Calle Playa Calleros, Punta Mita, Nayarit,Mexico
For those who want to replicate the experience of a lavish beach villa staffed with attentive cooks and servants, this all–inclusive boutique hotel on a deserted beach is paradise.
Casa de Mita (formerly Casa las Brisas), in the Punta de Mita area of Mexico, about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, is 7–room boutique hotel on a beautiful beach––a stretch of sand that puts most of the resort–fronted ones in the region to shame. With amazing views of the crashing waves and top–notch food and décor, this fine small hotel attracts discerning travelers who come once and end up making plans to return before checking out.
Built and run by a skilled American hotel architect, Casa de Mita is made up of two large beach houses that were combined into a carefully planned inn. It's the only hotel around, approached by a pitted dirt road and surrounded by private homes and mansions. The helpful staffers collect your bags and lead your straight to your room for registration. Throughout the stay thereafter, a person always seems to materialize at your side to fetch whatever you need. Cocktails are poured with premium liquor, the rotating menu is skillfully prepared, and baskets of sunscreen are even placed at the feet of the cushioned lounge chairs facing the ocean. It almost requires a new term: "low–key all–inclusive" perhaps?
The public areas flow into one another, with plenty of space for lounging, reading, or eating. An attractive tile swimming pool is in the center of the property, with cushioned wood lounge chairs surrounding and a swim–up bar on one side. Steps lead down to the gorgeous crescent beach, which stretches for over two miles and is usually close to empty. Sunsets fill the sky over the ocean with color and during the right time of year it's possible to see whales and dolphins cruising by.
All of the seven rooms are furnished a bit differently, with plenty of Mexican artwork and personal touches, but all have a balcony with a view and a long list of amenities, including good lighting with dimmer switches and air–conditioning controlled by a remote control. Quality custom furniture sits on cool tile floors and pretty local quilts cover the king–sized platform beds with billowing mosquito nets. In a few rooms it's possible to look out at the water from the open shower––without being seen. The two penthouse suites on the top floor are the best bet if available. These have larger sitting areas, larger baths, and balconies with the clearest views of the waves hitting the shore.
The restaurant is a floating concept, with dinner served in a poolside setting under a thatched roof, the other two meals served wherever the patio furniture happens to be, with a seaside view while dining. The question, "What do you want for breakfast?" serves as the early morning menu, the kitchen able to whip up most anything. Lunch and dinner are more defined, but always with several options for varying diets.
The cool blue tile pool is the central feature of the courtyard, with a swim up bar and a view of the ocean making it even more attractive. A few watersport items are on hand for the beach, though most guests seem happy with a jog or a stroll––having the whole stretch of sand to themselves. The staff can help with nearly any excursion request, however, from whale watching to city shopping. WiFi covers part of the public areas, a guest computer is on hand, and a VoIP phone is offered for free calls to the U.S. and Canada.
Casa de Mita is only a few minutes away from the sprawling Four Seasons Punta Mita, but it's world's away in terms of both attitude and value. For boutique hotel lovers who appreciate meeting other guests in a collegial upscale environment, this is an excellent choice near Puerto Vallarta and a good beach counterpart to downtown Hacienda San Angel.
Web Address: www.casademita.com
Total Number of Rooms: 7
Published rates: $395 to $655 All–inclusive
Review and photos by Tim Leffel.