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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.
[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.
· Good Rate:: $107 at the Westin Puerto Vallarta [HotelChatter]
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Imagine booking a trip to a beach resort and ending up with a room that faces razor wire, a water tank, and a chain link fence topped with barbed wire. All of it facing a swampy stream that's a mosquito colony's dream. That's the view from a whole wing of even-numbered rooms ending in 26 to 40 at Hotel Plaza Pelicanos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The shot here is from room 326--it's probably even worse from the two floors below it.
This is a strange hotel that's split into two sections. One faces the water and has some good views. The other section is across the street and is centered around a courtyard, with rooms facing either the pool or something ugly.
Most of the guests arrive after booking a bargain vacation package through a travel agent and those who went for the cheapest class of room are definitely in for a nasty surprise. More proof that upgrading to a better room class is often money well spent.
The beach here has been eroded badly anyway and the pool complex is nothing exciting, so this is one of the bottom choices all around. One hint that something is amiss here anyway: the Espanol button on the Web site's home page leads to lots more info. The English button doesn't work at all.
As we promised earlier today, we have video footage of Hotel Maven Tim Leffel's experience at the heavenly Hacienda San Angel.Here he takes on us a tour of the hotel's Celestial Suite with its killer views, private terrace, hot tub and personal bar. We hate to admit it, but this video has single-handedly changed our feelings about Mexico.
· Heaven in Puerto Vallarta: Hacienda San Angel [HotelChatter]
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven Tim Leffel has headed down to Mexico to check out the hotel scene in Puerto Vallarta. We will be bringing his reports all week long. Enjoy.]
There are hotels. Then there are well-done hotels so special that they leave even the most jaded travelers slack-jawed and speechless. Hacienda San Angel, in the old city section of Puerto Vallarta, is the latter. Ask a guest who is staying there what he or she thinks of the place and the answer usually starts with, "I've stayed in a lot of hotels but...."
This is a boutique hotel in the true sense of the word, every nook and cranny doted over like a unscale store window display. With only ten rooms spread across several buildings that used to be houses (including one bought by actor Richard Burton), this is an inn that reflects the owner's relentless devotion to good design and aesthetics. This is a place where the details are not just attended to. They are fretted over, mapped out, redesigned, and painfully settled upon--with trepidation.
More on this Hotel Heaven after the jump.
Hurricane season will be kicking in soon in the Gulf, but on the West Coast of Mexico it's time for heavenly views at reduced rates.
Hacienda San Angel, a boutique hotel formed from three restored mansions in the old city of Puerto Vallarta, is running a package deal that is a refreshingly simple value. It's "Celestial Summer Package" throws in a lot of goodies for a price starting at $215 double--their regular starting rate at this time of year. In other words, the extras are truly extras. And good ones they are.
Couples booking the package get "VIP airport transfers, a chilled bottle of champagne along with fresh fruit and cheese plate; a complimentary round of margaritas; breakfast each day, and one free tour of historic Puerto Vallarta in the Hacienda's air-conditioned luxury van." This deal is valid now through October 31, 2006.
The claim to fame here is that one of the buildings was Richard Burton's house, back when he was an expat pioneer. Two pools and a whirlpool in different spots offer a view of the bay. With the margaritas, the champagne, and a complimentary "convivial cocktail hour," perhaps the best news is that the hotel is in the central part of town, walking distance to attractions and restaurants.
See more Mexican boutique hotel deals (including today's Bad Rate, unfortunately) at this Sumptuous Specials page.
· Hacienda San Angel reviews [TripAdvisor]
A boutique hotel is born...
Richard Burton once gave his wife a villa for Valentine's Day. Pay attention men--not rocks--villas--that is what every gal dreams about. But if villas aren't in your budget, perhaps Puerto Vallarta is? You can now stay Branson's gift house, which has since been converted into one of the most romantic boutique hotels.
Although Burton's woman only intended to remodel her newly purchased PV Villa, Janice Chatterton found herself opening Hacienda San Angel, which looks modest compared to the high rise luxury resorts that line the beach front. Don't you hate it when that happens? You intend to renovate and you open a swank 9 room boutique hotel.
What's it like inside?
Romantic and secluded spaces abound. It is a warren of stairways, alcoves, winding passages, terraces, pools, and gardens that lead from courtyard to guest rooms with names like Angel's Dome, Milagro and the Celestial Suite.
For honeymooners, lovebirds, and Richard Burton-groupies, the Celestial Suite is recommended.