Friday, 19 Aug, 2022

Skip Cabo and Cancun - Puerto Vallarta has a lush coast, beautiful beaches, and these 10 standout hotels

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  • Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's top cities for stunning beaches and incredible tequila tastings.
  • We found the best Puerto Vallarta hotels from all-inclusive resorts to historic boutique hotels.
  • Visit Puerto Vallarta in the fall for nightly rates that start between $87 to $405.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Cabo and Tulum might receive most of the attention from travelers to Mexico, but travel a bit further and delight in the state of Jalisco, where stunning Puerto Vallarta overlooks beautiful Banderas Bay.

Jalisco is also the only region in Mexico where tequila is made (agave harvested and fermented from anywhere else is considered mezcal) and no visit to Puerto Vallarta is complete without a few tastings. Between sips, visit the Zona Rom√°ntica filled with bars, dining, and shops; or walk along the Malecon boardwalk for waterfront art and street performances. On a boat ride to the Marietas Islands, you'll discover a sea cave you can swim through in order to access a hidden beach.

The LGBTQ-friendly destination also has a breadth of beautiful hotels ranging from pure luxury to affordable accommodations that don't skimp on comfort. The following list celebrates all that this special destination has to offer.

Browse the best Puerto Vallarta hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta, sorted by price from low to high.

Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beachfront Experience

The pool and beach club at Almar Resort.

A popular and lively dayclub directly faces the beach.

Book Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beachfront Experience

Category: Budget

Neighborhood: Zona Romántica 

Typical starting/peak prices: $87/$239

Best for: Couples, adult travelers

On-site amenities: Complimentary breakfast, restaurants, bars, gym, spa, pool, beach club

Pros: This all-suite beachfront resort is home to some of the area's hottest LGBTQ spots, including a beach club and rooftop bar. Centrally located on the beach in the Zona Romántica, you can easily walk into town.

Cons: The hotel is a party destination, so if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation, this might not be the hotel for you. 

Puerto Vallarta — and specifically the Zona Romántica — is considered to be the most LGBTQ-friendly place in Mexico. Set in the heart of the neighborhood is the all-suite Almar Resort with 82 spacious rooms that feature modern interiors, spa-like bathrooms, elegant vanities, and deep hydro baths either inside the bedroom or out on a private terrace.

The hotel attracts a party crowd thanks to the entertainment found on-site at the popular Mantamar Beach Club, a destination for lounging under turquoise umbrellas or dancing in the infinity pool while DJs spin live sets.

A rooftop pool lined with Balinese daybeds runs parallel to the beach offering elevated views of the dayclub below, and the Top Sky Bar is another popular place for sipping mojitos with views of the ocean during drag performances at sunset.

Between pool parties and rooftop hangs, hit the gym or book a spa treatment.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Grand Miramar Resort

Grand Miramar

Vibrant bougainvillea blooms spill over balconies and terraces facing the ocean.

Book Grand Miramar Resort

Category: Boutique

Neighborhood: Conchas Chinas

Typical starting/peak prices: $89/$285

Best for: Couples, adults, families

On-site amenities: Swim-up bar, pools, restaurant, complimentary breakfast, fitness center, spa

Pros: Suites here are affordable, oversized, and luxurious with spa-like baths and expansive balconies. With complimentary breakfast every morning, a full-service menu at four pools during the day, and dinner served at Eugenia Restaurant, there's no need to leave the property.

Cons: The hotel is perched on a mountain, and while the ocean views are stunning, the property is far from the coast, so you'll have to call a cab or Uber to take you down a bumpy, cobblestone street to reach the beach or go into town.

You're likely to wonder if you're in Mexico or the Amalfi Coast after checking into the Grand Miramar hotel, with its bougainvillea blooms that spill over the edges of ocean-facing private balconies. Carved into a mountainside, the AAA Four-Diamond hotel boasts panoramic views of Banderas Bay from the highest point in Puerto Vallarta. The hotel is so stunning that it's also the perfect setting to get engaged — in fact, during my recent stay here, it's where my fiancé popped the question. 

Start the day with a breakfast buffet at Cielito Lindo restaurant, followed by lounging in one of four pools, including a rooftop infinity-edge pool with in-water chaise lounges. You can retreat from the heat at the spa, where treatments are prefaced with a visit to the hydrotherapy circuit that includes a steam room, sauna, and ocean-facing Jacuzzi.

Dinner reservations at Eugenia Restaurant on the rooftop are a must as the sun is setting over the bay. Afterward, take a bottle of wine down to your west-facing balcony, which is attached to a suite with a modern-Mexican flair that includes kitchenettes, cozy lounges, and spa-like bathrooms with soaking tubs, dual sinks, and walk-in showers. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

The exterior and pool of Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Rooms feature ocean views and overlook a lagoon-style pool or the beach.

