Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Not a timeshare like its sister properties, this Villa shoots for an upscale vibe.
The Villa Estancia is going for a level of upscale elegance that differentiates it from its sister hotel next door. The designers used a rich palette to achieve the Spanish Colonial Hacienda décor that feels, in some areas of the hotel, too formal for the neighborhood. But it’s very handsome, in a dark, masculine way.
The hotel is a high end timeshare, selling fractional ownerships with an eight-week minimum, so it doesn’t have that hustler quality of your basic timeshare. But it is one, even if the prices are way higher than usual. What this adds up to, for the visiting hotel guest, is, take a bit of advice: unless you are in the market for a timeshare, don’t do the tour, don’t hear the pitch, don’t go there.
Take a swim instead, in the gorgeous freeform pool in its lovely garden setting onsite, or in the clear blue sea, and then hang out poolside, have a meal in La Casona, the main restaurant, or indulge in a hydrotherapy treatment at the alluringly elegant Tatewari Spa, right on site. All the restaurants at the Villa del Palmar Flamingos, next door, are also available in the all-inclusive package (guests at the Flamingo do NOT have the same privileges at La Estancia)
Quite a bit north of Puerto Vallarta -- good for those who plan to stay at the resort
This northernmost stretch of Nuevo Vallarta is still under development, and so, along with some half-built hotel towers, empty lots, and other not-so-pretty signs of ongoing development along the way, you’ll find lush green jungle right across the road. Other than the other hotels nearby--and there are several--beyond the beach there is not much here except the road to there.
Large, handomely decorated rooms with nice terraces
Although the 260 rooms are privately owned, the hotel organizes the design -- so all rooms a Mexican Colonial decor style with a few contemporary touches. Spacious and comfortable, they feature tan marble floors, wooden ceiling fans, and arched doorways. They all have lovely terraces/balconies with ocean or pool views. The studios have mini-fridges, while the suites have kitchenettes or full kitchens.
Only one restaurant in this all-inclusive, but guests can eat for free next door
A few yards north of its sister Villa group hotel, the Flamingo, the Villa la Estancia shares a basic architectural form, an elegant, innovative spa, and one of the finest stretches of beach on the north side of Bahia Banderas. The Estancia, however, is not a timeshare but a group of privately owned condos -- so guests don't get the selling speeches as much as they get at the other property. While attractive, and offering amenities such as a luxury spa, superb fitness center, and delicious restaurant, it's hard to see what sets this Villa apart from the others to make it a luxury resort, which it aims to be.