ON LOCATION

First Hand: Casa Velas Radiates the Timeless Allure of Puerto Vallarta

Casa Velas is a testament to the splendour of a bygone era on Mexico's Pacific Coast. The all-inclusive, all-adult, all-luxury boutique resort in Puerto Vallarta captures the alluring charm, romance, and elegance reminiscent of the city's golden days.

Casa Velas blends colonial grandeur with contemporary sophistication.

Here, Open Jaw had a chance to experience first-hand the aspects that make Casa Velas stand out in luxury hospitality.

All Suite, All Inclusive, All Adult, All Luxury

Casa Velas is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Marina Vallarta, a hotspot for fine dining, scenic coastal walkways, boutiques and cultural activities. It's just 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone and five minutes from PVR.

Surrounded by the 18-hole Marina Vallarta Golf Club with a course designed by Joe Finger, Casa Velas offers a luxurious haven for those who crave the perfect combination of style and play.

Casa Velas guests get special pricing at the Marina Vallarta Golf Club, which surrounds the resort.

The 80-suite resort shines with elegant Mexican hacienda-style architecture. Throughout the grounds, bougainvillea plants add a burst of colour. Quirky little characteristics add to its charm and peace – iguanas roaming the surrounding golf course, turtles sunbathing on rocks, and bustling koi ponds.

Casa Velas is truly a home away from home for many Canadians – one retired couple from Manitoba was marking their fourth visit in just a year and a half! What kept them coming back? They said it was the elegance, atmosphere, and incredible service at the resort. With packages offered by Canada's tour operators – Air Canada Vacations, Transat, WestJet, and Sunwing – it's an escape that’s easy and convenient.

Revolutionizing First Impressions

The Casa Velas experience starts as soon as you step into the lobby. The fresh scent of lemongrass greets you upon entry, introducing the property's relaxing and appealing ambiance. There's no crowding at the reception desk to get checked in - as soon as guests arrive, they're invited to complete the check-in process on a couch with a dedicated staff member. Instead of a plastic wristband, guests receive a handmade macrame bracelet to indicate all-inclusive status (this is also what gets you access to the amenities at a nearby Velas resort and beach club – more about that below).

This thoughtful, personalized approach sets the stage for the rest of the stay.

Casa Velas’ distinctive soft yellow walls reflect the warmth of Mexican design and culture.

Premium Comfort and Unique Design Converge

Casa Velas offers seven categories of tastefully designed suites. The main building is four storeys and with elevator access to every floor. The classic–contemporary guest rooms are accented with splashes of mustard tones and original artwork by local artists, including the fun, eye-catching sculptures above the headboard by acclaimed Mexican artist, Sergio Bustamante.

The mustard yellow headboard featuring sculptures by renowned artist Sergio Bustamante is the highlight of each suite. Bustamante’s famous “In Search of Reason” sculpture can be viewed along Puerto Vallarta's Malecón.

"The suites in each of the categories are really unique. The layout of the suites is different, so you won't find the same distribution of the suite in the same category," Nadia Moreno, Associate Director of Sales at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Casa Velas, tells Open Jaw.

Many suites feature amenities like a private plunge pool and terrace. Italian marble furnishings keep the suites cool, even with air conditioning turned off. A complimentary woven straw tote is great to use on beach days. Plush, down-filled duvet covers are so blissfully comfortable, they make it a struggle to get up in the mornings. Top-shelf drinks and snacks are refreshed daily in the room. Small but thoughtful touches like L'Occitane en Provence toiletries, complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste (because who's never forgotten those?), and bathrobe and slippers enhance the experience.

At 5,564 square feet, the Presidential Suite is the most spacious at Casa Velas, with four bedrooms (sleeping eight people), a large dining table with seating for 10, a spectacular outdoor terrace, and a large outdoor rooftop plunge pool. Ideal for groups, this suite is popular for bachelorette parties and friend and family getaways. There's also the Two-Bedroom Ambassador Suite for smaller parties.

Featuring expansive spaces, a private terrace and rooftop plunge pool, and four bedrooms, the Presidential Suite is the ultimate luxury.

