This is the hotel I'm most excited to (hopefully) visit next year
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Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had big travel plans for 2020. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and explore parts of the world I've never been to before. At the top of the list were Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Of course, the pandemic derailed those plans and many others. And, living in the midst of it has been exhausting, even though my life is considerably more stationary than it ever has been.
When we can return to traveling the world safely again, I have no doubt I'll embark on an incredible trip to an unexplored (for me) destination. In fact, I've basically planned an entire trip to the Middle East and just have to wait until it's safe to finally proceed with booking it.
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But, after months of working from my childhood bedroom and not getting out all that much, I have found myself in need of rejuvenation. And, what better relaxation is there than sitting on the beach at a luxury resort, getting served margaritas and other overpriced cocktails?
I've had my eye on one particular resort -- The St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico -- for years now, and, the COVID situation pending, I'll finally make a trip there next year.
Thanks to more or less stopping travel this year, I've added significantly to my stash of Marriott Bonvoy points, and I've decided to cash them in for a five-night stay in paradise over my birthday next year. I used 360,000 points for my stay, taking advantage of Marriott's fifth-night-free perk when using points. While it's no small amount of points, I feel I'm getting a good value for them, considering how great this Category 8 property looks.
If a similar redemption speaks to you but you're short on Marriott points, you can give your account a boost by applying for a card like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which is currently offering a welcome offer of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Numerous TPG staffers have stayed at this property over the years, including Summer Hull, a.k.a Mommy Points, who stayed with her family several years ago.
It's not the newest or the fanciest resort of all time, but I'm drawn to it for its pristine location in Punta Mita about an hour's drive from Puerto Vallarta in the state of Nayarit. The resort itself is located more or less on a peninsula with a rugged coastline characterized with stunning rock formations and white-sand beaches.
It's near a still-somewhat-sleepy surf town called Sayulita where you'll find galleries filled with works hand-crafted by the indigenous Huichol people. It's also close to the Marietas Islands, where you can see whales and dolphins -- perfect for any animal lover.
While there's plenty to do and see around the resort, the property itself makes it hard to leave. As soon as you step into the lobby, you're greeted by a set of cascading pools, framed by palm trees, leading to the beach. You definitely won't forget you're in paradise.
There are three infinity pools for swimming, two Jack Nicklaus golf courses, a Remede spa, the ceremonial Champagne-sabering ceremony every evening and so much more to enjoy.
The rooms themselves are large -- base rooms measure in at around 600 square feet -- and blend French design flourishes with a relaxed, beachside feel. The property only has 120 rooms in total, which should ensure that I'm never fighting anyone for a seat at the pool.
All in all, this resort looks -- in my opinion -- to be one of the finest places to use points in North America. It's got a sublime location in one of the most beautiful parts of Mexico's Pacific coast, amenities galore, beautiful pools, comfortable and luxurious rooms, and so much more.
The pandemic has worn me -- and so many others -- down. While I'm eager to return to the world with eyes wide open and a hunger for exploration of new places, cultures and experiences, my first priority is going to be a refreshing, relaxing and revitalizing trip to the beach -- and I can't think of a better place to do that relatively close to home than at The St. Regis Punta Mita.