By Mike Bailey,
Senior Staff Writer

On a golf vacation at the new St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico, you get Punta Mita Golf Club’s two great Jack Nicklaus golf courses, fine dining, plenty of pampering and killer sunsets.
PUNTA DE MITA, Nayarit, Mexico – They don’t just give you the key to your room at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort on the Riviera Nayarit.

After you sit down with your personal check-in clerk (the process resembles an interview) at this Starwood resort, you are escorted away to your room by your personal butler. After this person lets you into your room, he explains the seemingly never-ending list of amenities.

For example, there are two flat screen TVs (one is in the bathroom), two showers (one is outdoors), a surround-sound system, desk with Internet hook-up, bath robes and slippers (of course), and a room with a view of the Pacific Ocean you can’t believe until you actually see it.

Then your personal butler, a trademark of the St. Regis brands, asks, “Can I unpack for you?”

Undoubtedly, some guests, who are used to such pampering, reply “yes” or the butler wouldn’t ask this question. For the rest of us, we are only left to ponder how the other half lives, which is exactly what the folks at Starwood Hotels & Resorts have in mind when they open these luxurious resorts.

Here, they let you know upfront that laundry service is available and encouraged. Reservations are recommended for the evening restaurants. And the spa – well that’s no ordinary spa, if there is such a thing.

If you need anything, you don’t call the front desk or the concierge, you call your butler, then he or she routs your request to the right person if need be. Somehow, though it isn’t true, you keep thinking your butler is waiting right outside your door all night. And for some guests, that’s just what they would expect.
St. Regis Punta Mita: Service, food and scenery at a higher level
Opened in November 2008, the St. Regis Punta Mitais a direct competitor with the Four Seasons Punta Mita just down the road. The design for the St. Regis combines style elements from France and Mexico, making use of natural materials, including Mexican Galarza stone, river stone, marble, onyx, wood and clay combined with European furnishings.

The resort also features the work of renowned Mexican artists, including murals by Tatiana Montoya, who combines her modern style with local history like the fishing heritage of Punta Mita.

Guests of both properties have access to the private 36-hole Punta Mita Golf Club, which offers two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses — the Bahia Course and the Pacifico Course — perched on the Pacific Ocean just above Banderas Bay, about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.

The clubhouse to the Punta Mita Golf Club is actually within a couple of minutes walking distance of the St. Regis, but they will offer you a ride nonetheless.

After you get done playing golf at either the new Bahia or the original Pacifico – both with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean – there are a number of relaxing activities for you waiting at the St. Regis.

My favorite was free, in a manner of speaking: watching the sunset from anywhere on this 22-acre resort. Whether you are by the pool or watching the sunset from the private beach, the sunsets are stunning, even with some cloud cover. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the blue whales who come to Banderas Bay to breed. Sometimes the males can put on quite a show, splashing about for superiority, trying to impress potential mates.

There are three large infinity pools on the property. (Infinity pools don’t appear to have edges because they spill over into a secondary catch basin below.) If that’s not private enough, there are cabanas for rent at the adult pool.

There are also tennis courts available at the golf club, a gym with an indoor studio, weights and cardiovascular equipment, and an outdoor area for yoga and Pilates. You can even hire a personal trainer if you want.

For the ultimate rejuvenating experience, though, there’s the 10,000-square-foot Remède Spa. There you’ll find nine treatment rooms — two of them for couples. There’s also a deluxe spa suite, which includes a couples room and private Jacuzzi. You can even rent your own cabana in the spa, where you can receive a variety of beauty treatments, including various massage treatments.

The Remède Spa also has separate Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath areas for both men and women, luxurious locker-room facilities and a spa boutique with all the Remède products available. Samples of these products are included with the guest-room experience.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort: Restaurants and bars
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort offers three restaurants on the property, which range from casual and stylish to a little more formal. There’s also a “chic” lobby bar called Altamira. And you can view the heavens at night through a high-powered telescope with a little help from the resident expert.

