If you read my previous blog post about this up and coming part of Mexico (and if you didn’t catch it, click here) and are itching to go and stay along the Riviera Nayarit or in Puerto Vallarta, here are my best hotel recommendations…
Casa Velas is a luxury all-inclusive for adults. I loved it. It’s small and intimate – not what I usually associate with all-inclusives! – and in the middle of a golf course which means that, although in the city, it’s blissfully quiet. There’s a shuttle service to its own beautiful beach club, just a short drive away.
When I first arrived at the palm lined pool area, I struggled to get my camera out quick at the sight of an iguana. ‘Relax’ said one of my fellow tourists who had obviously been here a few days and knew the score. ‘There are tons of them. They live in the trees.’ And sure enough, over the next couple of days I saw enough iguanas that I’d barely look up from my book to check them out. Ditto the peacocks who roam around the gardens . There’s just one restaurant, but it’s good.
* Double rooms start from £297 per night, all inclusive. Visit www.hotelcasavelas.com
If you’re coming with your family I can recommend two hotels, both on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta, in the beachfront Nuevo Vallarta area.
For a fun trip, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta is hard to beat – there are family rooms with giant in-room hot tubs, a big, buzzy pool area and electric guitars that you can have delivered to your rooms (you can do a play along tutorial on the TV) plus pop star memorabilia dotted all around. Warning – do not come to this hotel if you don’t like music as you will hear it everywhere.
* Family rooms with two double beds start from around £222 per night, all inclusive – plus you get in resort credit of £1191 per room to spend on spa treatments, tours, etc for stays of three nights or more. Visit www.hrhvallarta.com
A bit more upmarket is the five star Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, not to be confused with the aforementioned Casa Velas (part of the same group). The facilities are fantastic – there’s a big fancy spa, a kids club, watersports, tennis , a choice of restaurants and night time entertainment. The service was impeccable when I stayed there.
* Master suites with a pool view cost from around £429 per night for two adults, all inclusive, or from around £531 for two adults and two children sharing. Visit www.vallarta.grandvelas.com
It’s probably Mexico’s most exclusive development and a celebrity ‘mecca’. This was my favourite stay, probably due to the fact that I was at the rather swanky Four Seasons Punta Mita. Kim and Kanye have stayed here, as has Jessica Simpson on her honeymoon. They probably liked the fact that it’s within a secure, gated development (although I have to say I felt safe everywhere we went on this trip). It’s a decadent, yet relaxed place for couples, but also for families – with a free kids club and in-house lazy river!.
* Double rooms cost from £414 per night. Visit www.fourseasons.com/puntamita
Holidaymakers wanting a small hotel with character won’t do better than Hotel Cielo Rojo. This place is super cute with a handful of simple, traditionally decorated bedrooms and a shady little patio restaurant serving organic food . It’s in the hippy chic old beach town of San Pancho, 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. *Doubles cost from around £93 per night, including breakfast. Visit www.hotelcielorojo.com