What's New and Coming Up in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit

Puerto Vallarta has officially completed construction of its new cruise passenger welcome center, Los Alambiques, and themed shopping center, Hacienda Tequilera. The milestone marks the second phase of work completed by the port authority of Puerto Vallarta at the Puerto Mágico terminal, following the installation of local tourist boats and motor lobby in 2018. The new construction represents a $16 million investment, and it will be fully accessible in May. 

The Los Alambiques welcome center consists of three buildings — built to resemble the historic tequila haciendas and sugar mills of the state of Jalisco — which will house a duty-free shop, offices for local authorities and for Customs and Border Control.

Hacienda Tequilera, meanwhile, will have a variety of shops offering regional products, such as tequila. The location will also host cultural productions and other entertainment for cruise passengers, crew members and the general public. The Hacienda will also be accessible to the local community, which officials say is a first for a port in Mexico

Puerto Mágico is a commercial, cultural and entertainment development that will house 76 stores, including a tequila museum, a chocolate museum, Diamonds International Jeweler, local artisan jewelry stores, restaurants, clothing boutiques, accessories shops and traditional Mexican and Jalisco cultural offerings such as dance, mariachi and other performances for cruise passengers and the local population.

Puerto Vallarta’s port infrastructure is being modernized as part of Mexico’s National Development Plan 2019-2024 and the objectives of the National Plan of Ports and Merchant Marine 2019-2024, with the aims of upgrading facilities, developing new commercial port and tourist businesses and growing the economy. 

Conrad Punta de Mita, Hilton’s first Conrad-branded resort property in Mexico, is set to open this spring. The resort will have 324 guestrooms and suites, all with views of the Pacific Ocean.

Cirque du Soleil and Grupo Vidanta have announced plans to launch a new water-themed show and gastronomy experience in the Vallarta area. The news comes as the first product of the two organizations’ entertainment partnership, Cirque du Soleil Joyà in the Riviera Maya, is celebrating its five-year anniversary. The new show will be housed in a newly built theater in Grupo Vidanta’s new Vallarta-area entertainment parks, Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, which are also currently under construction. The new theater will have a capacity of up to 600 guests, and it will reportedly incorporate innovative technology to be used in the show. 

The new theater will be located in an area of the entertainment parks dedicated to Cirque du Soleil. In addition to the theater and show, the area will have multiple acrobatic and artistic attractions, including outdoor animations, designed to immerse guests in the world of Cirque du Soleil. The project will represent Cirque du Soleil’s 53rd creation and its 16th resident show. 

Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta is currently scheduled to open in 2021. In addition to the new Cirque du Soleil show, the parks will also incorporate an aerial gondola with both regular and glass-bottomed cars connecting the parks with the beach; an approximately 148-feet-diameter coaster wheel; and an approximately 430-foot parachute drop providing aerial views of the parks, resort and beach. 

Hotel Update

Also in the Puerto Vallarta area, Conrad Punta de Mita, Hilton’s first Conrad-branded resort property in Mexico, is set to open this spring. The newbuild resort in Riviera Nayarit will have 324 guestrooms and suites, all with views of the Pacific Ocean. 

The resort’s design will draw inspiration from Mexican architecture and culture, with all suites offering large patios, plunge pools, freestanding soaking tubs and outdoor showers. Amenities will include three pools: an adults-only pool aimed at relaxation, an activity pool for swimming laps and a kid-friendly pool aimed at families. Travelers with children will also be able to take advantage of a game room and kids’ club. 

There will also be four restaurants and three bars on property, including a mezcal and tequila barrel tasting room and a lobby bar named Tuki, which borrows its name from the Huichol word for “temple.”

The spa will have an indoor/outdoor design spread across 10,000 square feet, and it will offer traditional temazcal treatments in seven “cocoon treatment cabanas,” which will be set among the vegetation and connected by a tunnel of plants and flowers. A fitness center will have an outdoor lawn for yoga and stretching. 

For groups, there will be 54,000 square feet of event spaces, with venues ranging from boardrooms to beaches. Groups will also be able to take advantage of custom activities, cuisine and cultural experiences, as well as wedding packages. 

The Conrad Punta de Mita will be set in the same private development as the Litibu Golf Course, an 18-hole experience designed by Greg Norman. Opportunities for zip-lining, sailing and seasonal whale watching are also nearby. 

Hotel Riu Vallarta, which reopened after a full refurbishment, has a total of five pools.

Hotel Riu Vallarta has reopened following a full refurbishment. The hotel on Los Flamingos beach in the Riviera Nayarit was built in 2006, and it has 678 rooms. The revamped lobby has kept its high ceilings and columns, complemented by large lamps and works of art, but it has added a new central skylight over the reception desk. The rooms have been decorated in warm tones contrasting with green plant motifs on the upholstery. 

The project also added three new culinary options. Il Gusto is the resort’s new Italian restaurant, joined by the new Pepe’s Food and a new steakhouse. The Kulinarium and Asian Nirvana restaurants were updated, and the resort’s main restaurant, Don Rafael, received a larger terrace and an air-conditioned area. Guests can also enjoy drinks and apertifs in the lobby bar, Astoria; the lounge bar, La Boheme; sports bar, the La Plaza bar; and the swimming pool bar, Mezcal

Following the renovation, the hotel has a total of five pools, one of them with a swim-up bar and another with slides for the kids. The pool area was also reworked to allow guests to take in views of a sea and sky panorama while swimming or sunbathing. 

Activities on property include the RiuFit area and sports ranging from windsurfing to beach volleyball. There are also shows and live music events, plus guests can join the Riu parties held once a week at the Hotel Riu Jalisco. Club RiuLand offers a variety of child-friendly activities. 

Set in a lush, beachfront jungle setting, the intimate One&Only Mandarina is slated to open in Riviera Nayarit this June. It will have 104 standalone villas and treehouses — each with a private pool. Guests will have access to a number of culinary experiences, a beach club, wellness programming and a variety of adventures on land and sea.

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