Take a look at the best beach hotels in South Hotel Zone.
Open only to guests ages 16 and older, the luxurious 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 80-room Villa has an attractive resort package -- a compact but still luxurious version of what you get at many of the mega-sized resorts several miles north, out of town, including a gym, spa, two pools, three restaurants (the all-inclusive plan is optional), and 24-hour room service. The contemporary, sophisticated rooms all have balconies with ocean views. Those looking for a family-friendly stay can look next door to sister property Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Spa.
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.
The 225-room Las Palmas by the Sea is an all-inclusive hotel on the ocean in Puerto Vallarta's South Hotel Zone, but this isn't the type of place where you can relax in the sand and have staff bring you endless cocktails with little umbrellas in them. With the right expectations, this older two-and-a-half pearl property can be good value and a convenient home base. The no-frills rooms are clean, quiet, and spacious. There are two ocean-facing pools, an organized kids' club, and handful of decent restaurants. Though food and drinks are included, there are charges for in-room Wi-Fi, the electronic safe, and water sport rentals, plus annoying time-share pitches.
Costa Sur Resort & Spa is a family-friendly, mid-range property on a secluded stretch of beach on the Bay of Banderas, and stunning sunsets are not to be missed. The 200 casual suites, some in need of updating, all feature kitchens, living areas, and balconies with full ocean views. Air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi come standard. There’s a Mexican restaurant offering theme dinners and a bar with daily happy hours, as well as a cafe and a snack bar. There are two outdoor pools, one family-friendly and one designated as a quiet pool, as well as a small beach area, water sports, a spa, and a fitness center. Breakfast-only and all-inclusive packages are offered. Tropicana Hotel is a mid-range property offering similar amenities in the city center, but there’s no spa.
A big and bustling all-inclusive resort, the upper-middle-range Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Great Moments ticks almost every box that travelers have in mind when they arrive in Puerto Vallarta. Situated right on the beach, there are pools for adults and children plus four restaurants, three bars, and 24-hour room service (though there's a fee for the latter). A spa and boutique as well as a gym and kids' club round things out, though food gets mixed reviews and the resort can be hectic. The 234 rooms are mostly modern, with marble details that add a little class, though some corners of the hotel aren't as fresh. Rates are similar at Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, though the style there is a little more consistently dated and it's farther from town.
Located in Puerto Vallarta's crowded Hotel Zone, this beachfront property is a typical all-inclusive with one stand-out feature -- its Tennis Club with indoor and outdoor courts. Despite being marketed as a luxury hotel, it is a mid-range property offering standard resort amenities, including a free-form pool that some guests may prefer to the small, rocky beach. It is a also a time-share property, so sales pitches are prevalent throughout the hotel. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and contemporary decor, but the furnishings look a bit cheap.
Plaza Pelicanos Club Beach Resort All-Inclusive is a three-pearl hotel on Las Glorias Beach in Puerto Vallarta’s South Hotel Zone. All 186 rooms are Standard Rooms, which feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. There’s a fee for Wi-Fi in the rooms. Ground floor units have patios, but rooms on upper floors lack balconies. There are three all -inclusive restaurants, a cafe, and a sports bar. A family pool features a kids’ area and a swim-up bar. The beach club, located across the street, features a small beach with many vendors, another outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, a snack bar, and a pizzeria. Other amenities include a spa, a tennis court, and a kids’ club, but no gym. Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa offers similar amenities right in the old town, but it’s not all-inclusive.
This 103-room budget hotel sits right on the beach on the northern edge of downtown Puerto Vallarta. Its best features are the lovely pool and a pleasant restaurant with ocean views and happy hour specials. The rooms are bland and basic, but less dreary than the drab rooms at its sister property, Hotel Rosita, down the street. Even for a budget hotel, some extra corners are cut; most rooms have old tube TVs and there are no mini-fridges. And though the views of the bay are lovely, the beach itself is desolate and less than desirable.