Back near Avenida Olas Altas, find the apartment-style Suites Los Arcos (on M. Dieguez, book through Hotel Playa Los Arcos, $103 d low season, $125 d high), with a long blue pool patio and an airy sitting area to one side of the lobby. Upstairs are 15 studio apartments, simply but attractively furnished in tile, wood furniture, and pastel-blue sofas and bedspreads. All have baths (some with shower bath), king-size beds, furnished kitchenette, air-conditioning, TV, and private balcony.
Although the Hotel Molino de Agua (corner of Ignacio Vallarta and Aquiles Serdán, tel. 322/222-1907, fax 322/222-6056, www.molinodeagua.com) occupies two Río Cuale riverfront blocks right on the beach, many visitors miss it completely. Its tranquil colony of rustic-chic cabañas hides in a jungle garden of cackling parrots, giant-leafed vines, and monumental spreading hule (rubber) trees. Most of the 40 cabañas ($80 d low season, $105 d high) are at ground level and unfortunately don’t feel completely private inside unless you close the shutters—which seems a shame in a tropical garden. The very popular beachside upstairs rooms ($120 d low season, $165 d high) remedy this problem. Amenities include two pools, restaurant, air-conditioning, parking, and massage services, and credit cards are accepted.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition