Do you want to rent a luxury villa with chef and have excellent meals prepared for you while you are on vacation and lounging by the pool? How does it sound to have a butler, housekeeping staff, and concierge taking care of you and your family while you look out at the ocean?
With luxury villa rentals in Punta Mita and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, that’s the norm rather than the exception…IF you rent from the right kind of company.
When most travelers who are used to staying in hotels think about a Mexican villa rental, they often assume that someone will hand them keys (or e-mail a code), maybe show them how things work, and then the renters are on their own. After all, that’s the way it usually works around the world with Airbnb or Vrbo. It’s a mostly automated, self-service transaction.
That’s not the case with a company like Agave Villas, based in Puerto Vallarta and also serving the Nayarit area to the north. I’ve been checking out their services in different villas for a full feature article later, but wanted to first give a feel for the fine dining experience you can expect when you stay at one of these full-service staffed villas with an ocean view.
The Advantages of Staffed Villas in Puerto Vallarta and Nayarit
Whether you spend $1,500 per night for your group or $15,000, you’ll have options for luxury villas with private chef and a staff to take care of you. Sure, you’ll still have to pay for the groceries and booze, but it’s a wash compared to a hotel stay on that since you’d usually spend far more at a place like the Four Seasons or St. St. Regis in Punta Mita or Mousai in Puerto Vallarta–with less space.
Those who haven’t rented a villa like this are often surprised to learn that yes, there’s a kitchen, but you may not even step into it. Staffers will mix you cocktails, cut up fruit, bring you beers, and get a gourmet candlelit dinner for you that meets your specific requests. The shopping and meal requests are discussed with your concierge before you get there, with any allergies or requests worked in ahead of time.
In our case, we knew we’d be eating more than we do at home, more often, so we asked for an array of seafood and healthy items from their menus, plus we got in our coffee, tea, and mixer requests. At the Punta del Cielo villa in Puerto Vallarta, they even stocked a local IPA that was delicious–not always an easy find in Mexico. They whipped up egg white omelets, healthy salads, green juice, and lots of grilled fish.
Meal Times at Luxury Villas With Staff
The way most of these luxury villa rentals in Punta Mita and other upscale areas of Mexico work is that you have a staff of 3 to 12 people taking care of various tasks and, depending on how big the place is and how expensive, there may also be an on-site security guard living there, people taking care of the pool and grounds, and a sous chef or two.
When we stayed at the fabulous Casa Koko in Punta Mita, the place had more staffers than many boutique hotels I’ve stayed in, with a kitchen that was just as bustling. Working with the concierge, we mostly let the private villa chef do her thing, but we provided a few requests ahead of time. We let go of the whole healthy eating ethos the first night when the beautiful salad was followed by a surf-and-turf platter with lobster and steak.
At Casa Fortuna, also in Punta Mita, we got some grilled shrimp skewers with a quinoa salad that had plenty of chopped vegetables. But we couldn’t resist finishing off this lovely dessert:
You set up a preferred breakfast time with the butler/head waiter for the villa, though of course there’s a little flexibility there if some guests don’t manage to get up until noon. In each of the three Mexico villas with chef where we stayed, breakfast started out with a fruit platter, juice, and some bread or pastries, so people can nibble on those things while any hot dishes are prepared to order.
These can vary from Mexican standards like chiliquiles or huevos rancheros to eggs Benedict or granola and yogurt. Unless your request is totally out of left field, they’ll work it out.
I got up early to get some work done and as soon as I drifted into the main area of any of the villas, someone appeared to ask, “Coffee or tea?” At Casa Koko I had them give their professional espresso machine a workout and got cappuccinos each morning.
Lunch is usually late afternoon sometime, though that mostly depends on guest schedules. At some of the rental villas only two meals per day are included, with the assumption that you’re going to be out and about exploring the area while you’re there. That was the case for us at the Puerto Vallarta villa. At Casa Fortuna and Casa Koko in Punta Mita, however, it’s not unusual for guests to lounge around and enjoy the pool and view all day, so lunch was prepared as well in those. The waiter will bring an appropriate glass of wine if you’d like, serve up a Pacifico, or whatever beverage you’re in the mood for.
If you want drinks by the pool later, someone will keep you refilled as needed. No need to trudge back to the kitchen in a wet bathing suit. At our Puerto Vallarta house though, they did have a big outdoor cooler with a bottle opener that we could have stocked with soda, beer, and ice if we’d had a pool party.
At luxury villas in Mexico, dinner is usually a grand affair, with several courses, drinks flowing, and attractive presentation in the plates. Usually the private chef is well-trained and experienced; some of them have been poached from the best Puerto Vallarta hotels and restaurants. These villas usually have beautiful dining rooms with a view and that was the case for all three of ours from Agave Villas: we were always looking out at the sea.
Hassle-Free Staffed Villas in Mexico for All Sizes
If you have six people in your party or 26, you’ll probably be able to find the right villa to match if you’ve got an ample budget. It will often cost a similar amount to doing a boutique hotel buyout, but it’s often an upgrade in terms of facilities and service. The Casa Koko luxury villa we experienced had more bathrooms than bedrooms and the giant baths in some of the bedrooms are larger than a New York City apartment–and better appointed. That one has a bedroom for the nanny that’s prettier than many luxury hotel rooms.
One of the biggest advantages to luxury villas with staff, however, is that the whole experience is customized and that’s especially useful at meal times. There’s no nightly negotiation with the waiter to get your vegetarian meal or gluten-free options and nobody will scowl when you ask for almond milk for your coffee. You can hand over a list of special requests ahead of time and then on site, say, “Actually, we’d like to eat over there if you don’t mind.”
The luxury villas with butler and staff are expecting special requests and high-maintenance divas are something they’re all used to, especially with such short flights from Los Angeles. Speaking of flights, the Puerto Vallarta airport is well-served from the USA and Canada, with direct flights from a lot of cities or just one hub stop. Private planes can get here from many southern American cities without refueling.
Once on the ground, you can get to Puerto Vallarta proper in a half hour, or be drinking a welcome margarita at your Punta Mita villa in Nayarit within an hour and a half. Just get some exercise before you arrive because at a Puerto Vallarta house with chef or at the Punta Mita luxury rentals, you will be eating very well the whole time you’re on vacation.