Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Urban hotel with a beachfront location and resort vibe
Just north of downtown Vallarta on the beach, the contemporary-style Buenaventura has it both ways. Location-wise, it’s an urban hotel -- but a resort vibe pervades the property, with its pretty gardens and pools, open-air lobby under a high, peaked ceiling, and wonderful ocean views from most guest rooms. It's a great choice for those seeking a beachfront resort hotel with a lively city in its backyard.
A resort in the city is a bit unusual for Puerto Vallarta—the vast majority of the larger all-inclusives are well out of town in Marina Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta. One reason for this is there is little beachfront in Puerto Vallarta proper. There is Playa Los Muertos, in Old Town, and Playa Camarones, just north of town, which is where the Buenaventura can be found. The beach is not pristine and has a strong current. Also, the vendors who line its shores somewhat aggressively hawk their wares.
Oceanfront location just north of downtown, walking distance from nightlife scene
The Northern Hotel Zone of Puerto Vallarta actually begins north of here, but there are a couple of nice hotels tucked into this little stretch of beach called Playa Camarones. The city basically starts right here—by the time you turn off to the Buenaventura, you’re driving on cobblestoned city streets.
Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's most picturesque beach destinations, with historic white-washed buildings, and cerulean seas set against a rugged mountain skyline. The massive Banderas Bay alone offers over 25 miles of seashore. With all this ocean comes a variety of water sports, like scuba diving with manta rays off Islas Marietas, boating around Los Arcos' reefs, and parasailing off of the popular Playa Los Muertos.
Other popular daytime activities include shopping -- not just the annoying beach vendor kind -- at Puerto Vallarta's mazelike markets. One of the best, Rio Cuale Flea Market, has multiple vendors selling wood carvings, handmade jewelry, and glass and beadwork (among many other items). But be prepared to haggle down those prices!
Puerto Vallarta stays awake when the sun dips below the horizon. Steamy salsa clubs light up the streets, and rowdy local bars supply a steady stream of cerveza for the thirsty traveler. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is the most happening and diverse area.
Rooms are decorated in contemporary style, with natural wood finishes and colorful accents set against pale floors and walls. High-tech amenities include free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with premium channels.
Two restaurants and several bars, plus an all-inclusive option
With dozens of other dining and drinking options nearby, this hotel offers a fine selection of restaurants and bars. There are two restaurants and a pleasant lobby bar, a poolside bar, and a beach club bar. All-inclusive meal plans are available.
The spacious lobby and ocean views give this 234-room hotel the feel of an “out of town” resort; but no, the Buenaventura is so close to downtown that the bustling Malecon boardwalk -- lined with sculptures, shops, and restaurants -- is just a five-minute walk away. Although marketed as a luxury property, it is actually a 3.5-pearl hotel with typical mid-range amenities, including a tiny spa. Overlooking a narrow stretch of beach and just a stroll away from Puerto Vallarta's thriving nightlife scene, it's a great pick for those who want an oceanfront location close to the downtown action.