Bask in quiet luxury at Conrad Punta de Mita, a Hilton resort in the heart of buzzy Riviera Nayarit
(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

Bask in quiet luxury at Conrad Punta de Mita, a Hilton resort in the heart of buzzy Riviera Nayarit


Mexico's Conrad Punta de Mita is the resort version of quiet luxuryno doubt,any member of Succession's Roy clan would happily check in. Its sumptuous, laid-back interiors are stunning.

The front yard beach (and sunsets) are glorious. The food is yummy with a capital Y. No wonder this property in Riviera Nayarit is basking in buzz, along with the region itself.

In serious need of a shot of sun, sand and, yes, tequila, I was excited to chill at the Hilton-owned Conrad for a few days. But even before the plane took off from SFO, I was clued into the fact that "under the radar" no longer applies to the picturesque destination nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the rugged western Sierra Madre Mountains.

The flight was packed. I was surrounded by mobs of Marin families. (Wasn't spring break over?!) Their conversations made it clear that they too would be taking the 40-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta airport to Punta de Mita. Three hours later, wheels hit the ground in the Bay Area's new favorite Mexican hot spot.

Immediately, I shed two layers, slather on SPF 65, and banish all north-of-the-border worries. Conrad Punta de Mita, let's go.

The lobby with a view at Conrad Punta de Mita.(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

First Impressions

Talk about making an entrance. Even the most jaded travelers will be gobsmacked by the perfectly framed view of paradise that greets them (along with a spicy cocktail) upon arrival. Conrad's expansive open-air lobby is one for the books, where the eye is compelled to follow the rows of lush palms, skim over the sexy infinity pool, and linger at the coastline and blue, blue ocean. Be prepared to stop dead in your tracks every time you walk by. It never gets old.

The entrance, including the adjacent art-filled lobby lounge and bar, sets the tone for the rest of the breathtaking grounds. Shout-out to SB Architects for designing a lavish refuge built around a series of inviting indoor-outdoor spaces. Conrad's first Mexican property also nods to the culture of the local Huichol indigenous people. See omnipresent ojo de dios (God's eye) motifs, colorful embroidered accessories, and peyote cactus. Wherever you wander, the vibe is tranquil, happy, and barefoot-friendly.

Don't miss the Mexican spirits tasting with small bite pairings.(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

Come for the beach, stay for the food.

Hungry is not an option here. Conrad's four restaurants satisfy eaters of all types and run the gamut from super-duper casual to elegant resort-casual. Authentic cuisine inspired by Mexican-Pacific traditions is featured on every menu du jour. Indeed, from the first scrumptious bite of jumbo shrimp with Nayarit-style jerk marinade and mango habanero sauce I had while dining at Mezquite Beach Bar & Grill, I knew I would eat with abandon for the rest of my stay. This open-air, beachside restaurant prepares every dish over open coals for reimagined Mexican-American fare that's smoking hot.

Arbol, the main restaurant situated off the lobby, was a delight for breakfast. Buffet, of course. Three-plate morning meals became my thing. How could I resist a dedicated pastry, fresh fruit and juice room, plus a terrace full of chafing dishes stuffed with classic chilaquiles, pozole and handmade tortillas? (Note: Dinner is damn good, too—I'm still dreaming about the mole-braised short ribs I scarfed.) Paleta is the place for poolside lunches and midday burger, taco, guac, pizza, poke bowl, and aqua fresca cravings. Ordering an adult sipper from the swim-up bar is a must.

The resort's signature and most upscale restaurant, Codex, beautifully showcases modern dishes featuring the region's traditional favor profiles. Think crispy soft-shell crab, smoked Pacific oysters, and steamed lamb barbecue with local herbs and veggies.

Caffeine addicts can fuel up on locally roasted and sustainably sourced coffee, espresso drinks, and baked goodies at Colibri Roasting Co., a small café-cum-gift shop near the main entrance.

(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

Do not disturb.

Just like the cuisine, Conrad's accommodations are chef's kiss—with the dreamiest beds ever. Each room is a tasteful sanctuary with elegant costal vibes. Classic furnishings, indigenous art, and all the amenities make for ultra-comfortable surroundings. And because of the resort's design and primo location overlooking a mile-long slice of white-sand beachfront, every room has a balcony and, si, an ocean view.

Whether you're on a romantic getaway, family vacation with kids and grandma in tow, a girls' trip, solo respite or any combo thereof, there's a cushy queen, king, or suite that fits. To be clear, guest abodes are spread out over several structures: 265 guest rooms and suites live in the resort's main building and several smaller buildings that flank it, while 59 beachfront suites cluster in smaller low-rise building closer to the Pacific. (Nothing like falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves, right?) These next-level haute havens—where Kendall, Roman, and Shiv would most definitely hole up—feature spacious living areas, large patios with private plunge pools, and oversized bathrooms with walk-in showers and freestanding soaking tubs.

The temazcal at Conrad Spa.(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

Not Your Average Hotel Spa

The 10,000-square-foot Conrad Spa is the real deal, offering one-of-a-kind and classic treatments to rival any top spa back home. The beautiful indoor/outdoor oasis approaches its facials, body treatments and massages from a healing perspective—informed by the traditions and rituals of the Huichol. Indigenous products, like yaka and hibiscus flowers, cacao beans and copal clay, are generously incorporated. Plus, there's a temazcal. Sign up for a transformative journey with a local shaman who will lead you through a centuries-old cleansing ritual with requisite chanting, meditation, and herbal steaming.

Me? I went the calming and restorative route with the Nest Aloe & Lavender Soothing body treatment. As suggested, I showed up 30 minutes before my appointment to soak in the sauna, dip in the cold plunge, and chill in the secluded outdoor pool. All divine, as were the magical hands of the aesthetician massaging-slash-hydrating my entire body from head to tippy toes. What put the experience over the top was the zen outdoor setting in which said pampering occurred. Cocooned in fresh white sheets, relaxed with quiet mind, I allowed myself to drift in and out, and just be.

While away the days and nights.

The charming surf town of Sayulita, a 20-minute drive from the resort, is worth a whirl for beaching, shopping, and chowing down if you've never been. Snorkeling, whale watching, hiking, golf and other adventures can be arranged through the resort's concierge. But truth is, once you've checked in there's really no reason to leave. At least that was my MO. In between tasty meals, spa treatments and walks on the beach, I spent most of my time chaise-hopping at one of the adults-only pools, ordering icy, mezcal-spiked cocktails, and soaking up the sun until my fair skin demanded I take shelter under a cabana.

There's just one other must: A visit to the resort's Agave Studio for a tasting featuring Mexican spirits including tequila, mezcal, sotol, and raicilla—paired with small bites chosen by the executive chef. Hosted by a mixologist and agave expert, the experience is fun and educational. Who knew the process of turning this amazing desert plant into tequila could be so fascinating?

Final last words: Savor every minute at the Conrad…time flies even faster in paradise.

// Conrad Punta de Mita: Carretera Punta de Mita Sayulita Km 2, Litibu, Nayarit, 63734,

(Courtesy of Conrad Punta de Mita)

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