There are certain hotel and resort brands we gravitate to when we think of and want quality. I have my favorites here in the United States, and one such offering is the St. Regis Hotels and Resorts (part of the Marriott family). I’ve visited several of the eleven locations in the United States and did step foot into the one in Toronto, Canada. Adding those 12 locations to the others across the globe, this luxury brand of hotels and resorts boasts 54 places to call your new home away from home. This May, when we got the itch to start packing our luggage and boarding planes again, we thought we should look into what The St. Regis family had to offer outside of CA and USA.
When it came time to burst my COVID international travel bubble that had formed over the past too many months, we focused in on The St. Regis and its Mexico locations and thought they were just the ticket. A location in the heart of Mexico City and the prime Pacific Coast resort location of Punta de Mita were to be where we were going to allow ourselves to INDULGE and experience the TRANQUILITY we needed after 2020 and 2021.
Landing in Mexico City for the first time, we were not worried about our journey as the personal shuttle from the hotel whisked us away from the airport, through the largest city in North America, and deposited us safely at our destination. The St. Regis Mexico City location is prime as it is on Paseo de la Reforma, a road over 160 years old that runs diagonally across and through the heart of the city. Modeled after famous European roads like the Ringstrabe in Vienna and the Champs-Elysees in Paris, we were impressed and felt very safe walking out the front door of The St. Regis and out to restaurants, bars, clubs, and some other nightly activities.
Other well-known international luxury hotel brands occupied the Reforma which helped when I had to tell mom that we were in an excellent and safe location, but I did not tell her that the Zona Rosa (the best known gay district in the city) was just a half a mile or an 11 minute walk, a walk which we would make many times the three days we were there.
There was much more to see in Mexico than the Zona Rosa bars of Kinky, King, Macho, and Nicho (bear bar), and we were going to experience more than the indulgence at the St. Regis. It’s always great to come back from a vacation and say the lodging was great, but when in a place where you do not know when you will ever return, if ever, take the time to plan a little extra. What we had planned was a tour of the Coyoacan area of Mexico City and a visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum. Both were excellent as we learned so much about the city as well as some amazing facts and personal history about Kahlo. Well worth the easy planning and seeing more than just the ride from the airport and the Reforma.
And don’t be afraid to ask for other recommendations from the hotel for dining. The Restaurant Diana on The St. Regis property was perfect for their well-known Sunday brunch (locals come to the hotel to enjoy so reservations are recommended) and it was great for dinner and room service, but when we enquired about other dining options, we were pointed in the direction of Migrante, a restaurant in the Roma district of the city. The well-designed and amazingly staffed restaurant opened during the pandemic and is currently flourishing. Many thanks are given to head chef Fernando Martinez Zavala for a great evening and we highly recommend the duck.
The amenities provided by The St. Regis and the care the staff gave us was elevated and refreshing. We even participated in the hotel’s “Touchless Spa Therapy” where we took a sound bath with gongs. It was very unique, soothing, and mesmerizing new experience and a good option in a touchless COVID world.
Off to The St. Regis Punta Mita
As mentioned, the entrance to the country and the trip to the airport was an easy and stress-free experience. I will say my return to the airport was still very easy, but navigating the airport and getting to the flight to Pacific Coast was different. Pay attention to the signage, have your paperwork in order, and watch and listen to the security staff to see who may know English if you do not know Spanish. We ran into zero security guards that knew English, but we still managed to get to the gate faster than some friends that did know Spanish. Positive thoughts and positive vibes.
Getting to The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort from Mexico City meant we would fly into the Puerto Vallarta airport where The St. Regis van service again took great care of us and made the commute thoughtless.
Once at the resort, we were treated to the signature sabrage experience, something that we participate in at every St. Regis location we go to.
Dating back to the battles of Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously opened champagne with his saber in both victory and defeat, the art of sabrage is the signature ceremony of the St. Regis Evening Rituals series. This spectacular ritual consists in uncorking a bottle of champagne with our distinguish guests by the Head Butler or the Maitre d’Hotel. It is carried out in a very special way, since the mouth of the bottle is cut by a sword, it must be clean and precise.
After the sabrage, I completely decompressed physically and emotionally when I toured my room, villa, amazing accommodations. The large room with walk in closet, large balcony overlooking the ocean, the massive bathtub in the large wet room with shower, and the additional outdoor shower. This is The St. Regis. Could I just stay here forever?
As in Mexico City, mini excursions around the area were going to happen, visiting La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club with a tour of their grounds and meeting one of their handsome polo players/trainers and then it was off to their Tierra Tropical Beach Club for amazing views, food, and beach breezes.
It was great to see more of the Pacific Coast area outside of the resort grounds as once you are on most resort grounds, people don’t leave, but then again, it’s hard to leave that beauty, too. Before returning to the resort, we did take in some sight-seeing of Sayulita. We decided to go there as the description was enticing:
Internationally recognized for its outstanding surfing, Sayulita is a somewhat bohemian art colony with a thriving expat community. Visitors enjoy browsing the fine art galleries and stylish colorful shops with clothing, handicrafts, decorative items, handmade cosmetics and jewelry. Huichol Indians display their colorful art in the plaza in the heart of town. There are also several beachfront restaurants and cafes, luxurious villas, small hotels and spas.
We will look into renting a condo/apartment/villa in the town of Sayulita as there were great sights, views, men, food, and a constant sea breeze. But the van was waiting for us and we had a masseuse with our names on his clip board waiting for us back at the resort.
The spa experiences I’ve had, I don’t just consider the touching, the rubbing, the scents, the warm towels and stones as the main part of the massage, but massages and spas are also very visual experiences for me, too. Relaxing in the waiting area was part of the relaxation process that I truly enjoyed.
Post massage and outdoor shower number 3 at our little bungalow, it was time for our bouche to be amused with dinner at Carolina, one of the restaurants on the resort grounds and recipient of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award. Carolina offers contemporary Mexican cuisine from award-winning Chef Miguel Soltero. A different wine and place setting per course, yes, this trip was just what my whole body, mind and soul needed. Chef Miguel Soltero did come out at the end of the evening. As with what we saw at Migrante, fine Mexican dining is being championed by young and talented chefs!
Before being allowed to board a plane back to the US, a COVID test was necessary. No thought was needed about getting our tests done as The St. Regis staff arranged the appointment at the local hospital and the quick transportation (it was just blocks away from the resort area entrance). Just another example as to how the resort/hotel chain assisted in keeping our vacation care-free.
We want to thank The St. Regis for having a presence in two great Mexican destinations. Its hotel and resort guided us to visit Mexico City and Punta Mita and instilled a desire to return to see more of both locations. We will definitely revisit Mexico City to experience more and will look at Sayulita as another Mexican destination to explore further.
As usual, here are some more pictures of our trip presented at the end of the post for those that want to see more.
More Pictures from Mexico City –
More Pictures from Punta de Mita –