Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A quiet, seven-room property popular with couples
Villa Bella’s charm lies in its small size, cozy rooms, rustic feel, and jaw-dropping views. It’s located on a quiet street on a hill overlooking La Cruz and Banderas Bay, and with Sierra Madre mountains as a backdrop. While the beach is not quite within walking distance, the locale is more serene than the coastal towns, and downtown La Cruz is just across the road, offering easy access to restaurants and stores.
The property is divided into two levels, both offering gorgeous views. Upon entering the property through the white wrought-iron gate, and leaving the small reception office on the right, guests are welcomed by a beautiful little garden with a long, narrow infinity-edge pool, manicured lawns, palm trees, and stunning panoramic views.
A small palapa with colorful wood furniture, ceiling fans, and regional arts and crafts serves as the lobby, TV room, and business center (it is the only place with Internet access). A full kitchen, where the free Mexican breakfast is prepared every morning and from where guests can grab drinks, refreshments, and food throughout the day, is partially separated from the lobby by a counter and bookshelves.
The Main House, home to all but two rooms, is a white and deep purple building with an exterior staircase that leads to the individual entrances to the top two rooms. The building is topped by a thatched roof that covers the top room and the adjacent terrace.
The two other rooms --namely the Owners Apartment, which can be divided into two separate suites with full kitchens and private entrances -- are located down the stairs found on each side of the pool. These rooms offer unobstructed views and are a great pick for families with older kids or for two couples traveling together.
The hotel’s serene vibe, quiet location, and charming rooms with lots of character make it a popular pick among couples -- but it also has appeal for families and groups. Villa Bella also hosts wedding groups, and it offers free wedding planner and concierge services to brides who book the entire property for at least four nights.
On a hillside outside La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Villa Bella is perched on a hill across the road from the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. While not the most convenient for those looking to be in the thick of the action and within easy walking distance of the beach, it is possible to walk to town -- though bear in mind that there’s a steep slope to climb on the way back. The area is mostly residential, which means nights are particularly quiet, and the hotel’s location on a hill allows for unobstructed panoramic views of both the ocean and the mountains.
La Cruz is a quiet fishing town on the northern shore of Banderas Bay, between quaint Bucerias and ritzy Punta Mita. It is mostly known for being home to the region’s largest marina -- a wonderful harbor with over 340 slips and a yacht club with a restaurant and bar offering nice views. Besides the marina, there are several small eateries, a seafood market, and five beaches.
Individually decorated rooms with few amenities, but lots of space and great views
Each of the seven rooms at Villa Bella is different – while some have a cute, rustic decor, kitchens, and large jetted tubs, others have a simpler, less elaborate style. The property is comprised of two separate buildings: The Main House and the Owner’s House, both of which can be booked as a whole or room by room.
The Main House has three large suites and two smaller rooms, all with separate entrances and not connected to each other. The two top units have gorgeous mountain and ocean views, and all feature homey decor with accent walls, wood beams, and regional arts and crafts displayed throughout the rooms. Some of these rooms feature a full kitchen, and others have an empty mini-fridge and a microwave.
The Owner’s House is located a level below the main house and the garden, and it features two sections with two separate entrances for added privacy: A huge apartment with a large room, a full kitchen, a dining and living room with palapa roof, a large jetted tub for two, and a terrace with striking views of Banderas Bay, and a smaller unit with one bedroom, a kitchen and a terrace overlooking the bay.
The pool offers breathtaking views of both Banderas Bay and the mountains.
The long, narrow pool is one of the highlights at Villa Bella. It is not huge, but it is great for a few laps, and it has an infinity edge and stunning views. There are several loungers and umbrellas around it, and guests are offered free refreshments to enjoy poolside. There’s also a small open hut for massages and a small wading pool for kids.
No full restaurant, but free breakfast is served every morning and some suites have full kitchens
Villa Bella doesn’t offer a full restaurant on-site, but its partner restaurant Frascati, serving Italian food in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, can deliver lunch and dinner and have the staff at the hotel arrange a table by the pool.
Nice freebies, including free drinks and free airport pick-up service
Villa Bella is a charming little B&B boasting extraordinary views of both Banderas Bay and Sierra Madre mountains. Most of its seven individually decorated rooms have appealing rustic touches such as wooden beams and stoneware floors, and offer expansive vistas. Some have full kitchens and large jetted tubs. The action during the day revolves around the beautiful lap pool, and those who want to go to the beach should note that it’s a short drive away or a 20-minute walk down a steep hill.