Match for a king: A evaluate of the Conrad Punta de Mita

Providing the identical unbeatable seaside location because the close by 4 Seasons and St. Regis, the brand new and upscale Conrad Punta de Mita wows with its beautiful setting and phenomenal worth when utilizing factors. Lodging right here overlook the Pacific Ocean and include entry to top-notch facilities like three sprawling swimming pools and a spa that celebrates the area’s roots in its remedies, making the property a major spot for {couples} in search of a soothing, romantic getaway.

However even in the event you’re not touring together with your companion (as was the case for me), there’s rather a lot to like. Rooms are constantly bookable at a Hilton Honors factors charge price greater than TPG’s valuations, so you may stretch your factors additional when redeeming them for award nights on the Conrad.

Given the property’s ties to certainly one of Hilton‘s high-end manufacturers, with the ability to get pleasure from a dose of luxurious in a preferred trip vacation spot like Mexico whereas getting essentially the most worth out of my factors appeared like a possibility that was too good to go up. So, when deciding the place to go for a brief household journey, my aunt and I jumped on the likelihood to e-book an award keep and expertise this beautiful top-tier resort firsthand.

Fast take

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Driving onto the Conrad Punta de Mita’s grounds, I feared we had made a horrible mistake. Looming forward have been 324 rooms unfold throughout 10 white concrete towers that appeared chilly and foreboding at first impression. We feared we had entered a sterile, cookie-cutter resort with every thing we have been making an attempt to keep away from, akin to bland decor, lackluster meals and overcrowded swimming pools.

Nonetheless, I used to be pleasantly shocked to seek out that that was not the case. Our expertise turned out to be something however bland, lackluster and overcrowded.

From the second we stepped foot contained in the property, it turned clear that this resort shines in terms of service. We have been provided a alternative of welcome drinks — tequila or tropical fruit juice — to sip whereas checking in, and when it was time to drop our belongings in our room, a pleasant worker appeared to whisk us away in a golf cart to our tastefully appointed lodging. Distinctive hospitality was entrance and heart right here, with no element missed.

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Getting there

Situated within the coastal neighborhood of Punta de Mita, Mexico, about 22 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta, the Conrad Punta de Mita is simply eliminated sufficient from the motion of Puerto Vallarta to offer a little bit of rest with out straying too far off the overwhelmed path. The simplest solution to attain the resort is to drive after flying into Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Worldwide Airport (PVR).

Whilst you can lease a automobile and drive your self — valet parking is complimentary — there are extra handy methods to make the roughly one-hour journey to the property. Uber rides price round 500 Mexican pesos ($25) one-way. Moreover, the resort offers round-trip transportation from a third-party firm for five,000 Mexican pesos ($253).

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Reserving particulars

As a reporter who covers factors and miles, I at all times search for one of the best methods to get essentially the most worth out of loyalty applications. In consequence, this luxurious lodge has been on my radar because it opened in September 2020.

No matter which dates you select, you will constantly discover that the Conrad Punta de Mita’s rooms supply considerably increased redemption values than the 0.6 cents per Hilton Honors level famous in our most up-to-date valuations.

Had we used money to e-book an entry-level partial ocean view room with two queen-size beds on the Hilton Honors charge, our two-night keep on the finish of the summer season would have price $1,866.87 ($718 per night time, plus taxes and the ten% service cost that is added to all reservations).

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Nonetheless, reserving with factors is just a little simpler to abdomen, as most nights (apart from a handful throughout peak journey intervals just like the winter holidays and spring break) solely require 95,000 Hilton Honors factors per night time for the standard room. This implies you will internet about 0.98 cents in worth per Hilton Honors level spent on award nights — or roughly 45% greater than what you will usually get primarily based on our valuations.

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Nonetheless, with a nightly award value approaching six figures (in factors), chances are you’ll end up much less inclined to redeem factors for a keep. If that is the case, know that there is but an alternative choice to think about.

By having certainly one of a number of Hilton bank cards in your pockets, you will be eligible to obtain a number of free night time certificates to use towards a keep. Since I’ve the Hilton Honors American Categorical Aspire Card, I made a decision to make use of two free night time certificates (one I acquired after renewing my card and paying the annual charge and one other by way of a promotion earlier this yr) to cowl the price of our room. You can even earn a free night time certificates on the Hilton Honors American Categorical Surpass Card after spending $15,000 on the cardboard on qualifying purchases in a calendar yr.

