It’s a gorgeous day in Riviera Nayarit. The sun isn’t being shy about how luminous it can get, and nature in general—from the beach to the lush mountains—is having one of its finest days. I’m at the Iberostar Playa Mita property in Riviera Nayarit, and although I’ve been to this area of Mexico a few times, I’m always blown away by how utterly gorgeous it is—nature really outdoes itself here. That striking scenery takes center stage at the 452-room Iberostar Playa Mita, which pays homage to the natural surroundings, creating a lovely, laid-back ambiance throughout the property.
“IBEROSTAR Playa Mita,” says Claudia Simon, Iberostar’s director of marketing, “is located in one of the most beautiful regions in Mexico, and Riviera Nayarit truly represents authentic Mexico—it is casual, not touristy and features a picturesque landscape. The five-star IBEROSTAR Playa Mita is situated along a cliff on the Mexican coastline with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and rolling mountains. With the perfect climate, this creates the ideal atmosphere to relax and unwind.”
The property’s decor is no slouch either. There are gorgeous flower displays and a 6.5-ft. jaguar head made of chaquira beads in the lobby; striking Asian-inspired wooden double doors that lead to grand oceanview Presidential suites; and surfboards in the nightclub that draw inspiration from the nearby surfing town of Sayulita. “The hotel’s design creates a welcoming atmosphere,” says Simon, and she’s right. It’s easy to navigate the resort, along pathways that wind through luxuriant foliage leading to the heart of the resort, the pool area, where myriad activities take place (think yoga at 10:30 a.m. or zany pool games at noon). From the pool area, guests can descend to the stunning beach, where they can hop on a jet ski or awe at the multi-hued stones lining the shoreline, or meander down another pathway to the Far East-inspired SENSATIONS spa, which offers a complimentary hour-long Wet Area circuit, as well as a long list of treatments. For couples or friends who are spa aficionados, in fact, recommend one of the 18 adults-only SPA rooms, with ocean views, special spa inclusions and access to a private sanctuary with special spa treatment areas and whirlpools; this is the only Iberostar property offering this room category. For families, there are 116 connecting rooms that can hold up to eight persons—ideal for multigenerational groups, who’ll appreciate the kids’ club, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for kids 4 to 12, and the lively kids pool and splash park, with its pirate ship and water slides.
Along with a buffet of activities, the resort, an Iberostar Premium Gold property, offers a feast for the palate. Start the morning with colorful, tasty fruit at La Bahia’s breakfast buffet (the choices are endless), and top the day off with Japanese fare served with flair at Tsuba. My favorite restaurant, though, is Gourmet, serving French cuisine in a vintage rail passenger car setting, complete with old-fashioned suitcases and “picture windows” with views of the “passing scenery.” In fact, after a few days at the Iberostar Playa Mita, where golfers are invited to tee off at the neighboring golf course with preferred rates of $89, you walk away thinking this is no cookie-cutter all-inclusive beach resort. It definitely veers off the beaten path a bit, making it, as Simon says, “a very special place to visit” indeed.
Rates for the SPA rooms start at $125 pp per night; for the Ocean View Standard, it’s $104 pp per night.
Don’t Leave Without…
• Exploring the nearby surfing town of Sayulita, where you can opt for lunch at Don Pedro’s (go for the fish of the day) while looking at all the action on the beach. Then take a laughter-inducing surfing lesson (it’s fun watching other people wipeout, not so fun when you yourself take a nosedive), and spend the rest of the afternoon shopping in the hip boutiques.
• Going on a 2-hour, heart-pounding zipline ride at the Vista Paraiso Outdoor Activities Center that has clients soaring over the canopy in the mountains of Higuera Blanca. Vertigo-inducing? Sure, but you get jaw-dropping views of the Peninsula of Punta Mita as payoff.
Iberostar Playa Mita: iberostar.com
Agents take note
When visiting select Iberostar properties with two adults paying full price, families can enjoy a free stay for up to two children (varies by property); promotion is valid when booked thru Oct. 31 for travel May 1 to Oct. 31.