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The best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta

You will need to decide which is the best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta for you, before looking for accommodation. There are 5 main zones in Puerto Vallarta, all interesting, charming, and safe but different from one another.

In this post, I will talk about each one of them including my hotel suggestions to help you decide which one is the best option for you.

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beach destinations that attract tourists, digital nomads, and expats to come and enjoy the friendly environment and never want to leave.

There are in fact endless things to do in Puerto Vallarta that will keep you busy every day if you want. Or you can just relax on the beautiful beach or the rooftop of your amazing condo.

The accommodation choice is also infinite from Puerto Vallarta Airbnb which has become a favorite choice to amazing luxury hotels or budget places. The sky is the limit but it’s important also to choose the best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta.

So without further ado, here find the 5 best areas in Puerto Vallarta.

PUERTO VALLARTA MARINA

The Marina Puerto Vallarta is home to amazing high-end hotels and residential communities. Around the docking area, luxury boats and yachts, you can find great restaurants and shops where to hang out.

From the Marina, you will make appointments to leave for your boat tours. It is close enough to Malls and commercial centers, a few minute’s taxi ride.

It’s a quiet area where to stay in Puerto Vallarta, but it’s 10 km away from the old town, the city’s heart and soul. While during the day you can easily catch a bus, at night it’s advisable to grab a Uber or a taxi.

BEST HOTEL IN PUERTO VALLARTA MARINA

1. MARRIOTT PUERTO VALLARTA RESORT AND SPA

MARRIOTT PUERTO VALLARTA RESORT AND SPA - THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN PUERTO VALLARTA

Nestled between the lush hills of the Sierra Madre and the blue ocean of Bandera Bay, the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa welcomes you into its newly renovated lobby area with sweeping views of the extensive heated pool, immaculate gardens, and the infinite ocean.

The fact that Marriott is NOT an All-inclusive hotel encourages you to venture out of the property and explore what the city has to offer.

And Puerto Vallarta is a safe, walkable city full of attractions, bars, and restaurants. You can have the hotel call a taxi for you (about 200 pesos) or you can call an Uber (130 pesos), and in about 15 minutes you are in the heart of the vibrant city.

However, if you don’t feel like going out and prefer to relax and enjoy the comfort of the hotel, you won’t be disappointed.

At the Marriott, you will find everything you need for the most memorable vacation ever: world-class restaurants and bars offering fresh local and international food, fine dining, a coffee shop, a deli with freshly made bakery, a tequila and ceviche bar, a fully equipped gym, a reinvigorating spa boasting a combination of the most modern techniques with ancient healing traditions & treatments to pamper your senses—everything topped up with exceptional service.

My suggestions to enjoy the Marriott to the fullest:

  • Try the best ceviche ever, served in the restaurant La Casita while looking out at the swirling ocean.
  • Have a deep tissue massage, preceded by therapy baths in the Othli spa (Othli means the path to rejuvenation in the Huichol language). I had a treatment and, I promise you, it will take you to heaven.
  • Relax in the swinging chairs in the gardens
  • Join a tequila tasting event
  • Have a walk by the Marina and a drink at El Faro bar, with amazing 360´ views of the cityscape, the bay, and the Sierra Madre mountains
  • Buy one of Huichol’s beautiful colored artwork, sold in the little stalls in the reception area’s aisle.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

2. MELIA PUERTO VALLARTA ALL INCLUSIVE

Melia Puerto Vallarta ALL INCLUSIVE
MELIA PUERTO VALLARTA ALL INCLUSIVE – PHOTO © Expedia

Melia never disappoints you. This beachfront hotel in Puerto Vallarta marina features 4 world-class restaurants, an infinity pool, and elegant and spacious rooms equipped with all the most modern amenities and the finest linen.

Golf lovers will love the strategic location right by the golf course.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

PUERTO VALLARTA HOTEL ZONE

The Hotel Zone is considered an area of the coastline included between downtown and the Marina. You can even walk from the beach to the old town. It’s a touristy area and very frequented by locals since it’s where all the malls are located.

The luxury mall is La Isla, right on the beach. The Hotel Zone is exactly where all the most popular hotel brands are located, right on the spectacular beach.

However, you can also find many luxury condo options. I will give you a few names of the best of both, so you can choose what best suits you.

BEST HOTELS IN PUERTO VALLARTA HOTEL ZONE

3. KRISTAL VALLARTA

HOTEL KRISTAL VALLARTA – PHOTO © EXPEDIA

This mid-range price hotel is ideal for familIes – This Mexican resort Boasts a contemporary design framed by the mountains’ natural beauty and a spectacular view of Banderas Bay. 

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

4. SECRETS VALLARTA BAY RESORTS AND SPA (ADULT ONLY)

SECRETS VALLARTA
PHOTO © Expedia

Located on the golden sand beach of Banderas Bay at a walking distance from the Malecón’ boardwalk and yet in a tranquil beach front area of Puerto Vallarta to guarantee the guests the best of both worlds.

Guests love the world-class spa and outdoor pool, free WiFi, free calling, and the ADULT-ONLY policy, for maximum relaxation.

The elegant rooms decorated in the finest contemporary style offer spectacular ocean views, and 24-hour room service, besides down service, a mini-bar refreshed daily, bathroom with a shower and hot tub.

Among the hotel’s gourmet restaurants and bar, guests can enjoy a vast array of cuisine from Asian to French, among others

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com Expedia | Hotels.com

5. FIESTA AMERICANA VALLARTA ALL INCLUSIVE

Fiesta Americana All Inclusive
Fiesta Americana All inclusive – photo ©  Expedia

Embraced by the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains Hotel Fiesta Americana is a contemporary Mexican-style property on the beautiful beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Guests appreciate the multiservice spa and its relaxing massages, facials, sauna, steam room, heated outdoor pool, and fitness center to keep in shape during your vacation.

Although it’s a family hotel, there is a reserved Adults-Only pool, infinity pool, and jacuzzis as well as a bar and grill, where kids don’t have access.

A variety of culinary options and activities are available for the guests at Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

PUERTO VALLARTA OLD TOWN

The old town is my favorite part of Puerto Vallarta. The cobblestone narrow streets, the hills with spectacular views over the bay, the art gallery, and gorgeous colonial houses make this area the most charming and interesting.

The beach promenade (Malecon) starts here from the Villa Premiere Hotel and goes all the way to the Zona Romantica at the end of the beach Playa de los Muertos.

FUN FACT – Right here in Old Vallarta is where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton built their love nest after declaring their affair publicly and moving here.

The famous movie of the 70s “The Night of the Iguana”, starring Richard Burton, was, in fact, shot in Puerto Vallarta and made the city a popular tourist destination among Hollywood stars.

THE BEST HOTELS IN PUERTO VALLARTA OLD TOWN

6. VILLA PREMIERE BOUTIQUE HOTEL & ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta - Boundless Roads

The 4 diamond awarded Villa Premier is everything that luxury stands for, Class, Elegance, style and outstanding customer service.

An elegantly furnished lobby hall showcasing fine pieces of modern Mexican art, and a complimentary 10-minute back massage welcomes you as soon as you step into the hotel.

Then you will be taken to your stunning room where the surprises continue.

While walking towards your room, you will be distracted by inspirational phrases from illustrious authors handwritten on the whitewashed walls. The spacious rooms offer all the possible comfort you need, from the eye-soothing color patterns to exceptional views over Bandera Bay.

To make your stay even more relaxing, you will also be offered to choose from among many different kinds of pillows and a scent menu for your in-room aromatherapy.

24-hour butler service is also available if you need help with packing and unpacking, pressing, shoe polish, romantic dinner arrangements,s or in-room jacuzzi setup.

The hotel is situated on a spacious stretch of beach with easy access to the ocean where you can sunbathe on the comfortable Bali beds (that your butler can reserve for you) or the regular elegant beach chairs unless you prefer the pool, which is conveniently located right there behind the beach with great views of the ocean and a pool bar to calm your thirst while chilling in the water.

The gourmet restaurants on the premises also offer fine dining at any time of the day to satisfy the most sophisticated palate, but don’t forget that the hotel is also conveniently located at the beginning of the so popular Malecon where you can safely walk and find a huge variety of restaurants and bars for your entertainment.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

7. LUNA LIQUIDA

This cute and cozy hotel was a real surprise. The rooftop terrace boasts overwhelming views of the entire bay, only interrupted by the pleasant sight of the red terracotta roof tiles of the surrounding colonial houses and the iconic tower of the Iglesia de Guadalupe.

You can enjoy the terrace either for breakfast or throughout the day by soaking in the infinity pool while contemplating the romantic scenery.

The rooms are individually decorated in a delicate combination of colors, local art pieces, and other decorative and functional objects.

Every room even the smallest one has its own charm. The main suite though, on the last floor, boasted amazing views of the bay from two sides, and the majority of them have at least one window or balcony overlooking the blue ocean.

Despite being an oasis of tranquility and peace, the hotel is located within walking distance from the Malecon where life happens.

There, or if you walk a little further to the Zona Romantica, you can find the best bars and choice restaurants, great beaches, and anything you need to enjoy your vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

8. CASA KIMBERLY

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta - Boundless Roads

Inspired by the romantic story behind this stunning property, which had been the love nest of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the visionary entrepreneur Janice Chatterton created a luxury getaway for style-sensitive travelers in search of a romantic and glamorous escape.

The few spacious suites boast a thoughtful harmonic blend of antiquities of colonial times and stylish modern features and decorations.

