Mexico’s Best Beach Resort – PUERTA VALLARTA
It’s easy to see why Mexico has been named a top travel destination,
and particularly Puerta Vallarta. Having visited the enchanting resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast – it’s at the top of my list. In addition to sun-kissed sand beaches, aquamarine water, a tropical landscape and the Sierra Madre Mountains, you’ll find an authentic, culturally rich town with an eye- popping art scene, amazing gastronomy and happening nightlife. Not to mention the warm climate and friendly locals. Additionally it’s LGBT friendly.
The charming town with cobblestone streets and terra cotta roofed white stucco houses with bougainvillea- bedecked balconies has long been a favorite of artists and creatives. Downtown galleries open for an Art Walk Wednesday evenings offering exhibitions, cocktails and an opportunity to chat with the artists. Check out the Colektika Gallery for remarkable yarn paintings and colorful bead art from the Huichol Tribes.
Stroll the scenic malecon, the lively seafront promenade lined with palm trees and cafes while taking in a golden sunset. Head to Badillo Street where you’ll find fashionable boutiques, atleliers such as Pepe Cerroblanco’s Gallery and Cassandra Shaw Jewelry as well as excellent eateries. Top your evening off with salsa and live music at La Bodequita del Medio, an outpost of the famed Cuban nightclub.
Stand out resorts where visitors sun, swim and laze include these two from the award-winning Velas Group.
Velas Vallarta, situated on the emerald waters of Banderas Bay offers an all-Inclusive family friendly experience. Set on ten sprawling acres along the stunning beachfront, the resort features 345 stylish suites, convention center, lush gardens, three swimming pools, multiple restaurants, fitness center and lounge with live music. The oceanfront resort is in walking distance of Marina Vallarta Golf Course and close to downtown.
On-site activities abound providing something for every taste. These include: water activities; yoga on the jetty; traditional mariachi music; dance shows; beach bonfire overlooking the sunset and sea; beach volleyball, ping pong tournaments, fitness classes, guided walks, making piñatas and jewelry, Mexican fiestas and casino nights, among others.
The renovated Kids’ Club also welcomes children under 13 with fun supervised activities like face painting, a treasure hunt, building sand castles, crafting beads – so parents can go off on their own, unwind, perhaps play a game of golf, an excursion or the spa.
As to the food: guests enjoy tasty cuisine made with the freshest ingredients that reflect the region as well as international specialties from around the globe. Relish dishes such as ceviche, seafood, local specialties, pasta; coq au vin on French night; coconut shrimp, sweet and sour ribs on Asian night; lasagna Pietmontese, ribe eye in Barolo sauce, on Italian nights and Mexican feasts, among many others.
What better way to relax and rejuvenate than a luxurious massage in a seaside spa cabin against the backdrop of the glorious Sierra Madre Mountains. The full service spa features more than 60 options from body treatments, therapies, wraps to facials all using local, natural and organic products and oils. Not surprising that the eternal youth massage is a guest favorite.
The resort also offers festivities for weddings, including extra-large Frida and Diego mojigangas (puppets), mariachis, fiesta like rehearsal dinners, celebratory elaborate parades and fireworks. For those whose passions are so ignited at the resort that they decide to elope – Velas Elopement experience provides traditional Mayan or Huichol Ceremonies, ring, dress, beach dinner and more. And, if you are thinking about an oceanfront holiday getaway with traditional feasts and Mexican flair, Celebrate Thanksgiving here. www.velasvallarta.com
The gate opens to a verdant garden filled with banana trees, palms, koi ponds and resident peacocks strutting the floral wonderland. Eighty spacious designer suites, some with private pools and Jacuzzis, accented in marigold and burnt orange are adorned with native paintings, artifacts and striking sculptures – including artwork by famous Mexican artist, Sergio Bustamente – at this country club like oasis.
Casa Velas, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an all-Inclusive adults only luxe boutique hotel in the posh district near the marina delivers the ideal stylish beachy escape – perfect for honeymooners, couples, celebrations and getaways with friends. Reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda, it’s a cozy cocoon with oversize swimming pool and plush cabanas, gourmet dining, adults-only Beach Club, 18-hole golf course, state of the art exercise equipment and organic garden supplying herbs for the resort’s restaurants, bars and spa.
Excusive Táu Beach Club with infinity pool overlooking Banderas Bay has Balinese beds, sun loungers and private salon with pool table and terrace. The culinary experience is a highlight at Casa Velas and gastronomic delights at Tau Beach Club abound. These include fish and sirloin tacos, rib-eye, mahi mahi, tuna tiradito, short ribs and lobster, to name a few. Attendants are close by, poolside, to clean your sunglasses, refresh your cocktails and tend to guest’s needs.
Emiliano, the resort’s award-winning signature restaurant delivers innovative Mexican and international gourmet fare using fresh regional ingredients in an elegant setting. Gastronomic dishes such as sea bass carpaccio, rack of lamb, tuna, catch of the day, ceviche Vallarta, salmon al pastor and the sabores de México’ tasting are some of the delectables. Dinner with chef is also an option as well as an extensive in-suite dining menu.
ABJA Spa features a hydrotherapy area and deluxe massages, body therapies, meditation pods, facials, and sacred healings available in your own wellness cabana or treatment rooms for singles and couples. Highlights include a harmony massage, quiro using golf balls to de-stress, diamond energy facial, romantic ritual and neuro- aroma candle massage.
Activities at the resort include everything from yoga, sound therapy, cooking classes, art workshops, wine and tequila tastings, live music at sunset, to special dining events. No need to pack a handbag for each outfit – take a loaner from the designer Handbag Bar at no extra charge.