Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide

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Eva Longoria Lazes With Gal Pals at Puerto Vallarta Resort

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  Site Where: Carretera a Barra de Navidad Km. 7.5, Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48390
November 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM | by | Comment (1)

Eva Longoria has already set off the pre-winter season right with mini-getaway with a few pals at the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta.

The group of gals spent five days lounging by the pool, playing in the sand and ocean waves, and generally and literally letting their hair down. After enjoying brunch on the beach the girls participated in a private tasting of several varieties of Wahaka Mezcal, served to them by the co-founder of the company.

Longoria sent out these Tweets when she returned from the resort:

"Didnít want to leave tropical paradise of @garzablancapvr! Could have sat by the infinity pool overlooking the ocean 4ever. Pure bliss!"

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Hilton Opens First All-Inclusive Resort in Puerto Vallarta

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  Site Where: Av. de las Garzas s/n, Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300
October 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Today Mexico adds yet another all-inclusive resort to its hotel inventory with the opening of the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort. Itís Hiltonís first one-price-pays-for-all property in Mexico.

Right in the heart of PVs Hotel Zone near the Bay of Banderas, this Hilton is pretty modest in size with just 259 rooms and suites, which makes it less overwhelming than other resorts of its kind in the region.

Guests won't go hungry thanks to the four a la carte dining restaurants on site serving international cuisine, fine Mexican foods, French fare, and Brazilian churrasco. Plus, snacks are available at the La Bonita deli, and the beach-bar serving up cocktails and light bites.

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This Hotel is Giving the Newly Divorced a Coffin for Their Wedding Rings

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  Site Where: Pelicanos 311 Fracc. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
August 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Are you Maria Shriver? newly divorced? Ready to fling your wedding ring into a deep dark abyss? How about giving it a burial party down in Mexico?

While hotel packages catering to the newly divorced are nothing new, Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta is going the distance with their new Divorcee Package which includes a ceremonial farewell party to your old wedding ring complete with a coffin.

The package will also include a stay for the divorcee and five friends in the hotel's newly renovated Presidential (or is that Presidente?) Suite, a jewelry consultation to redesign your ex-engagement ring, a VIP night on the town, a spa treatment, VIP airport transportation and a shopping tour to "start enjoying that settlement." Hmm...calling Jamie McCourt.

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Dora and SpongeBob Vacay in Mexico's CasaMagna Marriott

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  Site Where: Paseo La Marina 435, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48354
July 30, 2010 at 9:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

While the thought of sprawling out under an umbrella and sipping a margarita is all you need to entice you to head to Mexico on vacation, itís not exactly the type of stuff thatíll get the kids excited. But if you promise them that they can hang with Dora and SpongeBob when they are there, theyíll start packing their bags. It also wouldnít hurt to say itís the closest theyíll get to Bikini Bottom.

The beloved characters will be hanging at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa as part of the hotelís Nickelodeon Getaway package.

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One Hotel Still Cares About the Old People

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  Site Where: Av. Paseo De La Marina No. 5,, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48354
September 11, 2007 at 3:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hotels have long been catering to your traveling pets, your romantic relationships, your sexual romps, your nerdy museum interests, your shopping libido, your drinking problem and even your fashion week obsession. But what about the old people? And by old people we mean those over the age of 62. And by catering we mean something other than the AARP discount here and there.

Well, at least one hotel is showing respect for our elders--The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. This place has been package/promotion happy before but we kinda like this one because it says old people can have fun too. We think Bill Marriott musta had a hand in this Marriott Seniors discount.

Anyways, as the promotion says, "those old enough to remember reading the headlines of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's romance during the filming of The Night of the Iguana" will get a deluxe room for $110 a night, a 15 percent discount at the new Ohtli Spa and a 15 percent discount on food and beverage.

The deal can be booked online or by calling 1-888-Paradise and using the code S9R. However, it does expire on October 31st.

