Punta de Mita
By Jim Dobson
Located on a private peninsula surrounded by white sand beaches, Punta Mita is a spectacular 1,500-acre resort and residential community bordered by the Pacific Ocean, and an easy 40-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta. Punta Mita is home to some of the world’s most stunning private estates, as well as two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, and the St. Regis Resort Punta Mita.
I was excited to explore some of the greatest villas and developments that have become vacation homes to the wealthiest extended families, and to a handful of tech billionaires. This area is so private that even locals aren’t aware of their famous neighbors including executives from Apple, Siebel Systems, Yahoo, Amazon, Qualcom, and British Telecom, as well as one very high profile landowner, and one of the richest men on the planet. In 2014, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, along with his Cascade Investment group, bought 48 acres of beachfront property along with the Four Seasons Hotel site in Punta Mita.
Poolside at Casa Majani in Punta Mita (photo by Jim Dobson)
Once a sleepy bohemian surf area with charming small towns, this stretch on the Riviera Nayarit has become one of the most private and secure locations in the world. Before I could even get to my beach villa, we had to pass through multiple security checkpoints and gated roads. Punta Mita was created 15 years ago when the Mexican development company DINE bought property to create a luxury resort with high-end hotels and world ranking golf courses. I spoke with Andrés Rossetto, the Managing Director of Punta Mita Development for DINE, and he explained the appeal of the area to buyers from the U.S.
View from my suite at Casa Majani (Photo by Jim Dobson)
“The very affluent are drawn to Punta Mita because we offer something that can’t be found elsewhere in the world,” he said, “A master-planned community like Punta Mita would be extremely difficult to duplicate in today´s financial climate, and geographically, Punta Mita is stunningly unique. There is great confidence in the forecast
of Mexico’s long-term economy and the strength of our country’s relationship within the Americas. Accessibility is another factor. We have an excellent private terminal nearby for our owners who arrive on their own jet or chartered plane.”
“Our DINE-developed master-planned community has seen property and land values appreciate" he added. "Much of this is due to the recent resort sale at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and pending sale at St. Regis Punta Mita Resort which are both located inside our gates…each is valued at over $1 million USD per key. Not many destinations in the world have been able to lay claim to those sorts of numbers -- our buyers recognize this value and see a safety in their investment in Punta Mita.”
I asked Rossetto why the area attracts so many tech leaders as property owners, “Accessibility is key, with most major airlines offering non-stop direct flights” he said. “Some homeowners who own tech companies in the Bay Area have joked that it is often quicker and easier to get to Punta Mita than driving to Lake Tahoe for weekend getaways with the family. It also provides the perfect escape to completely unplug and take a digital detox, if owners choose. Even during the high season in Punta Mita, one can venture around in a golf cart and pass practically no one on the drive – it’s that private and remote.”
One of Rossetto’s favorite spots in Punta Mita is the new Kupuri Beach Club, located on the North side of the peninsula on the Litibu Bay. It has become the quintessential soft sand beach retreat. He is also most proud of the spectacular estates for sale in the area. “While we have a number of multi-million dollar residences and lots for sale in Punta Mita, the one I’m most proud of has nothing to do with the price tag” he admits. “The Four Seasons Private Villas is my favorite offering because it was the first marker of success for the development. It was the first DINE built and developed community that was part of the acclaimed Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, with 54 private villas which sold with tremendous success. To date, we have only one residence remaining in that community, priced at $3.2 million. Once sold, we’ll be proud to record over $165 million in total sales for the Four Seasons Private Villas.”
I asked about what new developments are on the horizon and what Bill Gates plans with his massive property holding. “The Las Solana (Bill Gates´) property is a gem, and although plans have not yet been announced, we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds” he said, “Two developments on the horizon for Punta Mita are the exclusive Porta Fortuna ocean-front residences starting at $3 million and Las Marietas condominiums starting just over $1.2 million.”
It was an easy 40-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta Airport and I arrived at the magnificent Casa Majani, a quick stopover on my whirlwind visit to Punta Mita. The villa had entertained Gwyneth Paltrow prior to my arrival and has hosted many other celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence. The area instantly felt grown up to me. Away from the boozy crowds in Puerto Vallarta and more importantly away from the Kardashian party mansions the tabloids are often writing about. You are welcomed to a tranquil retreat of blissful white sand beaches, beautiful surf and the very best service you could ever ask for. Even the paparazzi and media don’t bother people here, this is truly the ultimate private escape for the rich and famous.
Casa Majani is a stunning six-bedroom beachfront villa located within the gated community, and on the northern-most tip of the peninsula. The villa is a five-minute beach walk to the neighboring St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and a ten-minute golf cart ride to the Four Seasons Punta Mita. The high season rate is close to $12,000 nightly, making this one of the most prestigious addresses available for vacation rentals.
I spent most of my free time by the villas two outdoor infinity pools that interconnect and create the illusion of spilling into the Pacific Ocean. The staff and private chef were remarkable and I was so lucky to have met such amazing people that are so dedicated to their jobs and making sure guests are well cared for. Following a decadent massage in a beachfront suite, the staff had arranged for a special table on the sand with torches illuminating our gourmet meal and it was the perfect way to end my day in paradise. I dined with the Villas charming General Manager Karim Lemke along with Brendan Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Punta Mita as they filled me in on the development plans for the area. I was also encouraged to hear about the efforts made to help the ecosystem in the area, including a large-scale coral reef restoration project.
The future of Punta Mita looks very bright with several high-profile resorts being planned, and a splashy new multi-million dollar renovation to the Four Seasons Hotel with new redesigned suites and spa. I am sure Bill Gates also has a few surprises up his sleeve for this majestic and exquisite corner of the world.