Book Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Category: All-inclusive

Neighborhood: Hotel Zone 

Typical starting/peak prices: $112/$453

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Pool, kid's club, restaurant, fitness center, spa, complimentary transportation to and from the airport 

Pros: This hotel is close to the airport and right on the beach with a lagoon-style pool. Every booking is an all-inclusive package, so you'll get to indulge at six different restaurants serving everything from Mexican to Asian and Italian cuisine.

Cons: The all-inclusive program might not be of interest if you're an adventurous eater who plans on spending time exploring the town and going off-property for meals. 

There are 15 Fiesta Americana resorts throughout Mexico and the Dominican Republic, but this Puerto Vallarta outpost is the crown jewel of the collection. It's a classic choice, especially if your objective is to spend your vacation relaxing in the sun without ever leaving the hotel.

The resort is located in the Hotel Zone where plenty of big-box chain hotels can be found, but the Fiesta Americana stands out for its authentic Mexican architecture that adds to the all-inclusive resort's overall charm.

There are nearly 300 guest rooms with private balconies or terraces boasting breathtaking ocean views and cool marble floors that help counteract the humidity. If you're willing to splurge, book the presidential suite for $1,000 per night and enjoy your own expansive terrace with a pergola-covered dining area and a private Jacuzzi that overlooks the beach. 

The Fiesta Kids Club keeps little ones busy and parents can lounge at the adults-only rooftop SONNE Beach Club with an infinity pool. The Nakawè Spa offers a relaxing hydrotherapy circuit. In the evening, come together over dinner at La Cevichería, where seafood is the star of the menu.  

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel

This adults-only resort is the kind of place where you can order swim-up drinks and recline in a Balinese lounger all day.

Book Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel

Category: Boutique

Neighborhood: Zona Romántica 

Typical starting/peak prices: $164/$340

Best for: Couples, adults

On-site amenities: Pools, restaurants, bars, spa, butler service

Pros: This chic property has an intimate, upscale vibe and is just a 15-minute walk to the Malecon boardwalk lined with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. 

Cons: Since the hotel is for adults only, families traveling with kids won't be able to stay here or experience any of the restaurants.   

The ocean-adjacent, adults-only Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel is an ideal escape if you're envisioning yourself ordering a margarita at a swim-up bar or reclining in a Balinese day bed on the beach.

Your pampering stay begins with a 5-minute welcome massage and a personal butler who allows you to select pillow preferences and scents from an aromatherapy menu. Rooms come with earthy, coastal decor, tropical wood accents, and white and blue hues.

The on-site restaurants serve upscale Mexican cuisine in alfresco settings, and if you're part of a small group or traveling with a significant other, you can book a private dining experience at the jetty right on the water. The Zona Romántica is also a walkable area just beyond the property with plenty of dining options and nightlife.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta

The pool and beach at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort Puerto Vallarta.

Water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling are all included in the rate.

Book Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta

Category: Mid-range

Neighborhood: South Shore 

Typical starting/peak prices: $169/$1,328

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Pools, restaurants, spa, tennis court, gym, beach access, kid's club, babysitting, complimentary activities

Pros: Complimentary water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling are all included and the brand-new Tierra Luna Village is just behind the resort with additional restaurants and live entertainment.

Cons: The hotel is secluded and a 10-minute drive south of Zona Romántica, which makes it a bit challenging to head into town. 

With 85 acres of jungle on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the Garza Blanca Resort and Spa feels picturesque, lush, and exceedingly tropical.

Guest rooms are equally impressive. Even the smallest accommodations have walk-in closets, TOTO bidet toilets, and private terraces with hammocks to recline in while listening to the waves crash on the beach below. 

Fill your days lounging at a lagoon-shaped, ocean-facing pool that snakes across the coast or with treatments at the luxury spa. The hotel also puts on daily activities like yoga, tequila tastings, paddleboard lessons, and more.

All-inclusive packages are optional but offer strong value with unlimited dining at three on-site restaurants including BocaDos Steak House, where steaks and seafood are served in a torch-lit, coastal-side atmosphere.  

While the property isn't close to the Zona Romantica, you can hop on a trolley that will take you up into the mountain to the TierraLuna Village, a brand new space where you can shop for locally crafted jewelry and handmade ceramics, or grab a ride on the merry-go-round.   

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Sunset Plaza Beach Resort

The exterior of Sunset Plaza Beach Resort

Spacious suites come with all-inclusive packages and personalized butler service.

Book Sunset Plaza Beach Resort

Category: All-inclusive

Neighborhood: Hotel Zone 

Typical starting/peak prices: $235/$469

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Swim-up bar, pool, kid's club, restaurants, fitness center, spa, tennis courts, butler service 

Pros: Ocean views are guaranteed from every room at this beachfront hotel, and with spacious suites and all-inclusive packages, it's easy to book an affordable family trip.

