Puerto Vallarta has long been Mexico’s most popular gay destination and one of the reasons for the city’s popularity is the quality of its hotels and resorts.
Some LGBT visitors prefer to stay in smaller gay boutique hotels while others prefer larger full-service hotels All-inclusive resort hotels are a popular choice in Mexico. For the initiated, all-inclusive means unlimited food and beverages are included.
I am often asked to recommend hotels in Puerto Vallarta. If you prefer an all-inclusive, among the very best are Velas Vallarta and its sister property Casa Velas.
Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Ocean Club
Casa Velas is a high-end luxury all adult property. It has Community Marketing’s TAG seal of approval for being gay-welcoming. The resort is just 80 rooms, ensuring that all guests have an unmatched intimate level of service. The property sits on a golf-course and of course includes the obligatory pool with a swim-up bar. If you crave the beach, fear not. The Casa Velas has its very own private beach club, just a two minute shuttle ride from the main property. At the club, you can enjoy lunch, your own shaded cabana and unlimited drinks.
Casa Velas makes it very easy. Everything, including tips, are included. If you wish to leave an extra tip, you will have the option. When you sign for the restaurant bill, there is a space where you can leave an extra tip for the staff.
If you like to be pampered when you get away, and who doesn’t? Casa Velas has you covered. The resort includes a full-service spa with a couple of outdoor treatment areas, so you never have to get yourself out of that warm tropical air. Casa Vela’s famed Emiliano’s Restaurant is one of only four four- diamond restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. The property also includes a well-equipped gym. Everything about this resort is first class.
Velas Vallarta Suite Resort
Velas Vallarta has 345 suites on ten acres. The resort has a couple of huge pools leading to its private ocean beach. If you are staying at Casa Velas, you may use the facilities at Velas Vallarta, including the restaurants. But not vice versa. Casa Velas is a more premium property. The one exception is that you can use the gym at Casa Velas if you are staying at Velas Vallarta. Just ask at reception for a free pass. (Velas Vallarta has a small fitness room without weights) Casa Velas is just a ten minute walk away from Velas Vallarta. Take a left and two rights when you leave the entrance-way. (When I asked for directions at the hotel, both guest services and the bellman neglected to tell me about the second right.)
All the suites at Velas Vallarta have at least a kitchenette and some have full kitchens, making it an ideal place for long term stays. So if you are someone that likes to cook, you can knock yourself out at Velas Vallarta.
Like the Casa Velas, the food and service at Velas Vallarta is first-rate. For beach-side dining, you can’t beat La Libera Restaurant. It offers a great menu that changes nightly. The Andrea Restaurant offers gourmet dining for breakfast lunch and dinner. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time as the restaurant is very popular especially during the busy winter months.
Both Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta are about a 15-minute, $10 cab ride to the gay neighborhood. The most difficult thing about staying at either resort is returning home and not having a staff cater to you 24-7.
Both properties have roaming peacocks. Yes, you heard me. Roaming peacocks. The birds are beautiful but they can be noisy. I didn’t notice the noise at Casa Velas, but the birds woke me up early at Velas Vallarta, perhaps because the sound echoes in the resort’s courtyard, so you may want to pack earplugs.
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