The data for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

With my Hilton Honors Diamond standing, my aunt and I have been upgraded from the usual two-queen partial ocean view room we had booked to a two-queen beachfront room, which might have price us $1,181 per night time to remain in throughout our go to had we booked it with money.

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Standout options

  • Mouthwatering tortilla soup adopted by one of the best octopus tacos of my life made for a pleasant night on the patio of the property’s Arbol restaurant.
  • The room was located very near the seaside. With the light sound of the ocean waves rocking me to sleep from my two-queen beachfront room, it was straightforward to get a restful night time’s sleep.
  • Pleasant and attentive workers members have been at all times obtainable to greet company by identify. Each worker I got here throughout was eager on making real connections with company throughout informal conversations, lots of which befell in Spanish so we might observe talking the language. All through my brief keep, it was clear that the lodge’s workforce members took delight of their jobs, going above and past what I’ve skilled at different properties.
  • The spa had a shocking design incorporating the branches and vines from native bushes and provided fashionable companies that includes native traditions, such because the Temazcal remedy (a form of cleaning ritual) led by a curandero (Indigenous healer).

Drawbacks

  • The advantages you will get right here as a Diamond member are restricted. All I acquired was a non-suite improve, $25 off a dear therapeutic massage and a breakfast credit score price $17 per individual for as much as two company, which solely coated a fraction of the price of breakfast.
  • Costs have been excessive, particularly when taxes and repair fees have been piled on. For instance, a taco dinner at Arbol price $45 per individual, and a 60-minute therapeutic massage was $185 earlier than taxes and tip.
  • For those who’re a giant espresso drinker, you will doubtless discover the caffeinated drinks served on the breakfast restaurant disappointing. Each the espresso and cappuccinos we ordered have been watery and weak, missing any noticeable caffeine kick.
  • The lodge ought to have integrated extra accessibility into its design. Whereas I cherished the glossy look of the property general, the absence of handrails by the various stairs was a serious miss for me. If I wasn’t paying cautious consideration as I went up and down them, particularly at night time and when close to the swimming pools (the place the cement stairs have been typically moist), I might’ve simply stumbled.

The vibe

With a white, angular facade and an open-concept inside with pops of shade all through, the Conrad Punta de Mita attracts inspiration from its environment in a means that feels trendy but snug. Outdoors, the glowing white towers and water-spouting options set amid palm bushes evoked the sensation of exclusivity — as if we have been at a palace with lush gardens.

The identical upscale vibe continued inside, with patterned textiles in varied shades of blue and inexperienced offering a classy nod to the nature-focused setting whereas complementing the stark whiteness of the partitions and ceilings. Gorgeous art work impressed by Mexico’s pure magnificence hung from partitions, and sculptural, handicraft-inspired furnishings evocative of a pre-Spanish period was strategically positioned to seize your consideration as you lingered within the foyer.

The locally-inspired design continued within the visitor rooms, the place picket headboards have been accented with woven rattan influenced by the basket-making artwork types of the Huichol individuals. Even the spa used Mexico as its inspiration; specified by a crab form, the design is an homage to the crustacean generally discovered within the area.

The resort is appropriate for multigenerational teams because of its kid-friendly facilities like a youngsters membership and a pool with a waterslide. Nonetheless, know that the romantic setting by the ocean makes this Conrad common with twosomes, so you will not discover that many youngsters working round.

The room

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Though we had booked a normal room with two queen-size beds, my aunt and I have been pleasantly shocked to seek out that the Hilton Honors app confirmed us in an upgraded beachfront room just a few days earlier than checking in.

As we walked into the 705-square-foot house, we have been wowed by the gorgeous ocean view. The spacious patio, which featured a love seat with a low desk, the next bistro desk and two chairs, beckoned us for morning espresso and afternoon glad hour.

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The room’s inside was equally spectacular, that includes numerous eye-catching ornamental touches, akin to furnishings with rattan and wooden particulars. The sage-green partitions created a soothing ambiance whereas graphic work with pops of blue evoked the Pacific Ocean simply exterior our window.