For breakfast and lunch, there’s Las Marietas, which serves authentic Mexican food in a casual atmosphere under a Papago overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The Sea Breeze Club, which overlooks the beach, offers an eclectic menu that features California fare in a relaxed open environment. Here you can get Black Angus steaks, the catch of the day or large, original salads, including the Caesar’s salad that comes with calamari.

And then for a little more formal experience, there’s the resort’s signature restaurant, Carolina, which is located in the main building. It, too, has great views of the ocean and the rest of the resort with a bar and outdoor terrace. Here you can get seafood that highlights a mosaic of Mediterranean culinary styles fused with local flavors.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort: The verdict
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is one of those places you stay at and afterwards ask yourself, “What else is there?”

Here, the staff members see to all your needs, whether you want them to or not. It’s on a piece of property that almost seems too good to be seen only by a few, but alas, that’s the way of the world.

Nothing has been left to chance. Private entrances with impeccable landscaping and gardening create a feeling of seclusion. When you first arrive, it’s easy to get lost, despite the fact that there are just 120 guestrooms and suites (including the luxurious, three-bedroom Presidential Suite). The resort could be full, yet you’d feel like you’re there almost by yourself.

Yes, this is where the stars in entertainment, sports and business go to relax. It’s pretty much the ultimate getaway if you’ve got a little time and money to spend.

Getting there and what’s nearby
The resort is 50 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport to the south in Puerto Vallarta. Several major U.S. carriers, as well as Aero Mexico, provide nonstop service from cities such as Miami, Houston, Dallas, New York and Chicago.

While the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is a vacation all on its own, you can find great shopping and dining in Puerto Vallarta as well as the nearby villages of San Francisco (San Pancho) and Sayulita in Nayarit.

In San Pancho, you’ll find unspoiled beaches, great oceanside dining and local artists selling some really unique pieces. Sayulita is the place you want to go if you surf or would like to take up surfing. It’s also a good launching pad for fishing, if you’re so inclined.

For me, golf and sunsets were plenty.

March 10, 2009

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf west of the Mississippi, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 15 years in the golf industry. Before joining the WorldGolf.com team in 2008, he held positions at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine.


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Punta Mita Amenities

Punta Mita offers ample opportunities to enjoy artful leisure, with stylish gathering places and the finest amenities to energize your body and your spirit. Discover two private Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, private beach clubs, a tennis club and fitness center, a collection of boutique shops, private medical clinic, outdoor activities centers, spa services and a club concierge to assist you in planning your perfect way to enjoy all that is offered here. Active-minded residents can enjoy a variety of water sports, from deep sea fishing and diving to surfing and kayaking, as well as land activities that include championship golf, tennis, mountain biking and hiking.

Club Punta Mita has two membership categories, “Resident”and “Premier”. Based on the membership associated with your home or rental property, you will be able to use the following facilities and amenities of Club Punta Mita:


Premier Golf

Premier Sport

Pacifico Golf Course Tennis Center Residents’ Beach Club Pacifico Golf Course Bahia Golf Course Tennis Center Fitness Center Residents’ Beach Club Kupuri Beach Club Tennis Club Fitness Center Residents’ Beach Club Kupuri Beach Club

Punta Mita Golf

The private Punta Mita Golf Club is open only to Punta Mita property owners and their guests, and guests of Four Seasons and St. Regis Resorts. Members enjoy access to the comfortably appointed clubhouse, which offers dining, bag storage and other amenities. This is the place to meet your friends—and play.


RATED #1 IN LATIN AMERICA - Highly praised by golfers and golfing magazines, this unique championship course inspired Conde Nast Traveler readers to select the Four Seasons Punta Mita as the world’s #1 golf resort. Its “Tail of the Whale,” an optional, par-three 19th hole measuring 199 yards, features the only natural island green in the world. The course plays between 5,037 and 7,014 yards.

Click here to tour the Pacifico course hole by hole.


The newest addition to Punta Mita’s golfing achievement, this second Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in late 2008 and is as stunning as its sister course. Featuring six ocean holes and playing between 5,180 and 7,030 yards, this championship course rolls through the property of the St. Regis Resort, and among the communities of El Encanto, Porta Fortuna, and La Punta Estates. The challenging and undulating fairway and green complexes offer a wonderful counterpart to Pacifico for golf afficionados.