Cons: This hotel is in the hotel zone, which is a line of resorts. So, you won't be able to do much exploring beyond the property unless you take a cab.  

A short drive from the airport, this hotel is all about convenience and relaxation, starting with a complimentary massage. 

The AAA Four-Diamond resort's all-inclusive program makes dining uncomplicated with five on-site restaurants to choose from serving dishes from Italy, Spain, and of course, Mexico. There is a large beachside infinity pool as well as a rooftop, lagoon-shaped pool for adults only. 

Spacious suites feature spa-like baths, jetted tubs, private terraces, kitchenettes, and 24/7 personalized butler service that can help with anything from surprising your partner with a romantic dinner on the beach to arranging Kid's Club activities.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Casa Kimberly

A bathroom in Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta

This hotel was once a private home belonging to Elizabeth Taylor.

Book Casa Kimberly

Category: Boutique

Neighborhood: Gringo Gulch

Typical starting/peak prices: $252/$594

Best for: Couples, adults

On-site amenities: Complimentary breakfast, bar, spa, pool, restaurant

Pros: This historic home once belonging to a Hollywood star has been transformed into a stylish boutique hotel with luxurious suites. Whether you stay or not, dinner at The Iguana Restaurant & Tequila Bar is a must for picturesque sunset views.

Cons: If you're envisioning a resort-style pool and direct beach access, this isn't the hotel for you as the property is located in a residential area within a historic building. 

Richard Burton gifted Casa Kimberly to Elizabeth Taylor for her 32nd birthday in 1964 as a ploy to keep her in Puerto Vallarta while he filmed the movie "The Night of the Iguana." The couple lived in two separate homes that were connected by the "Puente del Amor" (Love Bridge). 

Now, the legendary home has been reinvented as a hotel bearing the same name and has just nine rooms, including the Elizabeth Taylor suite with a private elevator entrance, a wrap-around terrace with a private pool and Jacuzzi, and a pink marble bathroom with a heart-shaped tub that Taylor personally commissioned.

No matter your room choice, you'll be treated to Bulgari toiletries and daily continental breakfast delivered to your suite that will make you feel as important as a Hollywood A-lister. 

Even if you don't stay here, don't miss dinner at The Iguana Restaurant & Tequila Bar, which is especially glamorous as the golden hour sun trickles into an open-air courtyard overlooking the Sierra Madre mountains. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Velas Vallarta

The gardens and pools at Velas Vallarta.

This lush resort spans 10 acres along the beach.

Book Velas Vallarta

Category: Resort

Neighborhood: Marina Vallarta 

Typical starting/peak prices: $252/$422

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Fitness center, basketball court, tennis courts, pools, kid's club, babysitting, spa, restaurants

Pros: You can get from the Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport to this hotel on the coast in just a 5-minute drive west. 

Cons: While the property is close to the airport and marina, it isn't located near the popular Zona Romántica or the Malecon boardwalk.

Spanning 10 acres along the beach and with its 18-hole Marina Vallarta Golf Course and an on-site marina, Velas Vallarta Resort is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are 345 guest rooms done up in Mexican motifs with locally inspired art that range from an entry-level Deluxe Studio to the Three-Bedroom Family Suite, which can fit up to seven adults and two kids. For a truly lavish stay, book a room with its own private plunge pool.

The hotel also has an oceanfront lagoon-style pool and all-inclusive packages that make it all too easy to fill up on unlimited guacamole and ice cream. Restaurants cover Mexican, Spanish, Italian, French and Asian cuisines, and on Sundays, guests are invited to a fiesta with a mariachi band and folk dance performances.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hacienda San Angel

Hacienda San Angel

The late Richard Burton purchased the Hacienda San Angel for his second wife, a decade after purchasing a home a block away for ex-wife Elizabeth Taylor.

Book Hacienda San Angel

Category: Boutique

Neighborhood: Zona Romántica 

Typical starting/peak prices: $265/$595

Best for: Couples, adults

On-site amenities: Pools, restaurant 

Pros: The hotel is centrally located in the Zona Romántica, less than a 10-minute walk from the popular Malecon boardwalk. The property is also a part of history, having once belonged to the late actor Richard Burton.

Cons: There aren't many amenities or complimentary services included in your stay at Hacienda San Angel, so you'll have to venture off of the property for most meals and experiences.   

In 1977, as a gift for his wife Susan Hunt, the late Richard Burton purchased the Hacienda San Angel. Yes, just like he did for his ex-wife, Elizabeth Taylor, more than a decade before. This one is just a few blocks from Casa Kimberly.

Accessed via a cobblestone street, the boutique hotel is an elegant display of Mexican colonial architecture paired with vintage furnishings. Peppered throughout the property are three stylish pools and 12 villa suites that come with clawfoot bathtubs and art from the 1700s and 1800s.  

