is the star in this smartly designed open-air layout that celebrates the climate and flora of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Colors, themes and objects from native Huichol Indian culture blend seamlessly with contemporary European design. The contributions of regional artists and artisans are everywhere, from clever “pineapple” chandeliers to sculpture and Huichol string paintings. Bringing it all together are colonnade-lined marble corridors that resemble a Spanish plaza.
Playa Mita’s marketing aims for both couples and families. Adult amenities include a state-of-the-art spa, a theater, a nightclub and several unique bars strategically located throughout the property. Children can enjoy the Splash Park aqua park, which offers swimming and supervised activities geared toward specific age groups.
The majority of the resort’s guestrooms offer ocean views and outdoor patios or balconies, starting at $233 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The all-inclusive pricing is actually a good value for families, especially when considering meals. There are four themed restaurants: gourmet cuisine, Japanese, a steakhouse and Mexican. A buffet restaurant offers a wide variety of rotating themes and includes everything from appetizers to cheeses and desserts. Other options for light meals and drinks are available near the pool and beach areas. And for that late-night sweet tooth or craving, the 24-hour room service menu offers a range of choices.
Such a grand destination resort would hardly feel complete without a golf course, and three courses are available, although they are not owned or operated by Iberostar. A Greg Norman-designed course is adjacent to the resort while two Jack Nicklaus-designed courses are only a few miles away. Golfing, as well as other sporting activities can be arranged through the resort’s 24-hour concierge service.
With its relatively pristine location about 25 miles from Puerto Vallarta in Punta de Mita, the resort might feel a bit isolated for those seeking a broader cultural experience. In reality, Playa Mita is ideally situated for day excursions to some of Mexico’s most charming coastal towns. Resort staff can arrange transport for day trips to the towns of San Francisco (San Pancho) and Sayulita. San Francisco is the quieter, more rustic feeling of the two, while Sayulita is well known in surfing circles and is a great place to purchase local Huichol artwork and crafts.
In the end, however, the luxury, comfort and amenities of the Playa Mita experience will have most guests wondering how they could possibly need anything else.