The views are breathtaking, embracing the hilly lush Sierra Madre tumbling into the sea on the horizon on the left, while Puerto Vallarta red-tiled roofs and glimpses of the blue ocean are right in front.

Some of the suites have private Jacuzzi tubs on their terraces conveniently located so that guests can enjoy the view while relaxing in total privacy. The rooms also feature king-size beds, fine Italian linens, superb art, and huge comfortable bathrooms.

Guests can also enjoy a spacious tiled sun terrace with chaises and umbrellas by a blue-tiled pool, the same one used by the notorious first owners.

If you wish to spoil yourself, even more, you can rent the Elizabeth Taylor Suite (in the picture) which of course has extra amenities and facilities. Among its unique features:

  • It has direct access to the lobby via a private elevator or hand-painted tile steps leading from the central courtyard.
  • The huge terrace, which wraps around the building and is completely private, has its own pool and jacuzzi and offers stunning panoramic views of Bandera Bay and the SierraMadre.
  • The bathroom is almost bigger than the bedroom, and it features the original pink-marble heart-shaped tub owned by the actress.

The Iguana restaurant with lovely views of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay serves contemporary Mexican cuisine. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in the city and serves gourmet Mexican cuisine.

The ambiance is elegant but informal.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

9. HACIENDA SAN ANGEL 

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta - Boundless Roads

The tiny locked entrance door already gives you the feeling of intimacy and quiet and as soon as I was welcomed in, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place.

It was elegantly rustic where every single piece was thought of in detail: the red tiles in the outdoor courtyard, the bright pink bougainvillea dripping from the white balconies, the old fountain with the soothing sound of the falling water, a vintage sofa dressed in the finest white cushions. Everything was just perfectly placed.

I introduced myself, and when my elegant host arrived, we started the tour of the luxurious property. Juanita proudly explained the history of the hotel while showing me the beautiful rooms and the facilities.

The iconic Hacienda San Angel was, in fact, the home of the famous actor Richard Burton who fell in love with Puerto Vallarta while he was acting in the movie The Night of the Iguana, set right here in the city in the mid-60s.

In 1977, he bought the house as a present for his wife, Susan. The movie together with the “secret” romance between Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, also enhanced the flourishing of Puerto Vallarta’s international tourism, attracting vacationers who wanted to follow the glamour of their favorite celebs.

The house was eventually bought in 1990 by the entrepreneur Janice Chatterton, who refurbished it and added more rooms at the back, transforming the gorgeous place into an elegant and intimate luxury boutique hotel.

The beautiful spacious rooms decorated with antique pieces and modern facilities boast stunning views of the lush Sierra Madre mountains embracing the city and the terra-cotta roofs of the colonial buildings of the historical center, tumbling into the blue sea.

The popular restaurant is open to the public for dinner and offers fine international dining in an elegant, romantic setting.

Although the hotel is not on the beach, it is conveniently located at a walking distance from the most voguish restaurants, the beach (playa los arcos), and the nightlife, while guaranteeing a peaceful and intimate stay.

I ended my tour with a visit to Mr. Burton’s previous room which boasts a terrace and windows overlooking the cityscape, including the so popular Iglesia of Guadalupe.

I felt like I was in a movie myself!

SUITABLE FOR ADULTS ONLY

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

PUERTO VALLARTA ZONA ROMANTICA

The Zona Romantica is where everything happens in Puerto Vallarta, its beating heart, and the best Puerto Vallarta area. It has the same character and charm as the Old town, although younger. It stretches from Cuele river to the end of Playa de los Muertos. A bridge and several swinging bridges connect the Zona Romantica to Oldtown.

Cuale island

The Zona Romantica is home to Playa de los Muertos, the coolest beach in Puerto Vallarta lined by lovely restaurants, cafes, and bars, and my favorite bakery where I used to get my morning muffin.

Playa de los Muertos marks the end of Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica. However, the city continues along the south coast up to Conchas China, where you can find more hotels and high-end condos boasting spectacular views over the bay.

HOTELS IN PUERTO VALLARTA ZONA ROMANTICA

10. VILLA MERCEDES

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta - Boundless Roads

The first thing that catches your eyes when you enter Villa Mercedes is the beautiful wall art spread throughout the property.

An abstract pattern that will follow you through your walk to your beautifully furnished room, each one different from the other but all with the same cute happy pattern.

The owner was thoughtfully able to make the most of its space and make up for the little or lack of view with cute decorations and functional details.

A hearty breakfast is served in the courtyard restaurant where you can also enjoy the pool to keep yourself cool if you don’t feel like heading to the beach, which is, by the way, a total of 5 steps from the hotel door.

Villa Mercedes guests will, in fact, benefit from its perfect location within the quirky Zona Romantica, at a few steps from the so popular Playa los Muertos and at an easy distance from all the bars and restaurants, basically where life happens in Puerto Vallarta.

