Manzanillo, Mexico

An out of the way place, this little resort is perched high atop an ocean side cliff overlooking the Mexican Pacific Ocean, perfect for a quiet getaway. Although this is NOT a nudist resort, a clothing optional private beach is located on the property below the main resort. It's private and is serviced by a full bar for drinks and snacks during the day. The remainder of the main resort, clothing is required as well as swim suits around the pool.



Resort Overview
  Travel Alert from U.S. State Department about Mexico The alerts concern primarily the border areas between the U.S. and Mexico. Alerts do not include Cancun, Cozumul, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo or similar tourism centers. The primary concerns are on the border of Mexico along the state lines of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California. See more from the U.S. State Department concerning Mexico.

U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

Years ago, the resort now called Punta Serena was a holistic retreat which has morphed lately into an adults only boutique resort. Punta Serena is not far from Blue Bay Los Angeles Resort located down the hill, both of which are about a hour north of the Manzanillo International Airport. This is an adults only property, all inclusive.

The small luxury resort offers choice of 12 beautifuly decorated 2 story villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms with spacious shared living room and large terrace or 12 spacious decorated rooms with king size or 2 double beds.

If you're looking for an out of the way place to vege out, Punta Serena could be the answer for you.

Getting There
  The quickest was to travel there is by airplane to Manzanillo, Mexico, a Pacific beachside resort area including Santiago and other villages nearby. Punta Serena is not near any major city so you can't just pick up and hail a taxi into town without considerable cost and time invested. From Manzanillo, Punta Serena is less than an hour north of the airport, which is in turn about 30-45 minutes by car north of the Manzanillo/Santiago area.

Fly into Manzanillo via several international airlines including Continental, Aero Mexico, Alaska Air and others. Or, arrive in Puerto Vallarta and expect a long drive south of 3 hours hours or more. Airport transfers are available but if you like mobility, consider renting a car and driving from Manzanillo along the Pacific Coast highway north to the resort. The hotel complex of Punta Serena and Blue Bay is about a15 minute drive from the main highway, MX 280 that runs between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. MX 280 is an excellent highway and road signs are well placed.

U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

Another option is to fly into Guadalajara and take the bus or drive the tollway to Manzanillo, both of which are time consuming and not recommended if you can fly into Manzanillo first or Puerto Vallarta second. We've done it both ways and definitely recommend simply flying into Manzanillo.

NOTE: We've owned a condominium for years in Manzanillo at Puerto Las Hadas near Santiago and have driven all over the area and are familiar with driving options.

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Services
  Punta Serena has limited service due to its size. But all meals and drinks are included in your all inclusive stay with facilities including a clothing-optional private beach with fulls service bar and snacks, a swimming pool and plunge pool at the resort, sun lounge and beach towels, two outdoor hot tubs overlooking the bay, Spa with sauna, steam room and indoor Jacuzzi. See detailed list below.

Spa therapies include such treatments as body massage, facials and wraps, many of which are given in the open air deck overlooking the ocean
Welcome cocktail
Deluxe accommodations
Breakfast, lunch and dinners
Snacks
Room service (breakfast & dinner only)
Domestic and select premium drinks, beer and non-alcoholic beverages
Wine served with lunch and dinner
Health spa with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi
Fully equipped gym
Temazcal, Mexican sweat lodge including purification ceremony (every Saturday, by previous reservation)
Tennis courts, horseback riding and non-motorized water sports at adjacent BLUE BAY Resort
Clothing-optional settings (beach & pool area)
Hotel taxes and gratuities

Guests staying at Punta Serena can also use the facilities of Blue Bay Club which include use of tennis courts, horseback riding, non-motorized water sports, restaurants, bars and disco.

GAME ROOM: Overlooking the ocean, activities include pool table, cards, dominos, self service alcohol beverages and soft drinks, CD player

SPA SERVICES - New SPA facility includes:
Gym
Sauna
Steam room
Jacuzzi
Shower
Spa treatments available for extra cost
Facials
Body wraps and exfoliation treatments
Manicure and pedicure
Massages (outdoor terrace or indoor cabin)
Beauty salon services
All professional spa treatments and beauty salon services are extra

FACILITIES AND SERVICES
Clothing-optional private beach
Open-air restaurant
Bar
Sun lounge and beach towels
Two outdoor hot tubs overlooking the bay
Open-air massage area
Spa with sauna, steam room and indoor Jacuzzi
Fully equipped gym
Beauty Salon Services.
Wedding Facilities (extra charge)
Temazcal (native Mexican sweat lodge)
Meeting facilities are also available

GOLF
Optional golf available at "EL TAMARINDO" and " Isla Navidad" transportation is required (extra charge). Isla Navidad 27-hole golf course is a 30-minute drive & El Tamarindo 18-hole golf course is a 15-minute drive.

Safes are in the rooms for an extra charge. Cell phones have coverage in some areas of the hotel. Rooms do not have a CD player. Guests staying at Punta Serena can also use the facilities of Blue Bay Club which include use of tennis courts, horseback riding, non-motorized water sports, restaurants, bars and disco. Contact the front desk to arrange local tours and excursions in the area which typically include transportation.

Dining
  The resort is all inclusive. Your room accommodations include breakfast, lunch and dinner plus bar drinks, taxes & tips are included.

BELLAVISTA Resaurant: A la carte restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and gourmet dinner with a spectacular view of the ocean and lush surroundings.

PARADISE LOUNGE & BAR: Overlooking the ocean, Paradise Bar is a great setting for day or evening to relax or enjoy your favorite drink with terrific views.

Rates
  Choose from Deluxe Rooms or Villa Suites. Rates can range from about $125-$200/night per person and vary seasonally. Special rates may apply during high season and holidays.

NOTE: Prices are subject to change without notice.

DELUXE ROOMS 12 Deluxe Rooms are available and include:
• Beautiful decorated rooms with king size or 2 double beds
• Nightly turndown service
• Air-conditioning, ceiling fan
• In room safe
• Color satellite television
• Direct dial telephone

VILLA SUITES - 12 Villa Suites are available and include:
• Beautiful decorated 2 story villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms with spacious shared living room and large terrace and includes:
• Nightly turndown service
• Air-conditioning & ceiling fan
• In room safe
• Color satellite television
• Direct dial telephone

Age Ranges
  Adults Only singles and couples are welcome at this resort.

Ambiance
  We've owned a condominium in the Las Hadas Resort complex in Santago near Manzanillo for years and have continued to enjoy the spectacular views one gets perched atop a cliff side on the Mexican Pacific. Such are the same views you will enjoy at Punta Serena looking west into the Pacific. In addition, the lush tropical foliage on the east side of the resort provides terrific views at sunup, too.

Temps are hot during most of the year. Average temperature is 85-95F or about 28C during the day and a bit cooler in the evenings. The sun shines most every day. You're in the tropics so expect an occasional shower, which can be rare unless a Pacific storm visits the area.

Tennis courts, horseback riding and non-motorized water sports at adjacent BLUE BAY Resort Clothing-optional settings (beach & pool area) Hotel taxes and gratuities.

The theme and late night shows are the same for the two hotels, Punta Serena and Blue Bay Los Angeles.
ALERT: The list below is provided directly by the hotel and is subject to change without notice.
* Monday- Latino Show
* Tuesday - Mexican Show
* Wednesday - the Guest Show
* Thursday - Classic Show
* Friday - International Show
* Saturday - VIVA MEXICO Show
* Sunday - Musica Hall Show

Sightseeing
  COSTA ALEGRE
(Also known as Costa Careyes.) Most exploring outside of Manzanillo is done by heading north along highway MX 280, into the neighboring State of Jalisco. This scenic 246 km (About 160 miles) highway between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta takes you past tropical fruit plantations, deserted beaches, quiet fishing villages, and lagoons filled with exotic waterfowl.

Though the two-lane highway is not actually coastal, it offers occasional glimpses of the Pacific. Most villages and resorts are accessed via dirt roads that cross highway MX 280.

Here are a few worthwhile Stop-over points (listed as you head north from the Playa de Oro Airport).

Isla Navidad
(35 minutes/30km north of the airport.) this mega resort/marina/golf course is taking shape on a finger of land that separates the Pacific from the Laguna de Navidad. When completed, Isla Navidad will transform this region from a hinterland into one of the Pacific´s major resorts. A fine 27-hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge is ready for play, and hopes to lure prospective real estate investors. In total over 1,200 acres of land are being transformed to include two marinas (700 slip capacity), a golf course, shopping center, equestrian center, tennis center, and the new Grand Bay Hotel.

San Patricio Melaque & Barra de Navidad
(40 minutes/32 km north of airport) this picturesque duo of villages rests on a sand bar between the open sea and Laguna de Navidad, just a short boat ride across the channel from Isla Navidad. They are most popular with Mexican visitors (mostly from Guadalajara) and adventurous gringos wanting a break from more civilized settings.

This is also the location of one of México´s premier surfing beaches. Between Melaque and Barra is a lovely 6.5 km long curved bay with thatched hut restaurants. A couple of dozen small and inexpensive hotels are available in this very Bohemian setting, ideal for relaxation. Boat trips are available to Laguna de Navidad.

SHOPPING
Manzanillo has its share of shopping opportunities, thanks partly to its proximity to Guadalajara, Mexico's arts and crafts capital. Don't expect a wide assortment of shops and malls, as most shopping is centered around the area's few resorts. The new Plaza Manzanillo mall is a popular new addition. There is also a traditional ¨tianguis¨ market in front of Vog disco with crafts from around Mexico Shell lovers can visit the Palacio de las Conchas y Caracoles in Santiago.

Downtown
• El Dorado Bazar: excellent selection of fine craft ítems, jewelry; in front the zócalo.
• El Caracol: shell jewelry and clothing accessories; across from the zócalo.
• Pasaje Oscarana: small downtown mall carrying clothing, jewelry and books.

Resort Shopping
• Boutique Maeva: resortwear and T-shirts the entire family; Club Maeva.
• Galería de Arte: fine selection of Sergio Bustamante works plus others; Hotel Sierra Manzanillo.
• Indígenos: silver jewelry.
• Maria de Guadalajara: women's resortwear in the latest fashions. Puerto Las Hadas arcade and Plaza Manzanillo.
• Paco Silva: locally designed fashions for women; Plaza Pacífico.
• The new Plaza Pacífico mini-mall houses an assortment of clothing and handicraft shops, a restaurant and bar.

SPORTS & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

GOLF

The region is now home to 72 holes of fine golf.

La Mantarraya: 18- hole course rated by Golf Digest as one of the world's top100 courses. This Roy and pete Dye-desingned course nexto to las Hadas Resort offers plenty of water and palm trees,and a spectacular finishing hole. The are outstanding clubhouse facilities and an excellent tennis center as well.

Club Santiago Resort: this Manzanillo resort offers a well-maintained 9-hole course.

Isla Navidad: location of a new 27 hole course, designed by Robert Von Hagge and already considered to be oneof México`s best facilities; tel. in Guadalajara (3) 641-8283.

Tamarindo Country Club: a spectacular 18-hole course overlooking the pacific (designed by David Fleming); tel. 35515031.

TENNIS
Facilities are excellent in manzanillo.

Club Maeva ...............12 courts,6 lighted
Las Hadas Club Resort ...10 lighted courts
Club Santiago ...................6 lighted courts
Sierra Resort .....................4 lighted courts
Grand Bay .........................3 lighted courts
Playa de Oro .....................2 lighted courts

WATER SPORTS

The are boasts some of Mexico's best beaches. Miles of untouched coastline spread out across the resort's two main bays (Santiago and Manzanillo). Here's a rundown of the best beaches in and around manzanillo...

PLAYA MIRAMAR: at the north end of Bahia Santiago. This beach is popular With body surfers,wind surfers and boogie boarders; calmer waters toward juluapan peninsula at la Baquita beach.

PLAYA LA AUDIENCIA: beautiful cove along the north side of Santiago peninsula; fine beach for snorkeling and swimming.

PLAYA AZUL: long wide stretch of golden sand between Las Hadas and downtown; relatively calm seas to the south with waves to the north.

OLAS ALTAS: between Plaza Santiago and Playa Miramar; area's best surfing.

PLAYA DE ORO: long golden sand beach with medium waves. Near the airport.

FISHING

Manzanillo is renowned for its excellent sailfish catch. An international tournament is held each february. Charters are easily arranged upon arrival and normally depart from the marina at Las Hadas. A full- day trip with and guides runs around $300 US per boat.

DIVING & SNORKELING

Water conditions are favorable for snorkeling, especially near rock outcroppings that surround Santiago Peninsula, although reef and undersea life are a bit limited.

COLIMA

Aside from the Costa Alegre (discussed below), an interesting side is to the City of Colima. The city can be reached in about one hour over a well-maintained four-lane highway. Capital of the State of Colima, this quaint and very charming colonial city lies in a fertile valley with two imposing volcanoes (one still active) towering above.

The still active Volcán de Fuego is 25 km to the north, beside the taller (but extinct) Nevado de Colima. There are two newly opened archaeological sites (El Chanal and La Campana) that are visited as part of a popular day tour to Colima (contact local operators for excursion details).

Colima is an important regional center of commerce (population 145, 000), although seldom visited by vacations. It has been occupied since the 11th century and was settled the Spaniards in 1523.

The city center has well-preserved colonial buildings and three plazas that run from west east. There are several interesting museums including the Museo de las Culturas del Occidente, displaying one of México´s best collections of Pre-Columbian pottery and artifacts. The modern and eclectic Casa de la Cultura is a cultural institute offering free art, music and dance classes.

The city´s cathedral, originally built here in 1527, and subsequently rebuilt several times due to frequent earthquakes, is on the east side of the Plaza Principal. Next door is the Palacio de Gobierno. It dates to 1884-1904.

There is also an enormous collection of antique automobiles packed into a warehouse near downtown. Over 300 vehicles, dating from 1912-1950 can be seen.

The nearby village of Comala (population 8,000) is also worth a visit. This white washed town is famous for its fine carved wood furniture, handicrafts, and relaxed village ambiance. Attractive main square with arched porticoes and cafes surrounds pretty main square gazebo and beautiful church. On the way to the city is a mysterious "inversion hill" where objects appear to defy gravity!

Uppers-Downers
 
No major town or village is around the corner. The resort is located several miles off MX 280
     
Spectacular views of the Mexican Pacific
     
If you're looking for table top dancing and partying all hours of the day, you won't find it here. Punta Serena is more for relaxing and romance than partying.
     


Best Time to Go
  Any time of year is a perfect time to visit Punta Serena as the weather is just about perfect most days throughout the year.

Wish List
  • Wish the resort was located closer to town.
• Wish the resort was fully clothing optional.

Photo Album
  View the photo album - Click on the Photo Album lilnk to view photos of Punta Serena provided by the resort. If you have recently visited Punta Serean we invite you to send in your photos for us to display. To contribute... all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

Trip Reports
  View the trip reports - If you have recently visited Punta Serena... we need your trip reports. You can contribute to this section - all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

   

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