In 1960, young Canadian architect Isadore Sharp opened the first Four Seasons in Toronto. Actually, it was the Four Seasons “Motor Hotel” and was built in one of the least desirable district of the City – the only area Sharp could afford a large piece of undeveloped property. Sharp’s success led him to continue building hotels but it wasn’t until a decade later, when expanding into London that the company transformed into a luxury brand on par with royal favorite Claridge’s and The Connaught, which had housed equally well-heeled guests since 1815. Soon, Four Seasons was catering to both elite business and leisure travelers worldwide.
While competitor luxury hotel chains like Ritz-Carlton sought to create a uniform quality to properties no matter what the locale, Four Seasons strives for uniform service, but emphasizes local architecture and culture.
Missoni tunika from Maris Collective / picture taken by Nik West
This philosophy is richly embraced at the stunning Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Mexico. The property nests in a 400-acre private nature preserve just northwest of Puerto Vallarta. Traditional Mexican-style casitas sprawl amid lush gardens, their red-tiled roofs kissing the sky.
Designed by Diego Villaseñor and Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita opened in 1999 and features 173 discreet and rooms, including suites and lavish private villas. Sculptures, torches, and fire pits welcome guests throughout the property. The interior was designed by Maria Isabel Gómez and Gina Parlange and showcases a breathtaking contemporary art collection.
Elegant accommodations were redesigned in October 2012 and feature a blend of chic Mexican architectural authenticity and the high-tech lifestyle we value. Color palettes reflect the sparkling sea, white sand, and abundant sunshine just steps outside one’s door.
If dining is your desire, the Resort offers four outstanding restaurants and three lounges under the direction of Executive Chef Philippe Piel Much of the fare is locally sourced, including the sumptuous red snapper, mole paste, Bahía de Banderas lobster, mahi mahi, achiote paste, and coffee.
You can work up your appetite at one of the ten tennis courts, four pools, scuba diving, surfing, fishing, yachting, horseback riding, weight training, yoga, or snorkeling. If golf is your game, two 18-hold Jack Nicklaus courses await you.
Under the marvelous guidance of General Manager John O’Sullivan (an accomplished artist and poet) and Resort Manager , Gonzalo Guelman- Four Seasons Punta Mita has flourished.
I have been privileged to stay at many magnificent Four Seasons properties around the globe, and can say unequivocally that Four Seasons Punta Mita is in a class all its own. The property prides itself on privacy and security – and for good reason. International film stars, politicos, and industry titans all find refuge and renewal under the warm Mexico sun. Rumor is that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was a guest. If true, he might have been on official business. He and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia purchased 95% of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts from founder Isadore Sharp in 2007.Resort dress from Maris Collective Punta Mita / picture taken by Nik West
Sharp, now an octogenarian continues as Chairman. A half-century after he opened the doors of the Four Seasons Motor Hotel in a disreputable part of Toronto, the company thrives as one of the most opulent hotel & resort chains in the world. As for Four Seasons Punta Mita Mexico, it is the shining jewel in its crown.
If you’re wealthy, famous or both; chances are good you’ve discovered the sun- drenched refuge of Punta Mita. Just 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, the cozy beachfront village on the north end of Banderas Bay in the Mexican state of Nayarit has quietly become an exclusive playground for celebrities, moguls and politicos looking for retreat and rejuvenation. The Bold-faced famous like Lady Gaga, Kirsten Dunst, Kim Kardashian, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, Mario Lopez, Demi Moore, Madonna, Sir Elton John, Vince Vaughn, Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston are just a handful of stars who’ve sought solace in the warm breezes of Punta Mita. Along the same latitude as Hawaii, the region averages 85° in summer with winter months averaging a balmy 75°.
While the area boasts some gorgeous resorts, the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort more than lives up to its heavenly namesake the 17th Century monk Saint Jean-François Régis. The resort’s 89 guest rooms and 31 suites offer every wish of modern luxury but are decidedly unfussy. Pampering, not pretention define the world-class service, affording high-profile guests the extravagance of privacy in pristine environs, which include fragrant gardens and infinity pools.
