Superior service, accommodations and cuisine are expected at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita (rooms from $550 per night, suites from $1,350 per night), but what about real creature comforts? The new Best Friend’s Paradise pet program takes care of that too, with innovative, interactive activities for guest pooches and their owners. Along with yoga lessons and stand-up paddleboarding in the Bay of Banderas, there are concierge services (think dog walking and grooming—pedicures, polish and all), doggy beach cabanas and pet pools. Made-to-order in-room pet food features a varied menu conceived to please the finickiest Fidos with such dishes as a 4-ounce gourmet tenderloin and seared angus meatloaf with steamed asparagus; fresh catch-of-the-day tacos; or vegetarian-friendly doggy-fried rice made with peas, carrots and broccoli.
Other elements of delight at the 400-acre, 173-room resort set on the serene shores of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit are three Richard Sandoval restaurants, a shack bar on the sand (a deejay spins on weekends) and four pools, including a grandiose infinity-edge pool overlooking the ocean, the adults-only Tamai Pool (under renovation, but reopening this winter), and the Lazy River that meanders through the property.
On one side of the beach, Dedon Nestrests are perched under jagged cliffs above the sand; covered plush cabanas line the perimeter; and palm-roofed palapas are equipped with coolers filled with bottled ice water and a flag that, once raised, allows guests to order enticements, such as skinny margaritas made with a choice of more than 200 types of tequila, a variety of culinary creations and gelato from the nearby Gelateria. The other side of the beach has its own share of cabanas, chaise lounges and Dedon Swingrest hanging sofas, and is also home to the hotel’s Turtle Release protection program (season runs from August to January), which benefits the Red Tortuguera A.C. in its efforts to safeguard the endangered sea turtles.
Adding to the eclectic mix of fun is a Juice and Popsicle bar, personalized tequila blending, a candy shop, well-stocked boutiques and, come November, the new reimagined Apuane Spa. Expect 13 spacious treatment rooms, including the private Apuane Suite with secluded courtyard, relaxation stations, advanced hydrotherapy (plunge pools, therapeutic ice fountains, eucalyptus steam rooms), amenity-filled changing areas, an expanded beauty salon, improved fitness facilities and new classes. Likewise reinvented and enlarged are the hotel’s grand Sol and Luna suites (7,000 and 5,000 square feet, respectively), which round out the alluring offerings of this magical surf-and-sand oasis set amid lush green jungles and world-class Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses. Par excellence for sure.