(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

 

“They locked up my fruit,” Knox held the clear, acrylic con­tain­er close to his pout, try­ing to fig­ure out how to spring the pieces of can­taloupe from under the locked latch. He pulled at the clamp try­ing to release the lid but grunt­ed in frus­tra­tion. “Here, give it to me,” I said, laugh­ing soft­ly at his intensity.

 

Until that morn­ing, we too felt like we had been held cap­tive like most fam­i­lies stuck at home since the March 19 stay-at-home order.

 

Our boys — like every oth­er kid in the Unit­ed States — had to attend school on screen. But COVID num­bers had start­ed to go down, hotels had start­ed to offer extend­ed stay spe­cials with enhanced clean­ing pro­grams, and since we could take their com­put­ers any­where, on this morn­ing, we found our­selves eat­ing break­fast in the gor­geous resort of the Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita in the Mex­i­can state of Riv­iera Nayarit. Sit­ting out­side, we could see and hear the bril­liant ocean, dia­monds bounc­ing off the water and waves flat­ten­ing with a soft hiss.

 

 

 

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Hotels and resorts in Punta de Mita Mexico in the Riviera Nayarit. Things to do when you visit as a family. Things to do with kids. What to do at the resort and around the resort. What to eat and fun things to do with your kids.

 

 

The Rooms

 

When we arrived at our beach­front room at the Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita resort, the day before, I could see the boy’s mouths drop beneath their masks when they opened the door. Their liv­ing space for this trip was very dif­fer­ent from the cozy, prac­ti­cal con­fines of our RV trail­er, the bub­ble in which we last trav­eled at the end of the infa­mous sum­mer of 2020. This was some­thing very special.

 

 

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Curi­ous about the room? Meet the two cutest tour guides below!!!!

 

 

 

 

The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita is a lux­u­ry 324 room resort in, obvi­ous­ly, Pun­ta de Mita, Mex­i­co. The rooms in the hotel are divid­ed into two sec­tions. The first is the main build­ing, sur­round­ing the lob­by, and gym and spa facilities.

 

 

the main building...conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

The epi­cen­ter of the resort  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Plus, there are nine stand-alone “Casas” that fea­ture out­door walk­ways con­nect­ing four floors of 12–15 rooms each.

 

 

Casas at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

The open-air Casas  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Some suites in the Casas offer plunge pools and out­door show­ers. All have bal­conies with ocean views and come equipped with spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets. Our room had two queen beds and an ocean­front view. The view of the ocean, a strip of island float­ing in front of dis­tant hills, all under a salmon and sun­flower striped sky, opened every­one’s hearts in the gen­tle way where peo­ple don’t real­ize their hearts had been closed. The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita gen­er­ous­ly host­ed us but this type of room sells between $300-$500 a night depend­ing on avail­abil­i­ty and season. 

 

 

conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

I think we can swim to that rock over there.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Safer Certificate: Clean Stay Program

 

The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita had the hor­ri­ble mis­for­tune of plan­ning its grand open­ing for March of 2020. After anoth­er delay, they final­ly swung their doors open in Sep­tem­ber 2020, entic­ing vis­i­tors with an impec­ca­ble Clean Stay pro­gram, prac­ticed by all Hilton hotels, a masked staff, and reduced resort capac­i­ty. While we pre­fer the clean pow­er of essen­tial oils, I know many peo­ple pre­fer to oblit­er­ate their germs with the pow­er of dis­in­fect­ing prod­ucts like Lysol. Hilton has part­nered with Lysol and the Mayo Clin­ic to find the most effec­tive way to real­ly destroy any poten­tial of bac­te­r­i­al or viral trans­mis­sion in their rooms, gyms, and restaurants. 

 

One after­noon, I walked in on the staff clean­ing our room. The masked house­keep­er held an aerosol can of Lysol over our bed and it appeared like she intend­ed to emp­ty its entire con­tents over our com­forter before I told her it was ok. At that point, it was our sec­ond night there so we already felt safe.

 

 

Pro­Tip: You can call house­keep­ing and request they tone it down on the Lysol once you feel com­fort­able that it’s only your reg­u­lar fam­i­ly germs crawl­ing around your room.

 

 

Reduced Capacity

 

Although we passed masked guests walk­ing around the pool area and shared the din­ing areas with them, we real­ly did feel like we had a lot of per­son­al space at the resort for much of our stay. This felt good and bad at the same time. We love inter­act­ing with new friends from places around the world when we trav­el. My boys always bring home sto­ries about the new best friends they met on our fam­i­ly trip. We just have to accept that trav­el is going to be dif­fer­ent for a while. 