Advisors, keep this in mind for large groups, weddings, or MICE events: when reserving 70 of the 80 suites, your clients can exclusively enjoy the entire resort. An on-site convention centre holds 300 people. For weddings that book 70 rooms, the property will welcome families with children, as well. A maximum of one wedding is hosted per day to "make sure it's really intimate and exclusive and that the vibe is really focused on the couple," Moreno notes.

Distinguished A La Carte Dining

A stay at Casa Velas is punctuated by four distinct à la carte dining and drink experiences: Emiliano Restaurant, the swim-up Aqua Bar, the oceanfront Tau Beach Club and, when the allure of in-room relaxation calls, personalized in-suite service from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

The AAA Four Diamond Emiliano Restaurant serves international cuisine and Mexican classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with both indoor seating and an outdoor terrace surrounded by koi ponds.

Live music often graces Emiliano’s casually elegant atmosphere.

"Although it's an à la carte service, if the client doesn't want anything off the menu, we can personalize their meal, which is great for food allergies or restrictions. We also have a vegan menu. Custom meals are part of the all-inclusive," says Moreno.

Emiliano’s mahi-mahi filet with garlic (left) and the Mexican classic huevos rancheros (right).

For breakfast, the classic Mexican Huevos Rancheros add a flavour of Mexico. For lunch, I can vouch for the mahi-mahi fillet with garlic, jasmine rice, and baby vegetables. The dinner menu brings delicacies like shrimp spaghetti with a creamy lobster sauce, beef fillet with vegetables from the resort’s own botanical garden, and tuna with virgin balsamic sauce, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Besides the staple dinner menu, daily themed specials add variety.

Not Beachfront? Not a Problem!

Let's address the elephant in the room - Casa Velas is not beachfront. But take it from a fellow beach lover - don't let that deter your beach-loving clients!

Guests staying at Casa Velas have full access to Tau Beach Club, an idyllic spot for relaxing by the infinity pool, soaking in stunning Banderas Bay vistas from cushy Bali Beds, or savouring refreshing cocktails and exquisite meals, part of the all-inclusive package.

Tau Beach Club has a restaurant and poolside or beach food and drink service.

With complimentary air-conditioned shuttle service from Casa Velas, accessing the beach club couldn't be easier, making it a hassle-free and luxurious beach experience for all guests. And after the bustle of a day spent wandering Puerto Vallarta's old town, sand and sun at Tau, or golfing the day away, the tranquility of Casa Velas truly feels like coming back to your own secret oasis. Casa Velas also has its own pool, nestled in a lush landscape overlooking the golf course.

Relax, Recharge, Rediscover Wellbeing

Guests can keep their days full and engaged with wellness and activities both on-site at Casa Velas and Tau Beach Club.

Guests can take a serene stroll through the botanical garden any time of day.

The 6,500 square-foot Abja Spa offers spa treatments inspired by local Mexican tradition and international wellness trends using herbs harvested in Casa Velas' own botanical garden. I got to experience the 50-minute Harmony Massage, designed to revamp energy and relieve stress. Let me tell you - it did its job!

An activity calendar shows the activities going on that day, from yoga or sound therapy in the botanical garden to tequila tastings on the terrace with a local expert. For fitness enthusiasts, a fully-equipped gym ensures they can maintain their routines with ease.

The concierge can also help guests arrange trips to Puerto Vallarta's famed old town or assist them in making the most of their time in Puerto Vallarta. I'd be remiss not to mention the Street Taco Tour by Vallarta Food Tours. This fun, immersive experience took us through the culinary heart of Puerto Vallarta while enjoying the tastes, sips, and sights that make this region a food lovers' delight.

Closing the Chapter on Unique Luxury

Whether your clients are foodies, golf enthusiasts, zen-seekers, or groups in pursuit of a refined experience punctuated with upscale amenities and friendly, personalized service, Casa Velas offers an array of experiences that tick the boxes. Even beach bums will find seaside satisfaction with the seamless blend of luxurious atmosphere and exclusive access to Tau Beach Club.

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