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Bad Rate:: Paying More to NOT Eat at Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya

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  Site Where: Zona Hotelera Sur, Km. 11,5, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48300
August 21, 2007 at 10:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were captured August 21, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]

The Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya near Puerto Vallarta is known for some common themes. The small beach completely disappears some months of the year, service is indifferent at best, and you're more liable to get sick eating here at your hotel than you are eating at the taco stand in a van down the road.

Perhaps the last trait explains the odd pricing policy currently posted on the hotel's website. Go all-inclusive and it's $160 a night for two. If you opt for the European Plan, however, and forsake the bland buffet meals and watered-down drinks in plastic cups, you'll pay $177 a night. In other words, you pay more to avoid their food.

If you want an all-inclusive vacation, there are plenty of better options in the area. If not, we suggest a stay at the Westin in the Marina area--this week's Good Rate--instead.

Related Stories:
· Good Rate:: $107 at the Westin Puerto Vallarta [HotelChatter]

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Good Rate :: $107 at the Westin Puerto Vallarta

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  Site Where: Paseo de la Marina Sur #205, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48354
August 21, 2007 at 10:56 AM | by | Comment (1)

[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were captured August 21, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]

With the east coast of Mexico getting hammered by Dean, you may want to look to the west coast for your off-season beach vacation deal. Wait a week to see how the path of the storm pans out, then book a $107 room at the Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta. This price is for the "partial sea view" rooms and is the mid-week price, but you can still get this price on the weekend if it's prepaid and full ocean view rooms are $175 midweek.

A Luxury Latin America review notes that the shaded pool complex is a big plus here, along with the above-the-fray beach bar:

The striking beach cabanas make a noticeable fashion statement, but Westin's 300-yard stretch of coastline does not impress overall--except for its hip after-hours atmosphere. Come sunset, you'll find that the beach is where it's at, as guests chill out till dawn at the popular Nikki Beach Club. A fine-looking wait staff serves up grill food and specialty cocktails among a romantic sandscape of tiki torches, billowing fabric and beds piled high with plush pillows.

Rooms are set up for those who don't like surprises, with the usual chain hotel layouts and amenities, but the fact that the Westin is not an all-inclusive translates into better service overall. (See our earlier review).

Here's another bonus if you just got a new passport: "Receive a $100 USD Credit applicable for Room Upgrades, Food & Beverage, or Spa Treatments when you stay with us through September 30, 2007 when you present a new passport with Mexico as your first stamp."

Related Stories:
· Bad Rate:: Paying More NOT to eat at Barcello La Jolla de Mismaloya [HotelChatter]

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Cubicle Dreamin': Verana's Beach and Mountain Paradise

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  Site Where: Calle Zaragoza No 404,, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48304
June 4, 2007 at 5:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.

In this episode, Hotel Maven barabarab fantasizes about a Mexican getaway. Enjoy.

I have a love-hate relationship with must-see lists. I prefer to find places that make me swoon on my own. My latest coup de foudre is Verana, a small upscale rustic hotel in the fishing village of Yelapa south of Puerto Vallarta. Its transporting and gorgeously designed website reveals plenty of accolades in the travel press. I quickly added it to my list.

MORE

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Valentine's Day Hotel Packages: CasaMagna Puerto Vallarta

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  Site Where: Av. Paseo De La Marina No. 5 | Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48354
January 19, 2007 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

Here is another Valentine's Day hotel package to consider should you be headed to Mexico (don't forget your passport). A cheap stay can be had at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa for just $189 a night. While the package components are pretty standard---breakfast for two daily, champagne and a welcome gift--the add-on "romantic touch" is the hotels' Tantalizing Turndown Menu.

It includes:

* Luis Perdier sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries (upgraded with Moet Chandon Champagne) * Two towel swans on the bed * Rose petal heart on the bed with kissing doves * Aromatic bath salt and flower petal presentation in the bathroom; citrus essence with Tila tea for relaxation. The tea made from these dried flowers is said to having calming effects (helps you relax) * Chocolate lovers pastry tray served with Kahlua

Just beware as this is the same hotel promoting a family whale-watching trip at the same time. And in the end, do you really need a towel swan to show your lover how much you love him or her?

We will be bringing you more Valentine's Day Hotel packages next week but for now you can click here for more.

[Photo: Wadey]

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Tequila Hallucinations Are A Myth, Humpback Whales Vacation In Mexico

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  Site Where: Calle Zaragoza No 404, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
January 11, 2007 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (0)


Wanna little insight into HotelChatter? Here is the breakdown of our daily inbox: 25% great tips and reviews, 50% press releases, 25% evil spam. As far as the press releases go, most of them are run-of-the-mill, from PR folks that obviously have never even read HotelChatter. Thus, catching our attention with a press release is like trying to kill a DDT immune mosquito with DDT. How do you do it? Top shelf tequila and winter whale watching visits at a kick ass hotel on the Bay of Banderas near Puerto Vallarta. No, no, not to bribe us, to bribe potential guests, of course.

Apparently, in January and February, Verana Hotel co-owner and designer Veronique Lievre and her staff will follow you around their 8 room luxury hotel with Don Eduardo Anejo drinks as you watch humpback whales do what they do, hike around the lush 5 acre grounds, chill in the sun, and soak in "moonlit" hot tubs.

Sounds nice, right? So what are the drawbacks. Well, don't go if you have a weak heart. No, not because seeing a tequila induced humpback whale hallucination will give you a gripper, the hotel is atop Yelpa, which can only be reached by boat, and from the dock you have to hike 20 minutes up-hill through the jungle (there is a path, it isn't Man vs Wild or anything), and then, depending on your room location you will have an additional hike once you reach the hotel grounds. The hike sounds invigorating, and it is a big part of what you do on Yelpa (you can hike along the river, to sandy beaches, and to town) but those with bad tickers might not find that to be the case.

One more thing. The photos above are from actual guests, not from posed press photos, and guess what? In our opinion the guest photos are actually better than the press photos. Gotta love a place that can hold up during the candid digital camera test.

[Photos: Randy King]

Related Stories:
· Verana [TripAdvisor]

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Whale-Watching, Family-Style

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  Site Where: Av. Paseo De La Marina No. 5 | Marina Vallarta,, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48354
December 26, 2006 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, Hotel Maven Tim Leffel did a bang-up job reporting on the hotel scene in Puerto Vallarta. Today, we have news that another hotel in PV is worth checking out, but this one involves the whole fam.

This winter, the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa is inviting families to take part in a unique educational experience through its "Secretos del Mar" marine-life program. Every year, January through April many humpback whales come to Banderas Bay to give birth. Marriott guests are encouraged watch these stunning creatures in their own surroundings.

Of course, the hotel has put together an ESCAPE! Family Package which starts at $189 per night and includes, breakfast for two adults and two children 12 and under; complimentary pizza and in room movie one night, and nightly milk and cookies turndown service.

Not included appears to be any whale-watching tours so you'll have to fend for yourself there. Now, if only they offered an Escape Your Family type of package....

Related Stories:
· CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Puerto Vallarta Hotel Reviews [HotelChatter]

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Another Killer View: Villa Premiere in Puerto Vallarta

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  Site Where: San Salvador No. 117, Col. 5 De Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
December 21, 2006 at 1:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

[Ed. Note: We have another special treat today. Hotel Maven Tim Leffel has a killer view video taken from his weeklong trip in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy.]

There's nothing worse that getting to your room at a beach resort and finding that it's a half mile from the shore and the view out your window isn't any better than you have at home. There's no fear of that happening at Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa in Puerto Vallarta. Every room has a killer view of the bay and the sunset video here was taken from room 2111 on the second floor. Higher floors have it even better.

Villa Premiere is not some isolated resort you get stuck at either. It's near downtown, within walking distance of the malecon. There are a lot of extra touches here, some literal. When you check in you get a cool towel, a cool glass of champage, and a complimentary 5-minute chair massage. Nice. The honeymoon suites here are worth the upgrade--they have a Jacuzzi on the balcony, with this view to look out at while you soak and smooch. (See their home page for a picture.) Throw in nice robes, and a pillow menu, and good restaurants that don't serve buffets--even if you're on the all-inclusive plan--and this boutique hotel is a big step up from the vacation factories so prevalent in the area.