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Conrad Punta de Mita Fuses Tradition, Relaxation, and Adventure

Written by Ottocina Ryan Photos by Bronwyn Knight


A dramatic golden sunset fills the sky as our paintbrush horses glide across the sand. The sun slides below the horizon and my friends and I dismount at the new Conrad Punta de Mita, where we checked in earlier today.

The ocean breeze fades, palm trees settle and a balmy evening sets in. We gather for dinner at the resort’s beachfront restaurant, Mezquite; feet in the sand, hibiscus margaritas all around. We share a whole red snapper, a tomahawk steak, and for dessert, grilled plantain topped with sweetened condensed milk ice cream. We close the restaurant down with a bottle of Don Julio and charcoal vanilla popsicles. Ahh I’ve truly arrived in Mexico.

I wake up to the sound of waves outside my room, soft morning light pours in from the balcony, casting a glow on the airy space. Pelicans skim the surface as I plunge into the ocean, revitalized after a late night. I dry off and traverse the lush property, weaving between cerulean pools, to arrive at the outdoor area of the Conrad SPA for a Deep Relax Therapy massage. Trellised tunnels open to nest-like treatment rooms, housing private showers and plunge pools...and home to one of the best massages I've ever had.

After oysters and tacos from poolside restaurant Paleta, my friends and I take a 15 minute Uber to Sayulita. The vibrancy of the flags strung overhead reverberates through the cobblestone streets. The surf town is lively and full of artisans selling jewelry, clothes and hand-painted cow skulls. Expats on work calls navigate expertly through vendors. The relaxed yet driven culture has us second-guessing whether the phone calls we overhear are discussing dollars or pesos.

The week is filled with everything you’d want from a Mexico getaway—mezcal Negronis, nachos, long walks on an uncrowded beach, room serviced melt-in-your-mouth coconut French toast, sliding down the water slide at the kids’ pool, Zoom meetings with real life tropical backgrounds.

We begin our last day with a temazcal ritual at the spa. Heavy steam and aromatics of chamomile, lavender, and cedar fill the sweat lodge until I can’t decipher the person next to me. All I can see is a bright white light. All I can hear is the shaman’s chanting, singing and prayers. An hour and a half later, we emerge soaked in sweat and condensation, with a fresh sense of renewal—physically and mentally.

From one ancient tradition to another, we return to Mezquite for lunch. Chef Palma meets fishermen at the beach to retrieve their fresh catch. As we eat ceviche, he grills the fish zarandeado style (an over-500-year-old tradition of cooking over hot coals) and serves us the whole fish, open-faced. Within an hour of its leaving the ocean, I’m scooping the flavorful fish onto a thick tortilla with salsa, beans, and grilled onion. This is how seafood is meant to be eaten.

The trip concludes with an intimate dinner in the Agave Studio, best described as a Mexican spirits library. Barrels and bottles of tequila, mezcal and the lesser-known agave spirits, raicilla and sotol, replace books. Our table is soon filled with octopus tacos, mahi mahi ceviche, rib eye with mole, and a guided tasting of agave-based spirits from all over Mexico. The finale of the tasting is Flor del Desierto sotol infused with snake venom. We cheers to a wonderful trip—the perfect balance of authentic tradition and familiar comforts.


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