All-Inclusive Vacation Packages to Iberostar Playa Mita
There’s no doubt about it that travel started to look a whole lot different in 2020. With numerous travel plans cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of travel might not be front of mind or possible for many people right now. However, for those of you who are dreaming about the time you can (safely) travel again, and researching about where you’d like to go, it’s reassuring to know that there are travel companies out there who can make the entire process safer and easier for you. One of those such companies is also one of my favourite vacation package providers, Air Canada Vacations.
The purpose of this blog is to explain all of the new health and safety measures, precautions and protocols with you that Air Canada Vacations is taking, and discuss how, in our opinion, the all-inclusive vacation experience has evolved.
So if you’re dreaming about your next trip that you’ll take when the time is right for you to travel again, read on to learn why you should consider an all-inclusive vacation package to Puerto Vallarta with Air Canada Vacations. We also have an amazing resort recommendation for you there, too, if you’re into exceptional service, amazing scenery, beautiful beaches, and a superb, relaxing location.
Disclaimer: This blog is in sponsored partnership with Air Canada Vacations and Iberostar Resorts. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I will continue to promote only products, properties, destinations, and services that I truly believe in 100%, and would wholeheartedly recommend to others.
Is an all-inclusive vacation package for you?
It’s no secret that we love to explore and adventure. However, for my fellow explorers, you know that sometimes you just need to soak up the sun, relax, and enjoy your trip, without all of the complicated planning that other types of trips can require.
We love how all-inclusive vacation packages are affordable and easy, but still leave you with so many options for your vacation. For instance, you could choose to stay at the resort the entire trip and soak up the sun at the resort’s pools and beaches, or adventure outside of your resort to explore, take a tour, etc. You could choose to eat all of your meals at the resort each day (which are already likely included in your cost), or venture out to try the local food off resort.
There are options that work for everybody, from the lover of complete luxury, to the off-the-beaten-path adventurer.
And, the value! You definitely can’t beat the cost savings that you receive when going the package route.
Why book a trip with Air Canada Vacations?
So much is included when you book an all-inclusive vacation with Air Canada Vacations!
What’s included in your vacation package:
1. Round-trip flights to your destination
2. Round-trip transfers from the airport to your hotel
3. 1 free checked bag per person
4. COVID-19 Coverage & Assistance Plan, administered by Allianz Global Assistance (no additional cost)
5. You can earn Aeroplan Points on all flight-inclusive packages
6. The ability to book your vacation by redeeming Aeroplan points for vacation packages, flight & hotel bundles, hotels, tours, and cruises.
And if you book an all-inclusive resort plan, the majority of your meals and beverages will be included, too.
Often, all-inclusive resort partners have plenty of activities included in your stay as well, such as classes, games, and often even non-motorized water sports. You’ll never get bored!
What is the Air Canada CleanCare+ Program?
Air Canada features a comprehensive personal safety program to provide its customers with greater peace of mind during their entire travel journey. The CleanCare+ program is created to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure through procedures and measures, such as:
- Touch Free Bag Check Kiosk and Touch Free Bag-Drop to streamline check-in process
- Mandatory temperature check at check-in and/or boarding
- Mandatory face covering in airports and onboard
- Customer Care Kits with gloves, mask, hand sanitizer, wipes, headset, snack, and water, is provided to each customer.
- Pre-packaged meals are provided on flights where a complimentary meals are served
We found the Customer Care Kits to be really handy, with everything we needed to enjoy and feel safe on the flight. Flight attendants wore full PPE, but their service still felt as warm and welcoming as ever.
Air Canada has done a wonderful job with updating their health and safety measures and we would definitely fly with them again.
How do you safely travel from the airport to your resort?
Air Canada Vacations takes care of airport transportation for you, too, and has excellent safety procedures in place.
When you arrive at your destination airport, transportation is included in your vacation package to your resort, and then back to the airport again at the end of your vacation.
Air Canada Vacations’ Commitment to Safer Travel ensures that you are safe while on your way to your hotel or resort in Mexico, the Caribbean, South and Central America. These are the health and safety procedures they follow:
- Mandatory face coverings for all employees, on site representatives greeting you and travellers provided protection and safety for all.
- Before each transfer the vehicle and all its high-touch areas are cleaned and sanitized.
- Blocked seats between passengers on the transfer from the airport to the hotel or resort to make sure social distancing is maintained throughout the journey to the hotel or resort.
- Representatives will continue to prioritize your safety by wearing face coverings and other PPE items when handling your luggage once you have arrived at your destination.
Iberostar Selection Playa Mita
We stayed at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita, a 5-star all-inclusive resort near Punta Mita, Mexico.
The family-friendly resort is about a 45-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport, in a great location that is quiet and secluded, but still an easy cab ride away from interesting towns and cities, and tours and attractions.
The beach at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
Beach lovers will adore this resort. The beach the Iberostar resort is located on is private, has soft sand, and is groomed daily by resort staff.
The beach is absolutely beautiful and had only a small handful of polite and non-pushy vendors, unlike some public beaches in the area. The resort has plenty of beach chairs down at the beach, so you can unwind as you listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean.
You can walk for a really long time in either direction, past other resorts and condo complexes. We had a beach-facing room at the Iberostar and we enjoyed falling asleep to the sounds of the crashing waves each and every night, Both the sunrises and sunsets from the beach were unreal!
The cultural connection at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
We loved the fact that the resort is constructed using 100% regional materials, like quarry stone, marble and Guanacaste wood, which makes you feel “one” with the local Huichol culture. We immediately fell in love with the open-air design of the lobby. The resort is absolutely beautiful and feels luxurious, but also feels incredibly warm and welcoming.
Shop This Look: White Lace Romper / Amazon Canada / Amazon USA
The pools at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
The resort has a gorgeous, large pool area with plenty of comfortable pool chairs, daily entertainment and water sports you can choose to join in for, and also a more quiet relaxing area. One of the pools has a gorgeous infinity edge looking out towards the ocean. There is even full drinks service to your pool chair!
We saw a beautiful swim-up bar, but it was closed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols during our visit.
We did find the pool temperature to be pretty chilly (as stated by two Canadians, who are used to the cold!), but but we asked around and it sounded like the resort was working on fixing this issue.
There are plenty of palapas and umbrellas for those seeking shade, and the pool chairs and spaced apart to allow for social distancing.
Iberostar’s Commitment to COVID-19 Safety Measures
The resort has very thorough health and safety measures in place to protect guests against the spread of COVID-19.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts has been actively upgrading their hygiene, safety and health measures and promises to take care of customers, employees, suppliers, commercial partners, and also the environment. For over 60 years, Iberostar has been operating to the highest of standards and now, in the face of COVID-19, they are enriching and strengthening procedures and protocols with a holistic view and scientific rigour, all without taking a step backwards in caring for the ecosystem.
Here are just a small handful of the health & safety measures implemented at the resort:
- Resort maximum capacity was 70%
- Mandatory temperature check, hand sanitization and the wearing of face masks to enter restaurants
- All common areas set up to allow for proper social distancing
- No self-serve buffets; now, staff serve you the buffet items you request from behind protective glass
- Protective glass in place when interacting with staff at reception, spa, coffee shop, gift shops, etc.
- All staff wear face masks at all times
- Usage of gym, spa etc. restricted to a maximum number of patrons to allow for proper social distancing and cleaning/sanitization between usage
The Spa at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
The Iberostar Selection Playa Mita resort is part of the Air Canada Vacations “Spa Collection”, and for good reason – the spa at the resort was truly lovely!
Sensations Spa offers guests a full range of services including massages, facials, and specialty therapies designed to help calm and soothe you during your vacation.
We had a 50-minute couples’ massage, and the facilities and the therapists were wonderful and followed COVID-19 health & safety guidelines. It was mandatory for us to wear our masks while laying face-up during our massages, and our therapists wore their masks during the entire treatment.
The spa is beautiful, outfitted with lovely change rooms and shower rooms. The facilities that were complimentary to us with our services included a pool with hydrotherapy, a Teraza Spa Jacuzzi (with a lay-down seat that Mitch loved), a steam room, a sauna, a Swedish shower, and beach lounger chairs. A few of the facilities were down for maintenance during our visit, but we enjoyed our spa experience nonetheless.
The wellness program at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
In addition to the spa, the “Aliveness” program that is offered at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita focuses on comprehensive self-care. This includes a wide range of offerings such as sports (like yoga), a running group, and on-resort activities, DIY workshops and gastronomy experiences. The resort also features an amazing golf course designed by Greg Norman that should not to be missed. I think that the Iberostar resorts are a wonderful place to unwind and focus on your own self-care.
Restaurants at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
Wow – the food really amazes at this resort!
There are four delicious a la carta restaurant options that are all included with your all-inclusive package:
Tsuba Japanese restaurant (Teppanyaki-style show) features Japanese favourites such as thin-sliced sashimi, nigiri sushi, makis, rice rolls, soups and meat and fish teppanyaki.
Pacific Express gourmet restaurant offers a tribute to the Orient Express and serves up gourmet recipes in a restaurant modelled after an old train car! The menu features appetizers (such as lobster timbale or crunchy creamy pheasant), main dishes (such as confit duck thigh or Caribbean butter shrimp) and sweets (such as blueberry cheesecake or intense chocolate truffle).
El Cuate Pancho Mexican restaurant features Mexican specialties such as traditional soups (like tortilla soup or lime soup), main dishes (such as fajitas, burritos or enchiladas) and Mexican desserts (such as churros with caramel sauce).
La Bahia Steakhouse offers steak dinners with succulent cuts of meat, such as top sirloin, rib eye, double-cut pork chops… And for those who can’t get enough fish, a special catch of the day!
La Bahia also turns into the lunch buffet and dinner buffet restaurant, with international cuisine and Mexican specialties, featuring foods such as pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, salads, and special dishes prepared right in front of your very eyes.
El Nopal is the breakfast buffet, featuring a wide variety of breakfast foods, fresh fruit, milk, bread, cereal and cold cuts. It also turns into a lunch and dinner buffet, and hosts themed and gala evenings.
We had our Christmas Eve themed dinner at El Nopal and the entire restaurant was turned into a festive winter wonderland full of twinkling lights, ice sculptures, and delicious Christmas-themed foods. There was even a giant gingerbread house made from cookies and candy – wow! It was a visual masterpiece we’ll never forget.
Star Prestige Club at the Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
The resort has a “VIP” upgrade option to the Star Prestige Club. We absolutely loved the private Star Prestige facilities, especially the exclusive rooftop lounge overlooking the ocean complete with a private bar serving top-shelf liquor, exclusive rooftop lounge, comfortable sun cabana beds, and amazing rooftop Jacuzzis!
You’re identified as a Star Prestige Club member with a special blue bracelet.
There is also a private check-in for Star Prestige members, another exclusive bar in the lobby area, and a Star Prestige exclusive lounge serving you yummy snacks throughout the day. There are additional endless perks, such as access to exclusive discounts, premium wines, superior room categories, and more.
If you’re looking for luxury services and attention to detail that ensures that you want for nothing during your vacation, you’ll definitely want to check out Iberostar’s Star Prestige Club.
Private Romantic Dinner at Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort
Iberostar has an option of adding on a Romantic Dinner for Two. For an additional surcharge, you can create your own custom 3-course meal from a variety of menu options.
Your meal is served to you in a beautiful gazebo overlooking the ocean by your own private server.
We had ours at sunset, and this is a prime location to watch the sky come alive with color!
Your table is decorated with a bouquet of red roses and loose rose petals, and elegant white tableware.
This experience was one of the highlights of our trip that we’ll never forget! We highly recommend it for birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, or just as a lovely romantic memory.
What to Do Outside of Your Resort:
There are SO many things you can do outside of your resort in this area. I’m going to cover this all in a separate blog post (sign up below to be notified when that is ready), but here are just a few of our suggestions:
- Go into Sayulita for the day and wander the colorful artisans streets
- Learn to surf at Sayulita or La Lancha beaches
- Take an ATV or ziplining tour (offered through Air Canada Vacations)
- Rent a car for the day and explore the coast line
- Take a taxi into Puerto Vallarta for the day and explore the city
- Go on a whale watching tour during whale watching season (December through March)
- Visit Marietas Islands and Hidden Beach through a tour with Air Canada Vacations
- Hike Monkey Mountain near Sayulita (trailhead is 15 minutes away from Iberostar)
Subscribe to receive future Puerto Vallarta blog posts
Learn about the best things to do, most beautiful views and hidden gems around Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit
If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them for you! Leave me a comment in the comments field below 🙂
LOVE IT? PIN IT!
Questions or comments about Puerto Vallarta, Air Canada Vacations, or Iberostar Selection Playa Mita Resort? Some other topics you’d like me to cover? I’d love to hear from you, just leave me a comment below!