Click here to tour the Pacifico course hole by hole.

The Punta Mita Residents Beach Clubs

The intimate Residents’ Beach Club at Kupuri offers an additional gathering place, exclusively for the use of Premier Members and their guests to socialize and enjoy the recreation and scenery of Litibu bay.

Facilities at Kupuri include an oceanfront swimming pool surrounded by sun chairs, men’s and ladies’ restroom and changing areas, and a shade palapa for casual lunch dining.With its broad sandy beachfront and clear shallow waters, is ideal for swimming and water activities.

Light lunch dining and beverage service is currently available at the Kupuri Palapa Pavilion, daily, from noon to 5pm.

Sufi Ocean Club at Porta Fortuna

With gorgeous views across Banderas Bay and the lovely Punta Mita Pier, the Sufi Ocean Club elevates the beach club concept while maintaining a breezy, casual vibe.

A large, sparkling saltwater pool is the centerpiece, with wooden cabanas and daybeds, outdoor showers and access to the Pier and beach. The aesthetic throughout is boho chic in a tranquil setting.
From the beach, enjoy aquatic adventures courtesy of Punta Mita Ocean Sports, where the team of professional athletes has curated water sports, lessons and experiences specifically for Premier Club Members and their guests. The club also features a pop-up boutique with beach-glam looks and accessories perfectly paired with Punta Mita days or nights. Guests can relax to a DJ and enjoy incredibly fresh dining options from the new Sufito Cevicheria Bar, as well as perennial favorite, Sufi Restaurant.

The St. Regis Beach Club

The St. Regis Beach Club offers special access to owners and their guests to Punta Mita.

The Sea Breeze Beach Club at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is a stunning setting to enjoy a day at the beach, provisionally available for the enjoyment of the Club Punta Mita Members and their guests, via a year-to-year access agreement.

Located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the peninsula, it features both a large swimming pool and beachfront with sun chairs and pool butler service, the acclaimed Sea Breeze Restaurant and Bar and — for casual, on-the-sand dining — the Mita Mary Seafood boat. With signature St. Regis service to pamper you, the Sea Breeze Beach Club is a favored place in Punta Mita. It also features the Punta Mita Expeditions Ocean Activities outpost, with onsite paddle-boards, wind-surfers, and boats to take you fishing, surfing or snorkeling/diving.

Pacifico Beach Club

Club Punta Mita offers a full range of ocean activities through our Ocean Activities Center at the Pacifico Beach Club.

Paddle off the beach with a kayak. Take a stand-up paddle board lesson. Experience our Marine Snorkel Safari. Scuba dive the Marietas Islands National Park. Join the whale watching tours. Go spearfishing in the blue. You will find the Ocean Activities station conveniently located near the pool area at the Residents’ Beach Club. They will be more than happy to arrange all types of expeditions.


The Tennis Club at Punta Mita offers a variety of surfaces with world class mentors ready to keep you active.



A variety of fun and exciting tennis activities await at The Punta Mita Tennis Club. Managed by Four Seasons and Peter Burwash International, the recently expanded Punta Mita Tennis Club offers 10 courts – a combination of hard surface and synthetic grass courts—lighted for evening play. In addition, enjoy an apparel and equipment shop as well as men’s and women’s locker rooms. The Premier Fitness Center, for Club Punta Mita members, features Technogym® cardiovascular and machine weight equipment that allows a comprehensive fitness regimen. Men’s and women’s locker and shower areas allow for a relaxing finish to your workout, leaving you refreshed and energized.


Punta Mita is much more than golf. Enjoy a world of water sports and deep surfing culture along the coastline.

Nestled between the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, this extraordinary peninsula offers a breathtaking coastline, an inviting seaside playground and a natural magnet for all kind of aquatic and land adventures.

The sparkling waters, pristine beaches, coral reef and occasionally rocky coast inspire a host of delightful experiences: sport fishing, sea kayaking, whale watching, surfing, sailing, diving, spearfishing, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Club Punta Mita offers a full range of ocean and outdoor activities, many of which are provided by our Ocean Activities Coordinator located at the Residents Beach Club and at Sea Breeze Beach Club.