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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 gorgeous 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 chief spot for {couples} looking for a calming, romantic getaway.

However even in case you’re not touring together with your associate (as was the case for me), there’s quite a bit to like. Rooms are persistently bookable at a Hilton Honors factors fee price greater than TPG’s valuations, so you possibly can stretch your factors additional when redeeming them for award nights on the Conrad.

Given the property’s ties to one among Hilton’s high-end manufacturers, having the ability to take pleasure in a dose of luxurious in a preferred trip vacation spot like Mexico whereas getting probably 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 guide an award keep and expertise this gorgeous 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, comparable to bland decor, lackluster meals and overcrowded swimming pools.

Nonetheless, I used to be pleasantly shocked to search 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 relating to service. We have been supplied 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 middle 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 method to attain the resort is to drive after flying into Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Worldwide Airport (PVR).

Whilst you can hire 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 value round 500 Mexican pesos ($25) one-way. Moreover, the resort gives 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 all the time search for one of the best methods to get probably the most worth out of loyalty applications. Because of this, this luxurious lodge has been on my radar because it opened in September 2020.

No matter which dates you select, you may persistently discover that the Conrad Punta de Mita’s rooms provide 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 guide an entry-level partial ocean view room with two queen-size beds on the Hilton Honors fee, our two-night keep on the finish of the summer season would have value $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 slightly simpler to abdomen, as most nights (aside 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 may web about 0.98 cents in worth per Hilton Honors level spent on award nights — or roughly 45% greater than what you may sometimes get based mostly 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 contemplate.

By having one among a number of Hilton bank cards in your pockets, you may 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 price and one other by way of a promotion earlier this 12 months) 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 12 months.

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 offered 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 value 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 mild 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 all the time accessible to greet visitors by identify. Each worker I got here throughout was eager on making real connections with visitors throughout informal conversations, lots of which came about in Spanish so we might apply 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 surprising design incorporating the branches and vines from native bushes and supplied trendy companies that includes native traditions, such because the Temazcal therapy (a form of cleaning ritual) led by a curandero (Indigenous healer).

Drawbacks

  • The advantages you may 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 visitors, which solely lined a fraction of the price of breakfast.
  • Costs have been excessive, particularly when taxes and repair costs have been piled on. For instance, a taco dinner at Arbol value $45 per individual, and a 60-minute therapeutic massage was $185 earlier than taxes and tip.
  • In the event you’re an enormous espresso drinker, you may 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 liked the smooth look of the property total, the absence of handrails by the numerous 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 method that feels trendy but comfy. Exterior, 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 an elegant 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 well-liked with twosomes, so you will not discover that many youngsters operating round.

The room

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Although we had booked a regular room with two queen-size beds, my aunt and I have been pleasantly shocked to search out that the Hilton Honors app confirmed us in an upgraded beachfront room a number of days earlier than checking in.

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

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The room’s inside was equally spectacular, that includes quite a few eye-catching ornamental touches, comparable 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. Slightly below the TV, a desk and chair have been positioned towards the wall.

The blackout curtains did a superb job of blocking daylight from coming into the room so we might sleep in. The beds wearing comfortable, white linens have been a spotlight as nicely; they have been a few of the most comfy that I’ve ever slept in whereas staying at a lodge.

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Past the residing and sleeping area, there was a toilet with giant mirrors above the 2 sinks, a walk-in bathe with sturdy water strain 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 ingesting faucet water. Whereas this might have been a serious inconvenience, our go to was hardly affected because the lodge offered limitless bottled water at no cost, which was often replenished when our provide was operating low.

A extra noticeable subject was the air-con. Whereas it persistently saved the area cool, the room was uncomfortably humid — to the purpose that the sheets, our garments and our sneakers felt damp. The moisture subject even prompted a bag of cough drops I dropped at utterly soften.

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Foods and drinks

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In the event you’re an avid foodie like me, you may be joyful to know that the Conrad Punta de Mita has you lined. Almost 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 well-liked with visitors. 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 (attempt the octopus) and a collection 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 wonderful. A transparent sky filled 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 every day breakfast credit score of $17 per individual for as much as two visitors. 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 every day.

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Fortuitously, 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 superbly reduce fruit over a mattress of chilly acai topped with three sorts 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 reasonably weak, although. Had we found the on-site Colibri Roasting Co. espresso store, which supplied a lot stronger (and extra flavorful) choices, sooner, we doubtless would’ve visited often to get our caffeine repair.

For our ultimate night time, we dined at Codex, the signature beachfront restaurant. Finally, the meals — which included a light, flaky white fish native to the Gulf of California often known as totoaba ($44) and the Veracruz soft-shell crab wearing a trio of mole sauces ($38) — did not stay 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 an exquisite expertise.

Exterior of the swim-up pool bar, most visitors frequented Tuki (the foyer bar) for drinks. There, you possibly can sit across the neighborhood desk with fellow visitors 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 middle 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 therapy 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 will not be low cost. For instance, the two-person, 80-minute rest therapeutic massage beneficial by the workers value an astounding $479.

In the event you’re seeking to store, you may discover two boutiques within the foyer. The primary one, which is adjoining to the Enterprise Rental Automobile sales space, has Mexican handicrafts like hats, shirts, jewellery and swimwear. The second, situated subsequent to the espresso store, has Conrad Punta de Mita-branded merchandise. Friends can purchase in-room bathrobes, hydro flasks and plenty of different Conrad luxuries from this retailer.

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Surprisingly, regardless of its location proper on the seaside, an amenity I thought 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 aside from a number of 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 an enormous 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 easy accessibility to the spa.

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

One memorable interplay was when it got here time to go away the resort. I used to be overlaying breaking journey information, so when the bellman got here to select up our baggage, he expressed concern that we might miss breakfast. After asking if we knew what we needed 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 go away hungry. Little face-to-face moments like these ended up being a few of the highlights of our go to and strengthened 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, visitors 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 — could be discovered a number of miles west.

For a break from the resort that feels extra genuine to the area, you possibly can plan a day journey to Puerto Vallarta’s outdated city. There, you possibly can go to the pre-World Warfare 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. Friends are introduced through sundown cruise to a candlelit island the place a Cirque du Soleil-style present takes place, adopted by dinner.

In the event you do not need to drive for an hour to Puerto Vallarta, contemplate hitting the hyperlinks in Punta de Mita — there are fairly a number of golf programs across the resort. A number of touristy eating places are additionally accessible 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 programs weren’t noticeable throughout our go to.

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Exterior the lodging, facilities for vacationers with disabilities have been likewise restricted. Whereas golf carts have been accessible to drive visitors across the resort, there are areas all through the property which might be solely accessible through stairs that lacked handrails. Since these stairs have been typically both moist or sandy as a consequence 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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Testing

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With its stunning swimming pools, a tranquil beachfront location and wonderful (albeit costly) meals, there’s quite a bit to love in regards to 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 lodges situated close by. Nonetheless, this Conrad is price visiting no less than as soon as, particularly in case you can guide it on factors.

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