Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa Rating: 5.0 Pearls
No hotel compares to the level of luxury the Garza Blanca offers. Built on the site of a former hotel that was the playground of Hollywood stars in the 1960s, the property features an exquisite infinity pool, a private beach with great ocean swimming, a serene spa, and a gourmet restaurant with extensive wine cellar and tequila tasting room. The hotels’ 73 rooms are all spacious and luxurious, with hammocks, ocean views, and high-tech amenities. Suites offer more space, a separate Jacuzzi tub and full kitchens.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Rating: 4.5 Pearls
There's little wrong with the Grand Velas: This luxurious, 267-room all-inclusive resort is a sophisticated and serene option in the greater Puerto Vallarta area. Every room here is a suite, offering extra living space, a balcony, ocean views, and luxurious touches such as Nespresso machines. The impressive features include an infinity pool with three levels overlooks the beach, a decadent spa with 20 treatment rooms, and four upscale (and pricey) restaurants.
Casa Velas Hotel Boutique Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This 80-room adults-only hotel is perfectly situated amidst the quiet luxury of Marina Vallarta, an exclusive neighborhood home to lush manicured gardens, gorgeous houses and a wonderful golf club. With a gated entry, a friendly, (mostly) bilingual staff, and gorgeous public spaces and rooms that more than meet the challenge posed by the posh ambience, Casa Velas is a great pick for those who like it luxe but informal.
Villa la Estancia Beach Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This The Villa la Estancia features an elegant spa with innovative programs, a modern fitness center, a large pool and nice, and a good restaurant specializing in steak. Privately owned rooms have a Mexican Colonial decor with a few contemporary touches, high-tech amenities such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, plus balconies and kitchens. However, the highlight here is the beautiful beach, which is arguably one of the finest stretches of sand on the north side of Bahia Banderas.
Marival Residences & World Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Marival is the place to go for laid-back luxury, residential-style suites, modern amenities, and an impressive array of all-inclusive features. Comprised of 169 suites, penthouses, or private villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms (and all featuring spacious terraces with garden, pool, or ocean views), this property is an excellent option for families and couples alike seeking a little sun-soaked spoiling.
Villa Premiere Hotel & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Open only to guests ages 16 and older, Villa Premiere offers the best of two Puerto Vallarta worlds: it’s both beachfront all-inclusive and urban boutique. One of the few beaches near town -- Playa Camarones -- is directly in front of the hotel, and downtown Puerto Vallarta is just seven blocks away. Even with its small size, the 89-room Villa has an attractive all-inclusive package -- a compact but still luxurious version of what you get at many of the mega-sized resorts several miles north, out of town. An added bonus: it’s a pretty little place with whimsical artwork throughout.
Secrets Vallarta Bay Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Secrets Vallarta Bay is a luxurious, adult-only, all-inclusive resort right on the beach in tourist-friendly Puerto Vallarta. With 271 suites, it's not the biggest resort around -- the smaller size means less of a wait and better service. This property does a lot of things right: luxe rooms with butler service, unlimited premium alcohol, and gorgeous pools -- however, the vibe can get rowdy (blame the combination of all-inclusive booze and a swim-up bar). Guests should also note that some of the restaurants and daily entertainment are next door at the family-friendly Now Amber Puerto Vallarta. Still, Secrets is a quick drive to the airport and downtown, making it a convenient spot for an upscale couples getaway on the beach.
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 327-room Now Amber Puerto Vallarta is a family-friendly, four-and-half-pearl oceanfront property. The location is right on the beach and 15 minutes from the airport and downtown Puerto Vallarta. Seven restaurants and bars are all-inclusive, including premium alcohol. All of the spacious, sleek rooms are suites with private balconies. There's a huge spa, gorgeous pools, and separate clubs for kids and teens. The hotel doesn't nickel-and-dime guests with extra charges: everything from parking to Wi-Fi to towels and minibars are included. Note that some of the hotel's facilities (a few restaurants and the spa) are actually located next door at the sister property, Secrets.
Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Curvaceous and bright, this upscale hotel features fabulous views, as this 15-story hotel looms modern and colorful over the low-rise properties around it. Guest rooms and suites are contemporary, stylish, and comfortably spacious -- and all have balconies that overlook the beach below. The three free-form pools, the spa and the butler service are all pluses. However, the beach is often crowded with vendors, and suite kitchens don't have dishwashers or ovens.
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Much like the other sprawling resorts that line the beach in the swanky Marina Vallarta golf community, the CasaMagna Marriott features top-notch restaurants, pools, and meeting rooms, as well as lovely guest rooms and suites that feature modern amenities and contemporary furnishings. Housed in two towers, this upscale hotel is memorable primarily for its sumptuous Ohtli Spa and adjacent fitness center with indoor lap pool. Somewhat removed from Puerto Vallarta's nightlife scene, it is a great spot for travelers who want to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.