Iberostar Playa Mita: Our Grand Opening Report

Iberostar Playa Mita is the company’s first foray into rich Pacific Mexico.

Iberostar Playa Mita is the company’s first foray into rich Pacific Mexico.

The Iberostar empire has moved west. The Spanish hotel brand, home to all-inclusive hotels and resorts across Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, has added another notch to its belt: Iberostar Playa Mita in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit.

Travel Agent was on location in December for the resort’s grand opening where members of international media, along with Iberostar executives, gathered to celebrate the debut of the brand on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, which marks the 10th Iberostar resort in Mexico.

The hotel has 452 rooms, most with ocean views, including 120 Oceanfront Junior Suites, 18 adults-only Spa Rooms, two Presidential Suites and four handicap accessible rooms. For leisure and relaxation time, among other services, there are the Spa Sensations, and a Championship 18-hole golf course. The property is Wi-Fi-accessible throughout. There are a variety of dining options, including an international buffet, as well as four themed restaurants: Gourmet, Japanese, Steak House and Mexican. There is also an exclusive SeaSoul bar with ocean views, as well as seven other bars placed throughout the resort. Geared toward both couples and families, the hotel has a Splash Park aqua park and a separate kids’ pool, as well as a Miniclub for children aged four to 12 and a Teenclub for teenagers 13 to 17.

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What sets this resort apart from other Iberostars in Mexico is its location. Riviera Nayarit is an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, secluded between mountains and beach. As such, the resort places a huge emphasis on the natural environment and the local, traditional towns that surround it.

RELATED: 7 Reasons to Know Riviera Nayarit

“We came to Riviera Nayarit in 2005 and we loved it,” said Miguel Fluxa, executive chairman of Iberostar, during a press conference. “The nature is amazing and we are so happy to be here. We have ideas for more hotels on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and we are happy to start with Riviera Nayarit.”

Fluxa told Travel Agent that Iberostar is looking to add an additional property in Riviera Nayarit, along with hotels in Los Cabos and Mexico City. Last year the return rate to Iberostar hotels was 42 percent, and the average number of times a visitor returned to a single property was five. Fluxa and his team are confident that Iberostar Playa Mita will match these statistics.

Travel agents can reach out to Director of Sales Leticia Gonzalez with questions ([email protected]).

Around Town

Riviera Nayarit is smack dab between the Western Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It has 200 miles of beaches, mangrove forests and fishing villages, so whether clients are interested in hiking, surfing or culture seeking, there is an area of interest. Its prime real estate also affords it an average of 80 degrees year round.

From whale watching and snorkeling to diving, surfing and kayaking, Riviera Nayarit is an adventure-seeker’s paradise. The array of action-packed land activities includes pursuits like canopy zip lining and ATV excursions, and water activities like deep sea fishing, sailing, diving, and yes, even surfing, keep outdoor enthusiasts smiling through their vacations. Riviera Nayarit nature encounters are amongst the area’s most popular activities—whale watching, swimming with dolphins, sea lion encounters and baby sea turtle releases, to name just a few.

With casual seaside communities, Riviera Nayarit is an oasis for mind, body and spirit. The bohemian beach town of Sayulita has attracted avid yogis to the region in order to disconnect to reconnect. Sayulita is home to a wide variety of yoga studios, where travelers can get in touch with their spiritual sides. Other Riviera Nayarit towns that are great for yoga include San Pancho and Chacala.

Still relatively untouched by international tourism, Riviera Nayarit provides a glimpse into traditional Mexico. Four local tribes produce their own arts and crafts. Plus, the nearby archaeological site of Alta Vista allows visitors to take a step back into history. Travelers can also visit the island of Mexcaltitan, which is one of Riviera Nayarit’s hidden gems. The tiny island has just 1,800 inhabitants and is said to be the birthplace of Mexican heritage: this was the starting point of the ancient Mexica’s long journey that ended when they founded the city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City).

LGBT Confex’s fourth International LGBT Business Expo will return to its birthplace in 2014 as the sister destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit in Mexico host the latest edition of the Expo for businesses interested in targeting the gay and lesbian consumer. In 2014, the LGBT Business Expo has already confirmed participation by the Human Rights Campaign, American Express, Marriott International, Out & Equal, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors bureau, as well as Out Now Global, which will present LGBT2020. Mexico’s Ministry of tourism, SECTUR, and the Mexico Tourism Board recently announced that they will be launching an LGBT campaign to attract the market to the country and its many gay-friendly destinations, and will be working directly with the International LGBT Business Expo as well as the Riviera Nayarit CVB.

Getting There

As of January, Aeromexico began seasonal service from New York City to Puerto Vallarta. New air service on scheduled and charter flights will increase routes to Puerto Vallarta from Lansing, St. Louis, Rockford, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. As a result, an estimated 105,000 new seats are expected to come online. The Puerto Vallarta airport services both destinations, since the state of Nayarit is just 10 minutes away.

Most of the rooms in the hotel offer ocean views.
Most of the rooms in the hotel offer ocean views.

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