There was a Nespresso machine and an electrical kettle located subsequent to an assortment of espresso and teas. To the proper of the Nespresso machine, there was a closet outfitted with deep drawers, a secure, a baggage rack, two bathrobes, slippers and an iron with an ironing board. There have been loads of electrical retailers all through the room, too. Just under the TV, a desk and chair have been positioned towards the wall.

The blackout curtains did a wonderful job of blocking daylight from getting into the room so we might sleep in. The beds wearing mushy, white linens have been a spotlight as effectively; they have been a number of the most snug that I’ve ever slept in whereas staying at a lodge.

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Past the residing and sleeping house, there was a rest room with massive mirrors above the 2 sinks, a walk-in bathe with sturdy water stress from the rain showerhead and a separate water closet housing the bathroom. Cucumber-scented Mojave Ghost tub merchandise have been available within the bathe and by the sinks.

Throughout our keep, we have been suggested by the resort to chorus from consuming faucet water. Whereas this might have been a serious inconvenience, our go to was hardly affected because the lodge supplied limitless bottled water without cost, which was recurrently replenished when our provide was working low.

A extra noticeable problem was the air con. Whereas it constantly stored the house cool, the room was uncomfortably humid — to the purpose that the sheets, our garments and our sneakers felt damp. The moisture problem even brought on a bag of cough drops I delivered to fully soften.

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Food and drinks

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For those who’re an avid foodie like me, you will be glad to know that the Conrad Punta de Mita has you coated. Practically each dish we tried was tasty.

On our first night time, my aunt and I visited Arbol to expertise the eatery’s Monday taco night time, a weekly themed eating expertise common with company. For $45 per individual, we acquired chips and guacamole, a alternative between the soup of the day and a salad, all-you-can-eat tacos from an a la carte menu with varied proteins (strive the octopus) and a choice of two desserts. Of every thing we ordered, the flavorful tortilla soup with contemporary avocado cubes was the spotlight, although all of the dishes have been glorious. A transparent sky stuffed with stars overhead as we dined, with the strum of an acoustic guitar enjoying within the background, made for the right ambiance.

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As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, I acquired a day by day breakfast credit score of $17 per individual for as much as two company. Not like Hilton properties within the U.S., the place the credit score can cowl any meals or beverage buy made, the credit score on the Conrad Punta de Mita can solely be used towards breakfast purchases. Contemplating the excessive costs and the truth that 26% in surcharges was tacked onto each meals and beverage buy, the credit score did not go far, however we nonetheless put it to make use of at Arbol, the place breakfast is served day by day.

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Luckily, the morning meal proved simply as scrumptious because the dinner service. For the reason that buffet, which included an omelet station, was a dear $34 per individual, we ordered off the a la carte menu.

The acai bowl with beneficiant parts of fantastically lower fruit over a mattress of chilly acai topped with three varieties of seeds ($13) was one of the best acai bowl I’ve had south of the border, and the huevos rancheros with a contemporary corn tortilla, sliced avocado and creamy refried beans ($14) have been additionally tasty. The espresso and cappuccinos have been slightly weak, although. Had we found the on-site Colibri Roasting Co. espresso store, which provided a lot stronger (and extra flavorful) choices, sooner, we doubtless would’ve visited recurrently to get our caffeine repair.

For our closing night time, we dined at Codex, the signature beachfront restaurant. In the end, the meals — which included a light, flaky white fish native to the Gulf of California generally known as totoaba ($44) and the Veracruz soft-shell crab wearing a trio of mole sauces ($38) — did not reside as much as the excessive bar set from our earlier meals, because the parts have been small and the fish was overcooked. That stated, the service was stellar and the breathtaking setting on the sand made for a beautiful expertise.

Outdoors of the swim-up pool bar, most company frequented Tuki (the foyer bar) for drinks. There, you may sit across the neighborhood desk with fellow company or slip into the pod-like chairs close to the floor-to-ceiling home windows. For sundown (and a glass of wine), plan on migrating to Mezquite, the property’s beachfront bar.

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Facilities and repair

Among the many lodge’s different services, the health heart had floor-to-ceiling home windows and all of the gear you’d look forward to finding for a exercise, together with a number of treadmills, Technogym StairMasters, stationary bikes and free weights.

There’s additionally a spa with a number of remedy rooms, plus males’s and ladies’s locker rooms, every with an immaculately tiled thermal Jacuzzi tub, a sauna and showers, and a coed rest space with a dome fountain. Know, although, that the regionally impressed remedies right here are usually not low-cost. For instance, the two-person, 80-minute rest therapeutic massage really helpful by the workers price an astounding $479.

For those who’re trying to store, you will discover two boutiques within the foyer. The primary one, which is adjoining to the Enterprise Rental Automotive sales space, has Mexican handicrafts like hats, shirts, jewellery and swimwear. The second, positioned subsequent to the espresso store, has Conrad Punta de Mita-branded merchandise. Visitors should buy in-room bathrobes, hydro flasks and lots of different Conrad luxuries from this retailer.

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Surprisingly, regardless of its location proper on the seaside, an amenity I assumed was the principle draw of this Mexican resort, the Conrad lacked a busy seaside scene. Throughout our keep, I did not see anybody on the sand apart from just a few locals. Nonetheless, I did see a lodge upkeep employee clearing some seaweed from the sand one morning.

Not like the seaside, the swimming pools have been a giant plus of the property. There have been three side-by-side choices to select from: an infinity pool overlooking the ocean that had partially submerged chaise lounges within the water; a youngsters pool with a waterslide and a splash zone; and an adults-only pool with a swim-up bar and quick access to the spa.

Whereas the facilities have been strong general, it was the service that really stood out. Each change with the workers got here with heat hospitality and the utmost professionalism.

One memorable interplay was when it got here time to depart the resort. I used to be overlaying breaking journey information, so when the bellman got here to choose up our baggage, he expressed concern that we might miss breakfast. After asking if we knew what we wished to eat, he used his walkie-talkie to radio in our breakfast order simply earlier than the kitchen closed at 11 a.m. so we would not depart hungry. Little face-to-face moments like these ended up being a number of the highlights of our go to and bolstered why the Conrad Punta de Mita excels.

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Out and about

As a result of the Conrad Punta de Mita sits in a secluded location, we by no means left the property throughout our two-night keep. Nonetheless, company who crave a change of surroundings will discover a number of high-end resorts close by. The property sits adjoining to the Iberostar Choice Playa Mita, and several other different resorts — together with Punta Mita’s 4 Seasons and St. Regis — may be discovered just a few miles west.

For a break from the resort that feels extra genuine to the area, you may plan a day journey to Puerto Vallarta’s previous city. There, you may go to the pre-World Conflict II Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, which has an intricate topped tower or catch the favored dinner present extravaganza: Rhythms of the Evening. Visitors are introduced by way of sundown cruise to a candlelit island the place a Cirque du Soleil-style present takes place, adopted by dinner.

For those who do not need to drive for an hour to Puerto Vallarta, take into account hitting the hyperlinks in Punta de Mita — there are fairly just a few golf programs across the resort. A couple of touristy eating places are additionally obtainable in Corral del Risco, a city only a mile away from Punta de Mita.

Accessibility

The Conrad Punta de Mita has mobility-accessible rooms with roll-in showers and one king-size mattress or two queen-size beds, although different options like indicators with Braille and visible alert techniques weren’t noticeable throughout our go to.

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Outdoors the lodging, facilities for vacationers with disabilities have been likewise restricted. Whereas golf carts have been obtainable to drive company across the resort, there are areas all through the property which might be solely accessible by way of stairs that lacked handrails. Since these stairs have been typically both moist or sandy because of their proximity to the swimming pools and seaside, some vacationers may discover them slippery.

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I did not discover any lifts into the swimming pools both, which is an actual shortcoming since they’re one of many key causes for staying right here.

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Trying out

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With its stunning swimming pools, a tranquil beachfront location and glorious (albeit costly) meals, there’s rather a lot to love concerning the Conrad Punta de Mita. That stated, the expensive nightly charges, paucity of elite advantages and excessive surcharges for every thing from drinks to spa companies make it troublesome to influence me to return given the fierce competitors from different motels positioned close by. Nonetheless, this Conrad is price visiting at the least as soon as, particularly in the event you can e-book it on factors.

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