My idea of a vacation is more of what most might call an adventure trip. I love packing my days with tours, visiting villages, and exploring an area’s culture and people. But when it came to planning my honeymoon, I decided to do something outside of my regular habit. What I needed and wanted more than anything else was to do absolutely nothing with my newly minted husband. When it came time to choose a restorative honeymoon, we looked south to Mexico. We specifically to the Pacific Coast village of Punta Mita. I’ve been to Punta Mita before. It’s a quick three-hour flight from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta. (Puerto Vallarta is the nearest airport, which is approximately 45 minutes away by car).
The W Punta de Mita has recently opened, and I was attracted to the opportunity to be able to check in, immediately be handed a margarita, then walk down to our private cabana on the beach. That was exactly what my new hubby and I experienced. Plus, a plate of ceviche freshly caught that morning. Our ocean view room satisfied my lingering need for a unique and sometimes eccentric holiday, with its brightly colored decor and heart-shaped pillows that gave a Dia de los Muertos/fun lovers vibe.
Our dinner was at the W’s onsite Spice Market, just like the one that used to be in the Meatpacking District of NYC with its big bold flavors and bright and biting spices. Unlike New York though, we were accompanied by bikini-clad guests lightheartedly strutting along the tiled walkway crossing over the pool to the edge of the sand. Everyone was having a good time. This created a perfect energetic balance of relaxation and revelry. It was just what we wanted for our honeymoon.
Romance and Relaxation for a Restorative Honeymoon
We spent the next day bouncing between the bed, bathtub, and one of our two patios – all with ocean views. We needed some time to just be… together. No interruptions, no computers, no social media, no meetings, no plans. The next afternoon was our beach day—similarly filled with non-activities. We had a private cabana on the sand, with champagne, ceviche, and books. We lingered with actual printed books that we had time to read… such a luxury!
There was one scheduled adventure though – a three-hour escape to the Away Spa. We first spent a couple of hours in the jungle-like outdoor area while dipping into the three temperature pools: hot, body temperature, and an invigorating ice cold plunge! Then we eased into a couple’s massage, where the therapists poured hot candle wax that turns into massage oil onto our skin. They gifted the remainder of the wax to us so we could continue the hot activity in the bedroom.
The Difference Between a Trip and a Vacation
After four nights (too few, but we had to get back to reality and our kids), we felt even further solidified as a couple and set up to start our life together. What became apparent to me was that there is a difference between a “vacation” and a “trip.” I usually take trips. I love adventures, experiences, and explorations that make me feel expanded and, honestly, a bit exhausted.
Vacations, on the other hand, are opportunities to take a moment to relax, reset, and reconnect. There is a time and a place for each. My honeymoon was the time… and the place was W Punta de Mita.
Communication is Key!
Are you craving a relaxing vacation but your partner is more of an adventure type? Communicate! Before planning for any trip, it’s essential to have a conversation about the purpose of your getaway in order to align your hopes and expectations.
Set a time to talk about it, during which you both can be focused and listen to each other’s needs and wants. Don’t have this conversation in passing or when you come across a couple of minutes to bring it up.Be sure to think through and have clarity around the kind of trip you are craving.
Ask yourself some of the following questions:
What are your criteria for a destination?
What variety of activities do you want to do?
Do you want to meet up with any friends or family?
Do you want to have a schedule or play it day by day?
If you want the flow to be more relaxed, are there specific activities that will require reservations and some planning—like special meals or spa treatments?
If your partner has a different perspective, see how you can merge your needs so you can both come away feeling like you are taking your perfect trip.
Vacations are meant to be connecting and rejuvenating. If the getaway doesn’t start with having a conversation about how you envision the trip and how you want to feel, it can end up creating conflict. Communication creates a powerful experience.
Really, there was no need to leave the resort for our restorative honeymoon. But, we did venture out to the small fishing village of Sayulita, known as a village of love. The streets are lined with little shops spilling out with artisan crafts, interspersed with outdoor restaurants specializing in tacos and beer, and dappled with hearts and signs that say “Amor.”
After strolling around for a few hours, we took a car to Imanta Resort in Punta de Mita, which you absolutely cannot miss. This place defines personalized, individualized service. Imanta is in a completely private and comfortably upscale setting. After a 10-minute drive on a jungle road, we were greeted by staff and escorted to the observation deck. There we had 360° views of the jungle and ocean, plus a private bartender to make fresh cocktails from local fruits plucked that morning. Dinner was an equally unparalleled and private experience.
Another Imanta must: the spa. The completely outdoor spa has just three treatment “rooms,” with palm fronds and plants separating each space. You are massaged, you shower, you even use the bathroom without a roof over your head. It sounds rustic, but it redefines luxury.
Punta de Mita Travel Resources
Laurel House is a Santa Monica-born, bred, and based dating and relationship coach, helping to empower her clients to be their best selves so that they can find the love the deserve. She has a no-games, rule-screwing approach, teaching her clients exactly what to say and do, how to present themselves online and in-person, and the specific strategy to find love- hard, deep, and fast, just like she and so many of her clients have. Laurel believes that dating is about clarity through communication, and with clarity comes confidence. Laurel is called a “Man Whisperer,” Dating Jedi Master, Relationship Fairy, and Cyrano. More than anything else, Laurel demystifies dating so that you can confidently date with integrity and purpose.