The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita resort is sell­ing only half of its avail­able rooms as of March 2021. They are fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment man­dates and will respect the reduced capac­i­ty pro­to­col until they get the all-clear notice. 

 

 

conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

All for me…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Things to do at the Conrad Punta de Mita

 

There are plen­ty of things to do to keep your fam­i­ly occu­pied while stay­ing at the resort. To be hon­est, we only left the resort once and that was because we were curi­ous about the town of Pun­ta de Mita.

 

 

The Pools

 

Three pools offer a vari­ety of expe­ri­ences for vis­i­tors under the invit­ing warmth of the sun. One pool is reserved for adults and includes access to a pool bar to enjoy while kids are else­where. The Activ­i­ty Pool is long enough to swim morn­ing or evening laps. At some point, the hotel will start oper­at­ing at full capac­i­ty so this will be the best time to do it but right now guests could eas­i­ly tick off laps anytime. 

 

 

conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

A per­fect place to cool off.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

We had the most fun at the Fam­i­ly Pool where we took turns going down the water­slide. We pro­gressed from slid­ing like reg­u­lar peo­ple to hold­ing onto each oth­er’s legs like a train, and final­ly to throw­ing our­selves down head­first. Yes. We all did it. When you can have unin­hib­it­ed fun with your kids is when they feel most close to you. Or at least my kids with me.

 

 

going down the waterslide at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Geron­i­mo — caram­ba!!!!  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Here is the video of our trip and how you could have your safe adven­ture too!

 

 

 

 

Dining

 

ARBOL

 

We start­ed every morn­ing with break­fast at Arbol. Guests could choose between the con­ti­nen­tal buf­fet or order off the menu. My favorite dish on the menu was the roast­ed veg­etable frit­ta­ta topped with chunks of creamy feta. I also loved the chia seeds soaked overnight with avo­ca­do pud­ding topped with fresh fruit. So refresh­ing and invigorating. 

avocado parfait with chia seeds at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

I need the recipe.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Howard enjoyed the tra­di­tion­al Mex­i­can break­fast of Chi­laquiles. The boys gath­ered most of the pas­tries at the buf­fet with a side of sug­ar cere­al. And they did­n’t for­get to spread Nutel­la over toast. They aren’t allowed to eat like this at home so they take full advan­tage on trips. I’m ok with it as long as they bal­ance it with fruit so they take a bite or two of mel­ons or bananas. I know. I’m a tough mom.

 

 

PALETA

 

Lunch­es we loved eat­ing at our lounge chairs by the pool or inside the pool­side restau­rant, Pale­ta. Pale­ta serves all the kid-stan­dards, chick­en nuggets, burg­ers and fries, pizza. 

 

 

Lunch at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Tastes like pol­lo!  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

But they also serve some super yum­my poke bowls, oys­ters on the half shell, and flat­bread pizzas. 

 

 

Poleta at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Poke me once poke me twice!  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Howard grav­i­tat­ed toward the veg­an burg­er. They have some great mock­tails for those that don’t drink or want to start that ear­ly. I enjoyed the La San­dia which was water­mel­on, lime, lemon­grass, jack­fruit, and hoja san­ta syrup in sparkling water. But they also offer a ful­ly lead­ed bar too.

 

 

mocktails at poleta at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Unlead­ed and refresh­ing!  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

MEZQUITE

 

Mezquite, set on the beach with your choice of sand or wood under your feet with either a lounge couch or ocean-fac­ing tables to sit your par­ty. The restau­rant has an open wood-burn­ing oven where fish and meats are cooked over hot coals in a 500-year culi­nary tra­di­tion called Zaran­dea­do. We could taste how ten­der this method of cook­ing made our food. 

 

 

Mezquite at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Expand­ing my hori­zons.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

The spices soaked right into the meat and coat­ed it with good­ness. Some nights there’s a live band. On our first night, we got lucky and heard actu­al musi­cians play­ing on their sandy stage. It’s fun­ny how under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed the lit­tle things are until they’re gone.

