Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A reasonably priced, small urban paradise
Downtown Puerto Vallarta is a place most people visit on short day trips from their out-of-the-way megaresorts. But more of PV's charm is revealed to those who stay in town in the way of great restaurants, art galleries, shops, and live entertainment.
Portonovo Plaza is a draw for the budget travelers looking to fully experience that charm. Located off a fairly noisy street, Portonovo Plaza features a chic little lobby with a small bar, a hip rooftop pool with sundeck and city views, a decent restaurant, a couple computers in the lobby with free Internet, and a tiny fitness center -- all the basics needed to enjoy a stay that's designed around enjoying what's outside the hotel doors rather than in.
Excellent downtown location one minute from a public beach and a short drive from more secluded beachfront
The Portonovo Plaza occupies the block formed by Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay streets, with the front door on Mexico. Thanks to its heart-of-the-city location you can walk everywhere except a secluded beach. For that you’ll have to take a short taxi ride and head north or south. Conchas Chinas, for example, is 10 to 15 minutes by cab -- this is an exquisitely beautiful rock-and-sand beach just south of town with public access to perfectly clear snorkeling waters.
Fairly monochromatic palette with streamlined furnishings and basic amenities
All the rooms are priced the same, based on one-person occupancy, with each additional person raising the rate. Some are larger, have slightly more space, better views, or bigger bathrooms -- but they all share the same streamlined black-and-white palette with either brown or red accent blankets and drapes. The beds are a bit on the firm side, and the views are uninspiring -- ranging from none to blank walls to territorial street views.
Rooftop pool with stunning city views but tiny fitness center
This 45-room budget-friendly boutique hotel comes sharply dressed with some attitude and style, but little in the way of amenities (at least compared with the larger megaresorts that permeate Puerto Vallarta's more distant zones). There's a decent rooftop restaurant with outdoor seating and city views, a nice-size rooftop pool looking out toward the ocean, and a basic-use (read: tiny) fitness center. The rooms range from small to smaller, and their views are far from inspiring -- but it's what lies outside the hotel doors that counts. The beach, the Malecon, and the area's most popular dining, nightlife, and shopping are all within a short walk.