Travel advisor Bridget Kapinus just returned from four days in Punta Mita, Mexico, where she stayed at Harper-recommended Casa de Mita. Situated on Playa Careyeros in the Mexican Riviera Nayarit, her oceanside villa was the perfect base for day-trips, fine food and, above all, wonderful service.
Overall impressions: The property is small, but everyone is so amazingly friendly. If you want privacy and a laid-back relaxing experience, this is the place to go. The traditional Mexican décor, mouthwatering food and gracious staff make you never want to leave. Plus they have three little dogs on the property that are happy to hang out with you in the sun.
Insider's tip: Casa de Mita is about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. If you want to explore beyond the property, the hotel will let you borrow the complimentary house car to visit nearby towns.
Favorite moment: Singing happy birthday to Lalo, the night manager, with the other guests! We enjoyed it as much as he did.
You can't stop thinking about: The guacamole. I don't think I have ever had as much guac as I have here, nor any as good.
Favorite meal or meal(s): Every meal! Everything is so fresh and, whenever possible, homemade. I never ate a thing I didn't enjoy.
Favorite restaurants, museums or sightseeing: Just walking up and down the beach here was fantastic. You can see birds, fish and blue skies. Rarely do you run into more than a couple of people.
Where or what to drink: Margaritas at the pool bar! Those are the specialty.
Neighborhood to explore: Sayulita, a little town about 15 minutes away. It has food, drinks and a local market.
Day-trip suggestions: You may not think of Mexico for whale watching, but it's wonderful between December and March. Some of the guests saw more than a dozen humpbacks!
Surprising fact or tidbit: The vast majority of the staff have worked at Casa de Mita for more than 10 years! They love it there, and it's no surprise why! Also, the paintings in the rooms can be, how shall I say, interesting.
Good to know: No children under 16 are allowed.
Souvenir I brought back: A smile and a tan! I just wish the sun would have come back with me!
What to pack: Sunscreen! It gets sunny and hot!
Anything else? Once you go you will want to return. I wasn't surprised to find that all the other guests during my stay were repeat visitors.