By Timothy Scott
Luxury vacation rentals in Mexico offer a whole different experience than the retail do-it-yourself homes you find on the regular booking sites. The top Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta villas come with a staff offering a level of personalized service that goes beyond what you’ll find in any hotel.
“Where would you like to have your breakfast?”
“Would you like us to fix you some guacamole for a snack?”
“How about a cucumber mezcal margarita?”
These are the kinds of questions you’ll get on a regular basis when you rent one of the luxury Punta Mita Villas or Puerto Vallarta staffed villas on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. These upscale villas have someone looking out for all your needs. If you are expecting keypad instructions, an empty house with a manual on the kitchen table, and grocery shopping chores to take care of, you’re on the wrong kind of home rental site.
The upscale vacation houses available from Agave Villas come with a whole crew dedicated to delivering a great vacation so you can relax and let go of your cares. At a minimum you’ll have a concierge taking care of advance needs (like those groceries), a dedicated villa chef to prepare meals, a housekeeper, and a waiter/butler. At the top-end villas—tropical versions of oceanfront mansions—you’ll have a small army of cooks, cleaners, and servers making sure everyone in your group is happy and comfortable.
Where are the Best Puerto Vallarta Villa Rentals?
What most travelers think of as Puerto Vallarta is really a vast area that extends from the southern part of Banderas Bay all the way up past Punta Mita to Sayulita. Vacationers landing at the airport serving all of these will head to their Mexico villa rentals spaced out over multiple locations in two Mexican states.
While Puerto Vallarta itself is a city on the water in Jalisco state, the areas of Nuevo Vallarta and all the beachfront areas to the north are in the state of Nayarit. To make things more confusing, the private gated development with the brand name Punta Mita makes up most –but not all–of the non-branded Punta de Mita Peninsula. (If the location has a “de” in Punta de Mita, the villa is likely outside the gates.) The good news is, the extensive coast served by this airport means that this area has what is probably the largest variety of luxury villas in Mexico to choose from.
As a general rule, the Puerto Vallarta villa rentals in the city are not going to be right on a beach. Instead you’ll get terrific views, a private pool, and access to the city’s restaurants and bars. These are best for vacationers who intend to get out and about regularly.
Other rentals further north will likely be on the water and are more suited for those who want to stay put more and unwind on site. The Punta Mita luxury villas are going to have large swimming pools and spacious common areas for relaxing. Some are right on a sandy beach, others require a short jaunt to a private beach club where you have access. These are the best bet for golfers too, with access to two of Mexico’s best courses outside of Baja.
A luxury villa specialist like Agave Villas can help you find the perfect rental for your family or group according to what kind of vacation you have in mind. Since this is their primary business, they have extensive experience in lining up the right place to stay.
Once you pick out the perfect villa and electronically sign the paperwork, a dedicated concierge for the villa will take care of all the arrangements. They provide pre-arrival information for the villa, including a menu for choosing meals. The villa concierge provides tour and activity options for the area, arranges in-villa spa treatments, and takes note of any special occasions, drink preferences, and dietary requests.
We got a taste of what’s on offer from start to finish by spending time at Casa Fortuna, Casa Koko, and Punta del Cielo Vallarta rentals in the region.
Punta Mita Luxury Villas
We started out our luxury villa vacation tour in the Punta Mita complex, where we experienced two different options. This is the highest of the high-end developments in Mexico, on a gorgeous peninsula with white-sand beaches and dramatic coastlines. There are surf breaks and waves crashing on rocks, places to snorkel or fish, and two of the best golf courses in the country. Since the whole vast complex is a gated community where everyone who enters must have their name down at the gate, there’s no reason to worry about Punta Mita safety.
Some of the most spectacular homes in North America are located here, the kinds of houses that end up on the cover of architecture and design magazines. They look a lot different than the ones you’d find in Malibu, Aspen, or the Hamptons though, so you get a real sense of place when you’re on vacation.
The owners within the community have the option in their HOA fees to provide guest access to the beach clubs, a tennis club, and the two golf courses, with most of the higher-end villas offering it. We were able to tour all four of the beach clubs while we were there and see how they compare. Although the whole Punta Mita complex is spread over 1,500 acres, you can reach most of it on a supplied bike or golf cart.
Casa Fortuna Punta Mita
We were definitely feeling “good fortune” vibes when entering Casa Fortuna Punta Mita and seeing the spectacular ocean views from the villa. With two bar areas, a living room area, and pool long enough for laps facing the Pacific Ocean, you can take it in all day long. Three of the bedrooms also face the water, including the oversized master suite with a full living room and office area.
After the concierge introduced us to our butler, chef, and maintenance helper, we got a tour of the place and told them where to put our luggage. We spread out in the poolside living room with a cocktail and snacks and the relaxation was off to a good start.
Casa Fortuna villa offers great panoramic views all day as the light shifts, then colorful sunsets at night. In the early months of the year, you can see whales swimming by. There are six bedrooms and seven baths here, with plenty of room for everyone to eat dinner together or watch a movie in the dedicated air-conditioned media room. When it comes to what party music to play, you can tap into the high-speed WiFi network and blast your own Spotify playlist through the house speakers.
We ate very well here thanks to a talented chef and we had a say in what meals came out thanks to making menu choices through our concierge in advance. You can go decadent or healthy, specify every meal choice, or let them surprise you sometimes. They’ll accommodate any special requests or allergies and have all that sorted before you ever sit down to eat.
Our other memories from the Fortuna stay are primarily where we lounged: in the infinity pool, in the hot tub, by the fire pit, on a lounge chair with a foot in the sand, looking out at the ocean. We did take out the included golf cart on an excursion to see the Punta Mita area and visit the nearby Sufi Ocean Club with a pier and beach, but this Punta Mita house rental was a hard one to leave.
Rates at Casa Fortuna run $6,000 to $8,000 per night plus taxes, groceries, and gratuities, with higher rates for peak holiday weeks. See more information here.
Casa Koko Mexican Dream Home in Punta Mita
If you have a hefty vacation budget for your group or family and want to go all-out, head straight here for the details on Casa Koko Punta Mita. The raw stats will give you an initial idea of what to expect in this luxury Punta Mita villa facing the ocean: 20,000 square feet, 9 suites with bath, 3 additional bathrooms, 90-foot heated infinity pool, media room, gym, massage room, and two six-person golf carts plus bikes. This all comes accompanied by a full staff, including four people in the kitchen preparing meals and a driver on call for excursions.
You have to get beyond the raw numbers to see what makes this tropical paradise so special though. The father, an architect, built the home in conjunction with his daughter Koko, an interior designer. The skill of both are evident no matter where your gaze falls within this extensive property, from carefully chosen furniture pieces to custom stone soaking tubs to art objects carefully placed throughout the property.
Some of the design elements are so subtle that they unfolded as we spent time on site. There are the hand-scraped line designs in parts of the concrete, the hanging light fixtures meant to emulate the nest of an oropendola bird, and dark wood slats covering up the air conditioning units in the bedrooms. Support beams have a design carved on the ends and the spaces contain enough carefully chosen coffee table books to enthrall and educate for weeks.