A central courtyard with a living wall surrounds a serene water fountain, while a rooftop restaurant overlooks the Sierra Madre mountains, offering a whole new perspective of the old town's terracotta rooftops. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Casa Velas

The beach club at casa velas

Casa Velas is among our top picks for luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta.

Book Casa Velas 

Category: Luxury

Neighborhood: Marina Vallarta 

Typical starting/peak prices: $427/$732

Best for: Couples, adults

On-site amenities: Fitness center, restaurants, bar, golf, pool, spa

Pros: If you're a golfer, the hotel is conveniently situated right on the green. Excellent all-inclusive offerings mean there's no need to leave — and you likely won't ever want to.

Cons: Since the property is set inland, you won't have ocean views from your hotel room and you'll need to take a shuttle to the beach. 

Casa Velas is a luxury resort with a boutique-hotel vibe and all of the perks of an all-inclusive property. While the hotel is not located directly on the beach, complimentary transportation to and from Táu Beach Club is provided where you can kick back in a daybed and sip cocktails at the ocean's edge.

On the hotel's grounds, you'll find the AAA Four-Diamond Emiliano Restaurant, the posh Aqua Bar, and two 18-hole golf courses designed by pros Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf.

An adults-only property, the mood is refined, especially if you book a Wellness Suite that feels like a ritzy two-story private villa that comes with an oversized Italian marble master bath and a private pool tucked away in a garden setting. Better yet, reserve a daily complimentary in-room massage out on the terrace.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Puerto Vallarta hotels

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta continues to welcome travelers from the United States, and the hotels included in this list follow strict protocols to ensure the safety of guests during their stays. However, it's important to reference the most current CDC and local guidelines before booking an international flight to any destination.

When is the best time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta?

The winter months are Puerto Vallarta's busiest season, but if you're looking for a deal on hotels and airfare, book during the rainy season between July and October. While there are occasional thunderstorms, the weather is hot and you'll still get a handful of sunny days.

I traveled to Puerto Vallarta in July, and while the forecast called for all-day thunderstorms, I personally experienced hot and sunny days with an occasional evening shower, during which I could watch distant lightning illuminate the sky above the ocean while I sat out on my private balcony.

Should I stay in an all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta?

Decide if an all-inclusive hotel is right for your stay in Puerto Vallarta by being clear on your priorities during the trip. If you're planning on hanging out by the pool or beach for the majority of your vacation, an all-inclusive program might be a smart decision so you can eat and drink at your leisure without racking up a giant bill at the end.

However, if you plan on exploring the city and spending a lot of time off of the hotel property, you won't be able to take advantage of the all-inclusive perks. 

How much does a hotel cost in Puerto Vallarta?

Hotels can range from less than $100 to upwards of $800 per night, depending on the type of property you choose and the time of year when you visit. The list we've put together here reflects a wide range with rates that start between $87 to $405 per night. All-inclusive packages will be more expensive, but will add value.

What is the best hotel in Puerto Vallarta?

The best hotel in Puerto Vallarta is subjective based on the type of stay you desire, whether that's a small and intimate local vibe or over-the-top luxury. However, the list of properties compiled here includes some of the best accommodations in the city, regardless of your personal taste. From mountainside boutique hotels to beachfront all-inclusive resorts, any of these hotels will meet your expectations for a trip to Puerto Vallarta.

Which hotel has the best beach in Puerto Vallarta?   

Playa de los Muertos is the most well-known beach in Puerto Vallarta, which extends along the coast in the Zona Romantica. It's also where you'll find the iconic Los Muertos Pier that leads to a curved structure that looks like a sail and lights up at night. 

However, if you are searching for a secluded beachfront resort, Garza Blanca has a pristine beach and includes complimentary activities for hotel guests, like kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. 

Which hotels have the best pools in Puerto Vallarta?

Beachfront lagoon-style, Roman-shaped, swim-up bar, and rooftop infinity-edge pools all abound in Puerto Vallarta. The hotels with the most impressive pools include The Grand Miramar, Fiesta Americana, Almar Resort, and the Velas Vallarta.

How we selected the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta
  1. Hotels offer top-tier amenities and experiences, such as spas, oceanfront pools, large guest rooms, private balconies, complimentary breakfasts, and all-inclusive offerings.
  2. Hotels are in close proximity to the beach.
  3. Hotel accommodations range from inexpensive to luxurious and provide a nightly range for every budget. During the rainy season from July through October, rates start between $87 to $405 per night. 
  4. Each property has high ratings from TripAdvisor and and a wealth of recent positive reviews that back up our research.
  5. Each property follows strict COVID-19 cleaning and safety protocols, which are linked. 
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