By Jerry R. Landress
On a recent visit to a region of Mexico known as Rivera Nayarit, which shares the airport with Puerto Vallarta, I had the opportunity to see and experience firsthand the diversity of the region and the amazing variety of luxurious accommodations available to the discriminating traveler.
The goal of this review is to give a sampling of the luxury all-inclusive resorts, brand name properties, private villas and one-of-a-kind boutique hideaways that help place Riviera Nayarit at the forefront of luxury travel destinations in Mexico. The following are a few of the “Top” suite options I selected – they are listed in geographical order from the airport.
Casa Velas – Adults Only Luxury All-Inclusive Boutique Hotel
Even though not officially in Riviera Nayarit (just minutes from the dividing line between the states of Jalisco and Nayarit), this 80 room jewel, nestled in the center of the Marina Puerto Vallarta Golf Club, reminds me of a private hotel in Palm Springs or Beverly Hills. The Presidential Suite is exquisitely furnished and decorated in textures and colors inspired by traditional Mexican design, accented by works by acclaimed Mexican sculptor Sergio Bustamante. This 7,420 sq. ft., six-room masterpiece includes four bedrooms, each with a full private bath and one half bathroom for guests. The sleeping areas are complemented by a living room and formal dining room plus a patio area, and private pool covering over 11,000 sq. ft. and surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.
Standout services and amenities (specifically for guests staying within this suite) include:
• 50-minute massage per adult per night (max. 8) • VIP Airport-Hotel Transportation • Private Bar and Bartender Services • Private Concierge and Maid Services • Daily In-Suite Amenities: Fruit, Crudités & Petit Fours • Complimentary Wireless Internet • Private Beach Club Shuttle • L’Occitane bath amenities • All Inclusive Gourmet Suite Service and more…
Celebrity guests who have enjoyed the Presidential Suite include:
Chris Tucker, Cynne Simpson, Felipe Calderon (Former President of Mexico),
Rate: $3,800.00 USD
Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta All-Inclusive
This upscale all-inclusive resort plays to its own beat. Located on Banderas Bay and clustered between other resort hotels and luxury condo properties, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta (actually in Riviera Nayarit) is hip, fun and a few “bars” apart from the typical beach resort.
Appropriately named, the Rock Star Suite lives up to its name. This two bedroom 2,511 square feet pad is both edgy and functional. This suite also includes dining room and living room areas with an indoor bar complete with top shelf liquor dispensers. Décor includes Iconic memorabilia featuring Shakira and Madonna. Jet-set amenities include a double hydro spa tub (in the double room only), 70’s style in-room shower with steam and its own sound system, private ocean view terrace, surround sound music system (Blu-ray) and lighting, plus three 50” high-definition plasma TVs with hidden screen and projector.
Rock Star Suite guests also enjoy the ultimate in personalized service. For example: Personal butler, scheduled turndown service, and exclusive concierge phone service, as well as private dinners on the beach and VIP reservation of lounge chairs on the beach. These are just a few of the unique services that caught the eye celebrities such as, Maná, Juanes, Red Foo, Bella Thorne, and Lil John.
Rate: $4,000 USD per night
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Luxury All-Inclusive
Grand Velas Nayarit is the only all-inclusive resort in the Mexican Pacific to be awarded Five Diamonds by the AAA. In fact, it has Seventeen Diamonds. It is set in an exclusive golf, marina and beach community in Banderas Bay, just 15 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta.
The Royal Spa Suite is a magnificent 6,635 square foot penthouse encompassing two bedrooms plus separate living and dining areas with wet bar. It is tastefully decorated with Nuevo Mexican design and fine art with all the amenities to match. Each bedroom has a private bath with the master boasting a steam room, massage table, interior Jacuzzi, aqua tower shower with six hydro-jets, and dressing area. The outside terrace offers an incredible rooftop view of the blue Pacific and all of Banderas Bay with Jacuzzi for up to 12 people. The suite offers 24 hour butler as well as gourmet food and beverage service from the hotel’s amazing restaurants.
The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has one feature that goes unchallenged in the entire area – gourmet dining. This single property has three separate Four Diamond restaurants offering extraordinary French, Italian and Nuevo Mexican cuisine.
Rate: $10,000 USD per night
Imanta Resort Punta Mita
This is truly a one-of-a-kind boutique ultra-luxury resort. Literally built into the jungle cliffs overlooking the blue Pacific — dotted with small islands and lined with sandy beach coves — Imanta is a true sanctuary. If you are looking for complete privacy and security, you have found paradise. Of the eleven keys, Casona Jaguar towers above the rest. This 10,000 square feet three bedroom/three story villa named Casona Jaguar, offers two master bedrooms each with a king bed and a third smaller room ideal for kids, nanny, staff or a guest in the reservation. A family/media room, a stunning rooftop terrace with a Jacuzzi offering the best views in all of Punta Mita, a private beach, and a 65 foot infinity edge lap pool are just a few of the highlights of this extraordinary villa/suite. A generous, high-ceiling living room graced by an entire wall of windows includes a stunning dining and living room area, a state of the art kitchen and outside grill making Casona Jaguar Imanta´s most spacious residence. Of course, you may also ask for a private chef to cook in your Casona’s own kitchen.
Celebrity guest’s privacy is respected but, let’s just say that it has satisfied super models, princes and presidents.
Rates: $5,400.00 USD per night
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Just 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, a true tropical adventure awaits at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. What struck me the most about this world class luxury golf and beach resort is the way it provides adult private areas with a family friendly environment. Nowhere is privacy more apparent than in their signature Coral Suite.
A favorite of Jessica Simpson, the five bedroom, six bathroom Coral Suite is the resort’s most exclusive accommodation, with 13,300 square feet of space and the ability to house up to 10 adults comfortably. It has its own drive-up entrance and parking is designed for the ultimate in privacy. It also houses a fitness center, media room and spa area for a range of massages and body treatments.
The suite has its own infinity pool, plus a private poolside cabana included if and when guests want to spend time at the resort pool.
• Personal spa area for a range of massages and body treatments • Outdoor shower with Vichy jets in the master bedroom • Personal host for the duration of your stay • Poolside cabana • Private drive The overall experience is enhanced by an extensive contemporary Mexican art collection, the Coral Suite is a testimonial to architects Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo and interior designers Maria Isabel Gómez and Gina Parlange.
Rate: $17,000 USD per night
011+52 (329) 291-6000
Casa Aramara– The Ultimate Hideaway
Casa Aramara is a luxury 5-star private residence in Punta Mita, Mexico, a beachfront village located just 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport in the private development of Punta Mita. This private villa offers 12 exclusive suites that can accommodate a maximum of 30 people, encompassing 24 indoor and outdoor living spaces. This idyllic white sandy beach getaway was designed by world-famous designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Nestled amidst acres of lush tropical gardens, Casa Aramara offers activities ranging from a swim with dolphins to a Champagne sunset cruise, world class dining, and luxuriously furnished rooms.
With a discreet, yet attentive 15-person bilingual staff available to accommodate any request and a list of amenities to satisfy the most discriminating wish list – private chef, chauffeur, 24-hour butler, and more , Casa Aramara provides a carefree environment for relaxation and recreation that is the very definition of paradise. Plus, each room offers an ANYTHING™ button that will provide guests with anything they want…24 hours a day,
7 days a week. Other unique features include:
• Full access to the nearby Four Seasons and St. Regis resorts in Punta Mita • A private white-sandy beach • Two luxury vans • Mercedes-Benz cars • State-of-the-art fitness center • Professional frozen yogurt machine • Priority restaurant and nightclub reservations • On-site security • Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers • US Open Championship tennis court • Movie theater with 20 person capacity • Much more…
Completely renovated in 2013, Casa Aramara has been a home away from home for Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Mario Lopez, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria and I could drop a few more names…
Rates: $15,000.00 USD per night
This world ranked golf and beach resort exudes luxury from the moment you are personally greeted by your host and expertly guided through the “check-in” ritual. The view from the lobby is awe inspiring and at least for this writer, immediately put me somewhere on a South Pacific island, except I was only 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport in the exclusive development of Punta Mita. The other standout feature of The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is the amount of space allocated per guest. It is like the resort was designed for three times the number of rooms. So what’s one more!
The Suite Amanecer – Presidential Suite is in a class by its self. Surrounded by art, comfort, and enhanced by flawless service as well as 24-hour private dining, guests find it delightfully easy to retreat in the beauty of this three-bedroom 3,100 square feet oceanside haven with its own pool and private beach. The experience is enhanced by the careful details instilled by architects Hill Glazer and interior designs by Roy Azar. Throughout, the design combines a touch of rustic Provence combined with Mexican art and hand-crafted items, such as bedside trays of onyx marquetry, lamps and antiqued mirrored trays from San Miguel Allende. The serene decor also incorporates colorful handcrafted tiles, created exclusively by artists in Saltillo, Coahuila.
Outstanding features include a private terrace complete with pool, Jacuzzi, and outdoor shower. Furthermore, the suite provides ample opportunity for gatherings, easily orchestrated with the signature bespoke service of a St. Regis Butler. Of course, all the amenities and personal selections suited to the needs of each individual guest are obvious to even the most sophisticated traveler. It was recently home to Sofia Vergara and rumored to be private enough for the President of Mexico.
Rate: $5,500.00 per night
(011 52) (329) 291 5811