It was about a year ago when Travel Agent first brought you word of a new Mexico resort destination dubbed Riviera Nayarit, which stretches across 100 miles of Pacific coast and is surrounded by mountains to the north of Puerto Vallarta. The region features luxury resorts and ecotourism boutique hotels, golf courses, rare native wildlife, mountain and island adventures and miles of beaches.
We recently attended the one-year anniversary celebration for the destination and came back from that event with enough property updates to bring you up to speed on this increasingly popular Mexican destination.
October is slated to be a huge month for the destination, with St. Regis leading the pack. The St. Regis Punta Mita is scheduled to open this fall and will feature 120 guest rooms and suites, which include 89 Casita rooms with beach views, 70 with king beds and 19 with two queen beds; 10 Junior Suites; 16 Deluxe Suites; three Deluxe One-Bedroom Suites; one Luxury Two-Bedroom Suite; and one Presidential Suite. The resort will also feature a 10,000-square-foot Remede spa and 3,200 square feet of meeting and function space. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the resort’s Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course—Punta Mita’s second. Agents can call Melanie Schneider, director of sales and marketing (011-52-322-226-1147).
Riu Palace Pacifico on Flamingos Beach in Riviera Nayarit
Riu Palace Pacifico is also scheduled to open in October. This will be Riu Resorts’ third hotel in Riviera Nayarit and will include 445 Junior Suites and Jacuzzi Suites. Also on the list of amenities are a spa and fitness center, special activities for adults and children and a variety of restaurants. The Riu Palace Pacifico’s prime location is on Flamingos Beach, just nine miles from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport.
Of the Jacuzzi Suites, the best are the 28 Sea View Suites, which come with a hydromassage bathtub, independent shower, living room and bedroom, as well as the seaview terrace and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The best rooms among these are the ones with an extra terrace on the top, which your clients can access by a staircase from the first-level balcony. These rooms have the best location and view of the hotel. Agents can contact Alejandra Constantino, director of sales, Pacific Coast (011-52-624-146-7174, [email protected]).
Also, opening up in October is Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta, which will be right next to Riviera Nayarit’s Banderas Bay. Its 228 rooms are all luxury suites and offer views of the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains from a private and furnished balcony or terrace. Maximum occupancy is three adults and one child or two adults and two children. The best of the best is the property’s Presidential Suite, which has a walk-in closet; a five-piece bathroom with bidet; dining room table with seating for eight; kitchenette with a small refrigerator and microwave oven; furnished parlor with a bar; a home theater area with a 40-inch flat-screen TV, CD/DVD player and surround-sound system; and an office area with computer. The spa spans more than 10,000 square feet and has 11 treatment rooms, including six massage rooms with a shower, two double massage rooms with showers, one hydrotherapy room, one wet massage room with a shower and one facial room. Agents can contact Rodolfo Cresta ([email protected]).
Villa la Estancia Beach Resort & Spa opened its doors this year and features 245 spacious suites. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units are all decorated with marble floors, granite countertops, whirlpool tubs, walk-in showers and balconies. The Villa la Estancia also offers a 17,000-square-foot Tatewari Spa with a wide array of treatments, including massages, facials, hydrotherapies, body scrubs and wraps, as well as salon services. Other amenities include a fitness center, two championship tennis courts and a Kids’ Club.
A Double Queen Bedroom at the Villa la Estancia Beach Resort & Spa
The Villa la Estancia is part of the Villa Group, which owns the adjacent Villa del Palmar, which also opened its doors this year. Villa del Palmar is perfect for families and couples and features a Spanish Colonial courtyard that opens to gardens, lawns and palm trees. Ten Hacienda-style buildings with terra cotta tile roofs range from four to eight stories. The centerpiece is a free-form activities pool containing a rock garden waterfall with waterslide. This property includes 560 guest rooms, including one- and two-bedroom suites designed with tile floors, bright fabrics and marble bathrooms. The balconies and patios, furnished with dining sets, provide garden, pool or partial-ocean views. Small and large studios feature a kitchenette, while one- and two-bedroom suites provide a complete kitchen.
Further Down the Road
Secrets Punta de Mita Resort & Spa is slated to open in late 2009 and will become the first Secrets property in the Riviera Nayarit region. It will be a 437-room resort in the Litibu area and will have a Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole golf course, as well as an onsite “dolphinarium.”
Also scheduled for 2009 is Iberostar’s first hotel in Riviera Nayarit. The Iberostar hotel complex will also be developed on the beach in Litibu near the new Greg Norman-designed golf course. It will include 456 guest rooms, all with ocean views, comprising 168 King Suites, 168 Double Suites and 120 Junior Suites.
Mii Amo Punta Mita will open in 2010 as the first destination spa in the 1,500-acre, master-planned Punta Mita resort community. Enchantment Group, a spa and resort development and management company, has planned a boutique hotel with 30 guest rooms, a destination spa and 25 residential condominiums.
Riviera Nayarit enters its second year as the fourth-highest tourism destination in Mexico in capturing investment, including a 12.5 percent increase in 2007. More than $350 million was committed to 35 projects spread across several areas, including Bahia de Banderas, Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita, Litibu and Flamingos. Since 2005, the Mexican government has invested $1.5 billion in tourism facilities and infrastructure in the destination. While the majority of hotel development in Nayarit is by Spanish brands, high-level American brands currently in the market, or planned for the future, include St. Regis, Four Seasons, Hyatt and Capella.
Beyond investment in new facilities and infrastructure, hosting new high-profile events has enhanced Nayarit. These include an Americas Cup Sailing Tour, Riviera Nayarit fishing and surfing tournaments, international sailing events and a Festival of Migratory Birds in the eco-region of San Blas.