Rinconada Careyeros, Playa Careyeros, Punta De 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 quiet Mexican beach is paradise.
Casa de Mita, in the Punta de Mita area of Mexico, is about 35 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta airport, with the final approach up a dirt road off the main highway. This seven-room luxury boutique hotel is on a beautiful and seldom-crowded 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 then end up making plans to return before checking out.
Built and impeccably maintained 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 at this end of the long beach, 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 placed at the feet of the cushioned lounge chairs facing the ocean. The experience here is unlike any other in the region and this resort is in its own category. "Low-key luxury all-inclusive" perhaps?
The public areas flow into one another, with plenty of space for lounging, reading, or eating. The cool blue tile pool is the central feature of the open courtyard, with a swim-up bar and a view of the ocean making it even more attractive. Day beds and cushioned wood lounge chairs surround it, with staffers appearing to offer more towels, a snack, or something to drink. There are a couple more daybeds with billowing thin curtains in the small lawn area.
Steps lead down past a gate to the gorgeous crescent beach, which stretches for nearly two miles and usually just has a smattering of locals and a few surfers when the waves are up. Sunsets fill the sky over the ocean with orange and during the right time of year it's possible to see whales and dolphins cruising by.
All of the seven rooms and suites are furnished a bit differently, with plenty of Mexican artwork and personal touches, but all have a balcony or terrace 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 or blankets cover the king or two twin beds with nightly turndown service. All feature interesting crafts, talavera tile in the baths, and plenty of other thoughtful touches that give a real sense of place.
Our "Upper Floor King" had a separate living room with a TV that had Netflix on it and a covered balcony with lounge chairs and a view. 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 bets if available. These have larger sitting areas, larger baths, and balconies with the clearest views of the waves hitting the shore.
Whichever room you choose here, you'll feel pampered and provided for. The fridge is stocked with sodas and beers and a basket of complimentary snacks has some locally sourced goodies that go beyond the usual convenience store offerings. Safes, coffee makers, plush robes, slippers, good Wi-Fi, TVs, filtered water, and high-end toiletries are standard, while guests also have access to a VOIP phone for included calls to the USA and Canada.
There's a nice indoor lounge that has a book exchange area also stocked with magazines, plus a communal TV. Behind that is a small gym with the basics, or you can borrow a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and go get some exercise on the water instead. Another lounge near the office and kitchen has a capsule coffee machine available all day and quality local handicrafts for sale. The staff can help with nearly any excursion request, from whale watching to city shopping.
The restaurant is a floating concept, with dinner served in a poolside setting under a thatched roof or facing the sea for sunset. The other two meals are served wherever the patio furniture happens to be, depending on the weather and your preference. The question, "What do you want for breakfast?" serves as the early morning
menu, the kitchen able to whip up most anything along to go with your fruit plate, warm pastries or bread, and fresh-squeezed juice. Lunch and dinner are more defined, but always with several options for varying diets and plenty of flexibility on when it's served.
Meals here are as good or better than you'll find at the corporate luxury resorts nearby, but with more personalized service and no menu with pesky prices to pore over. The seafood is especially good, of course, but I also had one of the best rib eye steaks I've tried in Mexico, accompanied by a glass of nice Baja wine.
If you want to live the life of a wealthy seaside villa owner without plunking down a few million to buy one or having to make dozens of decisions about stocking a rental one, this small luxury boutique hotel will deliver. Casa de Mita is only a few minutes away from the sprawling Four Seasons Punta Mita and St. Regis, 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, without having to sign for every drink they order, this is an excellent choice near Puerto Vallarta.
Web Address: www.casademita.com
Total Number of Rooms: 7
Published rates: $745 to $1,325 double all–inclusive plus taxes
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.