Last September I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to visit some of the vacation resorts.
I spent my first night at Casa Velas, part of the Velas Resorts family, where I was welcomed with a delicious refreshment made of cucumber, mint, celery, cilantro and apple. This adult-only and all-inclusive hotel is located inside of a natural reservation and golf course in the Marina Vallarta area. This beautiful and quiet property, with only 68 rooms, was built to resemble an old Mexican hacienda. At night, I enjoyed falling asleep to the sounds of wildlife that lives between the golf course and the hotel. The hotel also offers evening activities; however, since I was there during their low season, and it was a rainy night, they only had a musician playing the trumpet which I enjoyed during dinner.
Even though it is a small hotel, Casa Velas has their own garden, where they produce what is consumed at its restaurant, bars and spa. The resorrt is a popular hotel for weddings and bachelor parties. The only inconvenience here is if you want to go to the beach, you need to be transferred to their beach club, which is only five minutes away by shuttle.
My next visit was to Secrets in Puerto Vallarta, where I met up with travel colleagues from other travel companies. This property is also an all-inclusive for adults only. Later in the afternoon, we had a site inspection at the Now Amber and Secrets properties, After checking out the the different room categories and the SPA, with its amazing hydro-massage pool; we visited the restaurants, which typical of all-inclusive resorts, are themed according to their cuisine. We ended up at the French restaurant, where we enjoyed a delicious five-course meal.
The following day we visited seven all-inclusive properties, of which the Sheraton Bouganvilleas, Melia Puerto Vallarta and Villas Premier Boutique Hotel were the best.
The next day we focused on eight resorts in Nuevo Vallarta. The best here were The Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta (my favorite in Nuevo Vallarta), and the Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills Resort & Spa, which is in the middle of the jungle with excellent views.
While the life of a travel agent sounds glamorous, visiting 15 resorts over two days takes it toll! But our next day was at leisure, and we were taken by boat on a tour to Los Arcos, where we snorkeled and then taken to Las Animas beach. At this isolated beach, we were received by a beautiful eleven year old Iguana called “Pancho” and the tour crew. Here, some of us did zip lining, paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming along the beach, where the water’s color was clear emerald! This adventurous day trip finished with a late lunch prepared by locals, and we enjoyed the fresh grilled fish and handmade tortillas. Unluckily for us, the time passed too quickly and the tour came to an end as we were taken back to the Puerto Vallarta Marina. We enjoyed our last night in downtown, having dinner and dancing in one of the most classic nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta, “Mi Bodeguita de en medio.”