Rediscovering Puerto Vallarta: Mexico’s West Coast Gem

View of Banderas bay, Marriott’s beach and Infinity pool

Canadians have always had a love affair with Puerto Vallarta.

PVR’s tropical climate and warm temperatures make it an ideal vacation spot from December to April. The weather is perfect during this period, with temperatures not too hot during the day and cool enough at night to require a light jacket or sweater. An added plus, you might even get lucky and spot Humpback whales.

Puerto Vallarta Sunset

What makes Puerto Vallarta So Captivating?

Beyond its reputation as a beach resort, Puerto Vallarta has transformed into an adventure-travel hub, thanks to its diverse geographical features offering various natural attractions and outdoor activities.

The city boasts world-class chefs, food festivals, delightful street tacos ensuring that food enthusiasts are both satiated and inspired! Puerto Vallarta has something to satisfy even the most discerning traveller, whether it's the five-star resorts, gourmet restaurant options or expansive golf courses.

Adventuring in Puerto Vallarta

Vallarta Adventures is one of the best-known companies that can meet your adventure goals whether you prefer whale watching, adrenaline-pumped bike rides and extreme ziplining, or an eco-adventure to Las Isla Maretas Island.

It's easy to keep your steps up with a walking tour since most hotels or guest lodgings are close to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Explore the vibrant Malecon Boardwalk, the Romantic Zone with charming streets and beautiful beaches, and the nautical lifestyle of Marina Vallarta.

Beyond the beaches, go a bit further and visit the enchanting Vallarta Botanical Gardens in the Sierra Madre Mountain range, offering diverse gardens and breathtaking views.

Lastly, you can delve into Puerto Vallarta's cultural scene at the Cuale Cultural Center on Cuale River Island (The Cuale is one of the six rivers from the Sierra Mountains, which flow into the Bay of Banderas), gaining insights into Mesoamerican history and art at the Cuale Archaeological Museum. It's a must-see and reachable from the Malecon by foot.

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Westin Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

Westin Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa view

Westin Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta (Westin) has a quiet vibe considering its located only ten minutes away from Puerto Vallarta airport and downtown. The lush landscape with circular swimming pools and towering palm trees makes you feel like you've arrived at a blissful oasis.

Westin Beach Front OR

There are 278 rooms at the Westin; each is spacious and outfitted with a walk-in shower and bathtub. The bedroom area, with a king-size bed, includes a sofa and a table functioning as a dining or office table. The ocean or garden-facing rooms have lovely walkout balconies with a view of Banderas Bay.

Westin views from the ocean

The Westin Resort & Spa offers a range of amenities to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while on vacation.

You can go paddle boarding, kayaking, or swimming from the private beach. If you're looking for something more, you can try some of the outdoor wellness activities offered by the resort, such as seaside yoga, meditation classes or cycling.

Westin Hotel Sunset Beach Picnic

Culinary offerings at the resort are as diverse as they are appealing. There’s an array of sandwiches and small bites available for pickup at Mini Latte (Starbucks), or you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the El Palmar Restaurant. The breakfast buffet is exceptional, with food stations meeting all your breakfast dreams. A Mexican breakfast of Chilaquiles or quesadillas is also on offer for those looking to go traditional. There's also a steak and seafood restaurant and a poolside snack bar.

Westin Quacamole for lunch with beef & Jicama & Cebichería Quesidillas

Seafood-focused Cebichería Arrecifes by the Beach offers dishes from ceviche tostadas to chicken, burgers and many healthy vegan options. Healthy, fresh, delicious, beachfront and poolside, this seafood restaurant has it all. Guests following the signature Eat Well, Sleep Well, and SuperFoodsRx™ regime can easily follow their healthy regime by ordering from the menu.

The resort's Spa provides various relaxing and rejuvenating treatments, such as massages, facials, and mani/pedis. I tried the fifty-minute relaxation massage and felt super blissful after the treatment.

Westin King Bedroom with Balcony

The Westin offers romantics the option to book a beach sunset picnic with all the amenities to make it a unique experience. The resort chefs do a fantastic job with a signature drink, charcuterie and cheese board, house-made dips plus much more.

Many marriage proposals are made extra memorable in this alluring setting.

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa

Marriott’s Tequila Tasting L-R Parm Parmar, Openjaw, Audrey Formisano, Tequila Sommelier Marriott, Miguel Arizmendi Destination and Abril Martínez, Multi-property Social Media Coordinator

Nestled along the breathtaking shores of Banderas Bay, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa (Marriott) is a captivating destination for those seeking a blend of serenity and adventure. The resort is highly sought after by American and Canadian visitors.

Marriott in Room Breakfast with a View

In 2019, an $18 million renovation transformed the hotel, revealing a stunning upgrade to the infinity pool and swim-up bar. Enhancements extended to 433 ocean-facing guestrooms, a revamped lobby with an ice cream parlor, the new Ceviche & Tequila Bar, and a raised pool deck with added amenities.

Marriott Ceviche and Tequila Bar

The on-site dining experiences have undergone renovation, introducing a new Mexican restaurant (Las Casitas), a steakhouse pub (Champions), and Japanese dining (Mikado). Renovated restaurants and bars blend with exciting new poolside additions, offering dining and cabanas with ocean-facing views.

Marriott Lobby

Dining al fresco in a beachside cabana while sipping a mojito is the height of decadence at the Marriott. The Ceviche & Tequila Bar offers some of the best vegan dishes along with seafood ceviches. The various varieties of guacamoles and shrimp tacos are mouth-watering; the place is quite the hit amongst visitors and guests, and it's also a good spot to enjoy some delicious margaritas. For quick takeaways and snacks, the Deli Los Mangos offers hot and cold foods for guests to enjoy.

Marriott Infinity Pool and Cabanas

La Estancia is open for breakfast with a diverse international buffet, although less lavish than Westin's El Palmar Restaurant offerings. Indulging in a lavish in-room breakfast spread is the ultimate way to treat yourself while savoring the breathtaking views of Banderas Bay.

Marriott Beach

As the afternoon transitions, guests can partake in joining the enchanting and popular sea turtle release program (June to November) in the dedicated sanctuary.

As the day concludes, guests can book a Tequila tasting session led by the in-house Tequila Sommelier. Tasting your way through Blanco (silver/white), joven (young/gold), and reposado (aged) with food pairings is an excellent finish.

Marriott Ohtli Spa

The Ohtli Spa and high-tech gym span 22,000 square feet. It's an attractive space, but arrive early to enjoy the cold pool, steam, and sauna. Treatment rooms with ambient soft music and décor of Huichol art create a very relaxing space. The Spa offers full-service massages and facials.

Accommodation is available as suites or single rooms with one king or two double beds. There's a sitting area with a coffee table, sofa, and a work/dining table. There is plenty of drawer space and a large flat-screen TV.

Marriott King Bed Room

While both the Westin and Marriott are not yet all-inclusive, they will soon convert. Additionally, they have a resort fee covering amenities like WIFI and spa use, ensuring a seamless surrender to relaxation

Travel Agents note - banquet facilities for meetings and large group travel are top-notch at both hotels. Both hotels are popular with multi-generational guests.

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