Riviera Nayarait, a 100-mile stretch along Mexico’s Pacific coast, has grown as a vacation destination since 2006, thanks to a $1.5 billion infrastructure investment from the Mexican government that enabled the building of luxury hotels. Encompassing Nuevo Vallarta, the Punta Mita gated community, cultural attractions, and fishing villages updated with wi-fi and coffee shops, Riviera Nayarait — 15 minutes north of both Puerto Vallarta and its airport — is emerging as one of the next great places in Mexico for couples. The best Riviera Nayarit hotels, below, are set beside the pristine beaches of this sunny area.
Set on a 400-acre nature preserve on a peninsula northwest of Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay, the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita lies inside a private gated community. Best at this hotel: Beachfront, traditional Mexican-style casitas with red-tiled rooftops directly on the shore and the signature professional Four Seasons service.
© St Regis Hotels.
Tucked in a hot, lazy nook of Riviera Nayarit, the romantic St. Regis Punta Mita features several infinity pools and a clutch of dining options. What's best: All hotel rooms come with sexy outdoor showers and indoor tubs. And the 10,000 square foot Remède Spa contains two couples’ treatment rooms and a deluxe private spa suite.
Opened in 2013, this is the first of the Iberostar properties on Mexico's Pacific Coast. Although it is a family-friendly all-inclusive, couples in search of an adults-only experience can book a room in the Spa Tower, which is limited to (chronological) grownups. Although the beach is narrow, an ocean-facing pool with swim-up bar and active games pool provide ample spots to soak up the sun and get-wet opportunities.
Riviera Nayarit for foodies, the chef-owned Hotel des Artistes del Mar is renowned for its cuisine. The boutique property is right on the beach in Punta Mita. Best things about it: restaurant, wine list, beach location, and rooftop pool. There are no facilities for children.
Three infinity pools and one for kids keeps romantic Riviera Nayarit travelers somewhat separated from family travelers at this all-inclusive hotel -- but don't expect to avoid them during peak season and holidays. Best is the attentive service and off-the-menu ordering. Even if something you want isn't listed, the kitchen will do its best to provide.
A lavish all-inclusive from the same company that builds the adults-only Secrets Resorts
, Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta is another of the Riviera Nayarit hotels for those who must travel with children. Best of this Riviera Nayarit property: big-screen movies on the beach and private balconies and terraces containing a Jacuzzi for two.