Stunning cliffside location with ocean and mountain views
Chic adult-only property with a quiet atmosphere
18 stylish rooms and suites, most with private outdoor balconies
Two mosaic tile pools, including a clothing-optional main pool
High-end restaurant, Taste, is popular with guests and locals
On-site Pump Gym has modern cardio and weight equipment
Within a 15-minute walk of downtown Puerto Vallarta and nearby beaches
Free Wi-Fi in rooms and common spaces
Located on a steep hill, difficult to walk up and down
Not on the beach
Both pools are tiny
No kids allowed (a pro for some)
There are lots of gay-friendly hotels in Puerto Vallarta, but Casa Cupula is the only upscale option with a predominately gay clientele. Its cliffside location offers fantastic views of the ocean and the surrounding Sierra Madre mountains. This adult-only property has a quiet atmosphere, but there’s a slightly risqué vibe thanks to its clothing-optional pool. The 18 stylish rooms are individually decorated, and most have private outdoor balconies. The on-site restaurant, Taste, is popular with guests and locals alike, especially for Sunday brunch. Casa Cupula is within a 15-minute walk of downtown Puerto Vallarta and Playa de los Muertos, the most popular gay beach in the area. However, its clifftop location requires steep walks up and down the hill. Travelers who’d prefer to be in the center of Puerto Vallarta might prefer Garlands Del Rio, another boutique property with a gay-friendly atmosphere.
An attractive boutique hotel that caters to gay travelers
A long winding road leads to Casa Cupula, which seemingly hangs off the side of a steep cliff. At the top of the hill, guests are treated to fantastic views of the surrounding hillside and the ocean in the distance. Casa Cupula’s cliffside location feels private, and the property’s lush landscaping gives it a sense of seclusion that’s often missing from hotels downtown. The property is housed in several adjoining hacienda-style buildings, and gets its name from the numerous round cupulas (domes) that adorn its rooftops. The contemporary lobby is striking, especially when considering the hotel’s traditional exterior. Bold pumpkin colored walls and funky red hanging light fixtures create a contemporary aesthetic, while modern artwork adds visual interest. Steel beams frame a two story window that capitalizes on the hotel’s views and give the room a subtle industrial vibe. Two tiny front desks are located near the front door, and staff members are always available to answer questions or assist guests with vacation planning. The majority of Casa Cupula’s staff members are gay.
Nearly every establishment in Puerto Vallarta can be considered gay-friendly, but Casa Cupula almost exclusively caters to gay travelers. The hotel’s website describes the property as a “retreat for LGBT guests and friends.” During our visit, we encountered mostly gay male guests between the ages of 20 and 60, though there were a handful of younger lesbian couples as well.
Located on a massive hill, just south of gay-friendly downtown Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is known to be Mexico’s most gay-friendly destination. Downtown, particularly the Zona Romantica, is home to gay hotels, bars, and nightclubs, and Playa de los Muertos is one of the world’s most famous gay beaches. Both the downtown area and the beach can be reached in about a 15-minute walk from Casa Cupula. The property, however, is perched above it all on a steep, winding hill. While the location offers excellent views, the hill can be an issue for guests who anticipate walking to attractions. Casa Cupula does offer free parking for those who bring their own cars, and staff members can easily call taxis for those who prefer not to walk. It takes about five minutes to reach either downtown attractions or the beach by car. The Puerto Vallarta airport is about a 25- to 35-minute drive, depending on traffic.
Individually decorated rooms with nice amenities and outdoor balconies
Each of Casa Cupula’s 18 rooms is individually decorated, and each has a unique look and feel. Some rooms feature black accent walls and poured concrete floors, while others have rattan accents and muslin canopies. Guest rooms might be adorned with velvet and glitzy chandeliers or midcentury furniture and modern artwork. But no matter the decor, rooms are equipped with nice amenities including pillow-top mattresses, flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, fully stocked mini fridges, terry cloth robes and slippers, electronic safes, and reusable water bottles. However, we were disappointed to see that rooms lack premium coffeemakers like Nespresso machines. Like rooms, bathrooms come in all shapes in sizes, though most feature walk-in showers. Only suites have jetted soaking tubs. Most of Casa Cupula’s rooms have large outdoor patios or balconies. The penthouse suite even has its own rooftop plunge pool and lounge area.
There are several different room types at Casa Cupula, ranging from tiny standard rooms to apartment-style penthouse suites. We’d recommend booking any kind of room with the name “vista” attached to it, as these offer the best views across the property.
Two pools, a popular on-site restaurant, and a modern fitness center
Casa Cupula’s two pools offer different vibes. The buzzy main pool is a clothing-optional zone, where upbeat music plays throughout the day and an Instagram-worthy inflatable unicorn floats in the water. Guests who’d like to don their birthday suits should check with hotel policies before stripping down. During restaurant hours, bathing suits are required around the pool, since the restaurant is open to the public and overlooks the pool area. The rooftop infinity pool is a bit more subdued and offers stunning views of the property. Both pools are surrounded by tastefully decorated patios, which include cushioned lounge chairs and cabanas. However, we have to point out that both pools are exceptionally small. They look more like petite plunge pools than communal pools that are meant to be shared.
Taste, Casa Cupula’s on-site restaurant, is an upscale eatery that’s well liked by guests and locals. Taste is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but its most popular seating is its weekly Sunday brunch. The restaurant serves creative Mexican-inspired dishes that will likely appeal to the American palette -- think shrimp tacos and chicken fajitas, not traditional moles or tamales. Taste has a gorgeous outdoor patio with comfortable banquette seating, and has a jungle-like feel thanks to its surrounding greenery.
Pump is Casa Cupula’s bright, modern fitness center. It isn’t huge, but it’s always crowded, since it offers local memberships. The well lit space is painted an eye-opening shade of aqua and is filled with a few cardio and weight machines. There’s also a massive rack of free weights as well as a few yoga mats and exercise balls.
Wi-Fi is free for all guests and works well in the guest rooms and common spaces.