There’s no doubt choosing a vacation destination isn’t easy. For those planning to travel with kids, you can turn the page now. For those looking for a relaxing beachside vacation with amazing food and drinks, modern amenities and sunsets our East Coast just can’t compete with, look no further than The W Punta de Mita.

Centrally located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, the W Punta de Mita provides the quintessential escape from North Jersey. Following a nonstop flight no longer than that to California, you arrive in Puerto Vallarta. A quick drive later and you’re in the lush hills of Punta de Mita, and your getaway begins.

Once you’ve arrived at the W’s entry gate you hop on a golf cart that takes you along a winding road surrounded by tall walls which are further dwarfed by the dense trees lining the pathway to the hotel’s lobby. It’s simple to see why celebrities covet this property – the privacy is second to none.

Built into a beachside hill, the W Punta de Mita’s expansive property, along with its clever design, seamlessly blends the entire property into the surrounding nature. With only 119 guest rooms, including villas and suites, you’ll often feel like the property is your own private oasis, complete with a beautiful pool, incredible restaurants and a 700,000-plus tile mosaic walkway hundreds of feet long leading you out to views of the Pacific’s blue waters and wild sunsets.

Like most W properties, W Punta de Mita’s contemporary design gives it a youthful vibe while also celebrating the area’s cultural roots ­– whether it be the surfboard bed-headboards paying homage to this surfer’s haven or the abundance of luchador wrestling masks and candy skulls found throughout the property. In many ways, the property is a contemporary American hotel with open room concepts and modern amenities, but with fun reminders that you’re actually in a Mexican paradise.

The W has found the perfect formula mixing both fun and relaxation. While there’s no shortage of hidden spots to tuck yourself away and quietly read a book, there are also great spots to socialize with other guests.

Whether you start your day at the W’s state of the art fitness facility, get a massage at AWAY Spa or enjoy a surf lesson, the spot you’ll find the most guests at once is the incredible pool. Overlooking the beach and central to the property, the large pool, dotted with cabanas and an abundance of lounges, is an Instagrammer’s dream. On certain days the pool transforms into a day club, complete with a DJ and endlessly flowing bottles of champagne. Even on quiet days though, the pool is always buzzing. It doesn’t hurt that there’s always an attentive attendant waiting to deliver you a drink without ever having to leave the pool.

 

If that Tequila Sunrise cocktail has your stomach growling though, just hop out of the pool and head over to Chevycheria, a 1950’s 3800 Chevy truck converted into a beachside ceviche bar. If you prefer some fresh guacamole poolside, the Wet Deck (and their “adult ice cream”) is a must. Laying in the pool and watching the sun disappear behind the western horizon, what could be better?

If just lounging poolside isn’t your thing, than the W Punta de Mita still has plenty to offer. Besides those surf lessons, you can also rent stand up paddle boards, surfboards or boogie boards, and the hotel has partners that will help you plan activities and excursions, such as sunset sails, dolphin or whale watching expeditions, scuba and hookah diving, snorkeling tours and luxury yacht charters. If you’re looking to keep it on land though, a short drive to the neighboring city of Sayulita is perfect for a day of shopping or a night out to experience authentic local culture.

After a quick taxi ride you’ll be fully immersed in a buzzing beachside town. They beach is a bit swarmed, but watching hundreds of locals surfing at the same time is a unique sight. Local artisanal boutiques specializing in clothing and local art line the streets, and delicious tacos costing less than a U.S. dollar are everywhere. At night, the streets come alive with nightclubs and corner bars. If that’s your cup of cerveza (beer), it is quite a scene.

Back at the W though there’s still plenty of relaxation and eating to be had. First, the AWAY spa, another of the hotel’s gems seemingly built into the hillside, offers up plenty of services that allow you to detox before you retox. Whether you indulge in one of AWAY’s signature pampering treatments utilizing local ingredients such as cactus and agave, take in an after-sun body wrap or just simply want to channel your zen in the resort’s “Meditation Labyrinth,” you’ll be well suited for the day’s retox, and by that I mean a Mezcal tasting curated by the property’s knowledgeable mixologists.

Between the sun and the surfing, you’ll find yourself undoubtedly hungry. If you’re feeling some casual Mexican cuisine, Venazu is where you’ll head for a bountiful breakfast buffet with local staples such as mini quesadillas or chilaquiles (essentially breakfast nachos). Open for lunch and dinner as well, Venazu’s more casual and local fare utilizes many local fresh ingredients.

For another option, head just across from Venazu to Spice Market. Inspired by the street markets and food stalls famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten came across while traveling in Southeast Asia, Spice Market’s family style cuisine and relaxed and sexy atmosphere will definitely hit the spot.

Looking to have the only table at the restaurant? Mesa1 is an individual table on its own private island with sweeping oceanfront views offering just one daily seating for an ultra-intimate chef’s dinner.

As the temperatures of northern New Jersey continue to sink lower and lower, now’s the perfect time to plan an escape. Nestled in the hills of Mexico’s west coast, the W Punta de Mita is the hidden gem offering everything you could need.

By Brandon Goldstein

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