Destination Dispatches: Family Time at Four Seasons Punta Mita, Muy Bueno

Guest Editor:
- Carrie Harrison-Ell, Senior Vice President of Hotel Programs for Kiwi Collection and mother of three; she is an expert on family travel. Carrie’s not-so-secret pleasures include: romantic trips to Siena, wine and cheese pairings and everything about the Mayan Riviera.

Carrie Harrison-Ell once again sings the praises of Punta Mita, Mexico, a paradise found just 45 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport and particularly heavenly for those traveling with a brood of youngsters. She’s got the inside scoop on the Four Seasons resort there.

I was looking forward to my stay at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, because I’m fond of this part of Mexico and the brand is so well known for providing great service. I’m happy to report, I was not disappointed.

Our arrival was a very special experience. The staff immediately got to know our kids and, giving my son a booklet of bird and iguana species, had them excited about all the animals found on property. As we toured the property by golf cart, the entertaining and knowledgeable guide stopped many times to show the kids various creatures along the way, including pheasants, quail and, his favorite, “Poncho” the iguana.

Four Seasons is just so good at personalization, which I’ve also come to know through time spent at the Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay in Hawaii. When we arrived to our room—complete with our own little pool—the kids’ names were spelled out on the bed in sponges (for the pool!) and written out on cookies. It was a special kick-off to our stay.

The rest helped to affirm that attention to detail and sense of fun. Here are five things that stood out:

1. The infinity pool, infinitely breathtaking
The family pool at the Four Seasons is a spectacular infinity pool situated over the beach. Watching my husband and kids, it looked as though they could literally swim over the edge of the pool and into the ocean. It’s a lot to take in in one view, and I can’t stop talking about it!

2. The “catch of the day”
The food is amazing. There are four restaurants, all superb, but our favorite was Ketsi, the Mexican restaurant overlooking the ocean. Twice a week, families can watch the fisherman bring in their fresh “catch of the day.” If you’re actually there to see it come in, the staff will ask you to place your orders, so that same catch will be prepared for you later that day. Although we missed the event itself, we indulged in some fresh catch fish tacos, and ceviche, which were both out-of-this-world. The kids also loved sitting in the wooden ship at Ketsi’s entrance.

3. The cool activities for kids
The Four Seasons Punta Mita has something I’ve never seen before for kids, a Lazy River. The man-made, donut-shaped pool is in its own private area somewhat hidden by greenery, and has a slow current that takes kids on a little tubing adventure. My kids loved it, and also loved soaking up the sun in the mini-loungers made especially for their pint-sized stature.

The resort also has a fantastic kids club—a must for family travelers—but it also has a video game and movie room which is great for school-aged children and teenagers.

4. The wine and cheese boutique, tequila too
There are several boutiques at this resort, but the highlight for us was the authentic Mexican wine and cheese boutique. One afternoon, while the kids were having their faces painted at kids club, we wandered over to the boutique to sort through the selection of fine local products. Our timing was impeccable; there was also a tequila tasting event taking place.

5. The complimentary treats
The resort was great at surprising us. Though I hate to ruin the surprise for everyone else, I can’t help pointing out just how special the service is here. Our kids went wild the first time they saw the complimentary poolside snow cone cart. It came ready with 12 or so flavors to choose from. There was also a fresh fruit cart earlier that day. Oh, and Mom’s poolside treat was hearing these words: “Excuse me ma’am, may I clean your sunglasses?” Bravo Four Seasons.

Our entire family had a fabulous time. And while it’s clearly great at catering to families, they also take superb care of couples wanting to have their own private and romantic escape. Perhaps next time we’ll leave the wee ones with Grandma and Grandpa for another kind of holiday.

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