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Monday, February 4, 2013

St. Regis Punta Mita Review - Part One



There is nothing like a warm sunny destination in the middle of winter to take away the winter blahs.  I thought that I would begin writing my review before we headed home to the cold of Philadelphia.  I hear it has been snowy and 20 degrees there during the past week.  Too bad. Lol.

Meanwhile, my wife and I have been enjoying the warm tropical breezes and sunshine from the patio and the beach in front of our little casita at the St. Regis Punta Mita. (The ocean is no more than 15-20 yards from our patio). For those of you not familiar with the St. Regis brand, it is the Luxury brand of the Starwood hotel group that also includes, Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin and at least 4-5 others.  I am writing this from our patio while looking at, and listening to the ocean.  It's whale watching season here. Yesterday about this same time, two whales jumped out of the water right in front of us!  Priceless. 

Speaking of priceless, the best part of all is that our time here has been FREE!   Here is how: 

1) I used 60,000 AA miles to book my first class ticket from Philadelphia to Puerta Vallarta, and 30,000 AA miles to upgrade my wife's coach ticket that was purchased through the Capital One travel portal.  I received 50,000 Aadvantage miles each as a sign up bonus for the AA Citibank Amex  and AA Citibank Visa personal cards.  At the time of issue, I think both had a $2500 minimum spending requirement to be met within 3 months.  The 100,000 Capital One points were for a $1000 minimum spend.  All I had to do was show Capital One proof of spending $50,000 or more on another card the previous year.  I have not seen this offer since early 2012. 

2) I used 100,000 Starpoints to book 6 nights at the St. Regis Punta Mita.  The St. Regis is a category 6 starwood property that requires 20,000 points per night, but Starwood has a 5th night free option that required me to "pay" for 5 nights with my points. The Starpoints were earned through sign up bonuses of 25,000 and 30,000 for a Starwood business and Starwood personal card.  When you spend $30,000 on the Starwood card, you receive Gold status with Starwood.  I used my status to get an upgraded room.  The room I booked was a garden view room that costs $600+/night with taxes and fees.  Not bad for my points! The room that I actually got was a $4000/night villa on the beach with a private plunge pool and private hot tub.  There is only one better Villa at the resort.  It is called the Presidential Suite and it was occupied by umm....well...El Presidente de Mexico and his family.  They are vacationing here as well.  (no joke)

Let's look at the trip by the numbers.

8. The number a FREE segments of First Class flights we took from Philadelphia to PV and back.
7. The number of times I probably said, "It just doesn't get any better than this."
6. The number of FREE  nights spent in a beachfront villa.
5. The number of amazingly attentive staff who personally took care of us during our stay.
4. The number of showers in our 1 bdrm villa. (seriously!) Three indoor and one outdoor.
3. The number of  fabulous restaurants at the St. Regis Punta Mita. (Also the number of plasma TV's)
2. The number of people who had a truly remarkable and memorable vacation.
1. The number of times the whales put on a show for us.
0. The number of times my wife and I are likely to top this vacation in our lifetime!

Details of the Resort will follow once we arrive home and I have a chance to download and edit the pictures. 

About The Points Doctor

The Points Doctor is Bruce J. Wilderman DDS of Artistic Expressions Dentistry.Dr. Wilderman has a practice limited to Cosmetic Dentistry, serving patients of the Philadelphia Area since 1986.He and wife of 30 years enjoy traveling the world for little or no money with the points and miles they have earned from the credit card companies. Dr. Wilderman would love to teach you how to do the same. You may reach him at ThePointsDoctor@comcast.net

2 comments:

  1. Very good review. I like how you mention how you earned the points. I value SPG points about the highest currency of any hotel program. Here for 20K poitns per night (Acutally 15K) with the free night you were going to get a $600 a night room. That is 4 cents per point. Even at 20K a night that is 3 cents per point. I have Starwood Plat and did a check in local stay in late Dec for the last few nights needed. I will say as SPG gold I get very few room upgrades if any by the way. I did alot of travel in 2012 using starwood. The GOld guaranteed late checkout is valueable to me. That way I can catch a later flight and do things suring the day. The presidente of mexico was there :-) thats great. A president in the presidential suite!
    Robert in South Fla

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  2. Thanks for your kind words. Wait until you see the villa and the property photos in Part two! I think the key to getting an upgrade is to let them know in advance how much it would be appreciated. I had the same thing happen last month with Hilton and the Waldorf in NYC. we got a 2 BDRM Suite using my free night certificates just because I asked very nicely. Having the blog probably helps too :)

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