When it opened in 2009, Punta Mita was the first St. Regis property in all of Latin America.
Today, thanks to General Manager James Hughes and his innovative team, The St. Regis is preferred as much for its breathtaking locale as for its extensive list of activities. Two spectacular Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses beckon recreational golfers and the pros alike, while the white sand beaches and sparkling coast offer aquatic activities like snorkeling and dolphin watching.
After a day at play, lucky guests may re-energize in the 10,000 square foot Remède Spa. For foodies, the St. Regis is a holiday on its own with five places to savor flavors from near and far. Dine poolside – featuring light fare including ceviches and sushi or sip cocktails as sunset perched at the highest point of the resort with inspiring views. However, if a special occasion calls for true elegance, slip into the Award-winning restaurant Carolina – featuring fine seafood infused with Mediterranean influences as well as local zest.
Whatever your pleasure, St. Regis Punta Mita’s opulent setting, coupled with top drawer amenities and dazzling service will no doubt renew your senses, lift your spirit and have you jetting back again in no time at all.
Staying at the Petit Hotel Hafa is an experience that cannot be missed. Located on Calle Jose-Mariscal just steps from the plaza center. This quaint hotel is perfect for those seeking a Surf Chic and bohemian lifestyle vacation just minuets to the beach.
It is truly one of my favorites places to stay when I am in the beautiful Surfing village called Sayulita. I just adore all of the rooms that are decorated with handcrafts and art from different cultural areas of Mexico. This Hotel is just perfect for those wanting to enjoy all that Sayulita has to offer without spending a fortune. The bohemian culture and gypsey meets Jet set along with the feel of the hotel really is everything that Surf Chic embodies. Whether you are a Surfer or a beach lover this is the perfect place to come and enjoy.
The hotel is owned by the glamorous and super beautiful multi-national nomadic Mignot family. The Mignot’s have wandered the world for decades, often living on boats and collecting textiles, pearls, and vintage clothing along the way. For years, they set up successful, but temporary clothing boutiques in places like Key West, and Bora-Bora. Fortunately, the last few years have seen them find their land legs in the world’s most desirable destinations, where they are wildly successful artisans, champion surfers, designers and hoteliers. One can spot the children Lola Marco Nomme and Diego Mignot competing on the current WSL world championship Surfing tour. All trained in the waters of Sayulita.
Notably, lifepartners Christophe Mignot and Marina Garcia’s Petit Hotel Hafa in Sayulita has become a refuge for the global traveler looking for luxe comfort, without the fuss. Especially the Surf Chic crowd along with many super famous brands and fashion magazines using the hotel and a Super chic back drop for their photoshoots and advertising campaigns.
There is nothing stuffy about the environs or the staff. If anything, the attitude is refreshingly egalitarian, absent any feeling of pretention. I simply Love this! When I arrive I am always greeting with a warm smile and excitement for the adventure to come while staying in the hotel.
The hotel’s tranquil, yet cheerful Euro-tropical palette soothes and inspires. The Rooms feature unique artifacts from Mexico and open-airy designs that beckon the sea breezes on particularly warm days. Rooftop views survey the ocean, providing a welcome retreat or an optimal place to socialize, whatever your mood. My favorite is to have a glass of wine on the roof at sunset. Or for those who like to indulge of the Mexican culture they offer complimentary Tequila on the roof top.
It’s the perfect place to invite friends and relax. My children actually love sleeping on the rooftop there. Staying at Petit Hafa is one of my all time favorite experiences in Mexico. I simply adore the Hotel’s boutique as well.
The boutique hotel is perfectly perched just off a bustling plaza brimming with fashionable shops and cafes. This brings us to another Mignot gem. Whatever you do, you must stop in to Pachamama. The proprietors are the same family- called the famous Les Gazelles, the athletic, sun-kissed and lovely, Mignot sisters (Nathalie, Laurence, and Marie Jose). Les Gazelles’ shop is chock full of tasteful treasures – Mexican embroidered dresses, Tahitian pearls, leather goods, the famous Dreamcatchers that are sure to delight and so many wonderful creations that could easily be spotted on runways. I hope you will find your way to the treasure.