US$500–1,000 Per Month
Several blocks farther south, the path to the 59-unit condo-style Hotel Brisas del Mar (Privada Abedul 10, tel. 322/222-1821, fax 322/222-1800) winds uphill through its view restaurant, across its expansive pool/deck to the big white main building perched a short block below the highway. If this place weren’t such a climb from the beach (although aerobicists might consider it a plus), the builders would have sold all the units long ago. Now, however, it’s owned and operated by the downhill Hotel Tropicana, whose attractive beachside facilities Brisas del Mar guests are invited to enjoy. Rooms are quite comfortable, featuring kitchenette suites ($65/night and $600/month low season, $80/night and $800/month high) with private view balconies, air-conditioning, big view pool deck (check to see if it’s being maintained), desk service, restaurant in season, limited wheelchair access, and credit cards accepted. Most units are one-bedroom, with either one king-size bed or a double and twin combination. Get there either by car or taxi from the highway (via cul de sac Privada Abedul, about 0.3 mi south of the gas station) or by climbing the stairs from Amapas through the doorway at no. 307, labeled Casa del Tigre.
Back downhill, the Casa María Elena (Francisca Rodríguez 163, tel. 322/222-0113, fax 322/223-1380, mariazs [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx) is owned and operated by English-speaking María Elena Zermeño Santana. The eight attractive fan-only brick-and-tile units stand in a four-story stack on a quiet cobbled side street just a block and a half from the beach. The immaculate, light, and spacious units have living room with TV, bedroom, and modern kitchenettes (toaster oven and coffeemaker) and are all comfortably decorated with folk art chosen by María Elena herself. Although the units have neither swimming pool nor phones, daily maid service and breakfast are included. She offers studio ($40/day low season, $55/day high) or one-bedroom apartments ($50/day low season, $75/day high). A one-week rental gets a 10 percent discount; longer-term discounts are negotiable. Guests also enjoy the option of in-house Internet access and three weekly hours of free Spanish-language or cooking lessons taught by María Elena.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition