• July 11, 2024

Destination spotlight: Punta de Mita, Mexico

Destination spotlight: Punta de Mita, Mexico

Destination spotlight: Punta de Mita, Mexico 1024 684 micebook.

The chosen location for this year’s Global DMC Partners Connection event, Punta de Mita is a 1,500-acre peninsula located on the northern end of Banderas Bay on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

As well as educational sessions, one to one meetings and networking opportunities, GDP Connection gave attendees (and I was lucky enough to be one) the opportunity to get a taste of what the destination has to offer meeting and incentive planners.

Punta de Mita forms part of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, which boasts 180 miles of coastline, traditional seaside villages, majestic mountains, golden sand beaches, luxury resorts and activities aplenty to suit all group tastes, from thrill seekers to sports enthusiasts and those looking for a more relaxed vibe.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Conrad Punta de Mita (pictured above), still a relatively new property, having opened in late 2020 – it’s a great option for both meetings and incentives. Hilton’s first-ever Conrad brand resort in Mexico, the 324-room property is set on a two-mile long beach.

Rooms are spacious and modern, with views over the Pacific, and there is more than 5,000 sqm of event space including flexible meeting rooms (for those with business on the agenda) lush outdoor lawns, and premium beachfront areas for dinners and celebrations. We enjoyed a fabulous welcome dinner on the beachfront on the first evening complete with food stations serving delicious local dishes.

There are also three pools (we tested the one with the swim up bar, for educational purposes of course), access to the Litibu Golf Course, an outdoor fitness lawn for yoga and stretching, the Conrad SPA, four restaurant and three bar concepts.

On our second evening, we enjoyed another beautiful beach dinner setting at the uber cool W Punta de Mita, another great option for planners. The property features 12 rooms with a design and decor inspired by the artwork and culture of the region’s native tribes, the AWAY spa, dining options that range from Spice Market by Jean Georges to the Chevycheria ceviche bar and Mesa1.

There are also two oceanfront pools; an onsite surfing program; and activities designed to channel the energy and rich traditions of the destination: from ceviche-making and jungle yoga to pool parties with an in-house DJ, ice bath plunges and mindful meditations, cacao ceremonies, sound-bath healings and more.

While we didn’t get to see them first hand, other luxury properties in the area worth checking out are the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, both of which have recently completed multi-million-dollar renovations. The Four Seasons features 177 newly renovated casita-style rooms and 31 private villas, 10 alfresco restaurants with ocean views, as well as a serene spa and two world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus.

The St Regis. Punta de Mita is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the culmination of a $45m renovation, including all 120 guest rooms and beachfront villas, enhancements to The St. Regis Spa, the launch of new restaurants and bar concepts and updates to the resort’s outdoor event spaces.

Incentive ideas

This year’s GDP Connection was co-hosted by Tropical Incentives DMC, A Global DMC Partner, which put together a fantastic programme of activities for attendees to choose from across two afternoons.

Many of the more adventurous activities on offer, were based at nearby Vista Paraiso. Originally designed as a typical Mexican hacienda, the Montalbena Ranch is today the heart of a popular outdoor tours and activities agency in Punta de Mita Mexico, directed by one of the oldest families in Higuera Blanca.

Experiences on offer at Vista Paraiso range from hiking in the mountains and ziplining to horseback riding and thrilling ATV and RZR tours through the tropical jungle. I opted for the ziplining, my first time, and despite a few nerves which were put at ease by our wonderful guides, it was a fantastic experience soaring above the treetops with stunning panoramic views over the Pacific.

Vista Paraiso was also the location for GDP Connection’s colourful finale evening, complete with mariachi band, horseback performances, an artisan market selling locally made goods, and the most amazing food (accompanied by a few spicy margheritas, when in Mexico and all that…)

The second afternoon saw a big group of attendees head out for the afternoon on a catamaran – with the sun shining and cocktails flowing, it was the perfect day to kick back and relax on deck and cool off with a dip in the Pacific and would be a great option for incentive groups.

Local seaside surfing town Sayulita is also a great place to visit, to wander the shops and market and soak up the chilled vibes.

There are also plenty of options for groups that want to include a CSR element to their programme. GDP Connection included the opportunity to give back to the community by painting a local school, Telesecundaria. Attendees also collectively brought a wide array of school supplies and learning materials to the conference and the items were donated to three local organizations, Telesecundaria, non-profit Entre Amigos, and an elementary school with many needs.

micebook verdict

As my first visit to Mexico, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and programme and my first taste of central/Latin America. The Conrad was a great base for both the business side of the event, and exploring what the region has to offer.

It is a long way to travel from the UK (we flew via Fort Worth, Dallas), so that could put UK groups off from choosing Punta de Mita over the closer and popular Riviera Maya. But for those travelling from the US, it’s an easy hop, just a couple of hours from Dallas, so a great option. Transfers were smooth (well apart form a few potholes), venues and activities showcased were all top notch, and the team at Tropical Incentives DMC were awesome. But my highlight has to be the food; I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite (and the margheritas which were delicious).

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