One of the hottest destinations on Mexico’s Pacific Coast continues to be Puerto Vallarta, and with increased air traffic, especially from the East Coast, this is a destination that should continue to remain on the minds of travel agents as they pitch Mexico holidays to their sun-loving clients.
Earlier this year, Travel Agent was on location in Puerto Vallarta where we checked out a newly renovated hotel right in the heart of the Romantic Zone. Hotel Villa Mercedes is a 16-room, newly renovated boutique hotel (including studios, junior suites and penthouses), just a few minutes walk from Playa Muertos, Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon boardwalk, and the famous gay district’s Blue Chairs.
We stayed in suite #108, which has a balcony, king-size bed, flat screen television and spacious bathroom. The hotel has a sun terrace, as well as its own pool and is connected with popular local restaurant, Maia.
Studios measure at approximately 350 square feet, while Junior Suites are 800-square-foot open loft units. But for something a little more fancy, we suggest booking a Master unit, which can measure from 850 square feet to 1,100 square feet. Every unit is unique, with different details in their decoration. The units feature private balconies with ocean views, air conditioning, flat screen cable TV, Wi-Fi, bedroom with king-size bed and bathroom, living room, dining room and fully equipped kitchens.
We absolutely loved our stay at this quaint hotel, where we ended up on a first-name basis with management. Everyone on staff is friendly, attentive and willing to make your stay in Puerto Vallarta as homey and relaxing as possible. The location, just a short block and a half from the beach, is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Note: The minimum check-in age is 18, and Hotel Villa Mercedes is a top pick among gay travelers.
Travel agents can reach out to Veronica Garcia with questions ([email protected]; 322-223-4543).
Coming Soon: Scheduled to reopen in the fourth quarter this year, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta includes 337 guest rooms and suites, all with ocean views. This AAA Four Diamond Resort is 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport. Guests may enjoy a selection of a la carte restaurants, as well as an international buffet with chef cooking stations. Additional dining options include a pool side café and grill. There are lounges and bars for enjoyment and relaxation, as well as a swimming area with separate adults-only pool. Additional all-inclusive services include a complimentary children’s club, activities throughout the day, and entertainment each evening.
LGBT travelers are no doubt already familiar with Puerto Vallarta. For more than 60 years this has been one of the top go-to destinations for LGBT travelers. The Zona Romantica is where the majority of the city’s gay hotels are located. It’s close to the gay beach, gay bars and nightlife, restaurants and cafes.
Perhaps the best-known gay hotel in Puerto Vallarta is the 15-room/six-suite Casa Cupula. Originally opened as a safe haven for the LGBT community, Casa Cupula is one of the most progressive hotels in one of Puerto Vallarta’s trendiest neighborhoods. It also offers tours and activities for LGBT travelers, like Go Gay’s Jungle Zip Line Adventure, a special guided tour of the city’s Botanical Gardens, and an Ada Sailboat Banderas Bay cruise.
Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife starts in the afternoon on the beach and keeps going until the wee hours. Some of the most popular LGBT clubs include Pace’s Ranch, La Niche, CC Slaughters and Enter on Weekends.
Puerto Vallarta has launched an updated website as part of its latest effort to take advantage of the trends in the digital world. Visitors to the new site will find that the new www.visitpuertovallarta.com features a completely new layout designed to peruse while obtaining information and using tools to help guide consumers to plan and book their vacations. The new site is also 100 percent smart phone friendly, Retina display ready, and offers the opportunity for content to be shared via all popular forms of social media.
Additionally, the Mexico Tourism Board launched a $10 million advertising campaign to promote the experiences offered in Puerto Vallarta and sister destination, Riviera Nayarit. The initiative is not a rebranding; the joint campaign named “Vallarta – Nayarit. Live it to Believe it!” was created to increase the influx of tourism to both destinations. Each destination will continue to be branded individually and the goal is to increase visitors to each of the destinations in an effort to incur an annual influx of $100 million.