Zen Set Spa features modern decor and many treatment options
Beach is narrow and usually crowded with vendors
Suite kitchens don't have dishwashers or ovens
Curvaceous and bright, this upscale sister of the two older Pelican resorts nearby 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 hot tub decks and poolside lounge areas also offer spectacular ocean views, with some guests preferring these serene spaces to the narrow beach that is often crowded with vendors.
Beachside resort with modern decor and a posh ambience
Modern and bold, this upscale resort is housed in a vibrant, 15-story tower overlooking a narrow strip of Las Glorias beach in this zone just north of downtown Vallarta. It's a great location if you want to be near the Vallarta action -- but not exactly a hideaway, what with the busy road into town nearby.
The hotel grounds, pools, suites, and decks are decidedly serene, engaging spaces, with the contemporary style and vibrant color balanced and enhanced with lush plantings, lawns, and plenty of lounging space. They are striving for a posh and exclusive ambience here, and seemingly have attained it.
Beachside location in the Northern Hotel Zone, but a bit of a walk from downtown's restaurants and bars
This resort overlooks a small stretch of narrow beach and towers above several smaller, older hotels -- including sister properties Plaza Pelicanos Club Beach Resort All-Inclusive and Plaza Pelicanos Grand Beach Resort. Located at the end of a short cobbled street a block off the main highway in the Northern Hotel Zone, the Sunset Plaza is a bit of a walk from bustling downtown and the lively Malecon boardwalk, so many guests opt for a 10-minute cab ride instead.
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.
5- to 10-minute drive from Licenciado Diaz Ordaz International Airport
5- to 10-minute drive to Marina Vallarta, which has shops and restaurants
5- to 10-minute drive to Marina Vallarta Golf Club
5- to 10-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta/Malecon boardwalk
Modern, spacious rooms with high-tech amenities and private balconies
Rooms and suites are spacious --- and all feature private balconies with ocean views. A modern and minimalist style pervades, with pale walls, tile floors, wooden furniture, and high-tech amenities like flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Homey touches like brightly colored accents and pillow menus keep the sleek surroundings from feeling overly sterile.
32-inch flat-screen TVs come with DVD players (DVDs are available for a fee)