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Over the last decade of development, Riviera Nayarit has inaugurated one sophisticated five-star resort after another, while, at the same time, carefully promoting its laid-back surf-centric beach towns such as Sayulita and San Francisco. With this year’s opening of the beachfront W de Punta Mita, these disparate worlds come together in one setting where travelers can enjoy a hip ambiance as well as luxury service and amenities.
W Punta de Mita is not located on the Punta Mita peninsula and instead is in the town of Punta de Mita, where the original fishermen were relocated when the Punta Mita peninsula was developed as a luxury enclave. Clients who have visited Riviera Nayarit in the past and browsed the shops of Sayulita will probably recognize the design aesthetic of Revolucion Del Sueno, arguably the hippest shop in Sayulita. Revolucion Del Sueno is famous for taking iconic Mexican characters and giving them a whimsical twist. In my room at W Punta de Mita, there were pictures of Emiliano Zapata carrying a surfboard and Frida Kahlo reimagined as a skater girl with a skateboard under her arm. Bright, eye-popping colors abound in the rooms, which play perfectly against the minimalist decor. This is interior design that brings a smile to your face.
The bright design aesthetic is carried throughout the property. Instead of being transported in golf carts, guests are whisked around on Bangkok-style, three-wheeled tuk tuks. Throughout the resort, visitors will find variations on the beaded-art style of the indigenous Huichol Indians. One example of this is the resort’s elevated “Camino Huichol” walkway, which is 460 feet long and composed of 750,000 blue and green mosaic tiles. The walkway makes a great vantage point to take in the sunset.
The social pulse of the resort is the Wet deck, a pool area with cabanas, its own bar and a DJ. The resort also has an Away spa; private beach cabanas; and the Wave Surf Shop, a watersports center specializing in surf lessons.
Chevycheria is an eye-catching beachside eatery fashioned from a 1950s Chevrolet 3800 truck. It specializes in a variety of ceviches; I recommend working your way through the menu with a lunch of shared plates. The ceviches are accompanied by a selection of micheladas, a regional drink made with local beer, Clamato (tomato juice flavored with spices and clam broth), lime juice and spices.
After a day in the sun, the dim lighting and intimate vibe of the resort’s Spice Market restaurant is a welcome change. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the guiding force behind the venue, which was inspired by his travels sampling Asian street food.
Mesa1 (pronounced “Mesa Uno”) is the ultimate over-the-top dining experience at the resort. When I arrived, I was expecting a restaurant. Instead, my companion and I were seated at an open-air table fashioned from a single slice of a 450-year-old parota tree trunk. The table has incredible views looking out over the grounds and toward the sea. Mesa1 is a wonderful pick for a couple’s special romantic occasion, as well as a perfect choice for small groups.
W Punta de Mita is a great recommendation for clients looking for first-rate service and amenities combined with cutting-edge style in this beautiful and laid-back part of the world.