While road trips were certainly the most talked about vacations of summer and are expected to continue their resurgence through fall as the Covid-19 pandemic appears far from over, it’s still possible to fly away to a tropical resort. If you adhere to the increased safety measures and pandemic protocols guiding the opening of a surprising number of new hotels and resorts across North America this fall, you can even do it responsibly. The air border between the United States and Mexico was never closed (only the land border was ever restricted) and, while you may want to avoid more common destinations like Cancun and Los Cabos to cut down on crowd exposure, the brand new Conrad Punta de Mita offers a more exclusive luxury experience with the shine and polish only an untouched property can present.
Just opened in September and only accepting strictly limited reservations, you’ll rarely encounter other guests as you unwind with more social distance than you could imagine. You’ll also find staff interactions limited, and your room will only be entered for housekeeping or other services upon your request after it’s been deep-cleaned and sealed prior to your arrival as part of Hilton’s enhanced CleanStay commitment for Covid-era safety. Though it wasn’t specifically designed to reduce spread of pathogens, the outdoor focus of the property from restaurants and rooms to the spa and beyond is fortuitously ideal for considerably lowering transmission risk, giving you maximum opportunity for carefree recharging throughout your stay. Whether you want to work remotely from somewhere spectacular or just need a mental health break, here’s how to find a luxury resort experience in Mexico now without sacrificing health safety.
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How safe you find your flight experience will largely depend primarily on your comfort level with proximity to other passengers. While all airlines are practicing increased sanitization procedures, most are boarding back to front, and cabin air quality is almost universally safe, only a small number of airlines remain committed to blocking middle seats to provide better social distancing, so do a bit of research prior to booking if this is important to you.
Vacations in Punta de Mita will begin with arrivals at Puerto Vallarta International Airport, where masks are required and hand sanitizer is readily available. Arrange a private transfer to Conrad Punta de Mita in advance to bypass the potentially unnerving crowd of taxi and transfer vendors, and to assure that your vehicle will be stranger-free, apart from your driver. Bonus: Your luggage will be individually sanitized as you exit the airport, leaving any potential pathogens behind. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll be offered more sanitizer and your temperature will be checked as you cross welcome mats that discretely sanitize and dry your shoes. You’ll find these innovative mat combos at various key entrances around the property.
While the brand-new resort is home to 324 guest rooms and suites, Conrad Punta de Mita is currently booking fewer than half its rooms to minimize encounters throughout the property. With such limited capacity, you’ll experience private buyout vibes without the cost, encountering few other vacationers throughout your entire stay, including poolside or at onsite restaurants. For added peace of mind in pandemic times, book a stay in one of the beachfront casas, where each room or suite is accessed directly from the outdoors, eliminating the need to share indoor space with the rare guest you may encounter, and outdoor stairways offer an elevator alternative for additional precaution. Upgrade to a jacuzzi suite for the ultimate in private luxury, unwinding in the bubbles on your balcony, overlooking two miles of unspoiled beach (definitely try this at sunset).
Forget about resort buffet clichés, and take your meals al fresco at Conrad Punta de Mita’s handful of outdoor restaurants. Árbol serves regional Mexican and American favorites all day and is a particularly great choice for breakfast. Try chilaquiles with fried eggs and a Mexican coffee if you’re in full vacation mode, or veggie frittata paired with a fresh-pressed green juice if you’re aiming a little healthier (the scrambled egg chile relleno with hollandaise is another solid choice for indulgence).
Mezquite is home to charcoal-fired specialties from Mexico and America and is ideal for heartier beachfront dining. Lunch here could be as simple as a pork carnitas salad or a confit duck pambazo (a mildly spicy traditional sandwich with an upscale upgrade) or as impressive as catch of the day zarandeado, a grill preparation named for the “shaking” technique used on a flat pan over flame. For a truly memorable experience, book a fish market trip to help select your own catch of the day, and return to the resort’s beach to welcome its arrival by boat in time for lunch. At dinner, the bone in short rib is a can’t-miss, though light eaters may want to share this dish along with a roasted pumpkin and grilled peach salad.
Later this year, Codex will open at one of the property’s most secluded corners, with a spacious covered deck surrounded by dense vegetation just steps from the shore. Codex will serve traditional Mexican cuisine with a seasonal menu specializing in the freshest seafood and local produce and herbs. The elevated ambiance here and the inclusion of cleansing rituals and a daily sunset ritual will certainly make it the top choice for celebration and special occasions at Conrad, but don’t wait for an excuse to make a reservation.
If you’re visiting a Mexican resort, the first thing you’ll want to know about is the pool. Conrad Punta de Mita has three, including an adult pool, an activity pool and a family pool, complete with a water slide (don’t be shy: anyone can use it). You’ll also find the customary private cabanas and poolside bar, as well an additional fountain feature ideal for younger guests not ready for the pools. Along the beach you’ll are opportunities for paddle boarding, fishing, surfing and other water sports, but true surfers will want to take a day trip to nearby Sayulita (non-surfers will also enjoy shopping and dining in this colorful town, but note that you’ll find the streets fairly well trafficked and visitors here are most often unmasked outdoors). Golfing, zip-lining, ATV tours, sailing, and even romantic sunset horseback rides in the surf are all available nearby and, if you’re visiting between mid-December and late March, you may find a spectacular show on a whale watching tour. If you’re looking for some exercise, consider a morning climb of Monkey Mountain, visible from the property and offering sparkling views from the summit (a guided hike is recommended for this but it’s not entirely necessary, so you can manage without if you prefer to limit interaction).
Added Incentive to Visit Now
If you’re self-employed or one of the many employees still working from home, keep in mind that you don’t actually have to be home to accomplish this. Like digital nomads who have been working remotely for years, you can take advantage of Conrad Punta de Mita’s Work From Paradise package, including premium WiFi, daily resort credit and discounted massage for stays of at least four nights (bring the whole family for a convenient work-cation combo). If you’re still working traditionally and just looking for a perfect getaway opportunity, you can instead book the Hola Conrad package, welcoming you to the brand new property with luxury airport transfers, a resort credit and access to Conrad SPA’s outdoor wet areas, also with a minimum four-night stay.