Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Felicia Kamriani

Ever wonder where A-list celebrities go to escape from rigorous movie shoots, autograph-seeking fans or meddling paparazzi? For quite some time, Hollywood’s elite had mastered the art of secrecy, keeping a coveted vacation spot under wraps. Until now. Tango Diva has uncovered the exclusive secluded hideaway that offers pampering and services extraordinary enough to satisfy those guests accustomed to daily red carpet treatment: The Four Seasons, Punta Mita.

In a little under 3-hours, Hollywood celebrities (and you) can escape the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown, for Mexico’s Pacific Coast. While most vacationers arrive into
Puerto Vallarta as their final destination, possessors of the secret proceed discreetly out of the airport and into an awaiting black air-conditioned SUV with tinted windows. A driver dances through chaotic traffic, past high-rise buildings and away from neon sporting sightseers to the northern tip of Bahía de Banderas. Breath-taking tropical views occupy every sight line during the ride. Forty minutes later, a cobblestone drive pulls travelers further away from civilization into the lush greenery and pristine beaches of the secluded Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort.

It is obvious why celebrities like Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, John Travolta and Jennifer Aniston retreat from the limelight to this oasis. The entrance alone transports visitors into a tropical kingdom. The open-air lobby with its palapa roof, leafy fronds and pillowy chaises allows the balmy breezes to circulate exotic floral aromas. Sweeping views of palm trees, esplanades and ocean waves create intoxicating portraits of perfection. Multilingual staff serves colorful juices to refresh the palate while describing the resort’s offerings. Even the birds soft singing (that confuses some guests into thinking the music must be piped in from a CD) provides a soothing welcome into an exotic wonderland.

Within the walls of the resort, guests discover even more layers of seclusion. The Casitas, nestled among the vegetation, blend seamlessly with their surroundings and offer the privacy of stand-alone bungalows. They boast private pools, beach-front access, personal hammocks and chaise lounges. With a staff that caters to every whim, guests need not ever leave their Casita to indulge in the resorts many amenities.

For those who wish to venture out of their cozy den, the New York Times Digest greets guests every morning with blurbs from around the globe, but most importantly, with the Four Seasons offerings for the day. Peruse the varied activities and classes over fresh baked corn muffins at Ketsi, the outdoor restaurant with an ocean view. Activities like “Paseo a Caballo” (horseback ride), “Pintura en Ceramica” (Ceramic Painting), “Aerobicos Acuaticos” (water aerobics) or “La Clase de Españgol” make choosing difficult. An experience unique to the resort: a Sculpture Walk. Stroll through the gardens to discover all of the beautiful pieces by local artists elegantly featured about the resort. It’s easy to infuse any day with morsels of culture, sports and rejuvenation.

Whether guests spend the day snorkeling, kayaking, golfing at Pacifico Golf Course (voted the number one golf course in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler) or lounging in a private cabana near the caviar bar, the most distinctive activity at the Four Season’s Punta Mita, and a must for adult visitors, is the educational and inspirational Tequila Tasting- or as it is listed in the schedule: “Tequila, Regalo de Los Dioses” (Tequila, Gift from the Gods.)

Hosted by the Cultural Center, a Tequila Sommelier (indeed) unveils Mexican history, the Agave plant and its role in Mexican culture and some of the Tequila varieties (silver, añejo, reposado). After such a rich dialogue about the earth, the plants and the harvesters, it is impossible to taste the aromatic tequilas without appreciating the indigenous elements. Many American guests discover for the first time that the proper way to drink the beverage is very similar to enjoying wine; sniffing first, then sipping and swirling it around the tongue to experience all the flavors before swallowing. This enchanting class brings a new awareness to a liquor that most of us have only ingested with salt and a lime chaser.

Famous for its exquisite service, Four Seasons Punta Mita displays excellence throughout all facets of hospitality. Staff members, while mum about famous guests, are very open, friendly and over-the-top-helpful about virtually everything. They even greet the kids by their names. Known for its attention to children’s activities in the Kids For All Seasons camp, the resort entertains even the fussiest little ones in the clubroom, at the beach or in the lazy-river pool. It is no surprise that such an array of options entice families to return year after year.

Yet another alluring activity is the once-in-a-lifetime cooking class with pioneer chef, Juan Jose Gaffuri. Having lived all over the globe, he has brought an eclectic mix to the Mexican fare at Bahia Restaurant. The class gathered around the outdoor kitchen to learn secrets of a menu steeped in tradition: Andaluz Gazpacho, marinated grilled catch of the day with Ajillo sauce, goat cheese risotto, grilled Roma tomatoes with herb crust and warm Mexican chocolate cake. It’s hard to say which part is most fabulous; watching the master at work, learning techniques from a trailblazer chef or tasting the delightful Latin flavors while enjoying a view of calm seas and a pristine beach. The class ends with a viewing of the fishermen’s catches of the day, allowing each participant to choose a fish for that evening’s meal. What a delight!

With the resort’s overall emphasis on indulgence and pampering, one can only imagine the decadence of the Apuane Spa. It is here that everyone can discover yet another reason fastidious celebrities chose Punta Mita as the ultimate vacation spot: the signature, tequila infused, Punta Mita massage (salt rub included). Experience this extravagance in the comfort of the Casita, within the walls of the sublime spa or in a private, yet open beach cabana next to the waves. Of all activities offered in the grand splendor of the Four Seasons, this is by far the most luxurious. Follow this treat with a sunset cruise on the majestic Four Seasons Yacht and experience Punta Mita in true VIP style!

Details:

Four Seasons Punta Mita
Bahía de Banderas, Punta Mita

Nayarit, Mexico

63734

Tel: 1-(800)-332-3442 OR
52 (329) 291-6000
Fax: 52 (329) 291-6060
For more information on how you too can experience this luxurious vacation, visit the Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort web site.

Depending on the time of your visit, room rates start at US$273 per night for a Garden View Casita. For the millionaires out there, you can rent a five-bedroom private oceanfront residence villa with a square footage of 12,900 -14,000 for $6,460 per night.

Escape to The Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort for a vacation of three nights or more, now through December 21, 2010, and enjoy these terrific discounts:
Chose to stay in a Garden-View or Ocean-View room and receive a $150 Resort credit per room, per day.
Upgrade to a Ocean-View Premium, Oceanfront or Beachfront room and be treated to a $200 Resort credit per room, per day.

It suites are more your style, spend your vacation in a Garden-View suite, Ocean-View suite or Oceanfront suite and earn a $400 Resort credit per room, per day.

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