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, all interesting, charming, and safe. Check out which one is the best option for your needs.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beach destinations that attracts 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, around 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 minutes 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
MARRIOTT PUERTO VALLARTA RESORT AND SPA
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.
BEST AIRBNB IN PUERTO VALLARTA MARINA
Read about The best 13 Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta
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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. JThe 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
Kristal Vallarta – Mid-range price – 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
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort and Spa (Adults Only)– Luxury hotel ideal for couples. Kids are not accepted. Secrets brand is a guarantee of quality and world-class cuisine.
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Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Fiesta Americana Vallarta All-inclusive – Adults only- guests appreciate the great food in every restaurant and the outstanding service
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BEST AIRBNB IN PUERTO VALLARTA HOTEL ZONE
- Stylish apartment with stunning views over the bay and high-speed WIFI
- Luxury Beachfront condo with spectacular views on Banderas Bay
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 the Hollywood stars.
THE BEST HOTELS IN PUERTO VALLARTA OLD TOWN
VILLA PREMIERE BOUTIQUE HOTEL & ROMANTIC GETAWAY
The 4 diamond awarded Villa Premier is everything that luxury stands for, Class, Elegance, style and an 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.
A 24-hour butler service is also available if you need help for packing and unpacking, pressing, shoe polish, romantic dinner arrangement or in-room jacuzzi set up.
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.
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 at a 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.
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 the 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.
HACIENDA SAN ANGEL
The tiny locked entrance door already gives you the feeling of intimate 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
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.
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
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.
If you wish to have the facility of a house including the comfort of cooking your own meals, living a simple life like a local in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, AMAPAS APARTMENTS is for you.
The property offers a choice of 2-bedroom, 1-bedroom, and studio apartments. The units are quite minimal and simple but very attentively decorated with lovely color patterns, different and unique for each one, but equipped with the accessories and facilities you need to make your stay easy and enjoyable. As past guests assured, sparkling clean.
The rooftop terrace offers the joy of a plunge pool from where you can have a partial view of the sea.
The apartments are conveniently located in the heart of the Zona Romantica, a few steps from the popular beach Playa de Los Muertos and at walking distance from all the trendiest bars and restaurants.
Despite the fact that it’s not a hotel, you still have the perks of a concierge service, as the attentive staff will answer all your questions and offer you tips to ensure you enjoy Puerto Vallarta to the fullest.
Check property reviews on Trip Advisor
Hotel Boutique Rivera del Rio – High-end colonial home – featuring romantic vintage furniture and decor- The rooftop view is out of this world.
Villa Lola – Cozy 7-rooms bed and breakfast in a beautiful colonial home featuring unique decorations and local art and modern amenities.
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
HYATT ZIVA PUERTO VALLARTA
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.
Casa Karma is a small luxury boutique hotel nestled in the hills south of Puerto Vallarta with stunning views of the blue ocean and private access to the beach.
When I decided to visit the property, I was mainly attracted by the inspiring name which to me evokes self-awareness and inspiration—and that’s exactly what I have found.
Casa Karma is to me one of the best boutique hotels in Puerto Vallarta.
As you enter the property and even more when you step into any beautifully decorated rooms, you can feel all the love the owner put into it. The color patterns, the elegant and stylish furniture, the breathtaking views, everything has been carefully thought of to create a soothing and relaxing environment, almost healing, if you like.
The only risk is that you might want to lock yourself in instead of visiting the beautiful Puerto Vallarta and its surroundings. The hotel includes a delicious breakfast served in an elegant living room, which will make you feel you are in your own home, right close to the pool and beach access.
The strategic location, the property’s beauty, and the surroundings make it a perfect location for weddings. I was not surprised to hear that the hotel is one of the most frequently chosen for these important events. But what I loved the most was the labyrinth that they have painted on one of the terrace floors.
I didn’t know about the therapeutic use of labyrinth until I saw it in the hotel and read about it right after my visit. Besides being a beautiful painting to look at, it radiates positive energy.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
TOP CONDO RENTALS PUERTO VALLARTA SOUTH ZONE
I hope this post was helpful. Obviously, there are many more options for where to stay in Puerto Vallarta. You can check them all out booking.com or Airbnb, my go-to trusted sites when I want to look for a place to stay.