Puerto Vallarta transformed itself in the last half-century from a sleepy fishing village to one of the most coveted luxury vacationsspots in Mexico. The city features a plethora of 5 star hotels, boutique restaurants, miles of white sandy beaches, and a throbbing nightlife scene.
The 5-star Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa is said to be the most beautiful resort in Puerto Vallarta. The open-style architecture beachfront suites range from 3,700 to 6,000 square-feet, from one to three bedrooms, with each suite offering panoramic views of the beach and Sierra Madre Mountains. Relax on the balcony in the private outdoor Jacuzzi, and afterwards enjoy an unparalleled sunset from the hammock. The hotel restaurant, Blanca Blue, has an award-winning wine cellar containing over 2500 different wines from around the world. The resort is a favorite for weddings- with the white sand, mountainous horizon, and ocean presenting a spectacular backdrop for a ceremony (1br, $546/night).
Puerto Vallarta’s diverse culinary delights have been put on the world map, attracting foodies from near and far. It’s height of culinary excitement arrives during the annual Festival Gourmet International, which was designed to put Puerto Vallarta’s gastronomy on the international food scene. The festival was originally created by two renowned chefs: Chef Heinz Reize and Chef Thierry Blouet-both of European descent and training.
Chef Thierry Blouet is the head chef at Café des Artistes, a romantic French restaurant in downtown Puerto Vallarta, with artistic décor in its outdoor and indoor settings.Some awe-inspiring menu choices include the savory prawn and pumpkin cream soup, a colorful salad creation called the “Flower Pot”, and the scrumptious chicken and jumbo quail duo with a side of asparagus. The outdoor partition makes for a very intimate and lush ambiance, with lighted trees covering almost every inch of the ground, dangling white orchards that occasionally drop in your lap, and violinists that treat you to a private song.
Another must-do is the “Rhythms of the Night” voyage to Las Caletas- a private island only accessible by boat. Las Caletas will treat you to the experience of a candlelit dinner, literally: the island has no electricity, and is entirely lit by thousands of candles. Afterwards, enjoy a performance under the stars by a talented Mexican dance troupe at the Las Caletas outdoor theatre (boat ride, dinner & performance, $98).
Take time out of your busy day to experience the exciting world-class Puerto Vallarta spa scene.At the Punta Mita Apuane Spa, native products are used almost exclusively. Experience having a treatment of refreshing lime mixed with tequila and salt for a soothing margarita body scrub, or experience the slimming Mexican green coffee wrap. The popular 3 hour, 30 minutes couple’s package, Like Water for Chocolate includes a chocolate scrub and facial, hot-stone massages, fresh fruit, chocolate fondue, and champagne on your private terrace under the stars ($890 per couple).Visit the Ohtli Spa at the Casa Magna Resort for a 2hour, 50 minute couple’s spa service, which includes a sea salt body scrub, obsidian stones massage, followed by relaxation in the rose petal strewn private Jacuzzi ($450 per couple).
For a night out, take a stroll down the famous boardwalk, the Malecon, and have a drink at one of the many upscale lounges and bars downtown. Sara Sanchez of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Bureau suggests visiting Barra Bar, a classy lounge thatplays music and videos from the 70s, 80s and 90s, as well asPunto V, an outdoor restaurant with a rooftop lounge. Other upscale bar choices include Mandala, Roo, Strana, and La Bodeguita del Medio.