Four Seasons Paradise in Punta Mita

September 4. Punta Mita, Mexico. We arrived at the Four Seasons Resort on a sizzling September afternoon, it was muggy, hot and damp. Always expecting a warm welcome, the Four Seasons didn’t disappoint, a refreshing juicy cocktail spiked with tequila served with a fragrant chilled towel. Sip and freshen up – the ideal combination, we’ve alighted in Paradise!

Labor Day week is generally quiet for me; thus, I escape! September in this jungle climate, typically produces showery evenings; monsoon type tempests accompanied by impressive thunder & spectacular jagged lightening, for a native Californian, it’s Mother Nature at her very very best!

The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is a luxurious family-friendly resort hotel with excellent facilities on a 1,500-acre nature reserve on the northern tip of Bahia de Banderas, one of the world’s largest natural bays. Fringed by palms, sandy beaches and a backdrop of jungle clad mountains. Paradise Indeed! Richard and Elizabeth and the Night of the Iguana introduced these picturesque fishing villages to the world.

The Arrival – a refreshing juicy cocktail spiked with tequila. It sets the stage for the visit! Four Seasons Punta Mita.

The Welcome continues – this is one of my absolute favorite hotel amenities at Four Seasons Punta Mita

Holas and sipping achieved, we were escorted by golf buggy through the fragrant frangipani gardens to the Presidential Suite and its adjoining sumptuous suites. The Welcome continues – this is one of my absolute favorite hotel amenities, I am passionate about The Welcome – the most delectable individual Margarita, with guacamole, chips and salsa- mosey out to your terrace or slip into your plunge for a brilliant sunset and panoramic views of the Pacific. Did I mention Paradise?

A hacienda style retreat with five-bedrooms, it’s located at the very tip of the Resort’s private cliffside, overlooking massive sea rocks and the panoramic views of the Pacific. Each suite has a plunge pool and spacious terrace.

Our clients are devoted to this little oasis of calm relaxation on a sun-splashed stretch of Mexico’s Banderas Bay coastline. Reserving many times a year for multi-generation families and couples, it’s a peaceful fun sanctuary with impeccable service – we rely on the perfection so much, I haven’t visited in several years. Our clients are considered Royalty here – Aztec Gods.

Plunge View from Presidential suite Four Seasons Punta Mita

Presidential Suite Four Seasons Punta Mita

The resort has 173 guest rooms, including 34 suites. All are spacious and feature large bathrooms with separate shower and bath tub, as well as a private balcony or terrace. The suites also feature a separate sitting area and private plunge pool. The massive outdoor shower provided my daily rinse.

Bahia Restaurant Four Seasons Punta Mita

The hotel has three main restaurants. A new restaurant Dos Katrinas will be completed by November. Overseen by executive Chef Jorge González, the restaurant will marry Mexico’s past and future with a new culturally rich dining experience set in a modern, reimagined space with views to the ocean. Bahia by Richard Sandoval has a prime spot on Las Cuevas beach, enjoying some of the best sunset views, and taking advantage of the fishermen’s daily catch, with delicious seafood prepared on the open-air grill. Cool ocean breezes set the scene for the extensive range of smoky mesquite grilled seafood and meat, served with seasonal vegetables and signature sauces. The Aramara restaurant, meaning “sacred place by the ocean”, features a melting pot of Latin American and Asian cuisine and the Aramara bar offers the perfect place to relax before or after your meal.

Tropical Playground
 – Offering championship golf, diving, surfing, languid swimming pools, whale watching, flyboarding, fishing and the list goes on. The Lazy River is paradise for the kiddos. The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita offers an excellent Children’s Club, a super luxe spa, fitness center, 3 outdoor pools and an impressive tennis center with 10 tennis courts. The hotel also offers a wide variety of other activities including deep sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking and golf at the two Jack Nicklaus designed 28-hold courses next to the ocean. Whale watching excursions can also be arranged between the months of December and April – and in fact the whales can often be seen right in front of the hotel, do lift your head to the rim of your plunge pool and look for the spouting and slapping tail flukes. A new Teen Center has received raves from our clients: The Container. The resort invites guests 13 to 19 years-old to enjoy the new indoor-outdoor modern space, which offers interactive programming, a “no adults allowed” lounge area and teen-friendly culinary options.

The Container Teen Center Four Seasons Punta Mita

Located just steps from the Resort’s lazy river and the basketball court,

Apuane Spa
 – Pièce de résistance. Step into a coastal haven of rest and tranquility. Apuane, Spanish for “healing waters,” is ultimate serenity in scenic Mexico. Spa therapists have created a special treatment that will enhance your feeling of well-being like no other massage you’ve ever experienced using tequila, indigenous sage oil and traditional Mexican healing techniques. My personal favorite: Dream Time Journey. Huichols believe that we live two lives, one in our waking state and the other in our dreaming state, and both are of great importance in their culture. This beautiful restorative ritual is performed to promote the journey into the dream world, where our subconscious mind and conscious self, meet and create harmony and peaceful sleep. We begin with a luxurious exfoliation and bathing ritual, followed by massage based on ancient techniques with repetitive movements to completely switch off the thinking process. A full body nourishing cocoon with scalp massage completes the treatment to promote deep, deep sleep and a pleasant dreamtime journey.

