To celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary, we found ourselves back in Mexico. An easy jaunt from Los Angeles with just a two-and-half hour flight, we flew to Puerto Vallarta situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast on the Bay of Banderas. This Mexican town located on the second largest bay in North America attracted tourists in the 1960’s when the setting became the love nest of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the film The Night of the Iguana. Thousands came to see the film locations and hopes to catch a glimpse of the movie stars. After this publicity and transportation improvement, the town grew by leaps and bounds. Today the wildly popular beach town is dotted with many types of properties - towering resorts, all-inclusives, local hacienda style properties, and oceanfront luxury boutique hotels.
If you are looking for a unique stay with the ultimate privacy and service, look no farther than Puerto Vallarta Beach Club, perched cliffside above the ocean and the south end of famous Los Muertos Beach. The secluded private gated estate offers 4 villas, each featuring 1-4 bedrooms, with access to the amenities of adjacent 11-bedroom Villa Ventana. The hideaway is easily accessible to everything.
The original Villa Ventana was built by the Macy Family of department store fame, then later bought by avid traveler and local Los Angeles restaurateur Burt Hixson (who owned Beachbum Burt’s and Warehouse Restaurant in L.A.) known for redefining white tablecloth dining to a relaxed casual fun atmosphere with Pacific Rim influences in the 1970s. Hixson purchased the walled estate from a Macy’s granddaughter and opened the property to a long slew of visiting dignitaries, celebrities, and influential people, all evident in the photos in the entryway hallway. The Beach Club villas were built 20 years later, to make the property more accessible for smaller groups.
Today you can still taste the ocean, feel the warm tropical air, and lollygag at Puerto Vallarta Beach Club’s special property - where the price for such privacy, luxury, and convenience is surprisingly reasonable.
1.Villas come with cliffside ocean views
Watch the sunset from your private plunge pool hanging cliffside or go to bed with the sound of the surf to lull you to sleep at night. From the bed, gaze at the sunrise colors swirl and bloom over the limitless ocean. Dine on your private terrace or grab a snack from your full kitchen. Donned in local art, the 3 level one-bedroom villa called the Beach House offers dramatic oceans views from every angle, even the bathroom sink.
At Puerto Vallarta Beach Club, visitors can also book 2 villas with 3 bedrooms and 1 villa with 4 bedrooms which makes villa life perfect for families, groups of friends, or multiple couples. AC, free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, a washer/dryer, a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, daily housekeeping, a water purification system, and outdoor dining terrace with gas-fired grill are some of the amenities you can expect in each villa. The entire 11-room Villa Ventana can also be booked along with all four Beach Club villas, for the ultimate large-group destination.
2. Privacy is paramount
Upon arrival to this private gated estate, you don’t need to leave your villa home. Each villa comes with the ultimate privacy – shrouded in tropical foliage with front facing ocean views. Clothing optional.
3. Lush setting
One morning an avocado the size of my hand fell from the tree outside our villa which made for a wonderful snack later in the day. Built into a tropical jungle-like hillside setting, Puerto Vallarta Beach Club feels like the ultimate shangri-la. Birds and iguanas outnumber guests while whales can be spotted at the right time of year.
The adjacent Villa Ventana with 11 rooms offers amenities that can be used by guests too, such as a pool backed up to bamboo and palm trees, a circular poolside bar, and enchanting wraparound terrace with expansive views of the bay and Los Muertos Pier. Palm fronds and greenery hug the property while the midcentury décor with brick arches on the terrace feel like stepping into another era.
4. Butler to the rescue for all your needs
The butler – known as the “Houseman” – is assigned to your villa so that every possible need is met during your stay. He is at your disposal for supermarket shopping, maintenance needs, chef coordination, restaurant reservations, and any special requests.
5. A private chef can prepare your meals
For our anniversary, we picked several items off the menu that the chef prepared for us in our villa for lunch and at our own private table on the hotel’s terrace for dinner. Since we happened to be the only guests, we had the entire place to ourselves. After sunset, a surprise firework show and blustery windy downpour added to the romantic ambiance. The highly skilled chef (who must have been trained in the French style) prepared towering avocado ceviche and grilled fish with sweet potato puree. The chef on site can create whatever you like or you can select from a menu.
6. Complimentary breakfast served in your villa
Mexican-style breakfast was delivered made-to-order each morning to our villa so we could dine on one of the balconies atop of the ocean without ever having to leave our bathing suits.
7. Villas can be fully stocked before arrival
Freshly prepared margaritas and guacamole waited for us upon arrival while everything my husband requested had been stocked in our kitchen. Food and spirits can be pre-ordered and stocked in your kitchen at cost with a small fee.
8. Private Beach bar on property
Down below the villas and above the local beach is a private sandy beach bar where guests can lay out on lounge chairs or order a cocktail at the palapas bar with ocean views.
9. Adventurous local flavor steps away
Spiral down the property’s lush stairwell to your own private beach access. A 5-minute walk down the beach brings you to the Mexican cobblestone town. Zona Romantica is a cultural adventure with century old taco stands and local shops. A long craft market runs parallel alongside the river. Consider booking a restaurant atop of the bay with tableside flambé cooking.
And for those looking for an adventure, Puerto Vallarta offers world class golf, zip-line jungle tours, snorkeling, fishing, and boating to beaches only accessible by sea. Jet-skiing and paddle boarding are available just outside the beach gate.
10. Quick drive from the airport
Just a ten-minute drive from the airport in an Uber or taxi makes Puerto Vallarta Beach Club doable for a long weekend, especially from the west coast.
Most guests return year after year. Some even stay for a month or more. You will soon realize the lure of Puerto Vallarta Beach Club - casual private luxury.
Written by Melissa Curtin
Read more posts by Melissa Curtin