Saturday, August 5, 2017

W Hotel Punta Mita Review

W Punta Mita Review

The W Punta Mita is a hotel with an identity crisis. It wants to evoke everything that's cool about the hip, happening W Hotel brand. In short, it aspires to be your hot 20-year old sister. But given its location and layout, it's a family-friendly spot that's more like your fun aunt who will give you a sip of her wine when no one's looking.

I came across a great deal on Travelzoo that offered three nights at the W Punta Mita for $599. After splitting it with a friend the deal came out to less than $100 per night for each of us. Done. (TIP: keep an eye out for Travelzoo deals. They offer some outstanding luxe-for-less experiences, ranging from spa days to luxury hotel stays).

Getting There

Getting to the W Punta Mita was easy. We flew from DFW to Puerto Vallarta and ordered a car from the airport to the resort. We did this all online prior to arrival. The drive was about an hour. The driver stopped at a gas station so we could get some water, gum, mints, etc. in effort to save some cash and avoid paying higher hotel prices.

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The Resort


The lobby and entry of the W Punta Mita is everything you want it to be: Modern Mexican decor with a stunning view to the ocean. It was fantastic. Most resorts offer a cocktail or drink upon arrival. They didn't do this at the W Punta Mita but it was no big deal.

How gorgeous is this beach!
Upon check-in they told us that they upgraded us from a Jungle-View room to an Ocean-View room. I had read some reviews online and saw that the Jungle-View rooms were actually a bit larger. Given that we were two girls, traveling with tons of makeup, we prefer the space over the view. We were game for the upgrade, though, and hopped in the golf cart to head that way.

The Rooms

Upgraded Ocean-View room

The upgraded room wasn't much of an upgrade. It was small, 441-square feet and was bright. The mid-afternoon sun seemed to beam into the room and no amount of drapery was dimming the light. We almost immediately called the front desk to put us back in our original room, a Wonderful Jungle Escape which seemed almost palatial at 661-square feet.

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The Jungle View room suited us better. It was larger, had two queen-sized beds, featured a patio overlooking the beautiful, lush greenery and was dark enough that two sleep-deprived media types could snooze.

What's so weird about the rooms was that in each one, the closets were not full-length. They were open closets that were only long enough to accommodate shirts, skirts, short or dresses and pants that were folded on a hanger. It was the weirdest thing we'd ever seen. I had to hang my maxi-dresses on a towel hook on the wall. Weird. Even weirder? I didn't take a picture. Trust me: the closet situation is strange.

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The Pool Scene

We arrived on a beautiful, sunny Saturday. This is where the identity crisis started. The hotel had a DJ pumping beats all afternoon. There was a champagne bar full of my favorites such as Veuve, Moët and the like. Here's the thing: the vibe the hotel was trying to convey didn't fit the guests that were there.

Beats and bubbles

Granted, it's low season but it was full of families and friends on getaways (like me). The crowd skewd a little less Euro-Techno and more easy listening. We talked to a number of guests about this who felt the same way. The good thing is that the faux-Ghost Bar vibe only happens on Saturdays. During the rest of our stay, the music was softer and there were no pumping beats to make us all feel old.

The pool never looked like this when we were there.

The pool itself is stunning, overlooking a gorgeous beach. The staff was outstanding and were quick to keep the mango margaritas flowing.

The Food and Bevs 

A Provençal-inspired ceviche dish from Chevicheria
Like most quality Mexican resorts, the food was spectacular. True Mexican coastal cuisine is full of fresh seafood and produce. We ate like royalty but each meal was well-portioned (not too large) and satisfying. My favorite meals were at the Chevicheria, the ceviche and beer bar created out of a converted 1950's Chevrolet 3800 truck. We ate all of our lunches there.

Best. Salad. Ever.

Outstanding seafood dinners from Venazú
We ate all of our breakfasts and two dinners at the property's Venazú restaurant. The breakfasts were nothing spectacular but served their purpose. The dinners, were again, delicious. Granted, I had salads and tortillas both nights but the kale, marcona almond and apple salad was delicious.

One of my many mango margaritas
The cocktails were all fresh and beautifully prepared. I drank my weight in mango margaritas as well as a few of their speciality cocktails that were made with natural ingredients. None of them were overly sweet. In turn, I woke up every morning feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. No cheap hooch hangovers.

The Spa and Fitness Center 

We had access to the wet and dry areas of the spa, which also included a gorgeous pool located amidst the tropical jungle. I booked the Local Body Treatment which featured a mud mask followed by a massage. It was an amazing, 90 minutes of take-my-mind-off-everything bliss.

TIP: If you can, book your spa appointments on a weekday where they usually offer spa specials. You will pay full price for weekend appointments.

The suite in which I had my spa treatment.

The fitness center served its purpose. Nothing amazing but it offered everything you need to get in a workout featuring cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights.

The Vibe 

Despite the identity crisis, we adored the W Punta Mita. The staff was gracious and prompt. The best part of the trip was the people we met: a single mom and her son from Seattle, a family from LA, a dad and his son from San Francisco on a surfing trip. Everyone was so nice. Sure they're on vacation and on island time but the connections were real and we've stayed in contact with the folks we met.

The Takeaway

I would absolutely visit the W Punta Mita again but would avoid arriving on a Saturday and would probably need another Travelzoo deal to do it as rack rates run around $219 per night. I have stayed at the Four Seasons and St. Regis in Punta Mita, which are substantially more expensive. Both of those properties are better situated and closer to restaurants and shopping in town. The W Punta Mita is a bit more remote, making getting into town a mild nuisance.

View looking back towards the entrance of the W Punta Mita
If I went back, I would love to bring my daughter. The decor is more suited to kids than luxe-seeking moms. The kids we spoke to loved the funky vibe. The also hotel has a nice kids club that offers Mexican craft-making, beach walks and movie-watching for those kids who want a break from sun.

If you're interested in going, understand it might not be the W Hotel you're used to experiencing. For me, though, that's okay.

Any questions? Post them in the comments section.