Already overwhelmed by the incredibly gorgeous landscaping and environmentally conscious architecture of Imanta Resort, we were guided to the front door of our
suite—and were even more impressed. There stood smiling Delia, a staffer in her immaculate embroidered blouse, with an array of locally handmade soaps.
“Please choose your fragrance,” she said shyly. My husband and I sniffed away, while she explained the potential benefits of the aromas. After we chose, she cut two slices of each of our selections and placed them in our individual vanity areas and in the spa-like shower area. There were many such touches that entranced us during our escape to this boutique resort in Punta de Mita, Nayarit, Mexico.
Cuisine in Nayarit is world-renowned. Don’t leave without trying “aguachile de camarones” (fresh shrimp cooked in lime and chile), pescado sarandeado (grilled garlic and chile-seasoned fish filets), or a chilled Cielo Rojo (spicy Clamato tomato juice mixed with lager beer and lime). Many high-caliber boutique hotels, resorts and small eco-retreats throughout the Riviera Nayarit cater to those who expect the utmost in service, cuisine and accommodations. Indeed, the region has become famed for its discreet visits by famed celebrities and politicians, who enjoy first-class amenities such as butlers, private chefs en suite, expansive private terraces and gorgeous infinity pools.
W Hotel Punta de Mita
Punta Mita is not to be confused with Punta de Mita, which is the small, nearby Mexican community on the point of the “Riviera”. Punta Mita (known as ‘the Riviera Nayarit’s best address) is where tourists and the very rich (think celebs like the Kardashians, Arab sheiks and Silicon Valley CEOs) seek luxurious hotels, private villas and residential communities with spectacular seaside golf courses, spas, restaurants and pampering. The W Escape (first in Latin America,) opened in late 2016, is in Punta de Mita, but is just as posh as the Four Seasons and St. Regis in Punta Mita—with much more whimsy and playfulness.
From the moment one enters the property, the color scheme is a sensory experience. Citrine green, hot pink, bright yellow, brilliant turquoise—the W celebrates the colors of Mexico. Stylish, trendy, hip, full of indigenous folk art, the W succeeds in being a truly unique property which entices its guests to indulge in “fun” activities they might not have done in years, if ever. I never thought I’d be riding a scooter around a swimming pool, but hey, it was just sitting there on the 700-tile mosaic “Sunway,” adorned with Huichol Indian designs and beckoning to my “inner child.” For a vacation like no other, reserve the aptly named “Wow Suite.” But all of the 118 other rooms and suites are fabulous, adorned with touches of Frida Kahlo, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and others wildly mixed with surfboards, skateboards and other modern-day icons.
Nayarit, while just the 10th smallest of Mexico’s 31 states, has the most ex-pats from the U.S. and Canada, and elsewhere, and it’s no wonder. With its border just 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport, Nayarit boasts a spectacularly beautiful coastline (nicknamed the Riviera Nayarit) stretching 190 miles across 23 distinct communities. In just 10 years of being promoted as a tourism destination, the Riviera Nayarit has become a worldwide phenomenon, attracting tourists to its luxurious and exclusive hotels and resorts, its spectacular beaches, colonial and pre-colonial history, indigenous traditions, acclaimed bird and whale watching, sea turtle camps and its many adventure activities.