On Location: The 5-Diamond St. Regis Punta Mita, Mexico

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St Regis Punta Mita Puerto Vallarta

Forty minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s airport, the 5-diamond, 120-room St. Regis Punta Mita welcomes groups with three distinct oceanfront pool areas for secluded private events. The values are incredible too, beyond what’s inherent in the region. St. Regis opened in November 2008 when the economy and AIG started creating headaches. Plus, Punta Mita has long been equated with one other 5-diamond resort. So the resort is aggressively going after incentive business with group rates starting at $295 in January, including a host of comps.

“We’re a young brand but our numbers are looking quite better than last year,” says Andrea Carneiro, director of sales/marketing. “Usually our groups are 40 to 50 rooms, but we’re getting requests lately for around 80, so we’re excited about that.”

The fabulousness at St. Regis begins in the open air lobby overlooking a wide terraced fountain cascading through the property toward the main pool and teal ocean. Absolutely mesmerizing. After check-in, we motor past the lush foliage and flowering gardens in a golf cart to a casita suite with a patio facing one of two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. At this point, your private butler shows up to unpack your bag and pour drinks.

Nothing is hurried. A sense of calm sweeps through you and you remember what it feels like to breathe long and deeply.

The 89 bright rooms and 31 suites start at 600 sf with marble baths and floors, a large tub/rain shower and an exterior shower. We highly recommend the exterior shower. The decor is a colorful yet classy mix of traditional furnishings with a modern energy. Bath amenities are supplied by the resort’s 10,000-sf Remede Spa.

Talking with Carneiro, we asked her what past groups such as Porsche, Audi, Calvin Klein and L’Oreal liked best about the resort.

“Our outside venues!” she enthuses. “With three oceanview pools and two beautiful beaches, we can play around a lot with many different settings for meetings and incentives.”

There are three seaside restaurants plus the 5-diamond Carolina on top of the hill with signature dishes like stuffed artichoke with lobster, foie gras and truffle. For casual dining, we love the ceviche lunch and Mexican beer selection at Sea Breeze, with indoor/outdoor dining and a private room for 16.

When groups book any of the pool venues, Carneiro brings in live entertainment ranging from strolling trios to a violin and piano duet. For group activities, she works with Punta Mita Expeditions. Popular tours include deep sea fishing, SUP classes, spearfishing clinics, snorkeling and mountain rainforest tours. We visited San Pancho Polo field where groups can take beginner polo lessons. First you learn to sit the horse and then how to actually use the mallet. It’s fun, safe and a unique experience. We also traveled to Sayulita, a small surf village just north that’s become a popular retreat for celebrities and expats due to the chilled out local vibe.

Onsite, there’s the new 70-foot Signature St. Regis yacht with itineraries ranging from sunset cruises to day adventures out to the Marieta Islands with a private onboard chef. And for the business at hand, the 2,600-sf Astor Ballroom is divisible in two with a quiet outdoor terrace overlooking the tropical wonderfulness.

For more destination info, visit: rivieranayarit.com

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