ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
The entrance left little to the imagination as it displayed the entire lobby, straight back to more floor-to-ceiling windows displaying crystal-blue waters — basically a glass mansion. I accepted the fresh green juice with which I was greeted, sipped and promptly walked through the lobby, around human-sized chess pieces, to the concierge desk.
The water- and light-filled floor-to-ceiling window wall to my right was calling me, which a butler noticed as he encouraged me to leave my bags with the concierge to continue checking me in while the butler gave me an impromptu visual tour of the beach, pools and restaurants outside the window. A few minutes later I followed my butler to the elevator and up to my Mousai Corner Suite for a quick tour and a tutorial for the iPad which controls the room’s lights, music, black-out drapes, room service … you name it.
GUEST QUARTERS: I think my exact words when stepping into my room were, “Oh, my God, no way!” as my butler tried not to laugh and showed me around. I walked by a small seating area and refrigerator to the king-sized bed, facing the first set of sliding doors opening to the balcony. The balcony wrapped around the room, offering a hammock, seating area and Jacuzzi. Back inside through the second set of sliding doors, the bathroom offered a fainting chair (if weariness befalls you while getting ready), dual vanity sinks, a separate dressing vanity, spacious wardrobe housing a safe and plush robes, a walk-in rain shower and separate smart Toto bidet toilet. The bathroom also wrapped around, in a way, offering two entrances. The more than 1,300-square-foot suite flowed so well, you could easily move from one room to the next, outside and back without bumping into anyone or anything.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: My corner suite and all-inclusive package offered more amenities than I had time to enjoy, such as the spa’s rain showers, early-morning kayaking trips and a full calendar of yoga and other group fitness classes. I did make time to head to the gym, which offered panoramic views of land and sea along with state-of-the-art equipment.
Along with all on-site dining, drinks, pools, Bahía de Banderas beach, activities and WiFi, my package included the assistance of an expert butler, who arranged for sunscreen to be delivered to my room. When I wasn’t there, he found me on the rooftop on a lounge chair by the infinity pool — where I spent most of my free time.
Hands down the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.
The room’s mini fridge is actually not mini at all, rather a medium-sized refrigerator filled with included beverages and snacks (for the all-inclusive package), refilled daily.
The service was exceptional. Each staff member I encountered was friendly, helpful and incredibly efficient.
Make time for breakfast at The Terrace — the space is like an open-air greenhouse and offers a great selection of menu items.
The rooftop infinity pool fills up, so either get there early or arrange for a reserved seat.
Carretera a Barra de Navidad Km. 7.5
Puerto Vallarta JAL. 48390
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.