👉 Check rates ad availability on Expedia.com

11. Hotel Boutique Rivera del Rio 

Hotel Boutiwue Rivera Del Rio Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Boutiwue Rivera Del Rio Puerto Vallarta – Photo © Expedia

High-end colonial home – featuring romantic vintage furniture and decor. The rooftop view is out of this world.

Located a 15-minute walk from the beach, Rivera Del Rio Hotels offers an outdoor pool, hot tub and charming individually decorated rooms and suites. Wi-Fi is included.

Some of the rooms have kitchen facilities, patios and views of the cuale river, while all offer cable TV, air conditioning and a private bathroom.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

12. Villa Lola – Adults Only Property

Villa Lola Puerto Vallarta
Villa Lola Adults Only property – Puerto Vallarta – Photo © Expedia

Villa Lola, is a Cozy 7-rooms bed and breakfast property that only accept adults, to guarantee maximum traquillity and privacy to its guests.

The charming colonial building features 7 beautiful rooms equipped with the finest decor including local art pieces, world class linen and the most modern amenities.

On the rooftop terrace guests can enjoy a stunning view of the bay while cooling in the plounge pool.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

PUERTO VALLARTA CONCHAS CHINAS SOUTH ZONE

Conchas Chinas is the southern part of Puerto Vallarta, where the homonymous popular beach is located.

You could walk by the beachside from Playa de los Muertos during the day but take an Uber at night. High-end hotels, luxury condos, and homes are located in this privileged area on the cliffside with dramatic views over the ocean. You can even spot whales from here during the high season.

HOTELS IN PUERTO VALLARTA SOUTH ZONE

13. HYATT ZIVA PUERTO VALLARTA

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta - Boundless Roads

Embraced by the lush green slopes of the Sierra Madre, the all-inclusive family hotel Hyatt Ziva towers over its own extended private beach Las Estacas and the entire Banderas Bay that you can admire from one of the cute, stylish rooms.

While I was being walked around the premises during my visit, I noticed the usual impeccable Hyatt style of the premises, which I love so much: austere and yet modern, elegant but not pretentious.

The comfortable and spacious rooms boast warm color patterns and beautiful local art that makes you feel at home. This comfort is then paired with stunning views of the bay that you can admire from your balcony if you are on the premium side. The standard rooms have a French balcony with outstanding views of the bay.

Each of the 300 rooms and suites comes with all the comfort of home, including large HDTVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and beverage centers. In the suites, you can also enjoy sitting areas and hydro-massage bathtubs, and rainfall showers.

Among the luxury suites, Hyatt Ziva also offers the adult-only swim-up suite with direct access to the pool or Presidential Suite with its private pool. Each suite includes spacious balconies and patios with stunning ocean views, 24-hour room service, turndown service, besides a refreshment center stocked daily with water, beer, soft drinks, and snacks.

Six restaurants of different cuisines and styles and a Deli for your daily coffee or sweet little sins will keep all your senses entertained for your entire stay.

Both the Spa, with its rejuvenating treatments, and the spacious and fully equipped gym for your daily sports routine are strategically located to offer you stunning views of the ocean and the beach.

Watersports and tours are also offered in the hotel.

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta also has one of the greatest locations. In fact, while offering you the tranquility of the hillside, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s still situated at an easy distance from the so popular Zona Romantica of Puerto Vallarta.

If you wish to go out in the evening.. I consider Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta the best all-inclusive beach resort in Puerto Vallarta or a least one of the best.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

14. CASA VISTA AL MAR

CASA VISTA AL MAR

Located at a few steps from Las Estacas Beach and 0.6 miles from Conchas Chinas Beach, Casa Vista al Mar is a beautiful upscale apartment with stunning views of the ocean and the most comfortable amenities, including free WiFi, air conditioning, an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace. .

The apartment is ideal for big families as it includes 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with garden views.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com

15. GRAND MIRAMAR ALL LUXURY SUITES

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences
Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences – Photo © Expedia

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences is one of the most spectacular hotels in Puerto Vallarta with incredible views over the bay from its flowery balconies and the rooftop pool and terrace.

Located on the hills of the exclusive Conchas Chinas area, it’s only 7 minutes’ drive from the famed boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta.

The main terrace, reserved only for adults, features 3 pools, one exterior hot tub and activity space.

Also available for the guests two specialty restaurants, poolside snacks and 24-hour suite service.

A wine and spirits selection is available and the breakfast buffet included is only for adults.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

The best areas to stay in Puerto Vallarta: final thoughts

I hope this post was helpful to understand Puerto Vallarta lay out and which area is the best for you. No matter what you will choose I am sure you will have an amazing stay in this friendly city of Mexico.