 

 

Agave Studio

 

Set in the back of Arbol, is a pri­vate room lined with bar­rels and bot­tles, reserved for tak­ing a ride on the leaves of the agave plant, through his­to­ry and com­mu­ni­ty. Esta­ban, our guide, shared with us the tech­nique of smelling, sip­ping, and savor­ing the dis­tinct dis­tilled bev­er­ages pro­duced by this suc­cu­lent. Every expe­ri­ence can vary depend­ing on the mood of the tequi­la som­me­li­er but dur­ing our evening, we sampled:

 

 

ancestral beverage tasting at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Pick your pas­sion © Rina Nehdar

 

Each drink came with its own glass and its own story.

 

  • El Tequi­leno Rare Reposa­do — Reposa­do tequi­la is aged in a bar­rel for up to a year. This brand ages it for more than six.
  • De Una Raicil­la — Esta­ban told us that there are 120 vari­eties of agave but most raicil­la comes from the Max­imil­lian agave plant. We also learned that raicil­la is actu­al­ly mez­cal but pro­duc­ers did­n’t want the tax bur­den asso­ci­at­ed with it so renamed it. Also, max­imil­lian agave grown on the coast tastes dif­fer­ent from when it’s grown on the moun­tains. This one tast­ed sweet like caramel.
  • Mez­cal Júrame — Júrame means “I swear”. A crys­talline mez­cal, this end­ed up being both our favorites. We found the smokey and sweet taste as orig­i­nal and heart­warm­ing as the sto­ry behind it. The own­er of Júrame set out to fig­ure out how to make mez­cal the right way and how to build a com­pa­ny so he and oth­ers in his com­mu­ni­ty could keep their fam­i­lies togeth­er in Mex­i­co instead of leav­ing to find work. We think he fig­ured it out.
  • Mon­telo­bos — This was Esta­ban’s favorite. Made from espadin agave grown in Puebla and Oax­a­ca, he thinks this is where the best mez­cal is born. We thought it was good too.
  • Veneno Flor Del Desier­to — Sotol Flor del Desier­to is made with rat­tlesnake ven­om and aged for 3 months in bar­rels by Mas­ter Sotolero Ger­ar­do Ruelas Hernán­dez. Which is kind of crazy and cool.

 

 

We had a great time dis­cussing it all and pair­ing it with the hors d’oeu­vres that com­pli­ment­ed each drink.

 

 

agave studio at conrad punta de mita resort - what to do with kids and families

Easy does it © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Calibri Roasting Co.

 

The resort has a con­ve­nience store where baris­tas make espres­sos, smooth­ies, and cof­fee con­coc­tions for guests who need a lit­tle pick-me-up. There are snacks and high-end grab-and-go meals — sand­wich­es and sal­ads — muffins and pas­tries. If you’re com­ing from a sig­nif­i­cant time change, you’ll appre­ci­ate this. They nor­mal­ly only oper­ate until 3 pm but when we enquired at the front, they sent some­one to open it up for us after hours. That was so sweet, we real­ly appre­ci­at­ed it!

 

 

Spa and Gym

 

There’s a spa. I did­n’t go. But it sounds nice. There is also a fit­ness cen­ter that I did go into so I could do my online yoga class. They did­n’t have yoga mats, only stretch­ing mats, so bring your trav­el mat if you have one. I did­n’t have one, so I used their stretch­ing mat and slipped and slid dur­ing my rou­tine. But it was okay because I was alone and the absence of sound was a wel­come treat for my men­tal well-being.

 

The fit­ness cen­ter has all the machines. And they face the gor­geous resort, ocean, and trop­i­cal plants so you can’t help but zen out no mat­ter what you do. And that’s sort of the point, right?

 

 

fitness center at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Recal­i­brat­ing.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

There’s a ten­nis court which we saw but did­n’t use and they have an out­door, light­ed bas­ket­ball court which I did­n’t see.

 

 

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Game Room

 

When our boys dis­ap­peared, this is where we always found them. There is a video game con­sole attached to a huge flatscreen TV, stocked with all the pop­u­lar games. We have strict time lim­its for these dur­ing our nor­mal lives but since the last year has been any­thing but nor­mal, we allowed them to have their own zen (zom­bie) ses­sion dur­ing our trip so mom­my and dad­dy could have some qui­et time. 

 

 

game room at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Play­ing some head games.…  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

There is also a foos­ball table, a pool table, ping pong, and air hock­ey. There are board games too.

 

 

Kid’s Club

 

Yep, they have one! There’s also 24-hour babysit­ting avail­able though we did­n’t do either. Nor­mal­ly, we steal a day or two by putting them into the Kid’s Club at what­ev­er resort we are vis­it­ing but since there weren’t any oth­er kids there, we knew it would­n’t be as much fun for them.

