At the far north end, just before the cruise-ship Terminal Maritima, stands the neocolonial Hacienda Hotel and Spa (Paseo de la Marina, tel. 322/226-6667, fax 322/226-6672, www.haciendaonline.com.mx). One of the Zona Hotelera’s best-buy options, the Hacienda offers a load of amenities at moderate rates. Its 155 rooms ($80 d low season, $95 d high; all-inclusive option about $70 pp low season, $100 pp high), arranged in low-rise tiers, enfold a leafy green patio/garden, graced by a blue free-form pool and a slender, rustic shade palapa. On one side, water gurgles from a neo-antique aqueduct, while guests linger at the adjacent airy restaurant. The rooms are spacious, with high hand-hewn-beam ceilings, marble floors, and rustic-chic tile-and-brick baths, and include air-conditioning, phones, cable TV, some wheelchair access, and credit cards accepted. The only slight drawback to all this is guests must walk a couple of short blocks to the beach. Spa services, such as a temascal sauna, facials, many massage options, reflexology, and aromatherapy, are abundant but cost extra.
Find a number of other worthy options a mile or two south. For example, consider the Las Palmas by the Sea (Km 2.5 Blv. Fco. Medina Ascencio, tel. 322/226-1220, fax 322/226-1268, www.laspalmasresort.com). Past the reception, an airy, rustic palapa shelters the lobby, which opens to a palmy beachside pool patio. Here on the wide, sparkling Playa las Glorias, opportunities for aquatic sports are at their best, with the hotel’s sport shop (snorkeling, fishing, Hobie Cat sailboats, parasailing) right on the beachfront. The 225 rooms, with all food, drinks, and in-house entertainment, run about $75 per person low season, $100 high; kids under 12 go for $15 low season, $30 high; kids 13 and above, $20 low season, $35 high. Guests in most rooms enjoy private oceanview balconies and comfortable semi- deluxe furnishings, with air-conditioning, phones, TV, restaurant, snack bar, bars, pool, and parking; credit cards are accepted. Check the website for promotional packages, such as kids under nine free, or third night free during times of low occupancy (Sept.–Nov. and May–June).
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition