If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that living the good life is the best way to keep up with the Joneses. The best possible one-upmanship. The best revenge. Or at least that’s what I told myself when I headed to Mexico on a whim a few weeks ago to teach a certain someone a little lesson in how not to treat a girl, or else said girl will fly to Mexico without said certain someone and live in the lap of luxury, if only for 48 hours, at the beachfront Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, located at the southwest point of the Riviera Nayarit. It was 55 degrees in San Francisco when I left, and a comfortable 79 degrees in Puerto Vallarta when I landed. Amazing what a little humidity, a little sun, a little warmth can do to flush the discontent from your bones.
The Four Seasons is 45 minutes by car from airport curb to the hotel lobby, a welcoming, airy space with an awe-inspiring vista of the deep blue ocean. In my suite, a generous cuarto with a big, fat bed dressed in crisp, cool linens, a luxe bathroom with an all-glass shower and the deepest soaking tub ever, and, of course, an oceanview veranda. A chilled DIY margarita kit, along with fresh-fried tortilla chips and creamy guacamole were waiting for me, but I didn’t want to ruin my dinner at Aramara, the onsite Asian restaurant. Since I am an emotional eater, I ordered a feast of tempura shrimp, various fresh-catch carpaccios, that trendy paper-thin-wagyu-grilled-on-a-blazing-hot-rock thing, roast duck tacos, and a banana souffle for dessert. I proceeded to waddle to my room and stumble into bed, satiated, travel weary, and happy to ignore text messages from the offending party at home.
The next morning, waves crashing on the beach woke me early, so I threw open the screen doors and let the salty air freshen my room. At 8:30 a.m., I headed to The Rock, a small beach bluff with enough square footage to host an intimate wedding for a dozen guests or a yoga class for a dozen yogis. Oceanside yoga is just what the therapist ordered—deep breathing, muscle stretching, crashing waves, wild blue yonder. After a light, in-room breakfast of fresh tropical fruit and cottage cheese, I put on a bikini and a rash guard, zinc’d up my exposed skin, and headed out on the water with a paddleboard. The aqua off the Riviera Nayarit that day was only mildly choppy—enough to get that core really fired up—and plenty warm. I should know—I fell into the drink more than once, marveling each time about the bathwater temp.
After a short nap, I made my way to the spa, where Elvira massaged me using de-needled cactus paddles that had been soaking in some kind of warm, hydrating moisturizer. Since it’s important to stay hydrated while you’re blissed-out in a steamy Shangri-La, I made it a point to drink one cupful of each nourishing concoction the spa had on offer: coconut juice, hibiscus juice, chlorophyll tonic. Then I got dressed and made my way to Ketsi, the onsite Mexican eatery, where I consumed fish tacos—battered, not grilled, because, well, YOLO—with extra avocado. For dessert? A xocolatl tasting with the resort’s cultural concierge, a very sweet, worldly man who took me through the agricultural history of cacao in the region (did you know Montezuma used the cacao bean as currency? Thirty cacao beans for a small rabbit; one cacao bean for a tomato) via laptop Powerpoint presentation and samples of all sorts of chocolate, from artisanal drinking chocolate with chili to cocoa butter mixed with sugar (aka white chocolate).
The day ends with some relaxing hammock time on my veranda, where I talk on the phone to the offending party in San Francisco. He says he hopes I’m having a good time, but that he doesn’t want to know what I’ve been doing all day. I feel satisfied and happy that instead of loafing around my apartment, I flew to Mexico to take care of myself. I watch the sun go down over the ocean and tell him that I’ll talk to him tomorrow evening when I arrive back in SF.
I don’t tell him that before we speak again, I will have had the great fortune to experience one more day in paradise, and I will have made it a carbon copy of the first 24 hours, with one exception: the in-room DIY margarita doesn’t go to waste.