PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- The upscale Punta Mita resort project is
one step closer to completion.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts said it will operate one of the
four hotel sites planned for the 1,500-acre Punta Mita development
near Puerto Vallarta.
Punta Mita is home to the 140-room Four Seasons Punta Mita --
Four Seasons' first hotel in Latin America -- as well as to a Jack
Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course.
Rates at the Four Seasons Punta Mita through the end of
September range from $390 per room, double, to $1,800.
When completed, the development will consist of five upscale
"boutique" resorts, dozens of private villas, three golf courses
and a marina, among other facilities.
The 70-room Rosewood Resort at Punta Mita will break ground in
November, with the opening expected for fall 2004. The property's
cost was not revealed.
The owner, DINE S.A. de C.V., Mexico's largest real estate
development firm, also will develop 53 villas near the Rosewood
property in conjunction with Jupiter, Fla.-based Medallist
"With the addition of a Rosewood resort and the luxury villa
parcel, Punta Mita is setting a new standard for luxury resort
communities, not only in Mexico, but in the world," said Andres
Banos, DINE's chief executive officer.
This will be Rosewood's second resort in Mexico, following the 1999
opening of Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos.
"We've had extremely good fortune with our first entry into
Mexico -- Las Ventanas al Paraiso -- a property with the highest
occupancy and average [room] rate in our collection," said Rosewood
president Jim Brown.
"We see Punta Mita as a strong sister property to Las Ventanas,
providing guests with a distinctively different location, yet
similar service and amenities," he said.
Each of the Rosewood units will measure 700 square feet and
feature a fireplace and a plunge pool. The resort will include a
full-service spa with 14 treatment rooms and two "spa suites," and
a village-style shopping area with boutiques, a bakery and a coffee
Proposed dining venues include an open-air main restaurant, a
casual beachside eatery and a spa cafe.
A popular feature of the Four Seasons resort that will be
re-created at the Rosewood property -- and at each subsequent Punta
Mita resort -- will be a cultural center, where guests can attend
lectures on topics ranging from Mexico's culture and natural
history to its cuisine and tequilas. The resort will offer guided
tours that complement the lectures.
The center also will feature laptop computers with free Internet
access as well as books, videos and exhibitions.
Santiago Ortiz Monasterio, Punta Mita's project director, said
the development "is competing in a market segment that's virtually
untapped in Mexico -- the luxury market."
"Ninety-nine percent of the lodging supply in Mexico is not
high-end, so we wanted to enter into a niche that has been
undeveloped, instead of going head-to-head with what's already
here," he said.
Monasterio said developers decided to focus on the high-end
market because "it has historically been less vulnerable to
recession and economic slowdowns."
"The Mexico market is limited, so we decided to focus our
attention on the international market, with the U.S. being our
major tourist base," he said.
"We believe that in order to be successful, we can't imitate
what others have done. Our vision is to make Punta Mita the best
destination resort ever developed," he said.
In fact, DINE is so confident of Punta Mita's success that it
has decided to build a similar high-end resort project just north
of San Jose Del Cabo in an area known as Punta Gorda, Monasterio
Plans call for three luxury boutique resorts, villas and a
27-hole golf course on the 1,500-acre site.
Monasterio said developers expect to break ground in early 2004
on the first resort, with the entire project scheduled to be
completed by 2008.
"We've gone through the learning curve with Punta Mita, so we
hope to develop Punta Gorda faster," he said.
As for the remaining Punta Mita hotel sites, Monasterio said
developers are in the "advance stage" of negotiations with two
luxury hotel management firms for two of the three unnamed Punta
Mita resorts. An announcement is expected soon.
Monasterio said developers hope to break ground on the third
hotel site next spring and begin construction on the fourth hotel
during the last quarter of 2003.
The last -- and smallest -- of the hotels is expected to break
ground one year later, and the entire project is scheduled for
completion by winter 2006.