My last six Thanksgivings have been spent in Nepal, Dubai, Israel, Aruba, and Turks & Caicos. Not wanting to break tradition, Josh and I looked into warm and beautiful places to spend this year’s holiday and quickly decided on Mexico.
After a busy few months of work and grad school, we mainly wanted to relax, so we chose to spend the bulk of our vacation in Punta Mita and the final two days in Mexico City.
On a practical note, we flew into Puerto Vallarta and Ubered to our destinations throughout our stay. Uber was inexpensive in Mexico and felt pretty safe. I speak Spanish fluently so we never had any issues, but it’s worth noting that in Punta Mita, most of our drivers did not speak English.
Punta Mita was breathtaking. It was the first time either of us had been there and we wanted to see different parts of the area, so we split our time between the St. Regis Punta Mita and the Hotel Basalto, which provided two different, incredible experiences.
The St. Regis in Punta Mita is set on a lush, 22 acre property complete with multiple pools and ocean views. It was a very elegant and romantic resort, and we loved how private it felt. From the St. Regis we visited the Marietas Islands, and did some whale watching with some new friends from the West Coast who we met poolside. I have never seen anything like the hidden beach at the Islas Marietas and consider it a “can’t miss” when in Punta Mita!
The Hotel Basalto was just a 20 minute drive from the St. Regis and much more low key compared to the St. Regis. The 12 room boutique hotel was peaceful, private and had an incredible restaurant. We had a gorgeous suite with views of the ocean from our bed. I would recommend the Hotel Basalto to anyone looking to visit Punta Mita, and isn’t into massive resorts, or wants to stay at a beautiful hotel without breaking the bank.
One thing I do not recommend, is a visit to Sayulita. After seeing Saylita all over instagram and hearing numerous recommendations, we decided to Uber to the town for a day trip. The town was a complete disappointment to us- it was overrun by tourists: women in Lululemon matching sets and men who decided to learn how to surf instead of going to therapy. The beaches were dirty, the food was overpriced, and the entire experience was overall disappointing.
On the note of regrets- my only regret with Mexico City is that we could have used a lot more time there than our 48 hours!
Mexico City was a short Aeromexico flight from Puerto Vallarta. We stayed at the St. Regis in Reforma (where we ran into Harry Styles in the gym!), and loved how easy it was to access multiple neighborhoods from there. We had a great time exploring Roma Norte, Condesa and Polanco. We lunched at Contra Mar, had dinner at Rosetta, and even managed to snag a table at the infamous Pujol. I had tried for months to get a reservation at Pujol, which is currently ranked #9 on the World’s Best Restaurants, with no luck. On a whim, we decided to go before they opened for lunch and managed to grab bar seating and enjoy their creative and delicious tasting menu.
Another unexpected highlight in Mexico City was the Chapultepec Castle. Having been to Europe more times than I can count, my bar for castles is pretty high (which feels like a ridiculous thing to say), but Chapultepec Castle with it’s impressive stained glass windows and colorful murals exceeded all expectations.
You can never go wrong with a trip to Mexico, and I look forward to our next trip there and spending more time in Mexico City!