Four Seasons Punta Mita

In the style of chic Mexican beach homes, each guest room and suite at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is enhanced by simple, elegant décor and wide doors open to a furnished terrace. High-tech features include plasma-screen televisions, DVD and CD players, two-line telephones and high-speed internet access. For personal comfort, there are famously restful Four Seasons beds. Spacious bathrooms feature immense soaking tub, a separate glass-enclosed shower and a stunning outdoor open-air shower, large enough for a group! Some of the Villas we reserve have their own screening room and gyms.

If you want to swim in the Pacific, the water is calm and just cool enough to refresh from the heat, or just laze away the day on a Bali beach bed under the shade of a thatched palapa or float in the infinity pool … a friendly beach attendant will be hovering with a tray of iced drinks and frozen popsicles. Kayaks, boogie boards, SUP are all supplied from the beach shack.

Five-star sea sunsets guaranteed – gazing from your terrace or all the restaurants.

Catch of the Day Four Seasons Punta Mita

Every morning, guests who mosey to the Las Cuevas beach near Bahia may greet the local fishermen boat as they deliver the fresh catch of the day straight from the sea. Instagram the ritual as the whole fish are removed from the fishermen’s cooler and beautifully arranged on slabs of ice that line a replica wooden boat. Thursday’s catch included red snapper, flounder, Dorado and brilliantly colored parrot fish. Chef will let you snap photos with the fish and explain fishology – if your kiddos want to touch the tongue of a fish or peer into the gills, this is an interactive Fresh Fish Cart!

 – The most devoted professional staff I’ve ever encountered. Fortunate guests will enjoy a round of golf with the very congenial GM. John is a beyond charming Irishman and if you are VV lucky he will gift you a book of his poems.

The Four Seasons property rambles amidst tropical jungle gardens overflowing with fragrant flowers, spectacular songbirds, colorful tree climbing iguanas, and a stunning ocean view.

As Thornton Wilder wrote: There’s nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.

I’m quite pleased with the Four Seasons Punta Mita world.

Four Seasons Punta Mita Included again in the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards

Guaranteed Five Star Sunsets Four Seasons Punta Mita

Four Seasons Punta Mita

Turtle Time at Four Seasons Punta Mita

You might reasonably assume with all my five-star resort visits, I’ve witnessed or participated in a turtle release program. In the Maldives, I saw turtle nests protected by small fences and signs noting the impending egg hatching but have always missed the birth events.

Just as I headed into my Tequila Blending class at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, I passed a small poster that mentioned Turtle Release at Sunset. I popped back into the gallery and enthusiastically signed us up for the evening release.

It all began in 2011 when a group of turtle biologists convened to discuss what they could do about the continued threat to aquatic turtles. Conservation efforts began in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit along the Pacific Ocean over 20 years ago; working to educate, conserve and protect. The greatest threats to these turtles are poachers who harvest their eggs and meat, marine pollution and fishing nets. These local programs patrol the beaches for poachers and provide safe hatcheries for the eggs to hatch in and include inviting tourists to participate in the release program.

Image result for turtle bins from the 50s with palm tree

Do you remember having a turtle lagoon?

Trailing a massive monsoon type storm that threatened to cancel the release, we awaited the call, the sun broke through the clouds and we rushed to meet our class lecture. We enjoyed an informative lecture with Enrique Alejos, the Resort’s Cultural Concierge and also the ‘father’ of the FS turtle program. He brought in a bin of freshly hatched wriggly turtles. A tip off to my generation, I mentioned these turtles looked just like the little turtles we bought at the County Fair every summer – perhaps you remember having a kidney shaped turtle lagoon, graced by an arching palm tree planted into the island? Small oval tins of flaked turtle food and occasional lettuce or hamburger supplements kept these ‘pets’ healthy and happy.

Enrique explained we should not touch the turtles for several reasons – humans can contract Salmonella from turtles and in the US the FDA banned the sale of the these small pet turtles in 1975 due to Salmonella issues.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Four Seasons Punta Mita

Baby turtles, scrambling over each other’s backs, climbing the walls of the bin elicited giggles and shrieks of delight from all of us – there was only one child in our group of five turtle releasers!

We were each given a bin of 10 Olive Ridley Sea Turtles and excitedly carried them to the beach. The sun was setting, the rains encouraged the birds to nest, so few predators loomed nearby, Enrique drew a line in the sand about six feet from the surf. Protective ‘parents’ for a few brief moments, we gently released our turtle babies on the sand, verbally encouraging them to move and explore and return to the sea. On the first day of their life, we wished them long and safe Journeys, knowing they have imprinted with this sand, this sea, they most likely will return to this same location in 15 years to lay a nest of their own.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Four Seasons Punta Mita

To say we were misty eyed, is not an exaggeration, it was a moving and educational experience, life continuing on, travel again broadening an experience. Nothing more wondrous than watching these newly hatched turtles scramble to the sea. Through big and small actions, we can all share a part in reducing the threat to these turtles, an intrinsic connection between nature’s well being and our own.

Turtle Facts:
A nest of eggs is called a clutch.
• A clutch can contain up to 100 eggs.
• The eggs will incubate in the nest for 45 days.
• They are born with a little attached food sack that will last them for their first 3 days.
• They are omnivores, with their favorite treat being jellyfish.
• They travel thousands of miles each year.
• They will return to the same location in 15 years to lay a nest of their own.
• They can live to be 50 years old.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles heading to the sea at Four Seasons Punta Mita

Four Seasons Punta Mita

The Four Seasons Turtle Release generally runs March through December there is a small fee that is completely designated to support the sea turtle conservation. In 2017, almost two million baby turtles where released only in the Banderas Bay area.