 

 

game room at conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Fun in the old nor­mal  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

The Beach

 

The beach was bitchen. Right in front of the resort is the best place for fam­i­ly activ­i­ties. We swam in the warmish water. Howard surfed. We walked along the beach for a cou­ple of miles and dis­cov­ered adven­tures in the way that kids do and adults who remem­ber how to be kids, because they’re around them, also do.

 

 

Litibu Beach near conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

A roman­tic walk with the kiddos.…sort of!  © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Nor­mal­ly, the resort will offer SUP and surf or boo­gie boards but that was­n’t avail­able dur­ing COVID time so Howard brought his own surf­board from home.

 

 

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Land and Sea Excursions

 

The concierge will be hap­py to book your fam­i­ly adven­ture through Vista Paraiso or Val­lar­ta Adven­tures. They say Vista Paraiso spe­cial­izes in land activ­i­ties while Val­lar­ta Adven­tures excels in water adventures.

 

We got to go horse­back rid­ing through a town, a jun­gle, and final­ly the beach where our guide asked us if we want­ed to gal­lop the hors­es. I’d nev­er had this oppor­tu­ni­ty, so I had to take it! How­ev­er, hav­ing rid­den hors­es before, but nev­er at a run, it was all I could do to hold on as I felt myself slid­ing to the right on take­off. I kept shout­ing to the kids that they must also hooooooold ooooon!!!!!! I was think­ing an instruc­tion or two on how to best do this might have been help­ful. But we were fine. More than fine, we had a great time! Our hors­es ran through the water and we laughed through the sand.

 

 

horseback riding at agave studio at conrad punta de mita resort - what to do with kids and families

Look at the smile on the tween. You can’t buy that.

 

 

We also got to ride ATVs with Vista Paraiso. The adults drove and the kids held on in the two-per­son vehi­cles. We went off-road­ing through the jun­gle and I got to skid out through the turns. I don’t think the boys knew I could dri­ve so fast. Secrets mom­mies keep.…

 

 

atv riding with vista pariaso agave studio at conrad punta de mita resort - what to do with kids and families

Are you ready to get dirty?

 

 

When we arrived back to their farm, the boys pet­ted the goats and gig­gled at the chick­ens crow­ing every­where. We’ll include this action sec­tion in our YouTube chan­nel when I write about Sayuli­ta because even though we did all this right in front of, and around, the resort, we booked it through the Vista Paraiso office in Sayuli­ta. How­ev­er, you could book it through the hotel.

 

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Things to Do Nearby

 

The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita lies with­in an exclu­sive gat­ed com­mu­ni­ty off Litibu Beach that includes oth­er lux­u­ry hotels and access to the Litibu Golf Course. We passed this course on the road to the resort and it looked beau­ti­ful. Lush and green. This 18-hole, par 72 course is designed by Greg Nor­man and open to guests.

 

 

Bikes

 

The Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita has beach cruis­er style bikes and you can bor­row them to ride around the gat­ed community.

 

 

Downtown Punta de Mita

 

The L‑shaped town of Pun­ta de Mita is about a 10-minute dri­ve from the resort com­mu­ni­ty. It real­ly is tiny. We walked through it in about 15 min­utes and we walked sloooowwww. There are shops for sou­venirs and a fun beach to sit or surf. When you’re done explor­ing, there is a line of taxis wait­ing at a stand on the main street to take you back to your resort.

 

We did­n’t get a chance to eat there but we did get some rec­om­men­da­tions for next time. Some of the restau­rants that our concierge rec­om­mend­ed are:

 

  • Tuna Blan­ca — organ­ic options in the tra­di­tion­al cui­sine of the Mex­i­can Pacif­ic coast.
  • Hec­tor’s Kitchen — Chef Hec­tor Ley­va brings togeth­er bold fla­vors from the many regions of Mex­i­co to cre­ate a sam­pling through his own travels.
  • Lob­ster Par­adise — Any­thing with lob­ster in its name has to be paradise.
  • Sufi — Its tagline is “Res­cu­ing the ori­gin of the kitchen from the streets” I don’t know what that means but it’s got a killer view.
  • Casa Tere­sa — If you’re tired of eat­ing Mex­i­can, you can eat Ital­ian here. Looks charming.
  • Pun­ta Mer­cedes — Argen­tinean grilled food is their thing with seafood and steak options. Veg­e­tar­i­ans and piz­za lovers will also be hap­py here.

