In the small crowd of all-inclusives at the far north end of Nuevo Vallarta, this one stands out, for a number of reasons: the gorgeous infinity pool, the spacious, elegant gardens, the attention to detail in design, the a la carte menu options in the all-inclusive package, and, generally speaking, the ambience. From the moment you pass the two story, glass-enclosed spa by the gate, you’re in an atmosphere of luxurious serenity. Most every facility -- the spa, the fitness center, the sushi bar -- is at least partly outside. So this is a great pick for guests looking for a true beachside experience.
A well-designed hotel on a gorgeous stretch of beach
Here at the north end of Nuevo Vallarta, there is a cluster of hotels on the beach, and not much else -- which means the hotels had better get it right. The upper-middle-range Bel Air Collection gets it right, for the most part. With 250 rooms, the Bel Air is not exactly small, but it feels appropriately scaled, in part because the guestroom towers, the low rise buildings containing the lobby and other public spaces, and the gardens, grounds, and pool are so casually yet carefully knit together. There are other hotels in the area with more, better, bigger everything, but they don’t quite hang together as seamlessly as this one does.
The elegant informality of the lobby, with its trio of leather sofas facing out from a simple vertical sculpture under a palapa roof, sets the tone. From there towards the beach, it’s a meandering stroll through a gorgeous garden, and then the freeform infinity pool appears before you, its edge seamlessly flowing into the Pacific beyond. The aesthetic is sophisticated, elegant, and soothing.
The hotel contains some timeshare units and condominiums, meaning some of the room options listed below can be combined in different ways. There are also different pricing levels -- packaged as “experiences” -- which up the amenities ante, and the all-inclusive element of the hotel is also available in different packages.
On a newly developed stretch of Flamingos Beach in Nuevo Vallarta
The Bel Air is on a newly developed stretch of Flamingos Beach in Nuevo Vallarta, which means there are still a few half-built hotel towers, empty lots, and other not-so-pretty signs of ongoing development to be seen. But right across the road you'll find a lush green jungle -- the upside to the newness of the location. Other than the other hotels nearby -- and there are several -- beyond the beach there is not much here except the road to there.
The hotel is in the far north of Nuevo Vallarta -- about 12 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta Airport. The next town, Bucerias, is about a mile away.
Standard rooms are a bit small, but they look amazing -- and are super comfortable
The rooms here are very smartly designed, with a mix of light white (super luxe and comfy) bedding, walls, and curtains and dark wood furniture and doors. The contrast is striking, in a very good way. The baths are modern -- all marble with deep soaking tubs. Keep in mind, the Deluxe Rooms (the hotel's standard size) are a little bit small and have no balconies. But all other rooms -- lofts and suites -- have balconies (some overlooking the Pacific) and kitchenettes.