Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The suites-only hotel is built into and against a cliff, and the myriad stone and plaster stairways and walls that organize and connect the structure’s multiple levels infuse the property with unique character. While slightly confusing on first take, the labyrinth draws you in and leads you up to suites and decks with amazing panoramas of the city and bay. Striking vistas can also be viewed from the three shared patios -- two with pools and all with grills.
Housed in two buildings -- ranging from four to eight stories -- this distinctive hotel is comprised of 28 suites, with no two alike, and no pretension. The furniture is fine but nothing fancy, the finishes and fixtures are utilitarian, and you can smoke anywhere. The property is a bit worn, with smudges in the paint, a few cracked tiles, and mismatched pieces here and there. But the daylight pours in, the views beckon, and all the suites feature fully-equipped kitchens.
Located on the main southbound road out of town, within walking distance of Los Muertos Beach, Old Town, and downtown's bustling boardwalk.
Rising up from the main southbound road out of town, in a district called Colonia Las Amapas, the hotel is a five-to-ten minute walk --albeit a steep one -- from Old Town Puerto Vallarta, the adjacent downtown district, and Playa Los Muertos (Beach of the Dead), the only sandy stretch of beach in Puerto Vallarta proper.
Home to a lively boardwalk lined with beachfront cafes and bars, a number of fine restaurants and galleries, and a festive after-dark scene, downtown is an appealing district for many. It is known as the most happening and diverse area.
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.
While the 28 suites contained in the hotel’s two buildings fit into six different categories, they share many qualities: generous amounts of space, fully-equipped kitchens, good-sized decks with panoramic bay and city views (one suite has no view), and no-frills utilitarian finishes. The pale tile floors, white stucco walls, and stone details are counterpointed by an eclectic mix of colorful furnishings and decorations that range from worn to nearly new.
Smoking is permitted anywhere on the property and there are no smoke-free rooms. While the absence of carpeting -- all the floors are tile -- diminishes the problem of lingering smoke odors and toxins, it remains a significant issue for some.
Half of the suites are air conditioned (bedrooms only), while all have ceiling fans in the living rooms. Air conditioning is not a critical component in Puerto Vallarta in high season—evenings are cool, especially in higher altitude properties like this one. While every suite has its own look, the larger ones also have larger decks, bigger bathrooms with tiled tubs, and flat-screen TVs.
Three small pools, including one with swim-up bar
This ruggedly charming boutique hotel offers sweeping views of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay, and the enticements of Old Town Puerto Vallarta are close at hand. Rugged is meant literally here: With two multistoried buildings climbing a steep hillside, labyrinthine stairways, and no elevators, it's a bit of work getting around -- especially if you add in the hike up from the beach. Ultimately, the place seduces with space. The 28 suites are generously scaled, with large decks, and the wonderful views place the city in the foreground against a background of sea and sky.