Casa Velas: An Anniversary Well Spent in Puerto Vallarta
When my husband and I decided to celebrate our third anniversary with a trip to Mexico, Elizabeth suggested we look into the luxury, adults-only boutique resort, Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta—and we never overlook her travel recommendations.
After spending two nights in the tiny (and adorable) town of San Pancho, we made the hour-long drive (/taxi ride) southwest along the west coast of Mexico to Puerto Vallarta. From the moment we arrived, we felt like royalty. As we stepped out of the cab in front of the beautiful estate, we were greeted with cold towels and the most refreshing basil water we’ve ever had. Once inside, we checked into our reservation before taking a tour of the stunning suites, and the grand property.
Our first floor room—plenty spacious for our perpetually over-packed bags—was clean and well appointed. Just inside, the (later determined: comfortable) bed faced a TV, adjacent to a small living and dining space that led to a private outdoor space with a dipping pool.
Once we were settled, we headed out the main pool. The gorgeous landscaping added an air of privacy, and that tropical vacation feel. I grabbed a book and one of several (read: amply available) cabanas, while my husband took a dip and headed towards the swim-up bar. The service was perfect, as resort staff came by every so often to offer drinks and poolside snacks—we opted for pina coladas and a quesadilla to tide us over until dinner. As the sun went down, we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner. Around 8 p.m. we joined the general manager—a delightful guy with a passion for hospitality—for a gourmet meal at the resort’s main restaurant, a “casually elegant” two-story spot called Emiliano. Just outside the restaurant on the patio, we could hear the jazz styling’s of the piano player inside as we enjoyed the chef’s picks, and a sampling of the extensive wine list. Following dinner, we headed downtown to The Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s hopping boardwalk, speckled with restaurants, street performers, and a lively nightlife scene.
The following morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, again on Emiliano’s patio, that included an egg-white omelet packed with delicious tomatoes, cheese and vegetables; and waffles. After breakfast, we changed into our poolside gear, and headed down to the private Ocean Club—a beautiful infinity pool and patio situated right on the beach, offering guests the option of beach chairs in the sand, or more cabanas, complete with drink and lunch service. We set up in a cabana for the day, enjoying the view. That evening, we took the shuttle to Velas Vallarta, a sister hotel, to dine at one of their restaurants. After a delicious Italian meal, we took a stroll around the beautifully landscaped, albeit decidedly less private, property.
On our last full day, we woke up early for another great breakfast before grabbing a cab from the resort to a zip-lining excursion recommended by the resort staff. The experience was amazing. After a full day of hiking and zipping through the trees, we made it back to the resort with one thing on our minds: room service. We bundled up in the plush robes and slippers and ordered dinner and a bottle of wine in—everything was fabulous—and watched a movie after catching the sunset outside our room. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip—but next time, we’ll leave time for the spa.