That’s typically our mantra when it comes to travel. And 2017 was packed full of tropical, ocean-view vacations from Hawaii and California to Mexico and the Caribbean. Yet one of the biggest surprises came when we were invited to W Punta de Mita, one of the most vibrant properties we’ve ever experienced from the boutique brand. Located 20 miles north of the Puerto Vallarta airport, it might as well be 1,000 miles from the bustling beaches and crowded streets of Zona Romantica.
We’ve been to Puerto Vallarta so many times, we know the city almost as well as our own. But one visit to Punta de Mita and it has earned a permanent spot on future travel itineraries when visiting the Pacific coast. We love the robust gay scene in PV, but we’ve never headed home feeling truly relaxed. We always need a vacation to recover from the first vacation.
W Punta de Mita changes everything.
The beach just out the back doors of the hotel feels almost Tom-Hanks-and-Wilson remote, especially in low season. With only a handful of other properties in the area, it’s a secluded oasis that’s as relaxing as it is picture-perfect. On our visit in September, we only saw one beach vendor over the course of several days. Anyone who frequents Los Muertos beach in Puerto Vallarta knows that borders on miraculous.
And the waves are beloved by surfers, which you can call yourself by the end of your trip thanks to surf lessons offered by the hotel’s resident instructor.
As for the hotel itself, the designers created a space that honors the local culture in chic and exciting ways. The colorful mosaic floor continues from the front of the lobby, down through the Living Room bar…
…then out the back door and up a flight of stairs onto an elevated catwalk overlooking the pool and ocean beyond.
The remote location offers postcard-worthy views in all directions, whether it’s the towering mountains to the north and east or the crashing waves to the west. Many of the guest rooms are situated in modern casitas with interiors as colorful and full of locally sourced Huichol art and accessories as the main hotel spaces.
Some rooms feature ocean views, while others are on the lake or in the shadows of lush jungle landscapes.
Plentiful dining options make it easy to hang at the resort from sunrise to sunset for any days you don’t want to venture into nearby artists’ community Sayulita for a little lunch and shopping, or a night out in old Puerto Vallarta. In addition to Spice Market and a unique outdoor private dining experience, Mesa 1, one of our favorite spots was Chevycheria, a beachfront bar and ceviche hut built into a 1950s Chevy truck.
The spa, like at all W Hotels we’ve enjoyed, takes tranquility and gives it a sophisticated edge. Each of Away Spa‘s treatment rooms (here known as spa cabins) can accommodate couples for tandem massages and other services. After your pampering, escape to the wet area filled with multiple pools and water therapy zones with varying temperatures to suit your tastes and needs.
So next time a trip to Puerto Vallarta comes up among your group of gays, which it always tends to do, strongly consider mixing things up with a few days at W Punta de Mita. Or even a specific getaway altogether.
Because a change of perspective is always good.
W Punta de Mita
Main photo: Shutterstock
All other photos: W Punta de Mita