Recently, as well as my new Take Me Too.... travel posts, I started writing with the Four Seasons Resorts for their blog called Have Family Will Travel. My first assignment was in March and I wrote this piece for them which is live on their awesome blog today.
I am honored to be working with Four Seasons Resorts, and look forward to exploring more of their amazing destination resorts in the future. Their blog Have Family Will Travel has many features to help you learn about places to go as a family around the world.
Little things add up to a fab family holiday at Four Seasons Punta Mita
It’s the little things… this rings especially true when traveling with children.
From the moment we first pulled up to the gorgeous lobby at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, México to the last quick dip in our splash pool, I was amazed by the attention to detail given to every aspect of our short but sweet stay.
The resort is on a secluded, 1,500-acre property near the tip of Bahía de Banderas, less than an hour’s drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport. When we first entered the grounds, it was dense with greenery; a small road cut through, leading to a lone security shack where we checked in, were welcomed and given a map and directions to get to the lobby. Poor Ryan, five, thought the humble grass-roof hut was our final destination and blurted out: “Why do we have to stay in this SHACK?” Even the attendant had to laugh out loud.
As it turned out, our Casita Ocean View room was spacious and well appointed, with lots of traditional Mexican touches to make it special.
This is the view from the bedroom into the living room and entrance where there was a pull-out sofa, a second full bathroom, a television, a little bar and fridge, and what you see. As well there was a second patio with a magical little splash pool! Nana and Ry got right in. (The oldest kiddo wasn’t feeling well, so he ended up staying back at my parents’ nearby condo in Nuevo Vallarta with his Dad.)
Sigh… hammock heaven, I love hammocks and was thrilled to find this private one just steps from bed.
We all got settled and headed to Ketsi for dinner. Everything was delicious and the service was excellent. Kids under six eat free, so Ryan was in luck. Otherwise, the children’s menu is very reasonable and 10-year-old Liam enjoyed that option.
After dinner, we enjoyed a torch-lit walk around the grounds and savored the smell of the jasmine flowers in the amazing gardens. The staff was always available to give you a ride by golf cart anywhere your heart desired, but we enjoyed walking most places since our building was very central to everything.
Walks after dinner are always a lovely way to end the day. The sunset from our bedroom balcony was breathtaking as well. Hurricane candles are there to light up your evening if you prefer not to turn on the lights, but I was happy to just savor the sunset in the dark from the hammock.
Brunch is always a treat, and we started our morning off each day with brunch at Ketsi.
We all enjoyed the made-to-order omelettes. While you wait, you can admire the amazing mosaic creation that adorns the wall.
From our table, we also got to see some grey whales cresting in the nearby ocean. And on the weekends, there’s a special brunch area just for kiddos—so sweet.
After brunch, Ryan was eager to get to the Kids For All Seasons (KFAS)* club. He was enthralled with the big indoor tree house and colorful set up. The leaders were very professional and took his information and made sure they would be able to contact me anytime Ryan needed me, which is amazing piece of mind as a parent.
Crafts were a big focus in KFAS and the kids did some really impressive projects. Ryan started on a tie dye T-shirt right away. He was so intrigued by the teacher, he hardly noticed me leave.
The next day when we dropped him off, his T-shirt creation was given to us in a lovely way and he ever so proud.
So after a quick stop at the room, my Mom, Liam and I got our swimsuits on and sun screened up, excited to check out the beach and pools. As gorgeous as the main Nuna infinity Pool was, we headed to the beach first. There is a huge stretch of beach and something for everyone there: beach games and toys, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, fishing equipment, snorkeling gear, loungers and palapas to tuck away and watch the waves—or remote places to cuddle up and have some couple’s time.
We were greeted right away by an attendant who layed our chairs with terry covers and put a small cooler of ice and water in the cute basket attached to our grass umbrella stand. Such a nice touch. We had lots of fun swimming in the warm, clear ocean there and stayed on till the afternoon when we picked up Ryan from the KFAS club and headed to yet another area to explore: the Lazy River pool which circles the Oasis complex of suites.
The bar at the Lazy River pool had an Icee Machine, and having a slushy while floating around in a tube in a warm pool surrounded by lush gardens was pure bliss. Adults can also get more grown up drinks if they like.
Last stop was the huge Nuna Infinity Pool. I ditched poor Nana with the boys for a bit to slip into the big hot tub overlooking the ocean alone for some me time to wind up the day full of sun, sand and water.
This was our last shady spot to dry off before heading back to the room for the night: Liam is admiring his pruney fingers from being waterlogged and Nana the party animal is still ready to go-go-go!
As for the little things I started off with, here is just a brief list of extras that wowed me during our stay that I have yet to mention…
-Beach toys and games for all at the beach
-A huge selection of new magazines for you to read while you relax
-Sunscreen and other things you might need at the beach hut and by the pool
-An outdoor playground
-Bug spray, lavender linen spray, and other things you might need
-A huge selection of movies and board games to borrow from the concierge
-Internet and music docks and gaming systems in the rooms
-Little beach treats: fresh fruit snacks, housemade Popsicles and Gatorade shots to keep you cool and hydrated
-Bonfires and star gazing talks
*Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) is a Four Seasons complimentary recreational and educational program for children of resort guests. Most KFAS clubs are designed for youth four to 12 years old, and open daily from 9 to 5. (Younger children can often join KFAS with a nanny or parent, or resorts can arrange for babysitting.) But details vary from property to property, so check the resort’s website for more information.
Kids can go all day or just for an hour or two. Activities inside and out include games, sports, music, treasure hunts, swimming, arts and crafts, cultural education, environmental preservation work and yoga. Not your average camp, the VIP offerings are pretty extraordinary—for example, at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, there’s a Dive-In Movie Night where kids watch a film from inflatable seats floating in the pool with the screen suspended between two palm trees. The fun roster includes Spanish lessons, mini golf, pizza making with the chef and—on special occasions—traditional Costa Rican nights with live Merengue and Salsa, stiltwalkers, traditional garb, acrobats and drumming.
Read more on Punta Mita in Four Seasons Magazine.
Read our “Concierge Recommendations” for Punta Mita in Four Seasons Magazine.
Canada-based Kerry MacLeod blogs at Snickerdoodles.ca. Mommy to three boys, Kerry is on a journey: “to ‘follow my bliss’.. loving all things creative, yummy and loopy...” and setting up house at Birch Hill, the abode she designed and built. On her blog, she shares “fashion finds, yummy recipes, great reads and anything else that brings me bliss. Clearing my head, seeking clarity, being present, having fun. Sweet and simple like a Snickerdoodle cookie—with lots of cinnamon!” Kerry’s interests include art, photography, Pinterest, fashion, home decor, cooking, reading, writing, photography, biking, crafts, being outside, sweet movies and songs.