 

 

 

 

Where to Stay: Hotels in Punta de Mita

 

Mex­i­co nev­er shut down its coun­try’s econ­o­my or closed its bor­ders to vis­i­tors, yet inter­est­ing­ly, their deaths per mil­lion count is low­er than ours in the Unit­ed States. There could be many rea­sons for that but their econ­o­my still suf­fered as a result of low­ered vis­i­ta­tion from the coun­tries that were locked down.

 

As a response to these lock­downs and to appeal to trav­el­ers, who sud­den­ly found them­selves with­out a loca­tion to which they must report dai­ly, many resorts, includ­ing the Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita, intro­duced an extend­ed-stay pro­gram.  Stay two weeks and they will host you for the third. This includes high-speed wifi and a tutor you can reserve for your kids in advance. You’ll get 20% off food and bev­er­age, your laun­dry done for you (!), and com­pli­men­ta­ry use of the Kid’s Club so they can do fun things like surf for their P.E. class.

 

 

studying hard at the conrad punta de mita resort in mexico - riviera nayarit

Lessons learned the good way © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Other resorts in the area that also have extended stay offers

 

Four Sea­sons Resort Pun­ta Mita — The AAA- Five Dia­mond Four Sea­sons Resort Pun­ta Mita has des­ig­nat­ed study cabanas around the pool and beach that can eas­i­ly be trans­formed into pri­vate work­sta­tions with grand views of the Pacif­ic Ocean. Each study cabana is out­fit­ted with Wi-Fi, a TV mon­i­tor, head­phones, a portable charg­er, lap pad and ener­giz­ing snacks such as fresh fruits, smooth­ies and pop­si­cles. Check for spe­cial offers — right now book 7 nights in a pri­vate res­i­dence and they’ll pro­vide you with a $500 gro­cery cred­it and air­port trans­fer or book 3 nights in a room and get the 4th for free.

 

Grand Velas Riv­iera Nayarit — Over­look­ing the clear water of Ban­deras Bay, Grand Velas Riv­iera Nayarit is a AAA five Dia­mond all-inclu­sive resort locat­ed in the fam­i­ly-friend­ly town of Nue­vo Val­lar­ta. The Home to Grand extend­ed-stay pro­gram for trav­el­ers cur­rent­ly work­ing from home and look­ing to stay in this par­a­disi­a­cal set­ting for a longer time. In addi­tion to unlim­it­ed Wi-Fi and all-inclu­sive perks, through this pro­gram guests have access to pri­vate air­port trans­porta­tion, room upgrades, pri­vate beach din­ners, and pri­vate class­es includ­ing fit­ness and cooking.

 

Of course, there are AirBnBs and oth­er hotels in which to stay. Use this inter­ac­tive map to find the exact loca­tion of many options with cur­rent best deal prices.

 

 

 

Getting There

 

 

The 1219 miles from Los Ange­les is about a 3‑hour flight from Los Ange­les Inter­na­tion­al Air­port — an easy week­end get­away for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia fam­i­lies.  Alas­ka Air­lines flies there 4 times dai­ly, Kore­an Air also goes 4 times, and Amer­i­can Air­lines flies there 3 times each day. They are the most fre­quent fly­ers for this route.

 

You can eas­i­ly get an idea of the best prices avail­able for the dates you want to vis­it and lock them in by using the inter­ac­tive field below.

 

 

It takes about 28 hrs to dri­ve. I bet it would be an adven­ture but if you’re bring­ing kids you bet­ter have a road trip plan!

 

 

COVID-19 Testing

 

As of Jan­u­ary 26, 2021, every per­son enter­ing the Unit­ed States must show proof of a neg­a­tive COVID-19 test tak­en with­in 72 hours of depar­ture. No wor­ries. Con­rad Pun­ta de Mita offers them onsite to guests. You can also get them at these area hos­pi­tals. Or you can also get a test at the air­port before you fly out.

 

Before the COVID-19 quar­an­tine crack­downs, we trav­eled a lot. We did this for many rea­sons, one of which is the path to under­stand anoth­er’s cul­ture is the way to con­nect to the rest of the peo­ple in the world. Sequestered at home, our fam­i­ly got a chance to con­nect with each oth­er, dis­trac­tion-free. After almost a year of this, we wel­comed the distractions.

 

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After being banished to Zoom School, we took our screens to the Conrad Punta de Mita resort in Mexico Riviera Nayarit. Here are the most fun things to do there with kids!