The modern nine-floor tower of Boana Torre-Malibu (Amapas 325, Zona Romántica, tel. 322/222-6695, www.boana.net, $40–70 d low, $80–125 d high) offers special rates for longer stays, giving you the option of experiencing condo living right in the Zona Romántica just across from the gay beach at Playa los Muertos. All apartments have one or two bedrooms with a separate kitchen and living area with balcony, and guests have access to what is called “the largest gay pool in the city.” The on-site travel agency will book tours and day cruises for you, although finding something to do shouldn’t be a problem here—the location puts you within easy walking distance of the best restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.
Casa de las Flores (Calle Santa Barbara 359, Zona Romántica, tel. 322/120-5242 or U.S. tel. 510/763-3913, www.casadelasflorespv.com, $100–125 d low, $100–170 d high, $125–250 d holiday) is a much-photographed quirky bed-and-breakfast that allows pets and children. This property has a rambling, homey atmosphere with some air-conditioned rooms, Internet access, fully equipped kitchen and bar, dipping pool for the main house, maid service, and cable TV. Located within walking distance from Playa los Muertos, the casa offers impressive views of the bay from its terraces. While not focused solely on the gay community, Las Flores is gay-owned. Long-term rates are available May–October and the minimum stay is seven nights.
The interior-focused Casa Fantasia B&B (Pino Suárez 203 at Francisco Madero, Zona Romántica, tel. 322/223-2444, www.mexonline.com/casafantasia.htm, $60–80 d low, $120–150 d high) offers a haven from the busy streets and beaches of the Zona Romántica. While unregistered guests are not allowed into the rooms, all other needs will be met with friendly, attentive service. The champagne happy hour and full breakfast at the sunny poolside are de rigueur. Only a block from the beach, this gay-owned guest house is decorated like a hacienda, with antiques and priceless works of art in all five suites and two rooms.
In a personalized condo atmosphere, Suites Claudia (Abedul 630, Carr. Mismaloya Km 1.5, South Shore, tel. 322/222-4223, $90–100 d low, $110–130 d high, suites $150 d low, $250 d high) takes care of all your needs from the minute you arrive. Five floors up with pool area, this property offers views of the ocean, a location that’s easy walking distance into town, and comfortable contemporary Mexican-style handcrafted furniture that’s colorful and homey. Fully equipped kitchens allow you to stay at home and sit on your private terrace to drink in the view. Help with reservations at local restaurants is yours for the asking.
The deluxe men-only, clothing-optional Villa David (Galeana 348, Gringo Gulch, tel. 322/223-0315, from the U.S. 877/832-3315, www.villadavidpv.com) offers comfortable neighborhood living in a homey and elegant setting at moderate rates. Villa David’s ten rooms enfold an intimate, leafy tropical pool patio overlooking panoramic vistas of Puerto Vallarta, bay, and mountains. The rooms, decorated with 19th century–style traditional hardwood furniture, embellished with reading lamps and hand-hewn bedspreads, likewise all enjoy bay views. Rates for the rooms run about $70 d low season, $108 high; larger suites go for $92 d low and $151 d high, all with private baths, fans, and hearty buffet breakfast. Other amenities include a common kitchen and living room with TV and DVD, in-house wireless Internet, roof-top viewing deck, and a hot-tub deck with bar. Guests enjoy easy walking access to both Río Cuale and Malecón sights, galleries, shops, and restaurants.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition