Overlooking Pacific Ocean, put on the tourist map by the 1964 movie “ The Night of the Iguana” featuring Ava Gardner and Richard Burton Puerto Vallarta has transformed itself to become a touristy destination during a good part of the year, far away from the sleepy little beach town it once was. Hotels and resorts have spruced all over the bay and beyond catering to backpackers, families and affluent couples from around the world. It is said that there’s no lack of luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta that are on the beach. Or is there? To be honest, there’s only a handful of them, and most of them are not in Puerto Vallarta itself but in nearby Conchas Chinas or north of town in Nuevo Vallarta, Punta de Mita or beyond.
As a local resident who’s spent a few years in the area I can tell you that the best beaches are not in Puerto Vallarta, but North towards Punta Mita and thereabouts. It is here that the water is cleaner, boasting lovely shades of blue and home to sea turtles who lay their eggs in the whiter sand the beaches here have. Just a couple of minutes into the road that connects Punta de Mita with surf town Sayulita is La Tranquila Breathtaking Resort and Spa, the “Easy Going” (from Tranquila in Spanish) hotel.
It’s only four years old, still to be finished, but already has 27 rooms available with a few more to come soon after this article is published. It has a magnificent entrance facing the mountains with an open air concept that leads into the lobby, overlooking the ocean on one side, the Sierra Madre mountains on the other. The lobby, like the hotel, has space, lots of it. High ceilings and carefully decorated walls surround a glass covered river that flows across the lobby and into the 200m infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, with the beach bar and restaurant on the left. There’s a few other pools in between, but these are rarely used, and on the ocean side of it you’ll find a private beach covered by palm trees where you can step white sand and hide from the strong Mexican sunshine all at the same time. As you may very well expect there’s a gym if you want to work out, a golf course designed by Greg Norman and an excellent spa if you feel like getting pampered and you may even be able to release baby turtles as the hotel makes an effort to help these little creatures survive after birth.
Hotel La Tranquila has three room categories which basically address the number of travelers. There are suites for couples (which are booked quicker than the rest), double rooms, and these can be connected to create the third and largest suite. All of them are tastefully decorated, with glass walls in the shower and bathroom walls in the couple’s suite. All rooms face the ocean and most face the mountains on the opposite side as well. Two rooms suites are fully appointed with a complete kitchen, cooking utensils, oven, fridge and whatever you may need.
Food and Dining at La Tranquila
Without doubt La Tranquila is a superb luxury resort where to get away from it all and relax, but if there’s something that really stand out in the hotel is the food. The dining experience at the hotel has been one of the best in any hotel I have ever been in, and just that says a lot. There are two restaurants in the hotel, one overlooking the beach where breakfast and lunch is served, the other inside the main building where you’ll have dinner, but in both of them flavor, presentation and variety will satisfy anyone’s needs. I particularly liked the fresh ingredients and their combination, and the fact that despite La Tanquila being a luxury hotel portions are generous and well served, unlike most fancy hotels where you’re usually still hungry after any meal.
La Tranquila Beach Resort and Spa is a luxury hotel close to Puerto Vallarta, about a 45 minute drive heading North, and of course, pricey. It offers impeccable service and facilities to people who want to relax, get away from it all and enjoy a beautiful beach and resort facilities without having to deal with traffic, noise and everything else that comes with a medium to big city. Sure, if you want to visit Puerto Vallarta you can always get there by taxi and return at night, but no hotel in downtown Puerto Vallarta (or even the north hotel zone or Nuevo Vallarta) will be as relaxing as La Tranquila or have a fine sand beach with crystal clear water, except one of the two others where La Tranquila is (one is an all inclusive, the other is a high end resort too).
I particularly liked the empty beach with crystal clear water ( as I’ve already mentioned there are no other beaches like this in the Bay), the large infinity pools and open air spaces, and without a doubt the food is a highlight of the hotel; it simply is delicious and something to enjoy. This said I did find that internet access is a hit and miss, even inside the rooms, and the room we were in had a few minor maintenance issues.
Is La Tranquila the best luxury hotel in Puerto Vallarta on the beach? It could very well be. If you have the money, and want to get away from it all, I cannot think of a better choice.
Hotel website: http://latranquila.com.mx
I was a guest of Hotel La Tranquila Breathtaking Resort and Spa, however all pictures and opinions in this post are entirely my own. I was not asked to like the food or make the hotel look good, really.
Are you planning on visiting Puerto Vallarta and are looking for a great luxury hotel? Not sure if La Tranquila is what you’re looking for? What do you look for in luxury hotels? Share your your thoughts or ask questions in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you!