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This is the hotel I'm most excited to (hopefully) visit next year

Sept. 14, 2020
5 min read
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.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of St Regis Punta Mita/Marriott)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
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Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Recommended Credit

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
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Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees